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The waters of Shiloah

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posted on Dec, 12 2014 @ 05:01 PM
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When Elijah took refuge in Horeb, the Lord was not found in the violent wind.
Nor was he found in the earthquake, nor was he found in the fire.
The Lord was to be found in “the still small voice”.

We see the same contrast in Isaiah’s comparison of the two kinds of water. (Isaiah ch5 vv5-8)
On the one hand, the waters of Shiloah, which flow gently.
On the other hand, the mighty River of Assyria, modelled on the Euphrates, which overflows its banks in overwhelming power.

In the previous chapter, when the land was invaded by the armies of Israel and Syria, the king and his people fell into a state of despair.
Isaiah rebuked them for their failure to trust in God.
He promised them that the Assyrians would destroy their immediate enemies.

But he warns them now that their fearfulness has long-term consequences.

Shiloah is the place which is also called Siloam, a pool in Jerusalem fed by spring-waters.
In time of siege, it would have been a vital part of the city water supply.
For the purposes of this comparison, it represents the quietly-managed power of Judah’s God.
When the people of Jerusalem were “melting in fear” because of the northern invaders, they were, in effect, rejecting this power.
At least they were failing to give him their full trust.

As a result, they would be saved from the northern armies, but only by the intervention of Assyria.
The Assyrians, we learn from 2 Kings, were responding to an appeal from Judah’s king.
But this remedy, in its final effects, would be worse than the original disease.
The brutal, unsubtle power of Assyria could not be kept in safe channels.
That “River” would rise up and spread over the region, to the point that even the land of Judah would not be safe from drowning.

The implication is that if they had only trusted in God, instead of “melting in fear”, he could have found a way to deal with that invasion which did not involve calling in the Assyrians.
In other words, their failure of faith in the first trial is ultimately responsible for their later troubles.

The moral, of course, is the need for trust.

This passage is followed by a couple of other passages which take the same theme.

There is an address to the other nations (vv9-10) which warns them that they cannot overcome Israel, “for God is with us”.

Then there is a memorandum of a personal message for the prophet himself (vv11-15)
The prophet is warned “not to walk in the way of this people”.
That is, he mustn’t let himself be caught up in the fears of the rest of the people of Judah.
He must avoid the anxious frame of mind that sees a frightening conspiracy round every corner;
“Do not call conspiracy all that this people call conspiracy”.

He must fear nothing except the Lord of hosts himself, who is much more formidable than any enemy they can face.
As Jesus says- “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” –Matthew ch10 v28
He gives this instruction when he is sending his disciples out “as sheep in the midst of wolves”, meeting the same kind of hostile resistance to their message that Isaiah must have been facing.

The Lord is a Rock for his people, a place of sanctuary.
However, the rock will become a stumbling-block and a snare, not just for the northern house of Israel (the invaders), but also for the people of Jerusalem itself, if they fail to put their trust in him.
(And this image of the stumbling-block is applied to Jesus himself in the New Testament- 1 Peter ch2 v8)

If nobody else is listening, this teaching is to kept preserved (v16) among the disciples of the prophet, so that the future will know the truth of his warnings.

The only true security against danger, for God’s people, is their faith in their God.




posted on Dec, 12 2014 @ 05:07 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
The only true security against danger, for God’s people, is their faith in their God.


Will you tell them all to put down their guns please?



posted on Dec, 12 2014 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: AgentShillington
They won't take any notice.
This is the most I can do.

Having said that, I don't think Isaiah's message is meant to be pacifism, in this case.
It is meant to be "Don't be so terrified of them. You should have fought with the confidence that I was backing you up" (see previous chapter).


edit on 12-12-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 06:20 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
The implication is that if they had only trusted in God, instead of “melting in fear”, he could have found a way to deal with that invasion which did not involve calling in the Assyrians.


Sure about that?

“[...]Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” [ESV] Isaiah 19:25



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: Utnapisjtim
Most certainly I'm sure about it, because the logic is taken straight from Isaiah's remarks in this chapter.
He is saying "You were fearful, that led to Assyria overflowing the land, and that is a bad thing."
The logical opposite is that they should not have been fearful, and Assyria would not have been overflowing the land.

Your quotation from ch19 does not affect the question.
It has no relevance, because you have carefully edited out the opening words "In that day..."
In other words, that statement is about the future, from Isaiah's viewpoint, and has nothing to do with the immediate problem of his time, which is the current invasions of Judah.
In that quotation, Assyria and Egypt are the two leading powers of the Gentile world and represent the Gentile world.
So the meaning of the prophecy in ch19 is that the time will come when the Gentile world will join Israel in having a close relationship with God. This prophecy began to be fulfilled when the gospel was sent out among the Gentiles.

What I'm aiming at is understanding what the Bible is trying to say.
You don't achieve that with carefully edited snippets.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? [ESV] Lamentations 3:38
In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”[ESV] Isaiah 19:24f
Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose.[ESV] Isaiah 54:16

Thing is, God is not just the God of Israel, he is also the God of Assyria and Egypt and Babylon and all the riches in the world. Story goes, God has punished Israel for all kinds of things, from Assyria and Babylon to the Diaspora and so on. I'd say that's hypocritical crap. People are capable of wonderful things, but evil normally pays out more, so we are also capable of terrible things. Life as we know it only really has one enemy, Nature and the Universe itself included, and that sole enemy is Man. Humankind is the most evil and destructible force we know of. We are fully capable of toasting this planet like we probably did Mars and Venus at some point in time. We're about to ruin the Earth. Period.
edit on 17-12-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: ...



posted on Dec, 18 2014 @ 05:45 PM
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originally posted by: Utnapisjtim
Thing is, God is not just the God of Israel, he is also the God of Assyria and Egypt and Babylon and all the riches in the world.

Exactly, and thats what puts him into the position to direct the Assyrians against Israel, as Isaiah reports.
I still don't understand how the ch19 quotation is supposed to modify what Isaiah says in ch5. Ch19 is simply referring to the future event of God's lordship being consciously acknowledged by the rest of the world.


Story goes, God has punished Israel for all kinds of things, from Assyria and Babylon to the Diaspora and so on. I'd say that's hypocritical crap.

If you think Isaiah is being hypocritical, you must sort that out with Isaiah.
I'm just reporting what he says.
For your argument with Isaiah, it would be best to get hold of positive evidence that he does not believe his own statements (which is what the word "hypocritical" means).



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: Utnapisjtim
Thing is, God is not just the God of Israel, he is also the God of Assyria and Egypt and Babylon and all the riches in the world.

Exactly, and thats what puts him into the position to direct the Assyrians against Israel, as Isaiah reports.
I still don't understand how the ch19 quotation is supposed to modify what Isaiah says in ch5. Ch19 is simply referring to the future event of God's lordship being consciously acknowledged by the rest of the world.


Because the prophecy you cited was fulfilled even in the days of the prophet himself. Assyria marched into the Land and exiled the inhabitants of the Northern kingdom (kingdom of Israel, "ten lost tribes"). Look ahead instead: One day Israel will manage to hold peace with Egypt and Assyria. Wouldn't that be a bloody miracle?



Story goes, God has punished Israel for all kinds of things, from Assyria and Babylon to the Diaspora and so on. I'd say that's hypocritical crap.

If you think Isaiah is being hypocritical, you must sort that out with Isaiah.
I'm just reporting what he says.
For your argument with Isaiah, it would be best to get hold of positive evidence that he does not believe his own statements (which is what the word "hypocritical" means).


Stupidity and pride and a few other things, is rewarded by their proper counter measures. The yogis will tell of karma. Jesus would chant his golden rule. But back in Bronze-Age Judah they claimed God sent these as inevitable punishments. I'd say they sucked on diplomacy, and entrusted God with their fighting. Not very smart to start arguing with the mightiest Emperor of the known world, about who's daddy is the strongest and best to kick bollocks, that's all.



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 08:34 AM
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originally posted by: Utnapisjtim
Because the prophecy you cited was fulfilled even in the days of the prophet himself. Assyria marched into the Land and exiled the inhabitants of the Northern kingdom (kingdom of Israel, "ten lost tribes").

Yes, I know. This is the event I was talking about in the OP;

Isaiah rebuked them for their failure to trust in God.
He promised them that the Assyrians would destroy their immediate enemies.
...As a result, they would be saved from the northern armies, but only by the intervention of Assyria.
The Assyrians, we learn from 2 Kings, were responding to an appeal from Judah’s king...

So your reason for disagreeing with what I said in the OP is that what I said in the OP was true? That's a novel approach.




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