King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Isaiah > Old Testament > Home

Isaiah 17

Syria and Israel threatened. (1-11) The woe of Israel’s enemies. (12-14)

Isaiah 17 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Syria and Israel threatened

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.

4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.

5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.

6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.

7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.

9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:

11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

The woe of Israel’s enemies

12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!

13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Damascus. When it was taken by Theglathphalassar, or rather by Sennacherib. C. x. 8. It was again ruined by Nabuchodonosor. Jer. xlix. 24. But after the first taking, it never regained its power. Magni nominis umbra. C.

Ver. 2. Aroer. Chal. “abandoned, shall be folds for sheep.” Sept. “left for ever a resting place for flocks and herds, and none shall pursue.” The tribes on the east of the Jordan shall be led captive, as well as those on the west, Ephraim, &c. H.

Ver. 3. Damascus. Their too great union proved their ruin. Sennacherib took Damascus, as Salmanasar had done Samaria.

Ver. 4. Lean. All the power of the kingdom shall fail, as in a mortal illness.

Ver. 5. Raphaim. Near Jerusalem. 3 K. xxiii. 13. Sept. “of stones.” C. — It will be equally difficult to find any men left in the kingdom of Israel. H.

Ver. 7. Israel. They obeyed the summons of Ezechias and of Josias, (2 Par. xxx. 1. and xxxiv. 6.) and every after followed the same worship as Juda. C.

Ver. 9. Left. By the Chanaanites, when the children of Israel came into their land. Ch. — Their consternation was become proverbial. Jos. ii. 9. and v. 11.

Ver. 10. Good. Sept. “fruitless.” Israel had abandoned the Lord; and could expect nothing but the fruits of death. C.

Ver. 11. Much. Thou hast laboured earnestly, but reaped no benefit. H.

Ver. 12. Multitude, &c. This and all that follows to the end of the chapter, relates to the Assyrian army under Sennacherib, (Ch.) or rather to that of Israel and its allies. C. — After the Assyrians had afflicted Israel, they were also punished. W.

Ver. 14. Not be. Phacee and Rasin were presently exterminated. — Spoiled us. The kingdom of Achaz. 4 K. xvii. 5.