The politicians who quoted Isaiah 9:10 after the 9/11 terror attacks probably meant it as encouragement.
But the new book “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future” explains that the verse actually is a statement of defiance to God — a nation essentially thumbing its nose at the Almighty.
And people are listening, as the project by author Jonathan Cahn has moved up to No. 7 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for Feb. 12.
The book also is listed at No. 1 among Amazon’s Christian fiction, No. 2 at Amazon’s mysteries, and No. 18 among books on religion.
Isaiah 9:10 states: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” (King James Version)
The words first were uttered by leaders in ancient Israel in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulon and Naphtali – an attack the prophet makes clear is part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn’t meant to destroy the nation but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.
But historically, the northern kingdom of Israel did not repent of its rebellion against God’s commandments and eventually was conquered and deported from its land by the ancient Assyrians. Eventually, the southern kingdom of Judah was also overcome by the Babylonians after the Jews refused to repent as well.
In “The Harbinger,” Cahn shows uncanny similarities between what’s stated in Isaiah 9:10 and the 21st century events of 9/11 and the years afterward, suggesting America is currently under a time of focused judgment by Almighty God.
Cahn claims the prophecy’s statement that “the bricks are fallen down” refers to the crumbling of the World Trade Center in New York City. The verse, he said, connotes an attitude of defiance, a desire to rebuild with stronger materials instead of acknowledging the hand of God and moving toward national repentance.
As WND reported, two major American political figures read the Isaiah 9:10 prophecy in public after the 9/11 attacks.
“In the aftermath of the attack, the nation was stunned,” said Cahn, “Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, September 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world. And what did he say?”
Daschle said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.”
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10:
"Daschle has no idea what he is doing here," says Cahn. "He thinks he's offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn't realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation."
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn't even serve in Barack Obama's cabinet.
Then, on the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another powerful U.S. senator running for vice president that year, who would famously run for the presidency four years later, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards' entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10: "Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord's Word to get us through," he said. He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars.
"Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he's invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he's actually inviting judgment on America," says Cahn. "He's repeating the vow that provoked God to bring calamity on ancient Israel."
Cahn is known and respected nationally for his profound and deep explorations of biblical truth. He serves as senior pastor and rabbi of the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel in Wayne, N.J., and is president of Hope of the World Ministries.
"The Harbinger" earlier was designated No. 1 among Hot New Releases on Amazon, and the Charisma House/Frontline Books project on Jan. 9 hit the Times best sellers list.
The book also became an immediate first week sell-out with booksellers nationally, forcing the publisher to boost its original print run of 50,000 to a reprint of 250,000 copies to meet immediate retail re-stock demands.
The book is framed in a fictional narrative, but "The Harbinger" is a non-fiction work that contains one of the most controversial, unique and potentially ominous revelations concerning America – its past, present, and future, and how it connects with a 3,000-year-old prophecy from the Bible's Old Testament book of Isaiah.
Cahn's "The Harbinger" reveals precise ties to the foretelling of recent events in modern day America with stunning accuracy down to the exact day of the stock market collapse in 2008.
Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, termed the book "extraordinary" during an appearance last week by the author on CBN's "The 700 Club."
And media executive Joseph Farah of WND.com has expressed his intention of bringing "The Harbinger" to wider audiences through a film documentary that explores Cahn's in-depth connections of ancient prophecy to modern events.
Cahn's project focuses on the appearance of nine prophetic harbingers, or warning signs, from ancient times manifesting to America. He explains the Assyrian invasion, Israel's ruin and ultimate exile are remarkably being mirrored in a sequence of events that started unfolding on 9/11.
At Amazon, there currently are 78 five-star ratings and 8 of one star.
Wrote reviewer Dennis, "If you were sitting in a jury box, with America on trial, and listened to the facts presented by the author, the only verdict possible is guilty – beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not too late for our nation and its people to self-correct. The warning has been sent. Ignore it at your own peril."
Janice added, "The Harbinger is a must read for all who love America and want to see it prevail as a blessed nation."