A Besieged City

Isaiah 1:7-8. “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.”

In these two verses, Isaiah no longer uses metaphors. He changes to direct language which recalls the punishment threatened to Israel in Lev. 26:33; Deut. 28:49-52; 29:22-23. which had come to pass. The land had been abundantly productive under Uzziah, King of Judah (II Chron. 26:10), but now wickedness was so prevalent that  Is. 9:18 describes it as “burning like a fire.”

In verse 8, Israel is pictured not as a nurturing, protective mother. Instead  she is described as a daughter, and the description is expressive of the tenderness that God had felt toward Israel, as a mother for her young daughter. Now, Jerusalem’s population was depleted. The city, once beautiful, had become nothing more than a hut or a shack in a vineyard, a booth or hammock for a garden-keeper to use to scare animals away.  It was a besieged city, isolated and in great difficulty.

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