THE DAY OF TROUBLE
Ah, if we could only read Hebrew. Besides the actual meaning of the names, the Lord has included puns and rhyming in His original scripture. An example of what we miss while reading in English is in the 22nd chapter of Isaiah. The Lord says, “For [it is] a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity By the Lord GOD of hosts In the Valley of Vision . . .” 1 In Hebrew “trouble and treading down and perplexity” are three words. Here they are phonetically:
Besides rhyming, these three words say a great deal. The first word, mehumah, or trouble, is the same word used by the prophet Jeremiah in describing a terrible day unlike any other, the time of Jacob’s Trouble.4 Actually, I think that Isaiah 22:1-13 is about that same troubled period of time, the Tribulation. It describes Israel taking defensive measures to protect Jerusalem, but not looking to its Maker for help.
This is like Israel today. The modern nation of Israel is not a religious country. More than one of their prime ministers has stated that they don’t need the God of the Bible. Israel is modeled on a socialist example. That is why they have kibbutzes, or collective farms. Today, Israel looks to their arsenal for protection, not to the God who created them.
Bible prophecy usually has at least two different fulfillments; one for the time it was written, and one in the future. Because I believe we live in the Last Days, I think this passage will apply to Israel again.
The word mehumah is spelled with the Hebrew letters mem, hay, vav, mem, hay. The rabbis have known for centuries, if not millennia, that Hebrew letters have meaning. I am told these particular letters have the following meaning; mem = water, or concealed and revealed, hay = the breath of God or the grace of God, vav = completion and redemption.
When Israel would not look to the Lord, He concealed Himself from them. They were blinded.2 Just as the Lord tried to get the attention of Israel in ancient times, He will once again take action to get their attention. We call this event the Tribulation. This time He will succeed. Isaiah tells us that a remnant will escape,3 and as Jeremiah prophesies, Jacob (Israel) will be redeemed out of the terrible Time of Jacob’s Trouble.4
It appears that the alphabetic meaning of the letters of the Hebrew word “trouble” indicate just that scenario. God concealed (mem) His Grace (hay) from Israel, but He will redeem them (vav) and then He will reveal (mem) His Grace (hay).
I am so thankful that we Christians live in an Age of Grace. Our Lord is so gracious. Praise His name!
1 - Isaiah 22:6
2 - Romans 11:25
3 - Isaiah 10:20
4 - Jeremiah 30:7