Woe to the Land Is 18:1-7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This chapter is metaphorical and is therefore hard to understand until you can see to what the metaphors refer. To study this passage, we are going to have to deal with the verses out of their chronological order. We will first determine which nation is “scattered and peeled.” Then we will determine which nation is “shadowing with wings.” Then we will see the prophetic time frame of this chapter. We will then be able to understand the rest of the passage.
Scattered and Peeled – v.2, v.7 – this nation is Israel – notice the cross references – “scattered” Lev 26:33, Deut 4:27, God promised that he would scatter them among the nations if they quit obeying him and started worshipping idols – “peeled” Is 15:2, this means bald, they shave their heads and beards in mourning – “terrible from their beginning” Ex 34:10, Deut 7:21, their beginning was in Egypt just before the Exodus, the plagues were terrible; then they conquered the land of Canaan and the destruction of the seven nations inhabiting the land was terrible – “meted out” Deut 32:8, the Lord described the boundaries of Israel and these boundaries will still apply in the millennium when Israel finally gets their inheritance – “trodden down” Is 5:4-7, Is 63:18, they are the Lord’s vineyard and they have been trodden down and will be trodden down before the Second Coming [Rev 11:2] – “the rivers have spoiled” Is 59:19, Jer 46:7-8, this a reference to the “floods” of armies coming in to Israel attempting to destroy them.
Shadowing with Wings – v.1 – this description doesn’t say that the land is “shadowed” but that it is “shadowing” – see Ezek 17:7 and its context – this is Egypt.
Prophetic Time Frame – v.3, v.4, v.7 – the prophetic time frame of this passage is the Second Coming of Jesus – “when he lifteth up an ensign” Is 11:10-12 – “when he bloweth a trumpet” Matt 24:31 and context – “I will take my rest” Ps 132:13-14 – “in my dwelling place” v.7, Ex 15:17, Deut 12:11, mount Zion, where the Lord will dwell during the millennium.
Summary – v.1-7 – At the Lord’s return, Egypt, under whose wings Israel trusted rather than under the wings of the Lord [Ps 17:8, 91:4], will be in woe [v.1, woe to the land… ] because of the destruction at the Second Advent – when the Lord returns he will consider Egypt [and other nations for that matter] like a “clear heat upon herbs” [which destroys herbs] and like a “cloud of dew in the heat” v.4 [Hos 6:4 which is gone quickly] and he will destroy them quickly by cutting down their branches [v.5-6, Ezek 31:6, 13 and context] – when they are in ruins, they will send ambassadors and swift messengers [v.2] in vessels of bulrushes [cheaply and hastily made] to the Jews who will have been scattered, to let them know that they can return to the Lord in Zion [v.7] – they will look to the Lord’s ensign [v.3] and respond to the Lord’s trumpet [Matt 24:31] – the nations to whom they will have been scattered will return them to the Lord as a present [Is 60:1-9].