Isaiah 29:7
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
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(7) Against her and her munition.—The word is a rare one, but probably stands here for the new fortifications by which Uzziah and Hezekiah had defended Jerusalem.

29:1-8 Ariel may signify the altar of burnt-offerings. Let Jerusalem know that outward religious services will not make men free from judgements. Hypocrites never can please God, nor make their peace with him. God had often and long, by a host of angels, encamped round about Jerusalem for protection and deliverance; but now he fought against it. Proud looks and proud language shall be brought down by humbling providences. The destruction of Jerusalem's enemies is foretold. The army of Sennacherib went as a dream; and thus the multitudes, that through successive ages fight against God's altar and worship, shall fall. Speedily will sinners awake from their soothing dreams in the pains of hell.And the multitude of all the nations - The Assyrians, and their allied hosts.

And her munition - Her fortresses, castles, places of strength 2 Samuel 5:7; Ecclesiastes 9:14; Ezekiel 19:9.

Shall be as a dream of a night vision - In a dream we seem to see the objects of which we think as really as when awake, and hence, they are called visions, and visions of the night Genesis 46:2; Job 4:13; Job 7:14; Daniel 2:28; Daniel 4:5; Daniel 7:1, Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:15. The specific idea here is not that of the "suddenness" with which objects seen in a dream appear and then vanish, but it is that which occurs in Isaiah 29:8, of one who dreams of eating and drinking, but who awakes, and is hungry and thirsty still. So it was with the Assyrian. He had set his heart on the wealth of Jerusalem. He had earnestly desired to possess that city - as a hungry man desires to satisfy the cravings of his appetite. But it would be like the vision of the night; and on that fatal morning on which he should awake from his fond dream Isaiah 37:36, he would find all his hopes dissipated, and the longcherished desire of his soul unsatisfied still.

7. munition—fortress. Wherein it shall be so is explained in the next verse.

And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,.... The Roman army, which consisted of men of all nations, that fought against Jerusalem; the city in which was the altar, as the Targum paraphrases it:

even all that fight against her, and her munition, and that distress her; that besieged it, and endeavoured to demolish its walls, towns, and fortifications, as they did:

shall be as a dream of a night vision: meaning either that the Roman empire should quickly fall, and pass away, and come to nothing, like a dream in the night, as it soon began to decay after the destruction of Jerusalem, and also the Pagan religion in it; or that the Roman army would be disappointed at the taking of the city, expecting to find much riches, and a great spoil, and should not; and so be like a man that dreams, and fancies he is in the possession of what he craves, but, when he awakes, finds he has got nothing. This is more largely exemplified in the following verse Isaiah 29:8.

And the {f} multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her strong hold, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

(f) The enemies that I will bring to destroy you, and that which you place your vain trust in will come at unawares even as a dream in the night. Some read as if this was a comfort to the Church for the destruction of their enemies.

7. her munition] perhaps her citadel (R.V. “stronghold”).

a dream of a night vision] R.V. a dream, a vision of the night.

7, 8. The figure of the dream is applied in two ways; first, objectively, to the vanishing of the enemy; second, subjectively, to his disappointment.

Verse 7. - Her munition; i.e. her defenses the walls and towers in which she put her trust (comp. ver. 3). As a dream of a night vision. "The baseless fabric of a vision," when it has once passed by, "leaves not wrack behind." The entire host of the "terrible ones" would melt away and disappear, as a night vision before the light of day - it would dissolve into nothing, vanish, leave no trace. Isaiah 29:7Thus far does the unfolding of the hoi reach. Now follows an unfolding of the words of promise, which stand at the end of Isaiah 29:1 : "And it proves itself to me as Ariel." Isaiah 29:5-8 : "And the multitude of thy foes will become like finely powdered dust, and the multitude of the tyrants like chaff flying away; and it will take place suddenly, very suddenly. From Jehovah of hosts there comes a visitation with crash of thunder and earthquake and great noise, whirlwind and tempest, and the blazing up of devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that gather together against Ariel, and all those who storm and distress Ariel and her stronghold, will be like a vision of the night in a dream. And it is just as a hungry man dreams, and behold he eats; and when he wakes up his soul is empty: and just as a thirsty man dreams, and behold he drinks; and when he wakes up, behold, he is faint, and his soul is parched with thirst: so will it be to the multitude of the nations which gather together against the mountain of Zion." The hostile army, described four times as hâmōn, a groaning multitude, is utterly annihilated through the terrible co-operation of the forces of nature which are let loose upon them (Isaiah 30:30, cf., Isaiah 17:13). "There comes a visitation:" tippâqēd might refer to Jerusalem in the sense of "it will be visited" in mercy, viz., by Jehovah acting thus upon its enemies. But it is better to take it in a neuter sense: "punishment is inflicted." The simile of the dream is applied in two different ways: (1.) They will dissolve into nothing, as if they had only the same apparent existence as a vision in a dream. (2.) Their plan for taking Jerusalem will be put to shame, and as utterly brought to nought as the eating or drinking of a dreamer, which turns out to be a delusion as soon as he awakes. Just as the prophet emphatically combines two substantives from the same verbal root in Isaiah 29:1, and two adverbs from the same verb in Isaiah 29:5; so does he place צבא and צבה together in Isaiah 29:7, the former with על relating to the crowding of an army for the purpose of a siege, the latter with an objective suffix (compare Psalm 53:6) to the attack made by a crowded army. The metsōdâh of Ariel (i.e., the watch-tower, specula, from tsūd, to spy)

(Note: In Arabic, also, masâd signifies a lofty hill or mountain-top, from a secondary form of tsud; and massara, to lay the foundations of a fortified city (‛ı̄r mâtsōr, Psalm 31:22), from tsūr.))

is the mountain of Zion mentioned afterwards in Isaiah 29:8. כּאשׁר, as if; comp. Zechariah 10:6; Job 10:19. אוכל והנּה without הוּא; the personal pronoun is frequently omitted, not only in the leading participial clause, as in this instance (compare Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 40:19; Psalm 22:29; Job 25:2; and Khler on Zechariah 9:12), but also with a minor participial clause, as in Psalm 7:10; Psalm 55:20, and Habakkuk 2:10. The hungering and thirsting of the waking man are attributed to his nephesh (soul: cf., Isaiah 32:6; Isaiah 5:14; Proverbs 6:30), just because the soul is the cause of the physical life, and without it the action of the senses would be followed by no sensation or experience whatever. The hungry stomach is simply the object of feeling, and everything sensitive in the bodily organism is merely the medium of sensation or feeling; that which really feels is the soul. The soul no sooner passes out of the dreaming state into a waking condition, than it feels that its desires are as unsatisfied as ever. Just like such a dream will the army of the enemy, and that victory of which it is so certain before the battle is fought, fade away into nothing.

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