The prophet threatens Ephraim for their pride and drunkenness, 1-4. The remnant shall be advanced in the kingdom of Christ, 5, 6. He rebukes their error, 7, 8; their being apt to learn, 9-13; and their security, 14, 15. Christ the sure foundation is promised, 16. Their security shall be tried, 17-22. They are incited to the consideration of God's discreet providence, 23-29.
1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, who are on the head of the rich valleys of those who are overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one. As a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, he shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under feet.
4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley, shall be a fading flower and as the early fruit before the summer, which he who looks upon it sees, and while it is yet in his hand he eats it up.
5 In that day the LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty to the residue of his people,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him who sits in judgment and for strength to those who turn the battle to the gate.
7 But 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.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no clean place.
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue he will speak to this people,
12 To whom he said, "This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest," and, "This is the refreshing," yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was to them, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little, so that they might go and fall backward and be broken, snared, and taken.
14 Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, who rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death and we are in agreement with hell. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it shall not reach us, for we have made lies our refuge and under falsehood we have hid ourselves,"
16 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay a stone in Zion for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation. He who believes shall not make haste.
17 I will also lay judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet. And the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be made void and your agreement with hell shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge passes through, you shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goes forth it shall take you. For morning by morning it shall pass over, by day and by night. And it shall be a vexation only to understand the report."
20 For the bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself on, and the covering narrower than he can wrap himself in.
21 For the LORD will rise as on mount Perazim, he will be angry as in the valley of Gibeon, so that he may do his work, his strange work, and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
22 Now therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong, for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
23 Give ear and hear my voice. Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman plow all day to sow? Does he open and break the clods of his ground?
25 When he has made even its face, does he not cast abroad the vetches, scatter the cumin, cast in the principal wheat, the appointed barley, and the spelt in their place?
26 For his God instructs him to discretion and teaches him.
27 For the vetches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart-wheel turned around upon the cumin. But the vetches are beaten out with a staff and the cumin with a rod.
28 Bread-grain is bruised, because he will not always be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes forth from the LORD of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in operation.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 28[➚]
[v.11-12] - Quoted in 1st Corinthians 14:21.
[v.16] - Quoted in Romans 9:33, 10:11; 1st Peter 2:6.