Selected Grain by Grain

27 At that time God will unsheathe his sword,
    his merciless, massive, mighty sword.
He’ll punish the serpent Leviathan as it flees,
    the serpent Leviathan thrashing in flight.
He’ll kill that old dragon
    that lives in the sea.

2-5 “At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear.
    There’s something to sing about!
I, God, tend it.
    I keep it well-watered.
I keep careful watch over it
    so that no one can damage it.
I’m not angry. I care.
    Even if it gives me thistles and thornbushes,
I’ll just pull them out
    and burn them up.
Let that vine cling to me for safety,
    let it find a good and whole life with me,
    let it hold on for a good and whole life.”

The days are coming when Jacob
    shall put down roots,
Israel blossom and grow fresh branches,
    and fill the world with its fruit.

7-11 Has God knocked them to the ground
    as he knocked down those who hit them? Oh, no.
Were they killed
    as their killers were killed? Again, no.
He was hard on them all right. The exile was a harsh sentence.
    He blew them away on a fierce blast of wind.
But the good news is that through this experience
    Jacob’s guilt was taken away.
    The evidence that his sin is removed will be this:
He will tear down the alien altars,
    take them apart stone by stone,
And then crush the stones into gravel
    and clean out all the sex-and-religion shrines.
For there’s nothing left of that pretentious grandeur.
    Nobody lives there anymore. It’s unlivable.
But animals do just fine,
    browsing and bedding down.
And it’s not a bad place to get firewood.
    Dry twigs and dead branches are plentiful.
It’s the leavings of a people with no sense of God.
    So, the God who made them
Will have nothing to do with them.
    He who formed them will turn his back on them.

12-13 At that time God will thresh
    from the River Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt,
And you, people of Israel,
    will be selected grain by grain.
At that same time a great trumpet will be blown,
    calling home the exiles from Assyria,
Welcoming home the refugees from Egypt
    to come and worship God on the holy mountain, Jerusalem.

Deliverance of Israel

27 In that day,(A)

the Lord will punish with his sword(B)
    his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Leviathan(C) the gliding serpent,(D)
    Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster(E) of the sea.

In that day(F)

“Sing(G) about a fruitful vineyard:(H)
    I, the Lord, watch over it;
    I water(I) it continually.
I guard(J) it day and night
    so that no one may harm(K) it.
    I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
    I would march against them in battle;
    I would set them all on fire.(L)
Or else let them come to me for refuge;(M)
    let them make peace(N) with me,
    yes, let them make peace with me.”

In days to come Jacob will take root,(O)
    Israel will bud and blossom(P)
    and fill all the world with fruit.(Q)

Has the Lord struck her
    as he struck(R) down those who struck her?
Has she been killed
    as those were killed who killed her?
By warfare[a] and exile(S) you contend with her—
    with his fierce blast he drives her out,
    as on a day the east wind(T) blows.
By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned(U) for,
    and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:(V)
When he makes all the altar stones(W)
    to be like limestone crushed to pieces,
no Asherah poles[b](X) or incense altars(Y)
    will be left standing.
10 The fortified city stands desolate,(Z)
    an abandoned settlement, forsaken(AA) like the wilderness;
there the calves graze,(AB)
    there they lie down;(AC)
    they strip its branches bare.
11 When its twigs are dry, they are broken off(AD)
    and women come and make fires(AE) with them.
For this is a people without understanding;(AF)
    so their Maker has no compassion on them,
    and their Creator(AG) shows them no favor.(AH)

12 In that day the Lord will thresh(AI) from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt,(AJ) and you, Israel, will be gathered(AK) up one by one. 13 And in that day(AL) a great trumpet(AM) will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled(AN) in Egypt(AO) will come and worship(AP) the Lord on the holy mountain(AQ) in Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 27:8 See Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. Isaiah 27:9 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah

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