Isaiah 28
Unready for Judgment
.1 ¶ Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
.2  Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
 3  The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
 4  And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
   1 - Ephriam Representing the Northern kingdom of Israel but the lessons are for us, too.
   5 - Crown For the remnant those who are not "drunkards of Ephraim" the Lord Jesus will be a crown. We may reflect His glory. Contrast with the "crown of pride" in verse 1 and 3.
   4 - Hasty fruit Literally, "early figs." This early fruit was very desirable. It came in June ho0910, mi0701. They would be quickly taken and devoured just as Samaria would be.
.5  In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
 6  And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
.7  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
 8  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
   6 - Spirit of judgment The corrupt judges would be judged.
   7 - Wine and strong drink Perhaps alcoholic beverages from grapes and grain. These symbolize the false philosophy and doctrines they had been studying although this situation was no doubt literal as well.
   8 - No clean place Centuries later Christ would tell the Pharisees the story of the rich man and Lazarus drawing on their own corrupted ideas to teach them truth lu1619.
.9 ¶ Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
.10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
.11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
 12  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
 13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
  9 - Understand doctrine They must be ready for solid food. Symbolically they are children who are taught gradually and from various experiences and explanations. Thus we learn the Scriptures from a variety of passages.
  11 - Another tongue Considering the next verse, we see that they would learn their lesson from the conquering nations. Cruelty would help them remember the Lord. Not listening to the prophets v13, they would fall and be taken captive. See how Paul interpreted the verse 1co1421.
  12 - Rest Following the Lord's instructions they would have peace but they would not listen.
  13 - But the word of the Lord The standard does not change. Rejecting grace, they were condemned by the law.
.14 ¶ Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
 15  Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
.16  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
.17  Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
 18  And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

  15 - Covenant with death See re0608.
  Notice that the cornerstone would make the contract invalid. The stone would be the Messiah. It applied to the people of Isaiah's time and especially to those at the time of Christ lu2018.Image copyright expired DA
.19  From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
 20  For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
.21  For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
 22  Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
   19 - Morning by morning The constant punishment of burning until it is finished re2010a-d&n.
   20 - Bed and covers too small Those who have not fully accepted the grace of God in their lives will be found inadequate in the judgment. They will have no rest and lack the robe of Christ's righteousness.
   21 - Wroth God's anger is not hatred but seriousness. In fact, the strange work, the strange act, is evidence. The scene is the final punishment of the wicked which we may think of as hell. It is strange because God is love. This quality doesn't change. When all efforts to save the wicked have failed, God will settle accounts with them and sadly let them die the eternal death ob16. They will have chosen the darkness. 
 23 ¶ Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
24  Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
 25  When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?
 26  For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
 27  For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
 28  Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.
 29  This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

   24 - Plow all day Understanding develops slowly. God instructs us in the ways of righteousness, v.26, but sanctification is a continuing work in the life.
   28 - Bread corn Better translated "Does one crush bread grain?" (RSV). God does the threshing in the right way and time. These are also lessons for us in helping people find the Lord. Image DA
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