Isaiah 5:26

ESV He will raise a signal for nations far away, and whistle for them from the ends of the earth; and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
NIV He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily!
NASB He will also lift up a flag to the distant nation, And whistle for it from the ends of the earth; And behold, it will come with speed swiftly.
CSB He raises a signal flag for the distant nations and whistles for them from the ends of the earth. Look--how quickly and swiftly they come!
NLT He will send a signal to distant nations far away and whistle to those at the ends of the earth. They will come racing toward Jerusalem.
KJV And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:

What does Isaiah 5:26 mean?

The description of the Lord stretching out His hand to strike Judah for the unfaithfulness of the people does not mince words. The Lord's people have rejected His law and despised His word and lived only for themselves (Isaiah 5:18–23). Now His promised judgment is coming.

In a few terrifying lines of poetry, Isaiah pictures the other nations of the earth as attack dogs waiting for the Lord to summon them. The kings who conquered the world during the ninth to fifth centuries BC surely did not think of themselves as being called into action by the God of the Israelites. The idea that the Lord had control over them and their armies was unfathomable. Yet that's exactly what Isaiah is describing here.

The Lord will raise the signal for the nations far away. Like an animal trainer, the Lord will whistle and the powerful armies of the nations will come rushing. Their mighty forces will be prepared to decimate Jerusalem and tiny Judah. Isaiah likely is thinking of the coming attacks by the Assyrians here, but the specifics of which nation will bring pain and death almost doesn't matter. The greater cause is God's own plan. It will be the Lord striking down His people.
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