Isaiah 27 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Isaiah 27)

Verse 1

[1] In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Leviathan — By this leviathan, serpent and dragon (for all signify the same thing) be understands some powerful enemy or enemies of God, and of his church or people, which may well be called by these names, partly for their great might, and partly for the great terror and destruction which they cause upon the earth.

The piercing — Which by its sting pierces deeply into mens bodies.

Crooked serpent — Winding and turning itself with great variety and dexterity. Whereby he seems to signify the craftiness and activity of this enemy, whose strength makes it more formidable.

Verse 2

[2] In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.

In that day — When this enemy shall be destroyed.

A vineyard — My church and people, of red wine, of the choicest and best wine, which in those parts was red.

Verse 3

[3] I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.

I keep it — I will protect my church from all her enemies, and supply her with all necessary provisions.

Verse 5

[5] Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.

Or — Or if at any time fury seem to be in me against my people.

Let him — My people.

Take hold — Which he may by humble prayer not only restrain from doing him hurt, but engage to do him good.

Verse 6

[6] He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.

Take root — To be firmly settled in their possessions.

Fruit — Their posterity shall seek habitations in other countries, and replenish them with people. But this seems to be understood of the spiritual seed of Jacob.

Verse 7

[7] Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him?

Hath he — He hath not dealt so severely with his people, as he hath dealt with their enemies, whom he hath utterly destroyed.

Of them — Of those who were slain by God on the behalf of Israel.

Verse 8

[8] In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.

In measure — With moderation.

When — When the vine shooteth forth its luxuriant branches, he cuts them off, but so as not to destroy the vine.

Contend — God is said to contend with men, when he executes his judgments upon them, Amos 7:4.

Stayeth — He mitigates the severity of the judgment.

In the day — In the time when he sends forth his east-wind; which he mentions because that wind in those parts was most violent and most hurtful.

Verse 9

[9] By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.

By this — By this manner of God's dealing with them.

When — Which sin of Jacob's shall be purged, when he shall truly repent of all his sins, and especially of his idolatry.

Altar — Their idolatrous altars. Possibly he may say the altar, with respect to that particular altar, which Ahaz had set upon the place of God's own altar; and this prophecy might be delivered in Ahaz's time, while that altar stood.

Chalk-stones — When he shall break all those goodly altars in pieces.

Not stand — Shall be thrown down with contempt.

Verse 10

[10] Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof.

Yet — Yet before this glorious promise be fulfilled, a dreadful and desolating judgment shall come.

The city — Jerusalem and the rest of the defenced cities in the land.

The habitation — The most inhabited and populous places.

The calf — This is put for all sorts of cattle, which may securely feed there, because there shall be no men left to disturb them.

Verse 11

[11] When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

Broken — That there may be no hopes of their recovery.

Women — He mentions women, because the men would be destroyed.

Not understanding — They know not the things which concerns their peace, but they blindly and wilfully go on in sin.

Therefore — Thus he overthrows their conceit that God would never destroy the work of his own hands.

Verse 12

[12] And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.

Beat out — It is a metaphor from grain which was beaten out with a rod or staff, and then carefully gathered and laid up.

From — From Euphrates to the Nile, which were the two borders of the land of promise. All the Israelites who are left in the land.

One by one — Which signifies, God's exact care of them.

Verse 13

[13] And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Trumpet — God shall summon them altogether by sound of trumpet, by an eminent call of his providence. He alludes to the custom of calling the Israelites together with trumpets.