Isaiah 27 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
I. D. 4. Destruction of the oppressor and Preservation of God's people, 27:1-13
1. In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword
shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent,
even leviathan that crooked serpent;
and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the sea.
leviathan {meaning: sea monster, crocodile}... the serpent... the dragon...-
These three terms refer to Satan, who troubles the sea of humanity. The terms also apply to the satanically empowered 'beasts' of the Tribulation period (the Antichrist and his false prophet, cp. Rev 12:9; 13:1-4,11). (The OT prophets depict Satan as the power behind the nations: the serpent of the Euphrates, the self-appointed king of the seas, the dragon of the Nile. eg., Isa 14:29; Eze 28:2; 29:3)
     The 'crooked serpent' is the father of lies and the great deceiver. The 'piercing {lit., fleeing} serpent' withdraws from his victims after robbing them of life with his venom. see Joh 8:44
the LORD... shall punish {ie., attend to, deal with} Leviathan...-
What punishment is fitting for such monsters?
The righteous Judge will deal with him according to his crimes, in the day that He arises to avenge His people. "He shall slay {kill, destroy} the dragon..." (Rev 19:20; 20:2,10). (He will similarly 'deal with' the inhabitants of the earth who followed the lie. cp. Isa 26:21; Rev 2:23; 6:8; 20:15)
with his sore {ie., harsh, fierce} and great {ie., intense, superior} and strong {ie., mighty} sword...-
This is the sword that proceeds out of His mouth, the Word of God which shall not return void, but shall accomplish all His purposes (cp. Deu 32:41-43; Isa 55:11; Rev 19:15).
     The Word of God is a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12). While it devours His enemies, it also brings health to His people. The emphasis is upon the latter, in Isaiah 55 (including the verse referenced above), and also in the verses that follow:
2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.
3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment:
lest [any] hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
4 Fury [is] not in me:
who would set the briers [and] thorns against me in battle?
I would go through them, I would burn them together.
5 Or let him take hold of my strength,
[that] he may make peace with me;
[and] he shall make peace with me.
6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root:
Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
in that day...- The day of destruction for Leviathan will be the day of restoration for Israel.
Note that the restoration applies, not only to Judah (cp. Isa 26:1), but to all Israel ('them that come of Jacob,' v.6).
A vineyard of red {or, pleasant} wine...- This is Israel, the vineyard of the Lord.
Previously the vineyard was unprofitable and a grief to its Husbandman (Isa 5:1-7).
But now, having restored it to fruitfulness, He rejoices over it, nourishing and caring for it tenderly.
fury is not in me...- Once, He laid the vineyard waste in His wrath.
But now He watches "lest any hurt it."
who would set briers and thorns against me...? -
As Leviathan was the enemy of God's vineyard, from without, briers and thorns were enemies within. As the Lord dealt severely with the threat from outside, He will deal also with any threat from within (cp. Isa 5:6; Heb 6:8).
     Yet, to any potential enemies, He graciously offers another option...
Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me...-
The LORD, who can easily consume all offenders in fiery judgment, offers Israelites, who formerly opposed His purposes, the opportunity of peace with God. For He is also Mighty to Save. Isa 57:19; 63:1; cp. 1Tim 1:12-16; Rom 5:1
He shall cause them... to take root... blossum and bud... and fill... the world with fruit {or, increase}.-
cp. Isa 37:31; 49:21; 54:1; Hos 2:23; Zech 10:8,9; Rom 11:15-27
7. Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him?
[or] is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him?
8 In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it:
he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.
9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged;
and this [is] all the fruit to take away his sin;
when he maketh all the stones of the altar
as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder,
the groves and images shall not stand up.
10 Yet the defenced city [shall be] desolate,
[and] the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness:
there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down,
and consume the branches thereof.
11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off:
the women come, [and] set them on fire:
for it [is] a people of no understanding:
therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them,
and he that formed them will shew them no favour.
Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him?- The answer is 'No.'
Although the 'rough wind' of judgment pressed upon the vineyard, the Lord 'debated' {ie., contended) with it, limiting its violence toward Israel while bringing destruction upon their enemies ('those that smote' Israel). Isa 10:20-25; Jer 30:11-16; 46:28
by this... shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged...and... all the fruit to take away his sin...-
The winds of judgment would destroy Israel's idolatrous altars (including that of the defiled Temple) and her walled cities (eg., Jerusalem). Animals would browse on weeds growing among the ruins. Yet, this judgment would produce 'fruit' (ie., a beneficial result):
"The result of chastening is that iniquity is purged and sin taken away. So was it with the Tribes as a result of their captivity in Babylon. They were purged from idols and idolatry. Their present and future chastening will purge them from unbelief. This is not the expiation of guilt by the atonement of Christ, but the purging of a branch already in the True Vine." [GWms] cp. Joh 15:1-6
[Editor's explanation of "the purging of a branch already in the True Vine": Near the end of the Tribulation, Israel will recognize and receive their Messiah. Through faith in Him, the fountain of cleansing will be opened to all who believe (Zech 12:10; 13:1). These Jewish believers will be grafted back into the True Vine (Rom 11:23). During the final battle for Jerusalem, Israel's branch will be purged of all unbelievers (see below).]
when the boughs thereof are withered... they shall be broken off... set... on fire...-
Those Israelites, who remain disconnected from the 'True Vine' (through unbelief and rebellion) will be broken off and consumed in judgments like those that will befall the idolatrous world system (Zech 13:8,9; cp. Isa 25:2 re: the world system).
it is a people of no understanding...-
Such are those who cling to false gods to their own destruction, while refusing their Creator's mercy. cp. Isa 44:18-20; Mat 13:15; Rom 1:18-21
12 And it shall come to pass in that day,
[that] the LORD shall beat off
{thresh, cp. Deu 24:20; Isa 24:13-16}
from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt,
{cp. Isa 11:11-16}
and ye shall be gathered one by one,
{cp. Jer 3:14; Amos 9:9,10}
O ye children of Israel.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shall be blown,
and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria,
and the outcasts in the land of Egypt,
{cp. Isa 18:3-7; Zech 9:14-16; Mat 24:31}
and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
{cp. Isa 2:3; 25:6-9}

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