Isaiah 17:2

2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid.

Isaiah 17:2 in Other Translations

2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
2 The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
2 The towns of Aroer will be deserted. Flocks will graze in the streets and lie down undisturbed, with no one to chase them away.
2 Her towns emptied of people. The sheep and goats will move in And take over the towns as if they owned them - which they will!
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be [places] for flocks. They will lie down without fear.

Isaiah 17:2 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 17:2

The cities of Aroer are forsaken
The inhabitants of them being slain, or carried captive, or obliged to flee. Aroer was a city by the river Arnon, on the borders of Moab and Ammon, ( Deuteronomy 2:36 ) ( Deuteronomy 3:12 ) , it was originally in the hands of the Amorites, and sometimes in the hands of the Moabites and Ammonites: it was given by Moses to the Reubenites and, Gadites, from whom it was taken by the Syrians, and in whose possession it seems to have been at this time; see ( 2 Kings 10:33 ) though Jarchi thinks it was now in the hands of Pekah king of Israel, and said to be forsaken, because the Reubenites and Gadites were now carried captive. Jerom F13 says it was seen in his time, upon the top of the mountain. Here it seems to designs a country of this name, in which were many cities. Grotius thinks it was a tract of land in Syria, the same with the Aveira of Ptolemy F14. Vitringa is of opinion that Damascus itself is meant, which was a double city, like that divided by the river Chrysorrhoas, as this was by Arnon. They shall be for flocks which shall lie down;
instead of houses, there should be sheepcotes and shepherds' tents, and instead of men, sheep; and where streets were, grass would grow, and flocks feed and lie down; which is expressive of the utter desolation of these cities, or this tract of ground: and none shall make [them] afraid;
the flocks of sheep, timorous creatures, easily frightened; but so great should be the depopulation now, there would be no man upon the spot, or any pass by, to give them any disturbance.


F13 De locis. Heb. fol. 87. 1.
F14 Geograph. l. 5. c. 15.

Isaiah 17:2 In-Context

1 A prophecy against Damascus: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.
2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid.
3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites,” declares the LORD Almighty.
4 “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away.
5 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain, gathering the grain in their arms— as when someone gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S 2 Kings 10:33
  • 2. S Isaiah 5:17; Isaiah 7:21; Ezekiel 25:5
  • 3. Isaiah 27:10
  • 4. S Leviticus 26:6; Jeremiah 7:33; Micah 4:4
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