Isaiah 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. In that day—“Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the LORD, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. 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. Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.” In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.’ Isaiah 27:1-6

Deliverance Of Israel

In this chapter, we read that God punishes Israel’s enemies and blesses Israel.

In that day God will smite Babylon. The sword is tempered for strength and it’s grim because of the destruction it can do. The enemy or enemies are set forth under the figure of the sea-serpent, leviathan. God’s sword is sweeping in that it cuts a wide swath. The Leviathan, Job 3:8 / Job 41:1, is probably like a crocodile, the Leviathan was the coiled serpent, Job 26:13.

We read of God’s tender care in delivering His people. God has kept His holy people and protected them throughout the centuries. The prosperity of the Lord’s people is represented by the ‘fruitful vineyard’ which brings forth a new song of praise.

God kept His vineyard and watered it, Matthew 28:18-20. in other words, there is never a time when God doesn’t watch over His children, Psalm 121:3-5.

He has been the eternal gardener who has continually watered His vineyard. He has consumed the briers and thorns, Isaiah 9:17 / Isaiah 10:17, in order that Jacob take root and bud forth throughout the world, Psalm 92:13-14.

‘Has the LORD struck her as he struck down those who struck her? Has she been killed as those were killed who killed her? By warfare and exile you contend with her—with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows. By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like limestone crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing. The fortified city stands desolate, an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the wilderness; there the calves graze, there they lie down; they strip its branches bare. 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 favour.’ Isaiah 27:7-11

Here we read of the punishment of Israel because of their sin and that God’s people shall no more be idolaters.

Israel, though captive, will not be smitten as their captors are smitten, Ezekiel 16:47, and it appears that Israel’s captivity destroyed their desire for idols.

His punishment was to purge them of their sin, and in doing so, His people had to purge themselves of idolatry, Isaiah 1:25, as well as cut down the Asherah poles, Isaiah 17:8, where they committed their spiritual adultery by bowing down to foreign gods.

The stones of idolatrous altars were to be beaten as fine as chalkstones and idol groves were to be destroyed. The overall purpose of the captivity was to cleanse Israel of idolatry.

Israel’s captors received no compassion, and the man who builds up his defences against God will finally come to destruction. In other words, if His people tried to build a fortified city against God’s chastisement, then they would have no understanding of His work, Proverbs 6:32 / Proverbs 18:2 / Jeremiah 5:21.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The scarcity of fuel, especially wood, in most parts of the east is so great, that they supply it with everything capable of burning; cow-dung dried, roots, parings of fruit, withered stalks of herbs and flowers, Matthew 6:21-30. Vine twigs are particularly mentioned as used for fuel in dressing their food. Ezekiel says, in his parable of the vine, used figuratively for the people of God, as the vineyard is here, ‘Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel,’ Ezekiel 15:3-4. ‘If a man abide not in one,’ saith our Lord, ‘he is cast forth as a branch of the vine and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned’, John 15:6. They employed women and children to gather these things, and they laid them up in store for use. The dressing and pruning their vines afforded a good supply of the last sort of fuel but the prophet says that the vines themselves of the beloved vineyard shall be blasted, withered, and broken, and the women shall come and gather them up, and carry away the whole of them to make their fires for domestic uses.’

‘In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. 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.’ Isaiah 27:12-13

These verses speak of the restoration of Israel. Israel, who were just ready to perish would, by royal edict, that of Cyrus, will return to Jerusalem to worship God.

God will call His people out of those places where they had been captive. They will be ‘gathered up one by one’, this implies it was up to the individual Jew whether he would stay or return. This is the same as in the Gospel system, some accept and some reject the Gospel.

From the dispersed children of the twelve tribes of Israel that were scattered throughout the former Assyrian Empire, and as far south as Egypt, Jeremiah 41:17-18 / Jeremiah 42:15-22, the remnant would be brought back into the land of promise. God would thresh out the grain from the chaff, and bring the devoted again into the land.

Cyrus issued a decree, Ezra 1:1, allowing each Jew to go back but many stayed and didn’t return.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Their temple shall be rebuilt, their city shall be restored, and in the place where their fathers worshipped shall they also again adore the living God. This closes the prophecy which was commenced in Isaiah 24, and the design of the whole is to comfort the Jews with the assurance, that though they were to be made captive in a distant land, yet they would be again restored to the land of their fathers, and again worship God there. It is almost needless to say that this prediction was completely fulfilled by the return of the Jews to their own country under the decree of Cyrus.’

Go To Isaiah 28