LINK: Isaiah 17 & 18
If you have not already done it, this is a wonderful timeline to help you understand Isaiah in the context of history:
Timeline for Isaiah (scroll to the end of the document)
The Daily Walk (July 18, 2008, p.23) calls Isaiah 17-20 a continuation of Isaiah's "Tale of Woes for Judah's Foes." I like that!
Prophecy and Fulfillment for Judah's Foes
Isaiah said Damascus (Syria) would be a "fallen ruin." Tiglath-Pilesar III of Assyria captured Damascus, the capital of Aram, Syria in 732 B.C. Many of them were deported.
The "fortified city" of Ephraim (Israel) would "disappear." They turned to the Lord, but it was too late. In 722 B.C. Assyria conquered, and the kingdom of Israel ceased to exist. Ahaz, King of Judah, ended up paying tribute to Tiglath-Pilesar III (2 Kings 16:1-4).
Isaiah 18 starts with a prophecy against "Cush" believed to have been given during the days of Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:20). Cush is southern Egypt, northern Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia today. The "land of whirring wins" may refer to locusts. The king of Cush heard of the Assyrian army coming and had sent messengers up the Nile asking other nations to form an alliance. Judah was asked, but Isaiah told the messengers that God would help them. Assyria was God's instrument in the punishment of Israel. Once this was accomplished, He would also intervene and cut them off (18:5, Isaiah 37:21-38; 2 Chronicles 32:20-23). The prophecy about gifts and worship being brought to Mt. Zion is probably for a future time. Sadly, there is not an extra-biblical account of what happened with Cush.
No REFLECTION and APPLICATION today. Please keep reading.
Pray meditatively through these chapters.