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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Isaiah 20

Verses 1-6




1. The prophecy is dated by the year that Tartan (a title, meaning "Commnder-in-Chief") led the forces of Assyria against Ashdod and captured it, (Verse 1; 2 Kings 18:17).

a. Ashdod was a city of Philistia (Joshua 11:22; Joshua 15:46; 1 Samuel 5:1) which was considered the key to Egypt’s defense.

b. Since Ashdod had refused to pay its annual tribute, Sargon (722 - 705 B.C.), king of Assyria, sent his army to end the rebellion.

c. Egypt had, for some years, been planning a revolt against Assyria.

d. The Jews, at Jerusalem, were a bit divided as to whom they favored, but Hezekiah, king of Judah, seemed to be leaning toward Egypt.

e. Isaiah was as fully opposed to such an alliance for protection now as he had been in the days of Ahaz; Why could Judah not trust in her God?

2. In order to impress upon Judah the folly of trusting in Egypt, God used the prophet to demonstrate what humiliation Egypt was about to face, (Verse 2).

a. He was commanded to loose the sackcloth from his loins, and to take off his shoes - walking naked and barefoot for three years, (comp. Micah 1:8).

b. This was to be "a sign and wonder" concerning Egypt and Ethiopia - a divided kingdom at this time, (Verse 3, comp. Isaiah 8:18; Luke 2:34; Isaiah 43:3).

c. The king of Assyria will triumph over Egypt and Ethiopia -leading them captive: young and old, naked, barefoot and reduced to shame - into exile in strange land, (Verse 4; Isaiah 19:4).

3. Such as place their trust in Egypt will be dismayed and confounded, (Verse 5; Isaiah 30:3-5; Isaiah 31:3; 2 Kings 18:21).

a. This is the effect that the Lord wants to produce upon Judah by the "sign and wonder" they see in the prophet’s nakedness.

b. Since God has revealed the end of Egypt’s rebellion, it would surely be anarchy to reject His warning, (Jeremiah 17:5)!

4. If the protector is subdued, what possible hope will the "protected" have (Verse 6; Isaiah 10:3; Isaiah 31:3)? This was all the more reason for leaning on the Lord - Who never fails the soul that trusts in Him, (Jeremiah 9:23-24)!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 20". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.