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Isaiah: Chapter 27

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1On that day the LORD with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

2

On that day: A pleasant vineyard, sing about it! 3 I, the LORD, am its keeper; every moment I water it. I guard it night and day so that no one can harm it; 4 I have no wrath. If it gives me thorns and briers, I will march to battle against it. I will burn it up. 5 Or else let it cling to me for protection, let it make peace with me, let it make peace with me.

6

In days to come d Cn Compare Syr Tg:Heb my corpse Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots, and fill the whole world with fruit.

7

Has he struck them down as he struck down those who struck them? Or have they been killed as their killers were killed? 8 By expulsion, a Heb to the shades by exile you struggled against them; with his fierce blast he removed them in the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be expiated, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: when he makes all the stones of the altars like chalkstones crushed to pieces, no sacred poles b Heb Those to come or incense altars will remain standing. 10 For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness; the calves graze there, there they lie down, and strip its branches. 11 When its boughs are dry, they are broken; women come and make a fire of them. For this is a people without understanding; therefore he that made them will not have compassion on them, he that formed them will show them no favor.

12On that day the LORD will thresh from the channel of the Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, O people of Israel. 13And on that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

Notes:

b Cn Compare Syr Tg:Heb my corpse

c Heb to the shades

d Heb Those to come

Text Commentary view alone
Commentary spanning earlier chapters

Chs 24–27 : Judgment on enemies.

This loose collection of passages, many beginning “on that day,” some in psalm form ( 25.1–5; 26.7–19 ), presents a picture of general doom. These chapters are sometimes called the “Isaiah apocalypse” because of the frequent use of eschatological motifs.

26.7–27.1 : An apocalyptic psalm

with attached commentary. The psalm is in the form of a lament introduced by expressions of confidence in God the Just One and God's approval of the righteous.

12–15 :

The lament proper, on account of foreign domination, with a brief glance at the national history.

14 :

The dead do not live, a common theme in the psalms; only the living can praise God (Ps 6.5; 30.9; 49.10–20 ); see 39.18–19 .

15 :

Cf. 9.3 .

19 :

Your dead shall live, the response to v. 14 , expressing an intuition of a meaningful survival of death; cf. Ezek 37.1–14; Dan 12.2 .

20–21 :

An injunction to take cover in view of the coming judgment; the devout must wait a little longer for salvation, cf. 2.10,19,21 .

27.1 :

The coming judgment is restated in mythic terms. Leviathan, a monstrous sea creature representing chaos, is described with the same two epithets in the Ugaritic poems; see Job 3.8; 41.4; Ps 74.13–14 . The dragon (Heb “tannin”), either a distinct embodiment of chaos or another term for Leviathan.

27.2–6 : The vineyard, Israel, will be restored

(cf. 5.1–7 ). A good example of exegetical development in the book.

4 :

Thorns and briers, see 5.24; 7.23–24; 9.18; 10.17; 32.12–13 .

6 :

Cf. Hos 14.5–7 .

27.7–13 : Idolatry denounced.

Israel will be released from guilt when articles of false worship are removed; cf. 17.7–8 .

10 :

The fortified city, referring to the unnamed city of 24.10; 25.2; 26.5 . It will go back to nature, cf. 5.17; 7.24–25; 13.20–22; 17.2; 32.14 .

12–13 :

An appendix, anticipating the ingathering of dispersed Israelites from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt (Wadi el‐Arish).

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