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Chapter 27

The Judgment and Deliverance of Israel

    On that day,
The Lord will punish with his sword
    that is cruel, great, and strong,
Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
    Leviathan the coiled serpent;
    he will slay the dragon[a] in the sea.(A)

    [b]On that day—
The pleasant vineyard, sing about it!(B)
    I, the Lord, am its keeper,
    I water it every moment;
Lest anyone harm it,
    night and day I guard it.(C)
I am not angry.
    But if I were to find briers and thorns,
In battle I would march against it;
    I would burn it all.(D)
But if it holds fast to my refuge,
    it shall have peace with me;(E)
    it shall have peace with me.

In days to come Jacob shall take root,
    Israel shall sprout and blossom,
    covering all the world with fruit.(F)
[c]Was he smitten as his smiter was smitten?
    Was he slain as his slayer was slain?
Driving out and expelling, he struggled against it,
    carrying it off with his cruel wind on a day of storm.(G)
This, then, shall be the expiation of Jacob’s guilt,
    this the result of removing his sin:
He shall pulverize all the stones of the altars
    like pieces of chalk;
    no asherahs or incense altars shall stand.
10 For the fortified city shall be desolate,
    an abandoned pasture, a forsaken wilderness;
There calves shall graze, there they shall lie down,
    and consume its branches.
11 When its boughs wither, they shall be broken off;
    and women shall come to kindle fires with them.
For this is not an understanding people;
    therefore their maker shall not spare them;
    their creator shall not be gracious to them.(H)
12     On that day,
The Lord shall beat out grain
    from the channel of the Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt,
    and you shall be gleaned[d] one by one, children of Israel.
13     On that day,[e]
A great trumpet shall blow,
    and the lost in the land of Assyria
    and the outcasts in the land of Egypt
Shall come and worship the Lord
    on the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.(I)

Footnotes

  1. 27:1 Leviathan…dragon: the description of Leviathan is almost identical to a passage from a much earlier Ugaritic text. The sea dragon became a symbol of the forces of evil which God vanquishes even as he overcame primeval chaos; cf. notes on 30:7; 51:9–10; Jb 3:8; 7:12; no power can challenge God. Leviathan is even spoken of playfully in Ps 104:26.
  2. 27:2–5 This passage mitigates the harsh words on Israel as the Lord’s vineyard in 5:1–7; here is given the rain there withheld, though Israel’s welfare is still made dependent on fidelity.
  3. 27:7–9 Israel was not treated as sternly as were its enemies whom God used to punish it. God did, however, drive Israel from its land, and if it wants to make peace with God, it must change its former cultic practices, destroying its altars and sacred groves (cf. 17:7–11).
  4. 27:12 Gleaned: God will harvest his people who have been scattered from Assyria to Egypt. Note the same language of gleaning to describe the remnant of the Northern Kingdom in 17:5–6.
  5. 27:13 The remnant of Israel will return to Jerusalem for worship; cf. 11:10–16.

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

27 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.

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

I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.

Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

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

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.

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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