Moav Perakim 15-16
This perek points to one of the reasons of Moav receiving such a devastating end was its lack of willingness to take in the fleeing Israelites from the destruction of Assyria of the Northern Kingdom. This repeated itself many times in Jewish history. One unfortunate episode occurred in 1938 at the Evian Conference in France.
Reflecting the opinion of many delegations, the Australian representative, T. W. White, explained: “As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.”
But the food was superb, and the vistas breathtaking, and everyone tried to exude good will. In fact, if success could be measured by good will alone, the Evian Conference would have been judged a roaring success. But day after day reporters sensed a failure all but inevitable. By the end it was clear to everyone, not just to the reporters, that little had been accomplished. Hopes had been raised, and then dashed. The Evian Conference went down in history as a complete flop. Only one nation, the Dominican Republic, agreed to accept 100,000 refugees.
Hitler, not known for his humor, was supposed to have joked: “We…are ready to put all these criminals at the disposal of these countries,” adding: “for all I care, even on luxury ships.”
- Refugee crises and the sad legacy of the 1938 Evian conference, Marvin Kalb
In this perek, although Damascus is given the prophecy of destruction, Yeshayahu turns to the destroyers of Damascus which is Assyria. Yeshayahu closes with a powerful line:
לְעֵת עֶרֶב וְהִנֵּה בַלָּהָה בְּטֶרֶם בֹּקֶר אֵינֶנּוּ זֶה חֵלֶק שׁוֹסֵינוּ וְגוֹרָל לְבֹזְזֵינוּ׃
At eventide, lo, terror! By morning, it is no more. Such is the lot of our despoilers, The portion of them that plunder us.
Assyria is a metaphor for the many forces which tried over history to destroy the nation of Israel. Overnight they cease to exist.
In poetic terms, Lord Byron expresses this idea in his 1815 poem, The Destruction of Sennacherib
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
Gog Umagog - Perek 18
As we learned there is a debate between between the Malbim and the rest of the Mefarshim whether this perek refers to the destruction of Assyria during the time of Chizkiyahu or referring to the times of Mashiach in the future.
For the other accounts of this episode see Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 14
Egypt - Perek 19
In this Perek, Egypt's destruction is captured in the conflicted term, Isaiah 19:22
וְנָגַף יְהוָה אֶת־מִצְרַיִם נָגֹף וְרָפוֹא וְשָׁבוּ עַד־יְהוָה וְנֶעְתַּר לָהֶם וּרְפָאָם׃
The LORD will first afflict and then heal the Egyptians; when they turn back to the LORD, He will respond to their entreaties and heal them.
Rav Chaim Cohen, in his Sefer Talelei Chaim, Shmos page 111-12, quoting the Zohar that this refers to the fact the plagues in Egypt had a duel audience. As Egypt was being smitten, that same action allowed for the healing of the nation of Israel and their ability to become a nation.
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