Yeshayahu Seventeen: Multitudes

“The harsh prophecy concerning Damascus; Behold Damascus shall be removed from [being] a city, and it shall be depth of ruins (Isaiah 17:1).” This doesn’t bode well for Damascus, and it doesn’t end here. Other cities are going to be abandoned and ruined as well. “And it shall come to pass on that day, that the glory of Jacob shall become impoverished and the fatness of his flesh shall become emaciated (Isaiah 17:4).” The people will be miserable, and at this point, human beings will finally remember God. In many ways it’s too little too late though, because the people forgot God for such a long time.

“Woe to a multitude of many peoples, like the roaring of seas they roar; and a rushing of nations, like the rushing of mighty waters they rush (Isaiah 17:12).” It’s not fully clear to me exactly why multitudes aren’t a good thing here, but it seems to me that this could be take as a warning against mob mentality. When all of the nations come together, it’s easy for things to escalate and get out of hand. Each human being becomes nothing more than a part of an anonymous mass. This takes away individuality and leaves one susceptible to losing their own voice, in favor of the collective. This happens far too often in the world, and usually leads to disastrous results.

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