Dave Burnette's Commentary

Isaiah Chapter 17

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Isaiah
Date Penned: (700-681 BC)
Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)
Theme: Words of Judgment (c 1-39)
Message: Prophecy Against Syria (v 1-14)

Isaiah 17 Commentary 

(17:1) An Alliance - The northern kingdom and Syria (Aram) made an alliance to fight against Assyria. But Tiglath-pileser III captured Damascus, the capital of Syria, in 732 BC and annexed the northern kingdom to the Assyrian Empire. Ahaz, king of Judah, paid tribute to Tiglath-pileser III (2 Kings 16:1-14). 

(17:7-11) Successes Trappings - God's message to Damascus was that it would be completely destroyed. The Syrians had turned from the God who could save them, depending instead on their idols and their own strength. No matter how successful they were, God's judgment was sure. Often we depend on the trappings of success (new cars, the latest technology, nice clothes, large homes) to give us fulfillment. But God says we will reap grief and pain if we use temporal things to try to satisfy the need for eternal security that he has placed in all of us. 

(17:8) Pornography - Many of the "images" represented Asherah, a Canaanite goddess who was the female consort of Baal. Queen Jezebel may have brought the worship of Asherah into the northern kingdom. Asherah's cult encouraged immoral sexual practices and attracted many people. The Bible warns against worshiping Asherah in groves (Deuteronomy 12:3; 16:21), and Manasseh was condemned for putting up an image associated with Asherah in the temple (2 Kings 21:7). We don't have images of Asherah today, but most cultures still treat sex as a religion. Pornography has become an addiction that has reached epidemic proportions. Media and entertainment industries feed our society's obsession with sexual perversion. This runaway desire for stimulation and gratification often comes from an empty, lonely heart. God offers real joy and lasting love. Be on the alert for how sexual images and temptation divert you from living in true intimacy with God.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Depend on Jesus

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 17. In our text today, we see the Prophesy against Syria as they turned from the one true God who could save them, depending instead on their idols and their strength. In applying, many today rely on their strength instead of the one true God who can save them. How about you? Are you depending on the Lord versus your strength to save you? Let us learn from our text today and the example of Syria to remember that we can only depend on the Lord for victory.


Isaiah 17

Isaiah 17

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

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

 3The 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.

 4And 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.

 5And 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.

 6Yet 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.

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

 8And 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.

 9In 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.

 10Because 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:

 11In 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.

 12Woe 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!

 13The 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.

 14And 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.