28:1 Woe to the a crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty [is] a fading flower, who [are] on the head of the rich b valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
(a) Meaning, the proud kingdom of the Israelites, who were drunk with worldly prosperity. 28:2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and c 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.
(b) Because the Israelites for the most part dwelt in plentiful valleys, he means by this the valley of them who had abundance of worldly prosperity and were as it were crowned with garlands.
(c) He seems to mean the Assyrians, by whom the ten tribes were carried away. 28:4 And the glorious beauty, which [is] on the head of the rich valley, shall be a fading flower, [and] as d the early fruit before the summer; which [when] he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
(d) Which is not of long continuance, but is soon ripe and first eaten. 28:5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, to the e remnant of his people,
(e) Signifying that the faithful who do not put their trust in any worldly prosperity but made God their glory, will be preserved. 28:6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for f strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
(f) He will give counsel to the governor and strength to the captain to drive the enemies in at their own gates. 28:7 But g 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 overwhelmed with wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment.
(g) Meaning, the hypocrites who were among them, and were altogether corrupt in life and doctrine, which is here meant by drunkenness and vomiting. 28:9 h 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.
(h) For there was no one that was able to understand any good doctrine: but were foolish and as unfit as young babes. 28:10 For i precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:
(i) They must have one thing often repeated. 28:11 For with stammering k lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
(k) Let one teach what he can, yet they will no more understand him, than if he spoke in a strange language. 28:12 To whom l he said, m This [is] the rest [with which] ye may n cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
(l) That is, the prophet, whom God would send. 28:13 But the word of the o LORD was to 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.
(m) This is the doctrine on which you ought to stay and rest.
(n) Show to them that are weary and have need of rest, what the true rest is.
28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a p covenant with death, and with hell are we in agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not reach us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under q falsehood have we hid ourselves:
(o) Because they will not receive the word of God, when it is offered, it comes of their own malice, if after their hearts are so hardened, that they care not for it, as before, ( Isaiah 6:9 ).
(p) They thought they had shifts to avoid Gods judgments, and that they could escape though all others perished. 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a r tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth s shall not make haste.
(q) Though the prophets condemned their idols and vain fruit of falsehood and vanity, yet the wicked thought in themselves that they would trust in these things.
28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and t righteousness to the plummet: and the u hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow x the hiding place.
(r) That is, Christ, by whom all the building must be tried and upheld, ( Psalms 118:22 ; Matthew 21:42 ; Acts 4:11 ; Romans 9:33 ; 1 Peter 2:6 ).
(s) He will be quiet, and seek no other remedies, but be content with Christ.
(t) In the restitution of his Church, judgment and justice will reign. 28:19 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 y vexation only [to] understand the report.
(u) Gods corrections and affliction.
(x) Affliction will discover their vain confidence, which they kept secret to themselves.
(y) Terror and destruction will make you learn that which exhortations and gentleness could not bring you to. 28:20 For the bed is z shorter than that [a man] can stretch himself [on it]: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself [in it].
(z) Your affliction will be so sore, that you are not able to endure it. 28:21 For the LORD shall rise as [on] mount a Perazim, he shall be angry as [in] the valley b of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
28:25 When he hath made c even the face of it, doth he not cast abroad the black cummin, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the wheat in rows and the appointed barley and the rye in their place?
(a) When David overcame the Philistines, ( 2 Samuel 5:20 ; 1 Chronicles 14:11 ).
(b) Where Joshua discomfited five kings of the Amorites, ( Joshua 10:12 ).
(c) As the plowman has his appointed time, and various instruments for his labour, so has the Lord for his vengeance: for he punishes some at one time, and some at another, some after one sort, and some after another, so that his chosen seed is beaten and tried, but not broken as are the wicked.