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25 And on
all hills [har] that shall be digged [`adar]
with the mattock, [ma`der] there shall not come
thither [bow'] the fear [yir'ah] of briers [shamiyr] and
thorns: [shayith] but it shall be for the
sending forth [mishlowach] of oxen, [showr] and for the treading [mirmac] of lesser cattle. [seh] KJV-Interlinear
25 And as
for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go
there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing
oxen and for sheep to trample. NASB
This verse completes the description of the horrific state of the land during and after the invasion that is about to take place.
Ahaz despised Isaiah and instead of turning to God for his defense, he turned to his alliance with Assyria in his attempt to defeat the alliance of Syria and Israel.
But once that alliance, of Syria and Israel, are disrupted in their invasion, then Assyria will turn on Ahaz, and when we get to the next chapter, we will see that the double cross will come swiftly and without mercy.
The valleys are the typical place of farming and grazing. The hills are not typical locations for farming. And this description is of those hard to get at places where only grazing animals can reach and survive.
The mattock is a shovel or hoe that is used to remove weeds, and otherwise cultivate or maintain or plant the vines or crops.
And here is the completion of the description of a land that is thoroughly destroyed, such that people will flee from the cities, abandon the valleys, and go to the hills or mountains where they may eek out a living as best they can by cultivating an otherwise uncultivable ground.
These places will be thoroughly overtaken by the weeds and thorns and though they will be virtually unmanageable, they will also be a place of hiding and defense for eluding any enemy that might come looking for them. Thick thorn bushes provide a defensive wall that many do not want to enter, thus the fear is not of fright, but of reluctance. Enemy forces will be reluctant and unmotivated to pursue or to even search out people that might be hiding within the thick thorn bushes.
So, a disaster and a difficult environment, will in the future, turn out to be a blessing.
The land is described as thoroughly destroyed. The population is hammered down to a small remnant. Life in the cities is not safe and so people are forced into the hills and otherwise inhospitable places in order to survive.
Life has to function within the confines of an area that is overrun by thorns and good for only substandard livestock. Livestock that runs free for the most part and is not confined or otherwise contained in an orderly fashion. But yet there are sufficient provisions, for those in hiding, to survive with some comfort.
The inhospitable living environment is both difficult but also provides protection in that an enemy is reluctant to search through it, or searches indiscriminately. There is not much booty to gain from the rocky hills, so the draw for riches and plunder is not in the hills but in the cities and valleys. So there is little incentive to venture into a difficult pursuit that promises nothing.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.