Isaiah 28
The Lord will punish his rebellious people
Samaria will be punished
1The city of Samaria
above a fertile valley
is in for trouble!
Its leaders are drunkards,
who stuff themselves
with food and wine.
But they will be like flowers
that dry up and wilt.
2Only the Lord is strong
and powerful!
His mighty hand
will strike them down
with the force of a hailstorm
or a mighty whirlwind
or an overwhelming flood.
3Every drunkard in Ephraim#28.3 Ephraim: The northern kingdom of Israel; Samaria was its capital.
takes pride in Samaria,
but it will be crushed.
4Samaria above a fertile valley
will quickly lose its glory.
It will be gobbled up
like the first ripe fig
at harvest season.
5When this time comes,
the LORD All-Powerful
will be a glorious crown
for his people who survive.
6He will see that justice rules
and that his people are able
to defend their cities.
Corrupt leaders will be punished
7Priests and prophets stumble
because they are drunk.
Their minds are too confused
to receive God's messages
or give honest decisions.
8Their tables are covered,
completely covered,
with their stinking vomit.
9You drunken leaders
are like babies!
How can you possibly understand
or teach the LORD's message?
10You don't even listen—
all you hear is senseless sound
after senseless sound.#28.10 sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 9,10.
11So, the Lord will speak#1 Co 14.21.
to his people
in strange sounds
and foreign languages.#28.11 in…foreign languages: This probably refers to the language of the Assyrians.
12He promised you
perfect peace and rest,
but you refused to listen.
13Now his message to you
will be senseless sound
after senseless sound.#28.13 Now…sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Then you will fall backwards,
injured and trapped.
False security is fatal
14You rulers of Jerusalem
do nothing but sneer;
now you must listen
to what the LORD says.
15Do you think you have
an agreement with death
and the world of the dead?
Why do you trust in your lies
to keep you safe from danger
and the mighty flood?
16And so the LORD says,#Ps 118.22,23; Ro 9.33; 10.11; 1 P 2.6.
“I'm laying a firm foundation
for the city of Zion.
It's a valuable cornerstone
proved to be trustworthy;
no one who trusts it
will ever be disappointed.
17Justice and fairness
will be the measuring lines
that help me build.”
Hailstones and floods
will destroy and wash away
your shelter of lies.
18Your agreement with death
and the world of the dead
will be broken.
Then angry, roaring waves
will sweep over you.
19Morning, noon, and night
an overwhelming flood
will wash you away.
The terrible things that happen
will teach you this lesson:
20your bed is too short,
your blanket too skimpy.#28.20 your bed…skimpy: Isaiah quotes a popular saying to teach that the treaty made with Egypt (verse 18) cannot give the nation security from its enemies.
21The LORD will fiercely attack#2 S 5.20; 1 Ch 14.11; Js 10.10-12.
as he did at Mount Perazim#28.21 Mount Perazim: This may refer to David's defeat of the Philistines at Baal Perazim (2 Samuel 5.17-21).
and in Gibeon Valley.#28.21 Gibeon Valley: This refers to Joshua's victory at Gibeon (Joshua 10.1-11).
But this time the LORD
will do something surprising,
not what you expect.
22So you had better stop sneering
or you will be in worse shape
than ever before.
I heard the LORD All-Powerful
threaten the whole country
with destruction.
All wisdom comes from the LORD
23Pay close attention
to what I am saying.
24Farmers don't just plough
and break up the ground.
25When a field is ready,
they scatter the seeds
of dill and cumin;
they plant the seeds
of wheat and barley
in the proper places.
26They learn this from their God.
27After dill and cumin
have been harvested,
the stalks are beaten,
not run over with a wagon.
28Wheat and barley are pounded,
but not beaten to pulp;
they are run over with a wagon,
but not ground to dust.
29This wonderful knowledge comes
from the LORD All-Powerful,
who has such great wisdom.