Isaiah 56:9-12

God’s Accusation Against the Wicked

9 Come, all you beasts of the field, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!
10 Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep.
11 They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.
12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.”

Isaiah 56:9-12 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 56

This chapter contains a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, and their accession to the church, and of the corrupt state of the church afterwards, especially of its rulers, which brought in men comparable to wild beasts to devour. It begins with an exhortation to the duties of judgment and justice, enforced by the nearness of Christ's salvation, and the clear relation of his righteousness in the Gospel, and by the blessedness of the man that does those duties, and lays hold on those blessings, and observes the whole of religion, instituted and moral, Isa 56:1,2, when encouragement is given to eunuchs, and strangers or Gentiles, sensible and religious persons, to hope for acceptance with God, and that they shall be welcome to his house, with an answer to their objections, and promises of special favours, Isa 56:3-7 to which is subjoined a promise or prophecy of future additions, both of Jews and Gentiles, to the church of God in the latter day, Isa 56:8 and then follows a call upon some savage people, comparable to wild beasts, to come and devour, which will be previous to the above prophecy, Isa 56:9, the reason of which is the sad corruption of the rulers of the church, their ignorance, negligence, avarice, and drunkenness, Isa 56:10-12.

Isaiah 56:9-12 In-Context

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
8 The Sovereign LORD declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”
9 Come, all you beasts of the field, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!
10 Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep.
11 They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.
12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.”

Cross References 10

  • 1. Isaiah 18:6; Jeremiah 12:9; Ezekiel 34:5,8; Ezekiel 39:17-20
  • 2. S Isaiah 52:8; Isaiah 62:6; Jeremiah 6:17; Jeremiah 31:6; Ezekiel 3:17; Ezekiel 33:7
  • 3. Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 10:21; Jeremiah 14:13-14
  • 4. Nahum 3:18
  • 5. Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 34:2
  • 6. Isaiah 1:3
  • 7. S Isaiah 53:6; Hosea 4:7-8
  • 8. Isaiah 57:17; Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 8:10; Jeremiah 22:17; Ezekiel 13:19; Micah 3:11
  • 9. S Leviticus 10:9; S Proverbs 23:20; S Isaiah 22:13
  • 10. Psalms 10:6; Luke 12:18-19