Isaiah 7:24
With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
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(24) With arrows and with bows shall men come thither . . .—The words admit of two or three distinct interpretations: (1) the invaders shall march through the desolate vineyards shooting down any whom they found, or (2) the people shall carry bows as a protection against the invaders, or (3) the thickets of thorns and briars shall become coverts for the wolves and jackals, the hyena and the bear, and men shall need bows and arrows for their protection against the beasts of prey. Of these (3) has most in its favour.

7:17-25 Let those who will not believe the promises of God, expect to hear the alarms of his threatenings; for who can resist or escape his judgments? The Lord shall sweep all away; and whomsoever he employs in any service for him, he will pay. All speaks a sad change of the face of that pleasant land. But what melancholy change is there, which sin will not make with a people? Agriculture would cease. Sorrows of every kind will come upon all who neglect the great salvation. If we remain unfruitful under the means of grace, the Lord will say, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever.With arrows and with bows ... - This is a continuation of the description of its desolation. So entirely would it be abandoned, so utterly desolate would it be, that it would become a vast hunting-ground. It would be covered with shrubs and trees that would afford a convenient covert for wild beasts; and would yield to its few inhabitants a subsistence, not by cultivation, but by the bow and the arrow. There can scarcely be a more striking description of utter desolation. But, perhaps, the long captivity of seventy years in Babylon literally fulfilled it. Judea was a land that, at all times, was subject to depredations from wild beasts. On the banks of the Jordan - in the marshes, and amid the reeds that sprung up in the lower bank or border of the river - the lion found a home, and the tiger a resting place; compare Jeremiah 49:19. When the land was for a little time vacated and forsaken, it would be, therefore, soon filled with wild beasts; and during the desolations of the seventy years' captivity, there can be no doubt that this was literally fulfilled. 24. It shall become a vast hunting ground, abounding in wild beasts (compare Jer 49:19). With arrows and with bows; either to hunt, or to defend themselves from wild beasts, which commonly abide in such desolate and overgrown grounds. With arrows and with bows shall men come thither,.... For fear of wild beasts, serpents, and scorpions, as Jarchi; or in order to hunt them, as others; or because of thieves and robbers, as Aben Ezra:

because all the land shall become briers and thorns; among which such creatures, and such sort of men, would hide themselves.

With arrows and with {y} bows shall men come there; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.

(y) As they who go to seek wild beasts among the bushes.

24. With arrows and with bows] the weapons of the hunter (Genesis 27:3).Verse 24. - With arrows and with bows. Only the hunter will go there, armed with his weapons of chase, to kill the wild animals that will haunt the thickets. "And it comes to pass in that day, Jehovah will hiss for the fly which is at the end of the Nile-arms of Egypt, and the bees that are in the land of Asshur; and they come and settle all of them in the valleys of the slopes, and in the clefts of the rocks, and in all the thorn-hedges, and upon all grass-plats." The prophet has already stated, in Isaiah 5:26, that Jehovah would hiss for distant nations; and how he is able to describe them by name. The Egyptian nation, with its vast and unparalleled numbers, is compared to the swarming fly; and the Assyrian nation, with its love of war and conquest, to the stinging bee which is so hard to keep off (Deuteronomy 1:44; Psalm 118:12). The emblems also correspond to the nature of the two countries: the fly to slimy Egypt with its swarms of insects (see Isaiah 18:1),

(Note: Egypt abounds in gnats, etc., more especially in flies (muscariae), including a species of small fly (nemâth), which is a great plague to men throughout all the country of the Nile (see Hartmann, Natur-geschichtlich-medicinische Skizze der Nillnder, 1865, pp. 204- 5).)

and the bee to the more mountainous and woody Assyria, where the keeping of bees is still one of the principal branches of trade. יאר, pl. יארים, is an Egyptian name (yaro, with the article phiaro, pl. yarōu) for the Nile and its several arms. The end of the Nile-arms of Egypt, from a Palestinian point of view, was the extreme corner of the land. The military force of Egypt would march out of the whole compass of the land, and meet the Assyrian force in the Holy Land; and both together would cover the land in such a way that the valleys of steep precipitous heights (nachalee habbattoth), and clefts of the rocks (nekikē hasselâ‛im), and all the thorn-hedges (nâ‛azūzı̄m) and pastures (nahalolim, from nihēl, to lead to pasture), would be covered with these swarms. The fact that just such places are named, as afforded a suitable shelter and abundance of food for flies and bees, is a filling up of the figure in simple truthfulness to nature. And if we look at the historical fulfilment, it does not answer even in this respect to the actual letter of the prophecy; for in the time of Hezekiah no collision really took place between the Assyrian and Egyptian forces; and it was not till the days of Josiah that a collision took place between the Chaldean and Egyptian powers in the eventful battle fought between Pharaoh-Necho and Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish (Circesium), which decided the fate of Judah. That the spirit of prophecy points to this eventful occurrence is evident from Isaiah 7:20, where no further allusion is made to Egypt, because of its having succumbed to the imperial power of Eastern Asia.

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