Zechariah had another vision. He saw a giant, super elaborate, golden floor lamp standing between two olive trees. An angel was there beside him, and was all, Do you know what this lamp means?
And Zechariah was all, No.
And the angel was all, It symbolizes Zerubbabel, with whom God is super pleased because he finally started rebuilding the Temple.
Zechariah nodded sagely, and the angel went on, Do you know what the trees stand for?
The trees stand for the two guardians of the earth, the once and future kings, who will be back when needed!
In that future time, Micah bellowed, the once and future King will be born in the wee city of Bethlehem! That King will bring glory back to Judah! And when the Assyrians come again to conquer us and they will be conquered! People in exile will be returned! And in that time God will destroy the armies and strongholds! It will destroy fortunetellers and psychics! It will destroy idols and Asherim! In anger and wrath, It will destroy all nations that do not obey!
The true believer is a guy, a plain guy, maybe even a homely guy–a guy that everyone gives the cold shoulder. That no only really likes. A social outcast who accepts his pariah status without complaint. A scapegoat, really, whose degradation and ostracism heals those who prefer to pretend he just doesn’t exist. When he dies, he’ll be buried i with the other social outcasts, in those unmarked pauper graves marked John Doe, because no one will be around to identify the body. Unremembered, unmourned. But that’ll be ok, because God saw it all, and that guy will totally be super-rewarded in heaven.
One day a king will spring up among Jesse’s descendants who will be great. Awesome. With a word, all injustice will end. He’ll make Israel great again. I mean, predator and prey will cuddle and children will handle venomous snakes without dying. And in that day, all the Jewish diaspora will return to the Promised Land and they will all get along and there will be no more in-fighting.
Isaiah assured everyone that one day, everything would be ok again, because one day, everyone would turn back to God when that special baby was born and became the leader.
But first, God needed to punish all the children of Jacob, starting with Israel.
When Uzziah’s grandkid Ahaz was king, Syria and Israel amassed a bunch of troops on the borders of Judah, and everyone in Judah was super freaked out because it looked like war.
So God told Isaiah to go waylay Ahaz while he was chilling at the upper Pool, just off Washerwoman Lane, and to take his kid with him.
Isaiah cornered the king there and was all, God says to tell you that Syria and Israel will lose and that within 65 years, Israel would be destroyed and all the people sent into exile. What sign from God do you want, to verify this is Its words?
Ahaz was all, Far be it from me to make God proof Itself! I don’t need a sign!
Isaiah was all, You’re stupid. God wants to give you a sign. So here it is. A girl will get pregnant and her son will be named Immanuel, and before the kid is 10 or 12, Israel and Syria will be destroyed by Assyria. Got it? See, Assyria is God’s razor and Egypt is Its clippers, and together the two nations will shave the Jews–Head, beard, and balls.