A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ISAIAH 19 REGION:
Biblical Events, Modern Occurrences and Spiritual Work.
To gain some geographical perspective in regard to Isaiah’s prophecy about a “highway from Egypt to Assyria” written in Isaiah 19:23-25, we will look at the modern nation states that comprise this area and highlight a few of the many significant historical and contemporary events from the region.
Abraham’s original journey through this region traverses through the seven modern nation states of: Iraq, South Eastern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
The Isaiah 19 Region: Biblical Events
Abraham was the first one to actually walk the Isaiah 19 highway. Abram, the patriarch, was born in Iraq, in a city called Ur, and set out on his journey from there.
One of the most amazing spiritual revivals in history took place in in Iraq, in the city of Ninevah. Ninevah is the modern city of Mosul in Northern Iraq, recently targeted by ISIS forcing all Christians to flee, die or pay a fee to the Islamic State in order to remain.
Reference link: Read about it in the book of Jonah
SOUTH EASTERN TURKEY
Also known as Asia Minor, Abram settled in Haran, located in what what is today, South Eastern Turkey. He lived there until he was 75 years old before continuing on in his journey.
Tarsus is a historic city in south-central Turkey and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle.
The Apostle Paul
The Apostle Paul’s conversion may have happened on the Isaiah 19 highway, near a town called Kawkab near the Syrian border toward Damascus.
According to Acts 9:10, a man named Ananias was living in the city Damascus in Syria. In Paul's speech in Acts 22, he describes Ananias as "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews" that dwelt in Damascus (Acts 22:12).
During his conversion experience, Jesus had told Paul (who was then called Saul) to go into the city and wait. Jesus later spoke to Ananias in a vision, and told him to go to the “street which is called, Straight” and ask "in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus". (Acts 9:11) Read about it in the book of Acts.
Reference Link: Kawkab
Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge in Jordan, approximately 2,680 feet above sea level, mentioned in the Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land.
Elijah, one of the more significant Old Testament prophets, ventured into this area with his successor Elisha and it was here that he was “taken up in a chariot of fire” into heaven. Read about it in the Book of 2 Kings.
The story of Ruth, from the region of Moab [Modern Jordan], was the daughter in law of Naomi the Hebrew, who famously said the words, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”
John the Baptist
The border of Jordan is where John the Baptist lived, ministered and the place where he baptized hundreds of people in the Jordan River, including Jesus.
The Way of the Patriarchs
One of the three main north-south highways in Israel is Highway 60, known as the "Way of the Patriarchs" since it follows the path of the ancient highway that runs along the length of the central watershed, and which figures prominently in the travels of the Biblical patriarchs.
It is along this history rich highway, where four ancient altars built by Abraham can be found:
1. Shechem, which is the modern city of Nablus in todays West Bank. .
2. Beit El, which is in the central West Bank adjacent to Ramallah - the previous headquarters of now deceased PLO Leader, Yasser Arafat.
3. Hebron, situated in the Southern West Bank and the location of the Cave of Machpelah where the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people are all believed to be buried.
4. Jerusalem / Mount Moriah, the location of Abraham’s willingness to lay Isaac upon the altar of sacrifice.
The King’s Highway
Another major highway in Israel is known as the King’s Highway which was an international road crossing the territories of many peoples.
Link: The King’s Highway
The Via Maris
The last of the north-south routes in Israel is the Via Maris, the modern name for an ancient trade route linking Egypt with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia — modern day Iran, Iraq, Israel, Turkey and Syria. In Latin it means "way of the sea" and is, quite perhaps, the route of the Isaiah 19 highway through Israel. Link: The Via Maris
It is in Egypt, where so many significant biblical characters and events are first introduced.
Abraham visits Egypt
Abraham traveled to Egypt to escape a severe famine in the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:10). Abraham’s visit did not go unnoticed, as Pharaoh’s officials reported to their king that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was extremely beautiful. Out of fear, Abraham told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister. As a result, Pharaoh temporarily inducted Sarah into his harem and paid Abraham many expensive gifts. However, the Lord struck Pharaoh’s house with plagues causing him to release her upon discovering that she was actually Abraham’s wife.
Joseph rises to power in Egypt. Read about it in the book of Genesis.
Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Read about it in the book of Exodus.
Moses in born in Egypt. Read about it in the book of Exodus.
The Exodus from Egypt. Read about it in the book of Exodus.
Flight into Egypt. The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13-23), in which Joseph fled to Egypt with his wife Mary and infant son Jesus after a visit by Magi because they learn that King Herod intends to kill the infants of that area.