Isaiah 20

Reaction of Assyria; Isaiah honors God

 1 ¶ In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;   Tartan Literally, "the [title of the] commander." The annals of the 11th year of Sargon (711 BC) record that Azuri, king of Ashdod revolted against Assyria. Azuri was replaced by his brother who was not accepted and a Greek adventurer was given the throne. Other cities and Judah, Edom joined and help was solicited from "Pir'u" (perhaps Pharaoh of Egypt). The king of Ethiopia was afraid and made peace with Assyria.
  Sargon Accuracy of the account confirmed by archaeology in 1843-5.
.2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.   Loose the sackcloth A symbol of release from mourning ps03011. Some say it must have been popular. Perhaps, instead, it was not a time to grieve but to be serious.
  Naked The term may mean completely naked or only partly covered. Here it is the latter meaning is5807, ez1807, mi0108. Isaiah put off his outer garments
 3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;   Three years We suppose he may have worn more clothes and shoes at times but we are not told.
 4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.   Buttocks uncovered "Belzoni says that captives are found represented thus on Egyptian monuments (Isa 47:2,3; Na 3:5,8,9), where as here, Egypt and Ethiopia are mentioned as in alliance." (JFB commtary).
 5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.   They shall be afraid "Philistine allies of Egypt who trusted in it for help against Assyria. A warning to the party among the Jews, who, though Judah was then the subordinate ally of Assyria, were looking to Egypt as a preferable ally (Isa 30:7)." (JFB commentary)
 6 And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?   Isle Should be "coastland." the revolt must have been widespread.
  Flee Dead Sea scroll IQIsa reads "rely [for support]." Either is appropriate.
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