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CHAPTER 29 Jun. 5 
The Siege of Jerusalem
Woe to Ariel! Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts come around; 2then I will distress Ariel, and there will be mourning and lamentation. She shall be to Me as an altar hearth. 3I will encamp against you all around you, and will lay siege against you with a mount; I will raise siege works against you. 4You will be brought down, and will speak out of the ground. Your speech will mumble out of the dust. Your voice will be as of one who has a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and your speech will whisper out of the dust. 5But the multitude of your foes will be like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless ones like chaff that blows away. Yes, it will be in an instant, suddenly. 6She will be visited by Yahweh of Armies with thunder, with earthquake, with great noise, with whirlwind and storm, and with the flame of a devouring fire. 7The multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her stronghold and who distress her, will be like a dream, a vision of the night. 8It will be like when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats; but he awakes, and his hunger isn’t satisfied; or like when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and behold, he is faint, and he is still thirsty. The multitude of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion will be like that. 9Pause and wonder, take your pleasure and be blind. They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10For Yahweh has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, O prophets; and He has covered your heads, O seers. 11All vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is educated, saying, Read this, please; and he says, I can’t, for it is sealed: 12and the book is delivered to one who is not educated, saying, Read this, please; and he says, I can’t read. 13The Lord said, Because this people draws near with their mouth and with their lips to honour Me, but they have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment of men which has been taught; 14therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their prudent men will be hidden. 15Woe to those who deeply hide their counsel from Yahweh, and whose works are in the dark, and who say, Who sees us? and Who knows us? 16You turn things upside down! Should the potter be thought to be like clay; that the thing made should say about him who made it, He didn’t make me; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, He has no understanding? 17Isn’t it yet a very little while, and Lebanon will be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field will be regarded as a forest? 18In that day, the deaf will hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind will see out of obscurity and out of darkness. 19The humble also will increase their joy in Yahweh, and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20For the ruthless is brought to nothing, and the scoffer ceases, and all those who are alert to do evil are cut off—21who cause a person to be indicted by a word, and lay a snare for the arbiter in the gate, and who deprive the innocent of justice with false testimony. 22Therefore thus says Yahweh who redeemed Abraham concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall no longer be ashamed, neither shall his face grow pale. 23But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in the midst of him, they will sanctify My name. Yes, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24They also who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will receive instruction.


29:3 I will encamp against you... and will lay siege against you- It was understood that each city had its god, who was supposed to protect it from invaders. But here the God of Israel says that He Himself will camp with Jerusalem’s enemies, and enable and support their campaign against His own people. This was more radical a concept of God at that time than we can likely realize. Yet it’s all very hard for us to understand that the God of all grace can allow and bring about the most awful suffering in the lives of His children- with the aim of developing us even through our weaknesses so that we shall enter His Kingdom.
29:10 Yahweh has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep- Quoted in Rom. 11:8 about what God has done to all Israel, in closing their eyes to perceiving Jesus as their Messiah- in response to the fact that they had already closed their eyes to Him. There were many similarities between the Jews of Isaiah’s time and those of Christ’s (see on :13).
29:13 These words are quoted in Mt. 15:7,8 and interpreted by Jesus as a specific prophecy of the hypocrites who confronted Him in the first century. But the context of Isaiah 29 clearly requires that they had relevance to the Jews of Isaiah’s day. In this we see the uniquely living, constantly relevant nature of God’s word. It can speak to different generations in different contexts with perfect and Divinely designed relevance. This is the result of the Bible being written by the inspiration process of God’s Spirit; it isn’t, therefore, like the black print and white paper of any human book.