12 Woe [howy] to the multitude [hamown] of many [rab] people [`am], which make a noise [hamah] like the noise [hamah] of the seas [yam]; and to the rushing [sha'own] of nations [laom], that make a rushing like the rushing [sha'ah] of mighty [kabbiyr] waters [mayim]! KJV-Interlinear
12 Alas, the uproar of many peoples Who roar like the roaring of the seas, And the rumbling of nations Who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters! NASB
Woe, ‘howy,’ means ah ha, alas, anguish, affliction, grief, distress, despair. And so now Isaiah, numbers the armies that number in numbers beyond counting, and proud beyond pride, for they will ignore the warning, woe, and charge into the jaws of a destruction of their own making.
Certain of victory, but blind of truth.
The armies of Armageddon, will be made up of huge numbers. But Armageddon will not occur until the very end of the Tribulation, and well after the entire world has been brought to the brink of destruction.
And yet, the manufacturing and preparation of the implements of war will remain the priority of world leaders, as they are driven by Satan for the sole purpose of the destruction of all of humanity.
It won’t matter that people the world over will be in need of rescue, repair, and support in every kind imaginable. The hate and drive fueled by Satan, will override all reason and logic, and compassion.
And here, Isaiah describes the vast numbers of the many armies that will assemble in the Middle East, in terms of the noise of restless stormy seas. So loud, that you would not be able to hear yourself think. But so loud as to describe the vastness of their numbers, of their intentions, and of their purpose.
It will not be a mere remnant that will be fighting in that last war, but there will still be a huge world population remaining, to prepare for the fight, to supply the fight, and to carry out the fight. Numbers that could easily be used for the recovery of humanity, but will be driven for its extinction.