Isaiah Twenty

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Isaiah 20:1 In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

Tartan came unto Ashdod. Tartan (2 Kings 18:17) was one of the three Assyrian commanders of the invading Assyrian armies. Ashdod was the chief city of Philistia.

Sargon the king. Both King Sargon and his captain, Tartan, are named in an inscription found in the ruins of Ashdod, confirming their conquest of Ashdod as noted in this verse. This is the only Biblical mention of the Assyrian king Sargon, although he is the one who claimed to have captured Samaria and taken the Israelites into captivity. See note on 2 Kings 18:11. The palace of Sargon has been discovered some twelve miles north of Nineveh.

Isaiah 20:2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

Isaiah 20:3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

Isaiah 20:4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

naked and barefoot. This prophecy was fulfilled when many of the leaders of Egypt and Ethiopia were taken into captive exile by the Assyrians about 670 b.c.

Isaiah 20:5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

Egypt their glory. The Assyrians at this time had already taken the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity, and were threatening Judah and Jerusalem. The kings of Judah, therefore, would be tempted to look to Egypt and Ethiopia for help. But these countries were already tributary to Assyria and were soon destined to be devastated themselves by the Babylonians. See on Isaiah 19:4, and also note Isaiah 20:4.

Isaiah 20:6 And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?