Isaiah 20

A type prefiguring the shameful captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia.

1IN the year that 1Tartan came unto 2Ashdod, (when 3Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and 4took it;

1 One of the chief commanders in the army of Sennacherib, 2 Kings 18:17.

2 Formerly a capital city of one of the five principalities of the Philistines, Joshua 13:3, where the idol Dagon was worshipped, 1 Sam. 5:2.

3 He is commonly called Sennacherib, as 2 Kings 18:13, and elsewhere.

4 Concerning the taking of the city of Ashdod, some count the three years, whereof mention is made in verse 3.

2At the same time spake the LORD 5by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, 6Go and 7loose 8the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking 9naked and 10barefoot.

5 Hebr. by the hand. See Lev. 8 on verse 36.

6 Namely, to preach or to prophecy.

7 Hebr. open the sack. A man must first open or lose a sack which he has on his body, or a garment, when he shall pull it off.

8 That is, your mourning garment, which, as it seems, the prophet had put on, for a sign of the misery that was approaching to the Jews and other nations. Some are of the opinion that it was a prophetical garment, which he wore ordinarily.

9 That is, bare, namely, without a sack or mourning garment and without shoes; for, to go stark naked would be an unseemly and shameful thing. The meaning is, that the prophet went in a bare habit, like a poor slave or bondman who is carried away captive, and to signify that such misery as this was approaching to the Ethiopians and Egyptians, as is further expressed in verse 4. Others take the word naked here for bare or stripped of his prophetical garment. See there the annotation at 1 Sam. 19 on verse 24.

10 Or, unshod, without socks or shoes. See 2 Sam. 15:30; Jer. 2:25.

3And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah 11hath walked naked and barefoot 12three years 13for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

11 Or, walked. Some take this to be only a prophetical vision; others take it to be a thing that was truly done.

12 That is, to show what would befall Egypt and Ethiopia three years after, or after the expiration of three years; or, to show that the misery, which would come upon Egypt and Ethiopia, would last three years.

13 Other, a sign and wonder is upon Egypt, etc.

4So shall 14the king of Assyria 15lead away 16the Egyptians prisoners, and 17the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, 18to the shame of Egypt.

14 Namely, Sargon or Sennacherib.

15 Or, carry away, or drive hence, or lead hence, namely, as a company of beasts, as the Hebrew word is used, Gen. 31:18; Exod. 3:1; 1 Sam. 30:20, and elsewhere besides.

16 Hebr. the captivity. See Num. 31 on verse 12. And understand here the imprisoned Egyptians, who would remain or be left from the slaughter.

17 Hebr. the carrying away of the Ethiopians, that is, a great multitude of the Ethiopians, who shall be carried away captive unto Assyria; which some understand of those Ethiopians that under the command and conduct of Thirhaka marched forth to battle against the Assyrians.

18 Or, to the reproach of Egypt. Understand herewith: and of Ethiopia.

5And 19they shall be afraid and ashamed 20of Ethiopia 21their expectation, and of Egypt 22their glory.

19 Namely, the Philistines, and likewise the Jews, who had a strong hope and confidence that the Egyptians would expel and drive away Sennacherib. See 2 Kings 18:21.

20 That is, because of the Ethiopians.

21 Hebr. their beholding, that is, their expectation; that is, from whom they were expecting aid, and on whom they trusted and relied.

22 That is, of whose aid they gloried and boasted.

6And the inhabitant 23of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, 24such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered 25from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?

23 That is, of this land, namely, of the Philistines and of the Jews. The Hebrew word signifies properly and usually an island, but it cannot be taken here in its proper signification, unless in this respect, that the Jews and the Philistines were separated from all other nations, as islands are separated from all other lands or countries, by the sea or rivers. Or the prophet calls the land of the Philistines and of the Israelites an island, because they are compassed round about by their armies, as an island lies round about in water, and is environed or compassed round by it. See further Gen. 10 on verse 5; Psalm 72 on verse 10

24 Hebr. our beholding, etc. See on verse 5; that is, upon whom we had cast our eyes.

25 Or, from the face of the king of Assyria.