“For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water(v.1)”.
Isaiah predicts great hardship, that is equated with God’s displeasure with His people. It has come in waves from Nebuchadnezzar, Titus and shall continue towards the latter days. All these are several events but part of divine Plan where His intention is to change them from placing their trust in man and trust in Him.
stay . . . staff–the same Hebrew word, the one masculine, the other feminine, an Arabic idiom for all kinds of support. What a change from the previous luxuries. From the experience of Prophet Jeremiah we get an idea of the besieged city. (Jer.37:21; 38:9)
The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator (vv.2-3).
When God has determined disaster for the nation all the decisions and deliberations of legal luminaries, civil administrators, minister of defense city fathers all wise men and citizens alike are at odds and none of their counsel shall agree. For the reason one only look at the man who is placed over them. “Woe to thee, O Land, when thy king is a child…(Eccl.10:16)” Do we not see it in real time? what it is to have a head of state whose temper tantrums and obstinacy can only point to disaster and it is a downward spiral when the wisdom of the old is dismissed as worthless (Lev.19:32) ? The day of calamity is hastened when politics meddle with vital interest of the nation that goes beyond pressure groups that are for their immediate gains. When a ruler old and yet allow these to weaken the very foundation of the nation must be no better than a child or an imbecile. For this reason when such a state of affairs continues fear the divine Hand that has allowed it. When God speaks of'”Honor the face of the old, He stresses it with these words,”…And fear thy God: I am the Lord.” Honor the face of the old”is given here as reflection of state of affairs all in disarray. When God had decided to destroy King Amaziah He sent a prophet who said to the king,”I know God hath determined to destroy thee …(2 Chr.25:16)” Such turn of events do not augur well for the nation.”…. child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable”. This same idea we see further down,” As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths (v.12)”.
Under such governance societal collapse is signified by neighbors at odds with one another. When an unformed child-prince is set on the throne he shall be led by princes,- all his drinking companions and good governance tends to go out of the window. Gradually rule of law comes under attack and the rulers do not want facts but alternate facts. Litigations shall increase on account of those who bear false witnesses and lodge false complaints on frivolous reasons and those who consider it as a profitable line of business, ” What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts (v.15).”
Isaiah foretold the doom of the city. “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings(vv.9-10).