Isaiah 27 Commentary

Shameful exile and glorious return (27:2-13)

From its beginning, Israel was God’s chosen people. God compares the nation to a beautiful vineyard, which he has cared for and guarded continually (2-3). Israel’s enemies are likened to thorns and briars, and unless they repent of their wrongdoing and seek God’s forgiveness, they will suffer a fiery destruction (4-5). Israel, by contrast, will flourish like a giant tree and bring blessing to the whole world (6).

Before that can happen, however, God must deal with Israel because of its sins. The nation, in both its northern and southern kingdoms, must be punished because it has turned away from the true God to serve the false gods of its neighbours. God does not punish his people as severely as he punishes his enemies. Those nations he destroys, but his own people he only sends into captivity, so that when their sins are removed they can return to their own land (7-9).

The desolation of their homeland is a just punishment that God sends upon his rebellious people (10- 11). But when their punishment is ended, they will be gathered from many places back into their land, as grain is gathered together after it has been threshed (12-13).

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