Isa 9.8-12 tells us that Israel and the land was devastated by the Assyrians when they came against Rezin of Syria. The Syrians and the Philistines also devoured Israel (the north). But Israel was raised up in pride and arrogance (Isa 9.9) and said, “The bricks have fallen down, but we (Israel) will rebuild with smooth stones (cut stone); the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedar” (Isa 9.10). In other words, they were going to replace all the things that were destroyed with something better because the people didn’t learn anything and defied what the Lord was doing. This destruction of the north was because the people were not following the Lord and Assyria was a tool in the hands of the Lord to get them to repent. But they didn’t get it, and if God tore it down, they were going to build it better. Now, that attitude is good if it was accompanied by repentance, but it wasn’t.
So, Isa 9.13 through 10.5 says that Assyria was a “rod of my anger” (Isa 10.5) but the north was deluded spiritually and they also opposed Judah in the south. So, the Lord is making a case as to why he used Assyria as his “rod.” But, in Isa 10.6-11 it tells us that Assyria does not just intend to capture spoil, but they intended to destroy all the nations, including Judah and Jerusalem. Assyria considered the God of Israel just another false god. They intended to destroy, and this parallels Ezek 38.10-16. With Syria, the Palestinians (Philistines) and Saudi Arabia destroyed in the second year of the Birth Pains by Russia double-crossing them, Israel will feel safer and that is exactly what Russia wants. That is why Israel feels secure in Ezek 38.11. Russia (Gog/Magog) do not want Israel to activate the Masada Complex, which is the threat that if Israel is defeated, they will destroy themselves. As a result, they will take everyone else with them. They will not be loaded into boxcars and sent to death camps again.
Russia (Gog/ Magog) will convince the Arab terrorist nations to “back off” for awhile, causing Israel to feel more secure, but that’s when the attack comes. This during the “Day of the Lord” because it says in Ezek 38.14 that “Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On that day when my people Israel are living securely, will you not know it?'” Ezek 38.16 says that it will come about “in the last days” that God is going to bring Gog and Magog against the land of Israel. The terms “on that day” and “in the last days” are Jewish eschatological terms, so we know that this is also talking about the “day of the Lord.” This idea of “dwelling securely” is not talking about about now. Israel is anything but dwelling securely. There are hundreds of terrorist attacks a year and many don’t even make the news. Everything in Israel is related to security. Now, that means you have to ask the question, “How can Israel go from being on guard every second against an attack, terror and war to dwelling securely?”
In the second year of the Birth Pains there is going to be a war, and we have already gone over this. Israel will enter into an alliance with Russia, just like Israel did with Assyria, putting their faith in Russia rather than God. This will set up the invasion of of Israel by Russia because Russia will get the Arab terrorist nations to temporarily “cease in their hostilities” in a conspiracy to delude Israel into feeling safer. Russia may “guarantee” that Israel will disarm if the Arabs disarm. Then they will say that there will be an invasion of Israel, and the Arabs can have a part in it and finally get rid of their enemy. This is a massive “sting” operation. But God has different ideas and will use Russia as his tool to bring Israel back to him and Yeshua as the Messiah, but there will be few Russians who survive . Isa 10.20-33 says that those who have escaped from Israel and Jacob will never again rely on Assyria/Russia but they will rely on the Lord. This idea is also expressed in Ezek 39.22. They will return to the Lord, but only a remnant. They are told not to fear the Assyrian/Russians (Sa 10.24). God’s anger will come against them like at Midian (Isa 9.4) and at the Red Sea with Egypt. “In that day” (the day of the Lord) his burden will be removed from their shoulders and his yoke will be broken because of “fatness” meaning the “anointing oil” (Isa 10.27). The Lord will cut off the boughs of the Assyrians/Russians (Isa 10.33). The towns listed in Isa 10.28-32 gives us a possible path that Russia will take coming down (Assyria’s path), and this is in addition to their path in the Shephelah Valley.
Going back for a moment, we know that King Ahaz became a subject, or vassal kingdom, of the Assyrians. They could have protection from Assyria and have their own rulers with Assyria’s permission. They were not a “province” like Philistia, who had an Assyrian appointed ruler named Padi. Then came King Hezekiah, who makes an alliance with Tirhakah of Egypt because he wanted to break away from the Assyrian yoke (Isa 36.1-7). This is what brings on the wrath of Assyria. Egypt will be a picture of the kingdom of the false messiah, and Assyria will be a picture of Gog/Magog/Russia. The “high places” in Isa 36.7 were allowed by his father King Ahaz, but they were forbidden by the Lord by that time. So, let’s look into these high places for a moment. These were places that korbanot were offered to the Lord.
In the Mishnah, Zevachim 14.4-8 it says, “Before the Tabernacle was set up, the high places (Hebrew “Bamot”= where they offered korbanot)) were permitted and the Altar service was fulfilled by the first born. But after the tabernacle was set up, the high places were forbidden (Lev 17.8-9), and the Altar service was fulfilled by the priests; the most holy things (Kodshai Kodashim) were consumed within the curtains (surrounding the Mishkan), and the lesser holy things (Kodshai Kelim) throughout the camp of Israel. After they came to Gilgal the high places were again permitted (because the Ark of the Covenant wasn’t there, it went into battle with the army); the most holy things could be eaten only withing the curtains but the lesser holy things in any place. After they came to Shiloh (Josh 18.1) the high places were forbidden. There was no roof beam there, but below was a house of stone (1 Sam 1.24-it had stone work now, not just a tent. The Ark rested there until captured at Aphek), and above were hangings, and this was the “resting place” (Deut 12.9). The most holy things were consumed within the curtains, and the lesser holy things and the second tithe (consumed)in any place within sight of Shiloh. After they came to Nob (1 Sam 21.1) and to Gibeon (the Ark had been taken and not there) the high places were permitted; the most holy things were consumed within the curtains and the lesser holy things throughout the cities of Israel. After they came to Jerusalem the high places were forbidden (the Ark was returned and David brought it there, then Solomon put it in the new Temple) and never again permitted; and this was the inheritance (Deut 12.9). The most holy things were consumed within the curtains and the lesser holy things and the second tithe within the wall of Jerusalem.”
Hezekiah has forbidden the high places, which was the right thing to do. He was probably the most godly king since David, and yet look at the trouble he has now in Isa 36 and 37, and on top of all that, he was sick unto death (Isa 38.1). He was turning Israel back to the Torah. His fathers led the people back into idolatry and mixed paganism with the true worship of God (2 Kings 17.33, 41) and called it “worship of God.” So, Ravshakeh, the emissary of Sennacherib, thought the tearing down of the “bamot” (high places) was actually against the Lord. Hezekiah then tells the people “you shall worship before this altar” (in the Temple, which was what he was supposed to do).
Assyria is at the walls of Jerusalem, and Hezekiah needed to know what to do. Should they surrender or make a stand. Isa 36.8 through 37.13 tells the story, and he had to know and seek God for himself. But, he also sought godly advice from others who knew the Lord so that is why he went to Isaiah the prophet in Isa 37.1-5. In the future, Israel will be in an alliance with the false messiah and Europe (Dan 9.24-27), just like Hezekiah was in an alliance with Tirhakah and Egypt. They will be attacked by Russia, and Israel will believe that the false messiah and Europe will come to help, but they won’t. We have already gone over the historical account as to why Tirhakah did not help Hezekiah against the Assyrians, found in Josephus, Antiquities, Book 10, Chapter 1.4, when Assyria and Egypt faced each other. During the night, mice and rats ate ate the bow strings and the feathers off of the Assyrian arrows, and Sennacherib withdrew. Tirhakah did not pursue them, but why?
The answer is, God was going to destroy Assyria himself and he did not want Egypt to do it. He wanted Israel to look to him and know that it was he who delivered them, not Egypt. It will be that way in the future. We have an allusion to the Birth Pains in Isa 37.3 where it says, “And they said to him, ‘Thus says Hezekiah, “This is a day of distress, rebuke and rejection; for children have come to birth, and there is no strength to deliver.'” In Isa 37.14 Ravshakeh delivers a letter to Hezekiah from Sennacherib, and Hezekiah goes before the Lord and prays. This will be a type of Israel’s prayer as the Jewish people believe in Yesua as they see Russia coming. God will not allow Assyria to be victorious (Isa 37.21-29). Isa 37.26 says, “Have you (Israel) not heard it? Long ago I did it, from ancient times I planned it (see Num 24.14, 17, 21-24; Ezek 38.17). Isa 37.29 says God will put hooks into the nose of Assyria (Gog/Magog/Russia-Ezek 38.1-4, 39.2) and “turn you back by the way you came.”
Isa 37.30-35 tells us this defeat of Assyria came around the time of Yom Kippur. Look at the terms used in Ezek 38 and 39. Their defeat was in Tishri and this is the reason they were rejoicing at Sukkot in Isa 9.2-7. Isa 37.30 describes a Yovel (Jubilee) year. Where it says in v 30 “this year” it is a Shemittah year, which begins on a Yom Kippur in which there is no planting. Where it says “next year” it describes the Yovel, or fiftieth year of the Yovel cycle, in which there is no planting. This also begins on a Yom Kippur. Then it says “in the third year” and it means they can plant, reap and eat the produce. This is the first year of the next Shemittah of seven years beginning the whole fifty year cycle again. So, Assyria’s defeat came around Yom Kippur.
The next chapter (Ch 38) tells us that Hezekiah’s life was extended, and he has an heir named Manasseh which continues the royal line from David. Hezekiah was sick during the days that Assyria was coming against him (38.1-“in those days”). This “extension” is a picture of when the third year of the Birth Pains ends between Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur, going into the fourth year of the Birth Pains, when Assyria/Gog and Magog/Russia will attack and be defeated.