Isaiah 17:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.

New Living Translation
Their largest cities will be like a deserted forest, like the land the Hivites and Amorites abandoned when the Israelites came here so long ago. It will be utterly desolate.

English Standard Version
In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

New American Standard Bible
In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest, Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel; And the land will be a desolation.

King James Bible
In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
On that day their strong cities will be like the abandoned woods and mountaintops that were abandoned because of the Israelites; there will be desolation.

International Standard Version
"At that time, their fortified cities that they abandoned because of the Israelis will be like desolate places of the forests and hilltops— there will be desolation.

NET Bible
At that time their fortified cities will be like the abandoned summits of the Amorites, which they abandoned because of the Israelites; there will be desolation.

New Heart English Bible
In that day, their strong cities will be like the forsaken places of the Hivites and the Amorites, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it will be a desolation.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When that day comes, the fortified cities which other people abandoned because of the Israelites will be like abandoned woods and undergrowth. So it will become a wasteland.

JPS Tanakh 1917
In that day shall his strong cities be as the forsaken places, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel, after the manner of woods and lofty forests; and it shall be a desolation.

New American Standard 1977
In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest,
            Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel;
            And the land will be a desolation.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In that day the cities of his strength shall be as the gleanings which remain on the shoots and on the branches, which were left of the sons of Israel; and there shall be desolation.

King James 2000 Bible
In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

American King James Version
In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

American Standard Version
In that day shall their strong cities be as the forsaken places in the wood and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it shall be a desolation.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In that day his strong cities shall be forsaken, as the ploughs, and the corn that were left before the face of the children of Israel, and thou shalt be desolate.

Darby Bible Translation
In that day shall his strong cities be as the forsaken tract in the woodland, and the mountain-top which they forsook before the children of Israel; and there shall be desolation.

English Revised Version
In that day shall his strong cities be as the forsaken places in the wood and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel: and it shall be a desolation.

Webster's Bible Translation
In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

World English Bible
In that day, their strong cities will be like the forsaken places in the woods and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it will be a desolation.

Young's Literal Translation
In that day are the cities of his strength As the forsaken thing of the forest, And the branch that they have left, Because of the sons of Israel, It also hath been a desolation.
Study Bible
A Prophecy about Damascus
8He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands, Nor will he look to that which his fingers have made, Even the Asherim and incense stands. 9In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest, Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel; And the land will be a desolation. 10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation And have not remembered the rock of your refuge. Therefore you plant delightful plants And set them with vine slips of a strange god.…
Cross References
Isaiah 17:8
He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands, Nor will he look to that which his fingers have made, Even the Asherim and incense stands.

Isaiah 17:10
For you have forgotten the God of your salvation And have not remembered the rock of your refuge. Therefore you plant delightful plants And set them with vine slips of a strange god.
Treasury of Scripture

In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

Isaiah 17:4,5 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall …

Isaiah 6:11-13 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be …

Isaiah 7:16-20 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the …

Isaiah 9:9-12 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of …

Isaiah 24:1-12 Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns …

Isaiah 27:10 Yet the defended city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, …

Isaiah 28:1-4 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious …

Hosea 10:14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among your people, and all your fortresses …

Hosea 13:15,16 Though he be fruitful among his brothers, an east wind shall come, …

Amos 3:11-15 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even …

Amos 7:9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries …

Micah 5:11 And I will cut off the cities of your land, and throw down all your …

Micah 6:16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house …

Micah 7:13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell …

(9) In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough.--Better, his fortified cities shall be like a forsaken tract of forest and hill-top. These were naturally the usual sites of fortresses (2Chronicles 27:4), and the gist of the prediction is that they shall be left uninhabited and in ruins. The LXX., it may be noticed, either followed a different reading or else give a curious paraphrase, "thy cities shall be forsaken, like as the Amorites and Hivites forsook them before the face of the children of Israel." The whole verse reminds us of the "great forsaking" of Isaiah 6:12.

Verse 9. - In that day. While a remnant of the Israelites shall repent and turn to God, throwing in their lot with Judah, as it would seem the country generally shall feel the weight of God's chastening hand, on account of Israel's former sins and offences. As a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch; rather, as the forsaken tract of woodland and mountain-crest (Kay). The reference is to the condition of the land when it passed out of the possession of the Canaanitish nations. It was then forsaken and desolate. So shall it be once more, when Israel is expelled for the same sins (see 2 Kings 17:7, 8). Which they left because of the children of Israel; rather, which men forsook before the children of Israel; i.e. from which the Canaanites fled as the children of Israel advanced and took possession. The writer ignores the long and fierce struggle which the Canaanites made, and looks only to the result - retirement from a desolated country. In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch,.... Meaning the strong cities of Ephraim or Jacob, the ten tribes, which should be forsaken of their inhabitants; having fled from before the enemy, or being slain or carried captive; like a bough of a tree, that is forsaken stripped of its leaves, and an uppermost branch of a tree that is dead and dry, and has nothing on it:

which they left; or "as they left", or "were left":

because of the children of Israel; "from the face of" them; or for fear of them; that is, the same cities which the Canaanites left; and as they left them, or were left by them, for fear of the Israelites; the same, and in the same manner, shall they be left by the Israelites, for fear of the Assyrians; and so the Septuagint version reads the words,

"in that day thy cities shall be forsaken, in like manner as the Amorites and Hivites left them, from the face of the children of Israel;''

and this sense is given by Aben Ezra and Kimchi: though some interpret it of some places being spared and left for the remnant to dwell in; but what follows in this verse, and in the next Isaiah 17:10, shows the contrary sense:

and there shall be desolation; over all those cities, and in all the land; though Aben Ezra particularly applies it to Samaria, the royal city. Jerom interprets the whole of the cities of Judea being forsaken of their inhabitants, when the Romans besieged Jerusalem, and made the land desolate; which calamity came upon them, for their neglect and forgetfulness of Jesus the Saviour. 9. forsaken bough—rather "the leavings of woods," what the axeman leaves when he cuts down the grove (compare Isa 17:6).

which they left because of—rather, "which (the enemies) shall leave for the children of Israel"; literally, "shall leave (in departing) from before the face of the children of Israel" [Maurer]. But a few cities out of many shall be left to Israel, by the purpose of God, executed by the Assyrian.17:1-11 Sin desolates cities. It is strange that great conquerors should take pride in being enemies to mankind; but it is better that flocks should lie down there, than that they should harbour any in open rebellion against God and holiness. The strong holds of Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes, will be brought to ruin. Those who are partakers in sin, are justly made partakers in ruin. The people had, by sins, made themselves ripe for ruin; and their glory was as quickly cut down and taken away by the enemy, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman. Mercy is reserved in the midst of judgment, for a remnant. But very few shall be marked to be saved. Only here and there one was left behind. But they shall be a remnant made holy. The few that are saved were awakened to return to God. They shall acknowledge his hand in all events; they shall give him the glory due to his name. To bring us to this, is the design of his providence, as he is our Maker; and the work of his grace, as he is the Holy One of Israel. They shall look off from their idols, the creatures of their own fancy. We have reason to account those afflictions happy, which part between us and our sins. The God of our salvation is the Rock of our strength; and our forgetfulness and unmindfulness of him are at the bottom of all sin. The pleasant plants, and shoots from a foreign soil, are expressions for strange and idolatrous worship, and the vile practices connected therewith. Diligence would be used to promote the growth of these strange slips, but all in vain. See the evil and danger of sin, and its certain consequences.
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Isaiah 17:8
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