Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 28

Verses 1-29

Here begins the third and last circle of the first division of the book. It consists of a series of prophecies concerning the chosen people and the world.

In this chapter we have a graphic revelation of the difficulties with which Isaiah had to contend, and of his unswerving loyalty to truth. It falls into four parts. In the first (verses Isaiah 28:1-6), the prophet announces the judgment on Ephraim. His glorious beauty is to be consumed before the oncoming scourge. This judgment, however, is to move toward the ultimate victory of Jehovah. The second part (verses Isaiah 28:7-13), reveals how the message of the prophet was received. It opens with a vivid picture of an unhallowed carousal, in which priest and prophet alike are overcome by strong drink. Then their taunting of the prophet is recorded, "Whom will he teach knowledge?" To this he answers by declaring that there is another method of speech, and moreover, that there was purpose in the halting method he had adopted. He then warns the scorners of their folly (verses Isaiah 28:14-22), describing their false covenant with death, declaring Jehovah's word that it shall be disannuled, and urging them to cease their scorning. Finally (verses Isaiah 28:23-29), by a series of remarkable illustrations drawn from agriculture the prophet declares that the judgments of God are methodical and move perpetually to purpose.