Isaiah on Foreign Alliances

Just noticed an interesting parallel between two historical episodes in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah warned both kings Ahaz and Hezekiah against making foreign alliances. Ahaz rejected Isaiah’s warning explicitly whereas it is not as clear where Hezekiah stood in relation to the prophet in the days leading up to the Assyrian invasion.  Hezekiah would eventually come around, but only after Egypt proved to be every bit as unreliable as the prophet foretold. The Egyptian army was defeated on the coastal plains.  Jerusalem was up to her neck in the raging Flood (Is. 8:6-8), “like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain” (Is. 30:17), “like a booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.” (Isa. 1:8b ESV)

Hezekiah and the Covenant with Egypt (Is 30:1-14) Ahaz and the Covenant with Assyria (Is. 8:12-20)
Futility of foreign alliances Egypt’s help is worthless and empty; therefore I have called her “Rahab who sits still.” (Isa. 30:7 ESV) “Do not call conspiracy (or “alliance”) all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. (Isa. 8:12-13 ESV)
The prophet’s testimony inscribed in a book And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever. (Isa. 30:8 ESV) Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. (Isa. 8:16-18 ESV)
The rejection of the prophet For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 30:9-11 ESV) And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. (Isa. 8:19-20 ESV)

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