I was interviewed for this article on OT prophecy, particularly Isaiah 17, and whether it anticipates the current conflict.
Meanwhile, Dr. John Scott Redd, Jr., associate professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., pointed out the fundamental problem of applying Isaiah 17 to the modern Syrian conflict. “I believe that such an interpretation as that articulated in the article commits the exegetical error of uprooting the text from its historical setting,” said Redd, who is also president of RTS. “I understand the prophet Isaiah here as calling for repentance in the face of mounting Assyrian aggression. All of Isaiah 7-38 is given in the context of the Assyrian expansion and the Lord’s use of the empire to judge his enemies and the unfaithful in Judah.”
Redd added that while he believed the Isaiah passage has “meaning for us today,” this significance is “not in a direct prophecy-fulfillment sort of way.”
“Rather, we see here a picture of God’s presence in the world and his hand in national affairs. Just as Isaiah preached, we too should repent and turn to God in faith (and call for repentance in the world),” said Redd.
“I believe this message is crucial for the church both in the West and around the world.”