The Vision of Isaiah

Chapter 28

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.

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!

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.

The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim/
shall be trodden under feet.

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.

In that day the LORD of hosts will be/
for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty/
to the remnant of his people,

And for a spirit of judgment to him who sits in judgment/
and for strength to those who turn the battle to the gate.

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.

For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness/
so that there is no clean place.

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 language/
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.