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20 Your bed is too short to stretch yourself out on,
    and your covering is too narrow to wrap yourself in.[a]
21 The Lord Yahweh will suddenly arise
    as on Mount Perazim[b] and in the valley of Gibeon.[c]
    He arises to accomplish his strange work—peculiar as it is—
    his strange work of judgment?[d]
22 So do not mock, or your bonds will grow tighter.
    For I have heard the decree from my Lord Yahweh,
    Commander of Angel Armies.
    He spoke a decree of destruction against the whole land.

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 28:20 The bed is a metaphor for their confidence in lies—resting in illusions, not the truth. Those who trust in lies will not be comfortable. The covering being too narrow means their nakedness (like hiding behind fig leaves) will still be exposed. They will be too cramped and too cold. Every resting place and shelter will fail them.
  2. Isaiah 28:21 This mountain is also called Baal-Perazim (“lord of the breakthrough”), the place where the Lord broke through, enabling David to conquer the Philistines. See 2 Sam. 5:20.
  3. Isaiah 28:21 In this valley, Yahweh rained down hailstones on the Amorites. See Josh. 10:8-14.
  4. Isaiah 28:21 The prophet describes God’s work of judgment as strange or foreign to what he delights in doing. God is love and longs to pour out his love upon his people, those he has chosen and established as his own. Yet God is holy, and although in mercy he may delay judgment, he will judge his people. To see God’s work of judgment as strange (alien) is to understand that heaven’s default is always mercy. See also James 2:13.

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