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A Summary of the Isaiah 9:10 Harbinger - Part 1

Updated on September 23, 2014

In 2011, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn released his New York Times best seller, The Harbinger. A harbinger is an indicator or foreshadow of something to come; a forerunner. Isaiah 9:10 represents just that. “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”

Rabbi Cahn mentions nine harbingers, or warnings that have taken place in ancient Israel. These same signs are repeating themselves in America today. Before we briefly refer to these nine signs, let us look at the background of the verse.

The Harbinger

Isaiah 9:8-12 gives us the following information. “The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand isstretched out still.”

Crimes and Punishments

Albert Barnes gives this brief outline of the context in which he lists both the crimes and punishment of God’s people through chapter 10:4. ( Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

I. “Crime” - their pride and ostentation (Isaiah 9:8-9)

“Punishment” - the land would be invaded by the Syrians and the Philistines (Isaiah9:11-12).

II. “Crime” - they had apostatized from God, and the leaders had caused them to err (Isaiah 9:13, Isaiah 9:16)

“Punishment” - Yahweh would cut off the chief men of the nation, (Isaiah 9:14-15, Isaiah

III. “Crime” - prevalent wickedness in the nation (Isaiah 9:18)

“Punishment” - the anger of Yahweh, consternation, anarchy, discord, and want (Isaiah 19-21)

IV. “Crime” - prevalent injustice (Isaiah 10:1-2).

“Punishment” - foreign invasion, and captivity (Isaiah 10:3-4)

Pride and Arrogance
Pride and Arrogance

Need we mention America’s great pride and arrogance. The Chaldee translates verse nine as “All the people have exalted themselves, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, in their magnitude, and in the pride of their heart.”

God met their pride with an invading army. King Rezin of Syria ruled from Damascus during the 8th century BC. He was a tributary of Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. God would allow Israel to be attacked by the Assyrians as punishment for their great pride.

“For the leaders of this people cause them to err. . ."

God saw Israel’s second crime. In Isaiah 9:16 we read, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” It was the leaders of the nation of Israel who caused the people to err in apostasy. For this reason God cut off the leaders and the chief men of the nation.

God mentions crime number three in verse 18 of chapter nine, “For wickedness burneth as the fire . . . .” The wickedness of the people was everywhere – in the people and around the people. God answers with paralyzing dismay and fear.

Crime number four is listed as prevalent injustice by Barnes. We do not need to go into the injustice that takes place in America on a daily basis; from health care to improper care and abuse of the elderly to the safety and rights of children. The list goes on. America stands guilty – guilty of all four crimes mentioned in Isaiah 9.

The Harbinger is Sent

It is at this time in Israel’s history that God sends the harbinger to His chosen people. He begins with warnings. If the warnings are not heeded, sure judgment will fall. The Word of the Lord has declared this. The similarities between ancient Israel and America cannot be denied. The response of God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever can be expected if we continue to reject the only Hope we have. If we continue to neglect the warnings God has given us, the end is not far off.

The secondary prophecy of Isaiah 9:10 falls on America. I will not go into detail, but will simply list the applicable similarities. (For more information see The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn.)

Harbinger #1 - National Security Breach

Security Breach - As long as God’s people followed Him, they were protected. God blessed them. In a sense there was a hedge of protection around His people. Due to the disobedience and rebellion of Israel, God removed His hand of protection. The Assyrian army made its move. There was a breach in Israel’s national security.

Although not all founding fathers were Christians, the respect of God was still in their hearts. George Washington dedicated the new nation to God’s keeping on his inauguration day with the prayer that God would keep this young nation as long as we obeyed him. God has done just that, but now the nation is in disobedience. We have walked away from that God-given protection. As a result our national security has been breached. Our land has been attacked by the enemy – a warning that we have grossly ignored, just as Israel was warned and ignored the warning.

Harbinger # 2 - The Terrorist

It was the Assyrian army from the north that God would use to chasten His people. His hand of protection was upon Israel, but that was about to change. God’s hedge of protection was about to be breached by the largest army of the then known world – Assyria. Assyria was particularly dangerous because they specialized in bringing paralyzing fear to their victims.

They developed the science of flaying. According to, “In one version of the Flaying Torture, the victim's arms were tied to a pole above his head while his feet were tied below. His body was now completely exposed and the torturer, with the help of a small knife, peeled off the victim's skin slowly. In most cases, the torturer peeled off his facial skin first, slowly working his way down to the victim's feet. Most victims died before the torturer even reached their waist.”

In preparation for the flaying the victim was often left in the sun to burn the skin, or plunged into boiling water for several seconds to loosen the skin. This is how the Assyrian army gained its great power over the ancient world. Other forms of torture were used as well. They succeeded by terrorizing their victims. They were terrorists. In 732 BC, Israel’s hedge of protection was lifted and they were invaded by terrorists of the Assyrian army, and their terroristic methods.

Terrorism can be described this way: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments.” The Assyrians were the master of terrorism. In Isaiah 10:5-7 we read how God used this once great nation to spank His people – “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.”

Harbinger # 3 - The Falling Bricks

The breach had been made. The terrorists had attacked. After the attack, the city lay in ruins. What was left was a city of collapsed buildings and fallen bricks. The fallen bricks became a sign not of just what happened, but what would continue to happen if Israel did not repent; the collapse of a building, the collapse of a kingdom, the collapse of a civilization.

John D. W. Watts puts it this way – “There is no way for the people to ignore the obvious disaster. Yet they choose not to recognize its deeper meaning . . . They only respond (inadequately) to the threatening situation.” (World Biblical Commentary, Vol. 24) God had spoken, but they chose to ignore. The alarm had been sounded, but they chose to sleep.

America finds herself in the same position. 9/11 became the day of decision for the American people. The security of the nation had been breached allowing the terrorists to invade our airways and bomb our buildings. The sight of falling brick will remain in the memory of anyone who witnessed the attack on our land either first-hand or through television.

The third warning was in place. The sound of the alarm rang loud and clear. We heard it. We gathered in church houses. Prayer vigils were held all over the nation. Billy Graham preached a salvation message heard around the world by over two billion people. Days went by. Weeks went by. Months and years went by. The sound of the alarm was smothered and life returned to normal. America is more apostate now than ever.

There are six more harbingers that God gave to Israel and America. We will continue to briefly look at them next time, but for now - consider where America is headed, and what can we do about it.


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    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Just a couple of quick notes on Jeremiah 50, 51.

      Jer. 50:12 speaks of Babylon as having a mother country (as in England and America). Babylon in Iraq was the mother of mother countries. She did not have a mother country as this Babylon does. It also mentions in verse 12 that Babylon is a young nation among nations (that is a new world country).

      Jer. 50:26 mentions opening the storehouses of her utmost border. Could this be the riches of Alaska in oil and gold?

      Jer. 50:37; 51:9 speaks of the mingled people. America certainly is a land of mingled people and mixed races even to the point of allowing the enemy within our borders

      Jer. 51:7 speaks of a nation that has been blessed by God (has been a golden cup) and that God uses to bless others.

      Jer. 51:13 mentions a land of many waters. Iraq (Babylon) is pretty much land-locked. They may have irrigation, but there are only six US border states that are not surrounded by water. America has as its borders The Atlantic, The Pacific, The Great Lakes, The Bering Sea, and Lake Champlain among others. The waterways that criss-cross America are more than 216,000 miles in length. Truly we are a land of many waters.

      Jer. 51:14 talks of being attacked from the inside out. I know I'm not being politically correct, but who cares? We've trained the very ones who attacked us on 9/11 and continue to do so today. When will we ever learn?

      There's more, but at least that's a start. Remember too that the primary prophecy is against Babylon. Much of the prophecy fits Babylon, but not America, and vice versa. Hope that helps a little. Let me know what you're thinking.

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      2 years ago from USA- Florida

      Hi again Bill. For the record I never doubted you understanding of salvation. I think I probably over stated my point.

      Thanks for considering my perspective. I will mull over your response. I have not read all of the Harbinger, however I have watch a couple of his speaking engagement. I based my conclusion on his talk at the Presidential Prayer breakfast and another interview, I can't remember where it was.

      I am going to go look at the scriptures you referenced while I consider you perspective. I will get back to ya. Great topic something I have been wanting to dive into for a while just never got chance to do so



    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Aaron,

      I think we may be on the same p0age, just different wave lengths. Just to be sure, I fully believe that salvation is by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, plus nothing minus nothing. It is all the work of God. I know you know that, but for anyone else that may read this salvation is a gift that can't be earned, bought or bartered for.

      I also don't see Cahn as saying that America is the Modern day equivalent to Israel,or that America is God's chosen people, but most of the time in Scripture there does seem to be a primary and a secondary fulfillment of prophecy. The prophecy in Joel 2 deals with a literal locust invasion, but yet secondarily it also pictures the Great Tribulation.

      Certainly Israel was the primary focus of Isaiah 9:10, but secondarily I see the Hand of God moving the same way in 21st century America. We are certainly God's children, but I see destruction to a nation that knowingly, willingly, and legally murders 70,000,000 of her children. I see God removing His Hand of protection from a nation that defiles the very image of God through the legalizing of same sex marriages. The statistics involving abuse in this country are staggering.

      I could go on and on, but you get the picture. God will not allow us to shake our puny fist in His face forever.

      I also tie in Jeremiah 50, 51, and Revelation 18. When studying these passages the primary prophecy is against Babylon, but Secondarily it is against a nation that fits the description of America to a tee; Descriptions that don't fit Babylon of old. Obviously, it's more involved than a HP comment will allow. I've written a book on the subject. If you're interested, I'd be glad to send you a copy. Just drop me your mailing address.

      On a time-line, I don't think the destruction will take place until the Tribulation. Depending on your view of eschatology, we as Christians (whether we live in America or elsewhere) won't be here to see it. I hold a pre-trib view.

      I do believe the saints in the Old Testament were saved by faith, not by works. All of the feasts and sacrifices were pictures to them of the coming Messiah. Hebrews 11 is dedicated to those Old Testament saints who were saved by faith.

      Hey, I've said enough for now. Anything else you want to discuss let me know. I"m always open. Thanks for stopping Brother, and voicing your thoughts. Good to see you again!

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      2 years ago from USA- Florida

      Wow! Some pretty amazing comparisons.... Hmmm....?

      Bill I must confess, I struggle with Jonathan Cahn's premise that America is the Modern day equivalent to Israel. I also struggle in the idea that God's chosen people are the American people.

      I see a difference in the way God deals with us today. I am not a Christian because I live in America or because I was born into a Christian Family. I am a child of God, one of His "Chosen people", because I have been born again. Jesus redeemed me and has given me His grace. I am one of his, because He wrote his name upon my heart, I have been saved and sanctified. My salvation started internally and is working its way out.

      When God sees me he sees me, He sees me through the Blood of Christ. He does not see my worthless acts of righteousness, but rather, the righteousness of Christ.

      The New Testament Covenant or the “New Wine Jesus spoke of was to be put into a new Wine Skin A new covenant that would reach beyond a national barrier. It was to the individual, a person, not a people.

      What Must "I" do to be saved?

      Well if you were a part of the Old testament the answer would have been steeped in a boat load of works oriented traditions and if you weren't a Jew, well to bad for you, OR you would be required a 2nd Boat load of works oriented traditions designed to change you into an adopted Jew.

      My understanding is that Moses’ covenant was with a "People" or a "nation". To be a Jew I needed to be born a Jew and live within a Jewish society

      It is this distinction that I struggle with. What I have read from Mr. Cahn's Book. He sees America being judged in the same way God Judged Israel. Meaning all Americans are God’s Chosen People. God has not made a covenant with America; His promise is to the Christians living in America. Not Just American Christians, but to all Christians in all Countries.

      God probably will judge America and any nation that rises up in defiance against Him. However, I will not be judged in the same manner as the unbeliever. I am an American, but my relationship with God is not based on the American Constitution, or my patriotism. The harbingers that Jonathan Cohn speaks of are for a people whose relationship with God was defined by their religious performance as a people/race and their national boundaries. If his premise is correct, I will be judged based on America’s religious performance and notional boundaries, rather than my faith in Christ’s redemption and my personal relationship with God He afforded me. My relationship with God is based on my faith and his Grace.

      What Must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Saved from what? The wrath of God in this life and the next!

      Something to think about


    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Michael,

      It was a great book, and so factual. Who can deny America is on God's radar? Good to hear form yo9u, my friend!

    • Michael Adams1959 profile image

      Isaiah Michael 

      3 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

      Excellently put together with the pictures and videos. I loved the book, it is eye opening. Interesting so much of this prophecy comes from Isaiah and people want to read all they can on it. They want to turn back to God (at least their lips say so) but God does not hear their prayers. Why? look back into Isaiah a few chapters earlier, God will not hear our prayers if we harbor sin in our lives. Let's revive America through prayer and seeking God, but not just for America but all our Christian brothers and sisters around this world.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for spreading the word, Skye. May America know that there is a God in Heaven that loves them and wants to rescue them from the wrath to come. We once knew this, but somehow have forgotten. Thanks for all your encouragement, Sista. Go get 'em!

    • skye2day profile image


      4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Lifegate Bro I will be honored to share the word of the Lord. I am encouraged by your words. I am so thankful to know about your book. Way to go lifegate, God has truly used you in a marvelous way. Well done good and faithful servant. I can't wait to get my hands on your new book. Truly. In Christ Jesus love ya brother. Your sista. Skye

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Skye,

      The amazing thing to me is that many have heard of The Harbinger and just disregard it. It's pretty straight forward - nothing to really question, but that's the way people are. I would certainly appreciate you spreading the word as much as possible. Just to let you know, I just finished a new book now available on Amazon called the The Death of America: Prophecy of Doom. Feel free to check it out if you want. Have a great weekend Sista, and keep on keeping on for the Lord.

    • skye2day profile image


      4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Lifegate, Praise God dear bro!! Thank you so much for writing about this truth. I have spent many hours following Johnathan on the Christian networks and look forward to reading his book. It is truly amazing how God has led him to the nine harbingers. I thought seriously about writing about the harbingers but it is a huge topic to tackle. I was put on hold. You have done an excellent job preparing this writing lifegate. Job well done good and faithful sevant. As big as Johnathan book is millions still do not know of these warnings. I pray your writing goes all over the place. I will pass it along. I look forward to reading the rest of your harbinger writings. You tacked a big one.

      May God Bless all your works in abundance dear brother. I do hope all is well with you and your precious family. I am sure grandpa is enjoying the little ones. I love ya bro. Your sista , Skye

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      It really is interesting Mylinda. If you get a chance, get the book, The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. It's well worth the money. Good to see ya! Thanks for stopping by.

    • mylindaelliott profile image


      4 years ago from Louisiana

      It will be interesting to hear the next part.

    • Tamarajo profile image


      4 years ago

      I have the book but haven't read it. My youngest son has read it and has urged me to do so. All sounds so relevant and eye opening as is your article.

      How much clearer can God get than to show us where we are right in His very Word.

      It is high time to awaken from our slumber.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good Morning Jeff,

      Hope all is well in the great state of Michigan. The alarm has been sounded many times over by many people. It is my prayer likewise that America will listen and repent. As long as there is God, there is Hope!

    • GodTalk profile image

      Jeff Shirley 

      4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks for continuing to sound the alarm Bill. It is my prayer that America will listen and repent. God bless!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Blossom,

      America certainly isn't the only country that has rejected God and is heading for trouble, but the harbinger of Isaiah 9:10 is only connected to Israel of old, and America as there is much I left out. The book gives a thorough look at how America is being warned and the judgment that will follow if we do not heed the warning. I'm afraid we're running out of time here in America. Thanks for stopping by. You're always welcome.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I think you're right MsDora. A nation that rejects God cannot stand forever. The problem with America is that it was founded on Godly principles and we rejected Him. The only chance we have is to return. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      So well written - but it's not only America!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      It is very clear that respect for God and godliness is on the decline in America. Judging from the Biblical/historical examples you gave, it would be foolish to expect that any nation can toss God aside and remain strong. Thank you for sounding the warning.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      And I hope you're having a wonderful Friday afternoon, Bill. You're not that late, but as they say, better late than never, and I'm glad you could make it to the party. America has reached the point of every society of the past that has destroyed itself from the inside out. Unless there is drastic change (and very soon), I'm afraid America is done. Thanks for stopping by. It's always good to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The internet died on me so I'm sorry for being late to the party.

      Changes need to be made and soon. Whether one is Christian or heathen, it is not difficult to see that society is eating itself from the inside out.

      Great words to ponder this Friday afternoon.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You're quite welcome MT, and thank you for stopping by to read. It truly is sad that America has come to this, but the facts can't be denied. We are in trouble, and unless we do an about-face quickly, there may be no other choice except for God to intervene. God is a loving God full of mercy, but even He can only take so much. Thanks again for the visit.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      4 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks lifegate for an informative hub that will hopefully have people taking pause. It is so sad that our world has become so separated from God and what is really important. I look forward to reading the remainder of the harbingers. Hit many buttons and sharing this important article.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hello MG,

      Thanks for stopping by to read this hub. Hope you stop back to catch the other six harbingers. Glad you made the trip.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Faith,

      In a nutshell, you got it - "All I know to do is fall on my face before the Lord in prayer and ask for His mercy upon us all." That's all we can do, but we do need to do it, as a nation, not just one or two here and there. But it is the one or two here and there that make up the nation so let's just do it. Thanks for stopping by.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      I am not a Christian, but all the same a very interesting hub

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Very interesting hub dear Bill! Sin has separated us from God. We all need to repent and turn back to Him. We know the ending already, and that He is victorious, but the enemy wants to take as many souls with him as possible and he is running rampant in America with greed in the hearts of men and evil doing and murder on our hands.

      All I know to do is fall on my face before the Lord in prayer and ask for His mercy upon us all.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless,

      Faith Reaper

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Glad to see you stop by Lori. The true test of an OT prophet was that he was 100% accurate, and of course, in this case Isaiah was. The sad thing is that unless we as a nation get back to where we started, the same thing will happen, and is happening in America. Thanks for making the trip!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Jackie,

      You said it all - I probably didn't need to write the hub. As you said, people today would just as soon curse God. Without repentance America is in deep trouble. Thanks for the visit.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Excellent read. Love the images. So thankful the Lord is just and merciful and coming back again. He will be our strength as it all plays out. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus.

      You mentioned false prophets. There are so many out there. What bothers me is they are always tooting their horn about being prophets. They give off the air of being more special than the average Christian and they prophesy over people and places every time they enter a room. If you listen to their prophecies, many of them are so generic that they are bound to come true. I have yet to hear one self-proclaimed prophet be accurate all the time. I heard one so called prophet the other day doing a Q & A and someone asked her if someone can be a prophet when some prophecies end up not happening. She said of course, there is room for human error. I don't know about that, but it seems to me she conveniently defended that as she herself as prophesied falsely. If someone goes around saying "I am a prophet of God" or "I am an Apostle" they likely are not at all. No humility.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So horrible what could come upon us and most would curse God I think rather than try to do what God would want. I have been so shocked since 911 that we are more open to be attacked than we were before. As you have shown us though it is the same with Israel. The world would have us become our own god and creator when the bible teaches us I think to humble ourselves, fall upon our knees with dirt thrown over ourselves to cover any glory with our full attention on God and obeying what He would have us do. ^+


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