Isaiah 27-28

is27.jpgGreetings!

Deliverance of Israel

27     In that day,

the Lord will punish with his sword,

his fierce, great and powerful sword,

Leviathan the gliding serpent,

Leviathan the coiling serpent;

he will slay the monster of the sea.

2 In that day—

“Sing about a fruitful vineyard:

3 I, the Lord, watch over it;

I water it continually.

I guard it day and night

so that no one may harm it.

4 I am not angry.

If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!

I would march against them in battle;

I would set them all on fire.

5 Or else let them come to me for refuge;

let them make peace with me,

yes, let them make peace with me.”

6 In days to come Jacob will take root,

Israel will bud and blossom

and fill all the world with fruit.

7 Has the Lord struck her

as he struck down those who struck her?

Has she been killed

as those were killed who killed her?

8 By warfare and exile you contend with her—

with his fierce blast he drives her out,

as on a day the east wind blows.

9 By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for,

and this will be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin:

When he makes all the altar stones

to be like chalk stones crushed to pieces,

no Asherah poles

or incense altars

will be left standing.

10 The fortified city stands desolate,

an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the desert;

there the calves graze,

there they lie down;

they strip its branches bare.

11 When its twigs are dry, they are broken off

and women come and make fires with them.

For this is a people without understanding;

so their Maker has no compassion on them,

and their Creator shows them no favor.

12 In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

Chapters 28-33 cover more “woes” for groups opposing Israel.  God wants them to come to repentance.

Woe to Ephraim

28     Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,

to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,

set on the head of a fertile valley—

to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!

2 See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong.

Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind,

like a driving rain and a flooding downpour,

he will throw it forcefully to the ground.

3 That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,

will be trampled underfoot.

4 That fading flower, his glorious beauty,

set on the head of a fertile valley,

will be like a fig ripe before harvest—

as soon as someone sees it and takes it in his hand,

he swallows it.

5 In that day the Lord Almighty

will be a glorious crown,

a beautiful wreath

for the remnant of his people.

6 He will be a spirit of justice

to him who sits in judgment,

a source of strength

to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

7 And these also stagger from wine

and reel from beer:

Priests and prophets stagger from beer

and are befuddled with wine;

they reel from beer,

they stagger when seeing visions,

they stumble when rendering decisions.

8 All the tables are covered with vomit

and there is not a spot without filth.

What vivid imagery of these people God is judging!

9 “Who is it he is trying to teach?

To whom is he explaining his message?

To children weaned from their milk,

to those just taken from the breast?

The next passage shows how the Israelites were mocking Isaiah (the “do and do” and such is a series of sounds in Hebrew) and how he responds back to them.

10 For it is:

Do and do, do and do,

rule on rule, rule on rule;

a little here, a little there.”

11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues

God will speak to this people,

12 to whom he said,

“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;

and, “This is the place of repose”—

but they would not listen.

13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:

Do and do, do and do,

rule on rule, rule on rule;

a little here, a little there—

so that they will go and fall backward,

be injured and snared and captured.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers

who rule this people in Jerusalem.

15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,

with the grave we have

made an agreement.

When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,

it cannot touch us,

for we have made a lie our refuge

and falsehood our hiding place.”

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,

a tested stone,

a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;

the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

17 I will make justice the measuring line

and righteousness the plumb line;

hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,

and water will overflow your hiding place.

18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;

your agreement with the grave will not stand.

When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,

you will be beaten down by it.

19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;

morning after morning, by day and by night,

it will sweep through.”

The understanding of this message

will bring sheer terror.

20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,

the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.

21 The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,

he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon—

to do his work, his strange work,

and perform his task, his alien task.

22 Now stop your mocking,

or your chains will become heavier;

the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me

of the destruction decreed against the whole land.

23 Listen and hear my voice;

pay attention and hear what I say.

24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?

Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?

25 When he has leveled the surface,

does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin?

Does he not plant wheat in its place,

barley in its plot,

and spelt in its field?

26 His God instructs him

and teaches him the right way.

27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,

nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin;

caraway is beaten out with a rod,

and cummin with a stick.

28 Grain must be ground to make bread;

so one does not go on threshing it forever.

Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it,

his horses do not grind it.

29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,

wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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