In 22:25 we have another incidental reference to the Antichrist. For our comments on this verse we refer the reader to chapter 4, section 17.
"In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish, Leviathan the piercing Serpent, even Leviathan that crooked Serpent; and He shall slay the Dragon that is in the sea" (Isa.27:1). This chapter is by no means easy to analyze: its structure seems complex. That its contents point to a yet future date is intimated by its opening words -- compare other verses in Isaiah where "in that day" occur. As one reads the chapter through it will be found that there is a peculiar alternation between references to the Tribulation period and conditions in the Millennium. The closing verse clearly refers to the end of the Tribulation period. So, also, does the first verse with which we are now chiefly concerned.
Leviathan, the piercing Serpent, is, we believe, one of the names of the Antichrist, compare chapter 3, section II, 2. A comparison with a passage in Job confirms this conclusion. It is generally agreed that "leviathan" in Job 41 refers to the crocodile, yet the commentators do not appear to have seen in it anything more than a description of that creature. But surely a whole chapter of Scripture would scarcely be devoted to describing a reptile! Personally, we are satisfied that under the figure of that treacherous and cruel monster we have a remarkable silhouette of the Prince of darkness. Note the following striking points:
In verses 1 and 2 (of Job 41) the strength of Leviathan is referred to. In v.3 the question is asked "will he speak soft words unto thee?": this is meaningless if only a crocodile is in view; but it is very pertinent if we have here a symbolic description of Antichrist. In v.4 the question is put, "Will he make a covenant with Thee?": this, too, is pointless if nothing but a reptile is the subject of the passage; but if it looks to some Monster more dreadful, it serves to identify. "None is so fierce that dare stir him up" (v.10): how closely this corresponds with Rev.13:4 -- "Who is able to make war with the Beast?" "His teeth are terrible round about" (v.14): how aptly this pictures the fierceness and cruelty of the Antichrist! "His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone" (v.24): how accurately this portrays the moral depravity of the Antichrist! "When he raiseth up himself the mighty are afraid[hellip]the arrow cannot make him flee" (vv.25, 26, 28): how these words suggest the invincibility of Antichrist so far as human power is concerned. "Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride" (vv.33, 34). Surely these last verses remove all doubt as to who is really before us here! The whole of Job 41 should be studied carefully, for we are assured that it contains a remarkable but veiled amplification of Isa.27:1.
In Isa.33 there is another reference to the Antichrist. This chapter, like so many in Isaiah, passes from a notice of Tribulation conditions to the Millennial state and back again. The opening verse reads, "Woe to thee that spoileth, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! When thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee." This is evidently a judgment pronounced upon the head of the false messiah. Two things serve to identify him: he is the great Spoiler, and the one who shall deal treacherously with Israel. It is in view of the perfidy and rapacity of their Enemy that the godly remnant cry, "O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble" (v.2). A further word concerning the Antichrist is found in v.8: "The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man." The last three statements in this verse make it certain who is there in view. It is the Antichrist displayed in his true colors; the one who breaks his covenant with Israel, sacks their cities, and defies all human government to resist him.
A brief notice must be taken of 57:9 ere we turn from Isaiah. In this chapter we find God arraigning Israel for their horrid idolatries and wickedness. The opening verse again makes it clear that it is the Tribulation period which is in view: "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart," etc. Following this we have the various indictments which God makes against the unfaithful Jews -- "But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore" (v.3, etc.). The remainder of the chapter continues in the same strain. Among the many charges which God brings against Israel is this: "And thou wentest to the King with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell" (v.9). It is evident that as this chapter is describing the sins of Israel committed in the End-time that "the King" here must be the false messiah. Incidentally this verse furnishes one of the many proofs that the Antichrist will be king over the Jews.