Isa 27:1-13. Continuation of the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, and Twenty-sixth Chapters.
At the time when Israel shall be delivered, and the ungodly nations punished, God shall punish also the great enemy of the Church.
1. sore -- rather, |hard,| |well-tempered.|
leviathan -- literally, in Arabic, |the twisted animal,| applicable to every great tenant of the waters, sea-serpents, crocodiles, &c. In Eze 29:3; 32:2; Da 7:1, &c. Re 12:3, &c., potentates hostile to Israel are similarly described; antitypically and ultimately Satan is intended (Re 20:10).
piercing -- rigid [Lowth]. Flying [Maurer and Septuagint]. Long, extended, namely, as the crocodile which cannot readily bend back its body [Houbigant].
crooked -- winding.
dragon -- Hebrew, tenin; the crocodile.
sea -- the Euphrates, or the expansion of it near Babylon.
2. In that day when leviathan shall be destroyed, the vineyard (Ps 80:8), the Church of God, purged of its blemishes, shall be lovely in God's eyes; to bring out this sense the better, Lowth, by changing a Hebrew letter, reads |pleasant,| |lovely,| for |red wine.|
sing -- a responsive song [Lowth].
unto her -- rather, |concerning her| (see on Isa 5:1); namely, the Jewish state [Maurer].
3. lest any hurt it -- attack it [Maurer]. |Lest aught be wanting in her| [Horsley].
4. Fury is not in me -- that is, I entertain no longer anger towards my vine.
who would set ... in battle -- that is, would that I had the briers, &c. (the wicked foe; Isa 9:18; 10:17; 2Sa 23:6), before me! |I would go through,| or rather, |against them.|
5. Or -- Else; the only alternative, if Israel's enemies wish to escape being |burnt together.|
strength -- rather, |the refuge which I afford| [Maurer]. |Take hold,| refers to the horns of the altar which fugitives often laid hold of as an asylum (1Ki 1:50; 2:28). Jesus is God's |strength,| or |refuge| which sinners must repair to and take hold of, if they are to have |peace| with God (Isa 45:24; Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14; compare Job 22:21).
6. He -- Jehovah. Here the song of the Lord as to His vineyard (Isa 27:2-5) ends; and the prophet confirms the sentiment in the song, under the same image of a vine (compare Ps 92:13-15; Ho 14:5, 6).
Israel ... fill ... world -- (Ro 11:12).
7. him ... those -- Israel -- Israel's enemies. Has God punished His people as severely as He has those enemies whom He employed to chastise Israel? No! Far from it. Israel, after trials, He will restore; Israel's enemies He will utterly destroy at last.
the slaughter of them that are slain by him -- rather, |Is Israel slain according to the slaughter of the enemy slain?| the slaughter wherewith the enemy is slain [Maurer].
8. In measure -- not beyond measure; in moderation (Job 23:6; Ps 6:1; Jer 10:24; 30:11; 46:28).
when it shooteth -- image from the vine; rather, passing from the image to the thing itself, |when sending her away (namely, Israel to exile; Isa 50:1, God only putting the adulteress away when He might justly have put her to death), Thou didst punish her| [Gesenius].
stayeth -- rather, as Margin, |when He removeth it by His rough wind in the day,| &c.
east wind -- especially violent in the East (Job 27:21; Jer 18:17).
9. By this -- exile of Israel (the |sending away,| Isa 27:8).
purged -- expiated [Horsley].
all the fruit -- This is the whole benefit designed to be brought about by the chastisement; namely, the removal of his (Israel's) sin (namely, object of idolatry; De 9:21; Ho 10:8).
when he -- Jehovah; at the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, His instrument. The Jews ever since have abhorred idolatry (compare Isa 17:8).
not stand up -- shall rise no more [Horsley].
10. city -- Jerusalem; the beating asunder of whose altars and images was mentioned in Isa 27:9 (compare Isa 24:10-12).
calf feed -- (Isa 17:2); it shall be a vast wild pasture.
branches -- resuming the image of the vine (Isa 27:2,6).
11. boughs ... broken off -- so the Jews are called (Ro 11:17, 19, 20).
set ... on fire -- burn them as fuel; |women| are specified, as probably it was their office to collect fuel and kindle the fire for cooking.
no understanding -- as to the ways of God (De 32:28, 29; Jer 5:21; Ho 4:6).
12. Restoration of the Jews from their dispersion, described under the image of fruits shaken from trees and collected.
beat off -- as fruit beaten off a tree with a stick (De 24:20), and then gathered.
river -- Euphrates.
stream of Egypt -- on the confines of Palestine and Egypt (Nu 34:5; Jos 15:4, 47), now Wady-el-Arish, Jehovah's vineyard, Israel, extended according to His purpose from the Nile to the Euphrates (1Ki 4:21, 24; Ps 72:8).
one by one -- gathered most carefully, not merely as a nation, but as individuals.
13. great trumpet -- image from the trumpets blown on the first day of the seventh month to summon the people to a holy convocation (Le 23:24). Antitypically, the gospel trumpet (Re 11:15; 14:6) which the Jews shall hearken to in the last days (Zec 12:10; 13:1). As the passover in the first month answers to Christ's crucifixion, so the day of atonement and the idea of |salvation| connected with the feast of tabernacles in the same seventh month, answer to the crowning of |redemption| at His second coming; therefore redemption is put last in 1Co 1:30.
Assyria -- whither the ten tribes had been carried; Babylonia is mainly meant, to which Assyria at that time belonged; the two tribes were restored, and some of the ten accompanied them. However, |Assyria| is designedly used to point ultimately to the future restoration of the ten fully, never yet accomplished (Jer 3:18).
Egypt -- whither many had fled at the Babylonish captivity (Jer 41:17, 18). Compare as to the future restoration, Isa 11:11, 12, 16; 51:9-16 (|Rahab| being Egypt).