Isaiah 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 Ezekiel 29:3 , 32:2 , Daniel 7:1 , &c. Revelation 12:3 , &c., potentates hostile to Israel are similarly described; antitypically and ultimately Satan is intended ( Revelation 20:10 ).
piercing--rigid [LOWTH]. Flying [MAURER and Septuagint]. Long, extended, namely, as the crocodile which cannot readily bend back its body [HOUBIGANT].
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 ( Psalms 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" 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; Isaiah 9:18 , 10:17 , 2 Samuel 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 ( 1 Kings 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 ( Isaiah 45:24 , Romans 5:1 , Ephesians 2:14 ; compare Job 22:21 ).
6. He--Jehovah. Here the song of the Lord as to His vineyard ( Isaiah 27:2-5 ) ends; and the prophet confirms the sentiment in the song, under the same image of a vine (compare Psalms 92:13-15 , Hosea 14:5 Hosea 14:6 ).
Israel . . . fill . . . world--( Romans 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 , Psalms 6:1 , Jeremiah 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; Isaiah 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 , Jeremiah 18:17 ).
9. By this--exile of Israel (the "sending away," Isaiah 27:8 ).
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 Isaiah 17:8 ).
not stand up--shall rise no more [HORSLEY].
10. city--Jerusalem; the beating asunder of whose altars and images was mentioned in Isaiah 27:9 (compare Isaiah 24:10-12 ).
calf feed--( Isaiah 17:2 ); it shall be a vast wild pasture.
branches--resuming the image of the vine ( Isaiah 27:6 ).
11. boughs . . . broken off--so the Jews are called ( Romans 11:17 Romans 11:19 Romans 11:20 ).
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 ( Deuteronomy 32:28 Deuteronomy 32:29 , Jeremiah 5:21 , Hosea 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 ( Deuteronomy 24:20 ), and then gathered.
stream of Egypt--on the confines of Palestine and Egypt ( Numbers 34:5 , Joshua 15:4 Joshua 15:47 ), now Wady-el-Arish, Jehovah's vineyard, Israel, extended according to His purpose from the Nile to the Euphrates ( 1 Kings 4:21 1 Kings 4:24 , Psalms 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 ( Leviticus 23:24 ). Antitypically, the gospel trumpet ( Revelation 11:15 , 14:6 ) which the Jews shall hearken to in the last days ( Zechariah 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 1 Corinthians 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 ( Jeremiah 3:18 ).
Egypt--whither many had fled at the Babylonish captivity ( Jeremiah 41:17 Jeremiah 41:18 ). Compare as to the future restoration, Isaiah 11:11 Isaiah 11:12 Isaiah 11:16 , 51:9-16 ("Rahab" being Egypt).