Isaiah 29:7
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her fortification, 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. The prophecy here passes from the fall of Samaria, the crown of flowers (Isaiah 28:1-4), to its formal parallel. Jerusalem takes its place by the side of Samaria, the crown of flowers, and under the emblem of a hearth of God. 'Arı̄'ēl might, indeed, mean a lion of God. It occurs in this sense as the name of certain Moabitish heroes (2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 11:22), and Isaiah himself used the shorter form אראל for the heroes of Judah (Isaiah 33:7). But as אריאל (God's heart, interchanged with הראל htiw degna, God's height) is the name given in Ezekiel 43:15-16, to the altar of burnt-offering in the new temple, and as Isaiah could not say anything more characteristic of Jerusalem, than that Jehovah had a fire and hearth there (Isaiah 31:9); and, moreover, as Jerusalem the city and community within the city would have been compared to a lioness rather than a lion, we take אריאל in the sense of ara Dei (from ארה, to burn). The prophet commences in his own peculiar way with a grand summary introduction, which passes in a few gigantic strides over the whole course from threatening to promise. Isaiah 29:1 "Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the castle where David pitched his tent! Add year to year, let the feasts revolve: then I distress Ariel, and there is groaning and moaning; and so she proves herself to me as Ariel." By the fact that David fixed his headquarters in Jerusalem, and then brought the sacred ark thither, Jerusalem became a hearth of God. Within a single year, after only one more round of feasts (to be interpreted according to Isaiah 32:10, and probably spoken at the passover), Jehovah would make Jerusalem a besieged city, full of sighs (vahătsı̄qōthı̄, perf. cons., with the tone upon the ultimate); but "she becomes to me like an Arı̄el," i.e., being qualified through me, she will prove herself a hearth of God, by consuming the foes like a furnace, or by their meeting with their destruction at Jerusalem, like wood piled up on the altar and then consumed in flame. The prophecy has thus passed over the whole ground in a few majestic words. It now starts from the very beginning again, and first of all expands the hoi. Isaiah 29:3, Isaiah 29:4 "And I encamp in a circle round about thee, and surround thee with watch-posts, and erect tortoises against thee. And when brought down thou wilt speak from out of the ground, and thy speaking will sound low out of the dust; and thy voice cometh up like that of a demon from the ground, and thy speaking will whisper out of the dust." It would have to go so far with Ariel first of all, that it would be besieged by a hostile force, and would lie upon the ground in the greatest extremity, and then would whisper with a ghostlike softness, like a dying man, or like a spirit without flesh and bones. Kaddūr signifies sphaera, orbis, as in Isaiah 22:18 and in the Talmud (from kâdar equals kâthar; cf., kudur in the name Nabu-kudur-ussur, Nebo protect the crown, κίδαριν), and is used here poetically for סביב. Jerome renders it quasi sphaeram (from dūr, orbis). מצּב (from נצב, יצב) might signify "firmly planted" (Luzzatto, immobilmente; compare shūth, Isaiah 2:7); but according to the parallel it signifies a military post, like מצּב, נציב. Metsurōth (from mâtsōr, Deuteronomy 20:20) are instruments of siege, the nature of which can only be determined conjecturally. On 'ōbh, see Isaiah 8:19;

(Note: The 'akkuubh mentioned there is equivalent to anbûb, Arab. a knot on a reed stalk, then that part of such a reed which comes between two knots, then the reed stalk itself; root נב, to rise up, swell, or become convex without and concave within (Fl.). It is possible that it would be better to trace 'ōbh back to this radical and primary meaning of what is hollow (and therefore has a dull sound), whether used in the sense of a leather-bag, or applied to a spirit of incantation, and the possessor of such a spirit.)

there is no necessity to take it as standing for ba‛al 'ōbh.

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