Isaiah 27




The crowning judgment of all is now briefly described. “In that day” — the

day of God’s vengeance — when all His other enemies have been put down,

Jehovah shall finally visit with His sword three mighty foes, which are

described under three figures — the first as “Leviathan, the

swift serpent;” the second as “Leviathan, the crooked serpent”; “and the

third as “the dragon that is in the sea.”  The imagery points to something

higher than the world powers of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Tyre, Media

or Persia, etc - “Leviathan,” in margin of Job 3:8, where the word first occurs,

represents a supra-mundane power — probably “the dragon,

the enemy of light, who in old Eastern traditions is conceived as ready to

swallow up sun and moon, and plunge creation in original chaos or

darkness” (‘Speaker’s Commentary,’ vol. 4. p. 28); and the “dragon” is a

customary emblem of Satan himself (Psalm 91:13; Isaiah 51:9;

Revelation 12:7, 9), the prince of darkness. The triple vengeance here

is parallel to the triple punishment, in the apocalyptic vision (Revelation

19:20; 20:10), of “the devil,” “the beast,” and “the false prophet,” who

have been termed by commentators “the three great enemies of God’s

kingdom(see ‘Speaker’s Commentary on the New Testament,’ vol. 4. p.



       Spiritual Wickedness in High Places Powerless to Resist God.


Isaiah taught explicitly the nothingness of highest powers of evil in any contest

with the Almighty. He had already stated that, at the end of the world, God

would visit and punish “the host of the high ones that were on high,” as well

as the “kings of the earth upon the earth” – (their cronies) -  (Isaiah 24:21).

He now presents evil in a threefold personal form of the highest awfulness and

grandeur, and declares its conquest in this threefold form by Jehovah. God is to

punish the two leviathans with His sword, and actually to “slay the dragon.”

This might seem to go beyond the statements of the Revelation of St. John

(Revelation 20:10); but it is probably to be understood, in the same

sense, of a living death. The triumph is at any rate complete, final,

unmistakable. Evil can do nothing against good, but is wholly overcome by



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vs. 2-6 - God's care for His Vineyard - a companion

            to ch. 5:1-7




In the former it was all wrath, fury, and judgment,

here all is mercy , loving-kindness, protection and



v. 3 - "I will water it every moment"


v. 4 – “who would set the briars and thorns against me in battle?

            The “briars and thorns” are apparently unrighteous members of

            the Church, who have fallen below their privileges. God asks,

            “Who will set the briars and thorns in array against me?” in a

            tone of contempt. “Who will dare to do battle against me with

            such weak material?” And then He adds a forecast of the

            result in such a case: “I would move forward; I would burn them all

            together” (Isaiah 10:17).



v. 5 – “Or let him take hold of my strength-  There is another

            alternative. If the “thorns and the briars” are not prepared to

            contend in battle against God, let them adopt a different course.

            Let them “lay hold of God’s strength,” place themselves under His

            protection, and make their appeal to Him, and see if they cannot “make

            their peace with Him.” A truly evangelical invitation! The enemies of

            God are entreated to cease from striving against Him, and are taught that

            the door of repentance is still open to them. God is willing to be reconciled

            even to his enemies. Let them make peace with him, make peace with

            him. The reiteration constitutes an appeal of extreme earnestness and

            tenderness, which none could reject but the utterly impenitent.


            vs. 7-11 -  THE COMING JUDGMENT UPON JUDAH A


            JUSTICE.  A coming judgment upon Judah has been one of the main

            subjects of Isaiah’s prophecy from the beginning. It has been included in           

            the catalogue of “burdens” (see Isaiah 22.). It will have to be one of the

            prophet’s main subjects to the end of his “book


v. 8 - “In measure” means “with forbearance and moderation” — the

punishment being carefully adjusted to the degree of the offence. God was

about to “put Judah away” — to banish her into a far country; but still He

would refrain Himself — He would “not suffer His whole displeasure to

arise,” or give her over wholly to destruction  - “in the day of the east

wind” - or of the national catastrophe, when His breath was fierce and hard

against His people, He would “sigh” at the needful chastisement. As Dr. Kay

well says, “Amid the rough and stern severity which He breathed into the

tempest, there was an undertone of sadness and grief.”



v. 9 – “By this-  by the punishment inflicted.” God accepts

punishment as an expiation of sin; and this punishment of Judah was

especially intended to be expiatory, and to remove at once his guilt, and the

evil temper which had led him into sin. Its fruit would be a revulsion from

idolatry, which would show itself in a fierce determination to destroy all

idolatrous emblems and implements, “altars … groves, images, and the like.


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v. 11 – “for it is a people of no understanding” - It was folly and madness, to

turn away from Jehovah, and go after other gods. Only through having “no

understanding”could Israel have been so foolish (Deuteronomy 32:28;

2 Kings 17:15;  Jeremiah 4:22). “He that made them... He that formed

them” - (Isaiah 43. ], 7). God “hateth nothing that He has made”. He made

all men, but He “made” and “formed” Israel with exceptional care, and

exceptional care leads on to exceptional love –“will not have mercy... will

show them no favor” - “will not spare.” No contradiction of vs. 7, 8 is

intended. God will have “measure” and “mercy” in His punishment of Israel,

but will not so have mercy as not to punish severely.



vs. 12-13 - The Lord collects all of Israel - "ye shall

            be gathered one by one" - "the great trumpet

            shall be blown"