Words Of Truth

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).



An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 247 – Woe To Ariel (Isaiah 29:1-24)

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1. Who was going to distress, camp against, and visit Ariel?

The Lord: “(1) Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.  (2) Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.  (3) And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.  (4) And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.  (5) Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.  (6) Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:1-6).


•     Ariel, being the city where David dwelt, would be Jerusalem [Zion is in Jerusalem; Psalms 135:21] (II Samuel 5:6-9, I Kings 2:11, I Kings 8:1, II Kings 14:20, and I Chronicles 11:4-7).

•     Their sacrifices are not being accepted (Isaiah 1:11-15 and Hosea 8:13).

•     Heaviness and sorrow (Isaiah 33:5-8; 33:13-14).

•     When Israel was God’s people He fought for them (Deuteronomy 20:4).  Now, He is against them (Jeremiah 34:12-22) for a reason (Isaiah 3:8).

•     Brought to the ground (Lamentations 2:1-10).

•     This judgment day was not going to be left to wonder.  God would leave His signature by performing great wonders of thunder, earthquake, noise, storms, fire, etc. (cf. Exodus 9:17-18, I Samuel 12:16-18, Job 37:9-14, Psalms 11:5-6, Psalms 18:13, etc.).


2. Who was going to be as a dream of a night vision?

Those nations who fought against Ariel: “(7) And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.  (8) It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion” (Isaiah 29:7-8).


•     There will be multitudes of nations against Jerusalem, but they will come and go like a dream in the night (Isaiah 41:11-12 and Zechariah 14:1-3).


3. During this time of visitation upon Ariel, were the prophets going to be busy teaching in Ariel?

No, they were going to be blinded and the word hidden: “(9) Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.  (10) For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.  (11) And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: (12) And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned” (Isaiah 29:9-12).


•     Drunken, but not with wine speaks to a form of instability which can have many causes (Isaiah 19:14, Isaiah 51:21-22, and Jeremiah 23:9).

•     The prophets are not able to prophesy (Isaiah 59:8-12 and Micah 3:5-6).

•     The sealed book, visions ceasing, etc. (Daniel 12:1-13).


4. Was the heart of the people of Ariel aligned with the words they spoke about God?

No: “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isaiah 29:13).


•     Isaiah 48:1-4, Isaiah 58:1-7, Jeremiah 5:2, Ezekiel 33:30-33, and Mark 7:1-9.

•     Being taught of men rather than God (Galatians 1:6-12, Colossians 2:17-22, and Titus 1:14).


5. What can we learn about those wise people or others who tried to hide from God in this context?

Wisdom or sneakiness doesn’t protect anyone from God’s judgment: “(14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.  (15) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us” (Isaiah 29:14-15)?


•     God working marvelous works (Exodus 34:10, Isaiah 28:21, and Habakkuk 1:5) for a reason (I Chronicles 16:12, Psalms 105:5, and Psalms 139:14; cf. Mark 16:15-20).

•     The “wise” (I Corinthians 1:19-24 and I Corinthians 3:19).

•     Trying to hide (Psalms 64:5-6 and Isaiah 30:1), won’t work (II Chronicles 16:9, Psalms 44:20-21, Psalms 94:7-9, Proverbs 5:21, Proverbs 15:3, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Isaiah 47:10-12, Jeremiah 16:17, Jeremiah 32:19, and Hebrews 4:13).


6. During this time of woe upon Ariel, what was going to happen to normalcy?

The normal things would be turned upside down: “(16) Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?  (17) Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest” (Isaiah 29:16-17)?


•     While God is certainly turning things upside down (Isaiah 24:1).  The fruitful becomes a forest (Isaiah 5:1-6).

•     However, Isaiah says here “YOUR turning of things upside down”.  The clay is challenging the potter (Job 33:13, Job 40:9-14, Isaiah 45:9-10, Romans 9:20, and I Corinthians 10:22).


7. During this time of judgment upon Ariel, would justice be served?

Yes: “(18) And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.  (19) The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.  (20) For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: (21) That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought” (Isaiah 29:18-21).


•     The word of God would be hidden from some (Isaiah 29:9-12), but not to the deaf, blind, meek, and poor (Psalms 25:9, Psalms 149:4, Isaiah 35:3-8, Isaiah 42:13-16, Isaiah 61:1, and Isaiah 66:2).

•     Brought to naught (Psalms 9:5, Psalms 145:20, and Job 21:30).


8. Was it God’s plan for Israel to be embarrassingly destroyed?

No: “(22) Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.  (23) But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.  (24) They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine (Isaiah 29:22-24).


•     Jeremiah 31:10-12, Jeremiah 33:24-26, Ezekiel 37:28, and Ezekiel 39:25-29.

•     His goal was to bring those who erred back (Proverbs 3:11-12, Jeremiah 27:22, I Timothy 1:12-15, and Hebrews 12:5-13).




Index Of Old Testament Studies


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