Isaiah 21:15
For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) For they fled from the swords.—The fourfold repetition of the somewhat full form of the Hebrew preposition (literally, from the face of) seems as if intended to emphasise the several stages of retreat.

21:13-17 The Arabians lived in tents, and kept cattle. A destroying army shall be brought upon them, and make them an easy prey. We know not what straits we may be brought into before we die. Those may know the want of necessary food who now eat bread to the full. Neither the skill of archers, nor the courage of mighty men, can protect from the judgments of God. That is poor glory, which will thus quickly come to nothing. Thus hath the Lord said to me; and no word of his shall fall to the ground. We may be sure the Strength of Israel will not lie. Happy are those only whose riches and glory are out of the reach of invaders; all other prosperity will speedily pass away.For they fled - The inhabitants of one part of the land.

The grievousness of war - Hebrew, כבד kobed - "the weight, the heaviness, the oppression" of war; probably from the calamities that would result from the march of the Assyrian through their land, either on his way to Judea or to Egypt.

15. they—the fugitive Dedanites and other Arabs. No text from Poole on this verse. For they fled from the swords,.... Of their enemy, whom they could not withstand; perhaps the Assyrian army:

from the drawn sword; just ready to be sheathed in them:

and from the bent bow; just going to let the arrow fly at them:

and from the grievousness of war: too heavy for them to bear.

For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The caravans have deserted the frequented paths, because of armed bands scouring the country.

16 f. The interpretation of the vision is regarded by many commentators as a later appendix similar to ch. Isaiah 16:13 f. There is certainly a surprising resemblance between the two passages, which may suggest that they are both from the same hand.Verse 15. - For they fled; rather, they have fled. The Dedanites have been attacked with sword and bow, and have fled from their assailants. Probably the enemy was Assyria, but no trace of the war has been found on the Assyrian monuments. But when he is about to speak, his complaint is stifled in his mouth. "And, behold, there came a cavalcade of men, pairs of horsemen, and lifted up its voice, and said, Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of its gods He hath dashed to the ground!" It is now clear enough where the long procession went to when it disappeared. It entered Babylon, made itself master of the city, and established itself there. And now, after a long interval, there appears a smaller cavalcade, which has to carry the tidings of victory somewhere; and the spy hears them cry out in triumph, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon!" In Revelation 18:1-2, the same words form the shout of triumph raised by the angel, the antitype being more majestic than the type, whilst upon the higher ground of the New Testament everything moves on in spiritual relations, all that is merely national having lost its power. Still even here the spiritual inwardness of the affair is so far expressed, that it is Jehovah who dashes to the ground; and even the heathen conquerors are obliged to confess that the fall of Babylon and its pesilim (compare Jeremiah 51:47, Jeremiah 51:52) is the work of Jehovah Himself. What is here only hinted at from afar - namely, that Cyrus would act as the anointed of Jehovah - is expanded in the second part (Isaiah 40-66) for the consolation of the captives.
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