Author: Ron Graham
Outline of Isaiah chapters 20, 21, 22, 23
—Oracles to various kingdoms
This page provides an outline of Isaiah chapters 20-23 for your reference. The complete outline of Isaiah is spread over several lessons.
1 Context Overview
Chapters thirteen to twenty-seven of Isaiah deliver oracles from the Lord to various nations, principally to Babylon who will rise up to crush Judah and destroy Jerusalem. Isaiah warns all these nations that God is over them and will take away their glory because of their sins. After delivering these oracles to particular nations, Isaiah then looks to the much more distant future, to the destruction of the whole world.
2 Oracles to Kingdoms (Isaiah 20-23)
- Egypt and Ethiopia Isaiah goes naked for three years to symbolise the humiliation of Egypt and Ethiopia (also known as Cush) at the hand of the Assyrians (Isaiah 20). There are earlier, separate, and longer oracles to Ethiopia in chapter 18, and Egypt in chapter 19 (see previous outline).
- Babylon to the north of Arabia, is the subject of a "harsh vision" for Isaiah. Babylon will rise to power and glory, but she will be punished for her idolatry. "Fallen, fallen is Babylon, and all the images of her gods are broken on the ground" (Isaiah 21:1-10)
- Dumah (also called Seir and Edom) is to the east of Arabia. A watchman cries, "Morning comes, but also night". There is a day of respite for Edom, but the night of Assyrian terror is coming (Isaiah 21:11-12)
- Arabia the nation of the desert wilderness, will not escape Assyria either. The splendour and might of its nomadic warrior tribes such as Kedar will vanish (Isaiah 21:13-17)
- Jerusalem the capital of Judah will be under seige (Isaiah 22). God will place a good man in charge to help Jerusalem survive for the time being. Isaiah later records these events (Isaiah 36-37).
- Tyre and Sidon "the market of nations" was a harbour city-state whose ships traded far afield and colonized distant places. (Isaiah 23:1-7)
- God has planned to crush the pride of Tyre and Sidon (Isaiah 23:8-12).
- When the Assyrians attack, Tyre’s king will flee north to the colony of Cyprus, but will find no rest (Isaiah 23:12).
- Although Tyre will recover some power in the decline of the Assyrian empire, this will be short lived. The Babylonians will rise up and conquer the kingdom (Isaiah 23:13-14).
- The kingdom will be "forgotten seventy years" (Isaiah 23:15-18).