WHO OR WHAT IS “ARIEL” IN ISAIAH 29?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Who or what is “Ariel” in Isaiah 29? “ Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.  Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel ….  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition [stronghold, fort], and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.”
The context clue, of course, is found in verse 1. “Ariel” is a city, or, specifically, “the city where David dwelt.” This is none other than Jerusalem, whose Hebrew symbolic name here means “lion of God.” Jerusalem is likened unto a mighty lion, majestic and unconquered. Nevertheless, Gentile soldiers will attack and she will be humbled. This could be a reference to either Assyrian King Sennacherib (701 B.C.) or Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (606–586 B.C.), but it is definitely the Antichrist’s armies in the ages to come. Isaiah chapters 10, 30, 36–37, and 39 describe the Gentile troops targeting Jerusalem for its heathen idolatry, but how the LORD spares the city from total ruin. These historical events loop ahead to the Battle of Armageddon, when the Antichrist’s allies assemble to destroy Jerusalem. However, Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming to defend Ariel and overcome her assailants!
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:1-4).