Bible passage: Isaiah 7:7-8
Written: Between 701-681 BC
After the land of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms, the two often were in conflict with one another.
About 2,700 years ago, the people of Judah were being threatened by an alliance involving the country of Aram (Syria) and the northern kingdom of Israel. That conflict is described in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
In Isaiah 7:7, the prophet informed the people of Judah that the alliance would fail in its plans against Judah. And, in the next verse, Isaiah prophesied that the northern kingdom of Israel would come to an end, and that its inhabitants would become broken as a people.
The Assyrians later invaded and conquered the northern kingdom, in about 722 BC. Afterwards, they transplanted some of the northern Israelites and replaced them with foreigners plucked from other regions of the Assyrian empire. Some examples of this are referenced in Ezra 4:2 and 2 Kings 17:24.
Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived during the first century of this era, also wrote about the transplanting of people in the northern part of the land of Israel:
"But the king of Assyria, whose name was Tiglath-Pileser, when he had made an expedition against the Israelites, and had overrun all the land of Gilead, and the region beyond Jordan, and the adjoining country, which is called Galilee, and Kadesh, and Hazor, he made the inhabitants prisoners, and transplanted them into his own kingdom." - Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book IX, Chapter 11, as translated by William Whiston.
The northern kingdom of Israel, which the Bible sometimes refers to as Ephraim, never recovered from the destruction brought upon it by the Assyrians. And, the people of the northern kingdom were shattered as a people, losing their identity as distinct tribes of Israel.
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Isaiah 7:7-8 (NIV):
7 Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "'It will not take place, it will not happen, 8 for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.