Isaiah 7 – Mercenaries Shall Gather – 2 Nephi 17:1-25

1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekahthe son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

2 And it was told the house of David, saying: Syria is confederate [has an alliance] with Ephraim. And his [King Ahaz] heart was moved [changed], and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.  [fear and trembling]

3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah: Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field; [a surprise visit]

4 And say unto him: Take heed, and be quiet [do nothing]; fear not, neither be faint-hearted [don’t be spooked] for the two tails of these smoking firebrands [the two leaders of these threatening armies], for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.

5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying:

6 Let us go up against Judah and vex it [provoke it], and let us make a breach [a coup] therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, yea, the son of Tabeal.

7 Thus saith the Lord God: It shall not stand [it shall not succeed], neither shall it come to pass.

8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus, Rezin; and within threescore and five years [65 years] shall Ephraim be broken that it be not a people.

9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe [the word’s of God] surely ye shall not be established.[your kingdom shall not remain]

10 Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz [through Isaiah], saying:

11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depths, or in the heights above. [Like asking: “Do you know the greatest sign of the Lord to His people?”]

12 But Ahaz said: I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. [Like responding impatiently: “I’m not going to answer that!]

13 And he said: Hear ye now, O house of David [O King of this people]; is it a small thing for you to weary men, [for you to become impatient with men] but will ye weary [become impatient with] my God also?

14 Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign [Do you know that the Lord Himself…?]—Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [God be with us]

15 Butter [curdled milk] and honey shall he eat [a time of poverty], that he may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good.

16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. [The land that thou detest shall be cursed and Israel shall fall before the Messiah shall come.]

17 The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah, the king of Assyria. [Just as the Northern Kingdom of Israel was divided from Judah.]

18 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall hiss [allow the word to spread] for the fly that is in the uttermost part of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. [The mercenaries shall gather.]

19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. [the armies will gather all around]

20 In the same day shall the Lord [the Lord shall allow] shave with a razor that is hired [The Assyrian king shall be shrewd and cut sharply], by them beyond the river [Euphrates], by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard. [they shall decimate the Hebrews]

21 And it shall come to pass in that day, a man [men who survive in their captivity] shall nourish a young cow and two sheep; [shall barely survive]

22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk they shall give he shall eat butter [what little there is left]; for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land. [a difficult time to survive]

23 And it shall come to pass in that day [after Israel is conquered], every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, which shall be for briers and thorns. [The land shall be desolate and dark.]

24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither, because all the land shall become briers and thorns. [Bandits shall inhabit the land.]

25 And all hills that shall be digged with the mattock [What was once a place to settle], there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns [no longer because of its dangerous circumstances]; but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and the treading of lesser cattle. [Those who meander into harsh lands.]

This chapter of Isaiah was significant to the people of Nephi, for it directly prophesied of what would befall the Northern Kingdoms. It also prophesied of the literal coming of the Messiah amongst their people. The chapter also expresses what happens to a wicked people when they are not righteous. A similar circumstance would befall the Nephites, and also the people of America when they reach the time of God’s judgment. Much of the land will be made desolate where once it was habitable.

As I consider this chapter and its application to our day I see similarities for what will befall America in the future.

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4 Responses to Isaiah 7 – Mercenaries Shall Gather – 2 Nephi 17:1-25

  1. S Silver says:

    Why is butter/curdled milk and honey a food that symbolizes poverty?

    When it is said that a land flows with milk and honey, does that imply it is uninhabited or that there will be a struggle to inhabit it?


  2. I dont know. Thats what I was told. I dont know if milk and honey means something similar or slightly different. I know where you are coming from because I too always asumed it meant the opposite.

    UPDATE: “A land flowing with milk and honey” means that they would have all that they need. “to eat cream and honey” means to have hardly enough to survive. If the Lord had said they would have bread and wine and oil, it would denote a more comfortable circumstance. This is what I have learned, but check this yourself with the Lord.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. S Silver says:

    In vs 18, can you further explain the symbolism of the fly of Egypt and bee of Assyria? The fly is a nuisance that spreads filth and disease but the bee is useful. Why these insects? [The Assyrians would bring eventual blessing to the Hebrews, but the Egyptians were only death and destruction to them. PR]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. S Silver says:

    Thank you for the “update” added detail! Did the Lord answer as you pondered on it?

    I had the thought that the bread, wine and oil are all food items used for ordinances, which might signify or point to a covenant blessing. Thank you for what you share because often it is like the first domino being tipped in a chain of events that leads to more personal revelation and greater understanding for me as I read.

    Liked by 1 person

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