Isaiah 21:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Arise, O princes; oil the shield!

King James Bible
Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

American Standard Version
They prepare the table, they set the watch, they eat, they drink: rise up, ye princes, anoint the shield.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Prepare the table, behold in the watchtower them that eat and drink: arise, ye princes, take up the shield.

English Revised Version
They prepare the table, they set the watch, they eat, they drink: rise up, ye princes, anoint the shield.

Webster's Bible Translation
Prepare the table, watch in the watch-tower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

Isaiah 21:5 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

But if Egypt and Ethiopia are thus shamefully humbled, what kind of impression will this make upon those who rely upon the great power that is supposed to be both unapproachable and invincible? "And they cry together, and behold themselves deceived by Ethiopia, to which they looked, and by Egypt, in which they gloried. And the inhabitant of this coast-land saith in that day, Behold, thus it happens to those to whom we looked, whither we fled for help to deliver us from the king of Asshur: and how should we, we escape?" אי, which signifies both an island and a coast-land, is used as the name of Philistia and Zephaniah 2:5, and as the name of Phoenicia in Isaiah 23:2, Isaiah 23:6; and for this reason Knobel and others understand it here as denoting the former with the inclusion of the latter. But as the Assyrians had already attacked both Phoenicians and Philistines at the time when they marched against Egypt, there can be no doubt that Isaiah had chiefly the Judaeans in his mind. This was the interpretation given by Jerome ("Judah trusted in the Egyptians, and Egypt will be destroyed"), and it has been adopted by Ewald, Drechsler, Luzzatto, and Meier. The expressions are the same as those in which a little further on we find Isaiah reproving the Egyptian tendencies of Judah's policy. At the same time, by "the inhabitant of this coast-land" we are not to understand Judah exclusively, but the inhabitants of Palestine generally, with whom Judah was mixed up to its shame, because it had denied its character as the nation of Jehovah in a manner so thoroughly opposed to its theocratic standing.

Unfortunately, we know very little concerning the Assyrian campaigns in Egypt. But we may infer from Nahum 3:8-10, according to which the Egyptian Thebes had fallen (for it is held up before Nineveh as the mirror of its own fate), that after the conquest of Ashdod Egypt was also overcome by Sargon's army. In the grand inscription found in the halls of the palace at Khorsabad, Sargon boasts of a successful battle which he had fought with Pharaoh Sebech at Raphia, and in consequence of which the latter became tributary to him. Still further on he relates that he had dethroned the rebellious king of Ashdod, and appointed another in his place, but that the people removed him, and chose another king; after which he marched with his army against Ashdod, and when the king fled from him into Egypt, he besieged Ashdod, and took it. Then follows a difficult and mutilated passage, in which Rawlinson agrees with Oppert in finding an account of the complete subjection of Sebech (Sabako?).

(Note: Five Great Monarchies, vol. ii. pp. 416-7; compare Oppert, Sargonides, pp. 22, 26-7. With regard to one passage of the annals, which contains an account of a successful battle fought at Ra-bek (Heliopolis), see Journal Asiat. xii. 462ff.; Brandis, p. 51.)

Nothing can be built upon this, however; and it must also remain uncertain whether, even if the rest is correctly interpreted, Isaiah 20:1 relates to that conquest of Ashdod which was followed by the dethroning of the rebellious king and the appointment of another, or to the final conquest by which it became a colonial city of Assyria.

(Note: Among the pictures from Khorsabad which have been published by Botta, there is a burning fortress that has been taken by storm. Isidor Lwenstern (in his Essai, Paris 1845) pronounced it to be Ashdod; but Rdiger regarded the evidence as inconclusive. Nevertheless, Lwenstern was able to claim priority over Rawlinson in several points of deciphering (Galignani's Messenger, Revelation 28, 1850). He read in the inscription the king's name, Sarak.)

This conquest Sargon ascribes to himself in person, so that apparently we must think of that conquest which was carried out by Tartan; and in that case the words, "he fought against it," etc., need not be taken as anticipatory. It is quite sufficient, that the monuments seem to intimate that the conquest of Samaria and Ashdod was followed by the subjugation of the Egypto-Ethiopian kingdom. But inasmuch as Judah, trusting in the reed of Egypt, fell away from Assyria under Hezekiah, and Sennacherib had to make war upon Egypt again, to all appearance the Assyrians never had much cause to congratulate themselves upon their possession of Egypt, and that for reasons which are not difficult to discover. At the time appointed by the prophecy, Egypt came under the Assyrian yoke, from which it was first delivered by Psammetichus; but, as the constant wars between Assyria and Egypt clearly show, it never patiently submitted to that yoke for any length of time. The confidence which Judah placed in Egypt turned out most disastrously for Judah itself, just as Isaiah predicted here. But the catastrophe that occurred in front of Jerusalem did not put an end to Assyria, nor did the campaigns of Sargon and Sennacherib bring Egypt to an end. And, on the other hand, the triumphs of Jehovah and of the prophecy concerning Assyria were not the means of Egypt's conversion. In all these respects the fulfilment showed that there was an element of human hope in the prophecy, which made the distant appear to be close at hand. And this element it eliminated. For the fulfilment of a prophecy is divine, but the prophecy itself is both divine and human.

Isaiah 21:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

eat

Isaiah 22:13,14 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink...

Daniel 5:1-5 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand...

1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantages it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink...

arise

Isaiah 13:2,17,18 Lift you up a banner on the high mountain, exalt the voice to them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles...

Isaiah 45:1-3 Thus said the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him...

Jeremiah 51:11,27,28 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes...

Cross References
2 Samuel 1:21
"You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

Jeremiah 46:3
"Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle!

Jeremiah 51:39
While they are inflamed I will prepare them a feast and make them drunk, that they may become merry, then sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 51:57
I will make drunk her officials and her wise men, her governors, her commanders, and her warriors; they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

Daniel 5:1
King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

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