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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 27

Verses 1-13

The Coming Judgment and Establishment of Jehovah’s Kingdom

The subject is the overthrow of a power hostile to God’s people, with a description of the deliverance of the Jews and their future glory. The hostile power is not named, and the tone of the whole prophecy is so general that it is impossible to assign it to any occasion. With the anticipated overthrow of the enemy the prophet associates in thought Jehovah’s final judgment of the world. Most modern scholars assign this whole section to a date later than the age of Isaiah, urging that (a) Isaiah’s time does not afford a suitable occasion, (b) the literary style is unlike Isaiah’s, and (c) some of the thoughts are characteristic of a later age, e.g. the conception of guardian spirits of earthly kingdoms (Isaiah 24:21), and the anticipation of a resurrection of God’s people from the dead (Isaiah 26:19). In these particulars the section exhibits affinity with the book of Daniel (Daniel 10:13; Daniel 12:1-2). The wide and general expressions used in these chapters make it easier to apply the important spiritual teaching contained in them to God’s people in every age.

Isaiah 24:1-12. The imminent judgment caused by man’s guilt.

13-15. The result—the remnant praise Jehovah.

16-23. The judgments that precede the establishment of Jehovah’s kingdom.

Isaiah 25:1-5. The hymn of those delivered when Jehovah’s kingdom is set up.

6-8. The blessings of which Zion shall then be the centre.

9-12. The thanksgiving of the redeemed for the fall of Moab.

Isaiah 26:1-4. Another hymn of the redeemed.

5, 6. The ground of this thanks-giving,. the overthrow of the hostile city.

7-14. Jehovah’s judgments teach the world righteousness and destroy oppression.

15-21. The wonderful revival of God’s people.

Isaiah 27:1-6. Jehovah’s care for His people.

7-11. Their sufferings are due to their own sin and folly.

12, 13. But restoration awaits them.

Verses 1-13

1. The powers hostile to God’s people are here symbolically represented as monsters. Leviathan the piercing (RV ’swift’) serpent perhaps stands for Assyria, watered by the rapid Tigris, and ’leviathan the crooked serpent’ (RV) for Babylon, whose river was the winding Euphrates. The dragon] crocodile, i.e. Egypt, as in Isaiah 51:9.

2. Sing ye, etc.] RV ’a vineyard of wine, sing ye unto it.’ The vineyard is God’s people (Isaiah 5); the song begins at Isaiah 27:3.

4. Who would, etc.] RV ’would that the briers and thorns were against me.’ Go through] RV ’march upon.’ God’s anger against his vineyard has ceased, and He will now turn against their enemies, figuratively represented as briers and thorns (Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:17).

5. A gracious overture even to God’s enemies.

6. He shall cause] RV ’In days to come shall Jacob take root’; the image of the vineyard continued.

7. Hath Jehovah smitten Israel as he smote their oppressors? Is Israel slain according to the slaughter of those slain by Jehovah? The implied answer is No.

8. When, etc.] RV ’when thou sendest her away thou dost contend with her; he hath removed her with his rough blast,’ etc. Israel has been smitten but only in measure.

9. The sense is that Israel’s sin will be purged on condition that it rejects all idolatry. The fruit] RV ’the fruit of taking away’: i.e. the result or proof of contrition required as a condition of taking away. Groves and images] RV ’Asherim and sun-images’: see Isaiah 17:8. Not stand up] RV ’rise no more.’

10. Defenced city] i.e. of the enemies (as in Isaiah 25:2). Some, however, understand Jerusalem, which must for a season be desolate.

11. It] i.e. Israel.

12. Beat off] RV ’beat off the fruit’ as from oüve trees (Deuteronomy 24:20). The ingathering of exiled Israel compared to a fruit harvest. River] RV ’River,’ i.e. Euphrates. Stream of Egypt] the stream dividing Palestine from Egypt (1 Kings 8:65).

13. Trumpet] summoning the sacred assembly (Numbers 10:1-10).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 27". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.