4 And the
glorious [ts@biy] beauty [tiph'arah], which
is on the head [ro'sh] of the fat [shemen] valley [gay'], shall be a
fading [nabel] flower [tsiytsah], and as the hasty fruit [bikkuwr] before the summer [qayits];
which when he that looketh [ra'ah] upon it
seeth [ra'ah], while it is yet in his hand [kaph] he eateth it up [bala`]. KJV-Interlinear
4 and the
fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley, will
be like a first-ripe fig before the summer: when someone sees it, he swallows
it as soon as it is in his hand. ESV
When something is devoured, it no longer exists, or it is left with the impression of being thoroughly destroyed.
Normally we do our study in Romans on this day, but yesterday’s study in Isaiah left some confusion apparently. So here is another look at verse 4.
This verse describes a beautiful valley coming into its beauty in the spring of the year. The flowers are blooming, the blossoms are coming out, the colors are exploding off the charts with their brilliance.
When a person stands at a high point they can see the vast beauty of the region before them.
Likewise, along with the spring, there are some fruits that bloom and ripen early. The case at hand is in reference to the figs of the region, which is the Middle East. Figs generally ripen in late August, but there are always some that ripen earlier in the summer. These are the obvious first targets of a would-be picker, who when he sees the fruit, picks it and eats it. He consumes it or devours it, leaving nothing for later use.
In a normal harvest the fruit or produce is taken and stored to some extent, for later use.
Swallowing it as soon as it is in hand, as soon as it is picked, indicates a rush to eat it, a hurry that leaves little time for chewing, the desire is so great.
And that is the picture here, which is the devouring with no hesitation and with nothing left for later use.
The target is Ephraim or Samaria, or todays northern Israel. The picker is Assyria, as seen from Isaiah’s day, or as seen from the perspective of the last days, the King of the North.
The result? The total destruction by the invader of the intended target.
Isaiah gave fair warning that Ephraim was going to be invaded and destroyed, with a harshness that left nothing.
In the final days of history, the invader, which then will be the King of the North, will invade with a dizzying speed, as it rushes through the Palestine region and into Africa. This is the double cross it will bring against the King of the South during the Armageddon campaign.
Anyway, the destruction will be horrendous.
In the end times, the King of the South will invade in concert with the King of the North. The North will double cross the south and the south will be destroyed. Then the kings of the East and West will attack from their respective directions, and the whole mess will center on Israel. The result, total disaster for much of the region.
No one will be trying to conquer in order to capture and keep for themselves, but the end result will be to destroy everything without even a second thought.
Remember that Satan is the driving force behind the entire war, and he wants to destroy everything in order that Christ will have nothing to save or deliver as promised. To defeat the promise is to defeat Christ. At least in Satan’s mind.
So, this is the state of things, or the warning of things against Ephraim, back in Isaiah’s day, which warning was ignored. And so Assyria invaded, and Ephraim and Samaria ceased to exist.
This will happen again, in the future, just as it has happened in the past. People do not listen, do not learn, and are not interested. The result will be disastrous.