Partner with as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Isaiah 28

Verse 1

Woe = Ho! We now come to a cycle of woes corresponding with the "burdens". In these "woes" Jehovah's purpose is alternately thrown into sharp contrast (see the Structure, above). crown of pride = pride's crown, or proud crown (i.e. Samaria; compare Amos 6:1 , Amos 6:3 ). Figure of speech Enallage ( App-6 ). Referring to the circle of towers which girdled Samaria.

to = of.

Ephraim = one tribe. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for all the tribes of Israel.

a fading flower. Compare Isaiah 1:30 ; Isaiah 40:7 .

fat = rich, or luxuriant.

Verse 2

hath a mighty and strong one = hath a mighty one, immensely strong: i.e. Assyria (2 Kings 17:5 , 2 Kings 17:6 ).

cast down = cast [Ephraim] down.

Verse 4

be = become.

and. Omit.

hasty fruit = early fig [becomes].

eateth it up = swalloweth it.

Verse 5

the Lord of hosts. See note on Isaiah 1:9 .

Verse 6

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .

turn = turn, or drive, back.

Verse 7

they. Referring to Judah.

strong drink. Hebrew. shekar . App-27 .

judgment = pronouncing judgment.

Verse 8

tabled. Used at sacrificial feasts (Tabernacles, Harvest, &c.) 1 Samuel 20:34 .Ezekiel 40:39-43 .Malachi 1:7 , Malachi 1:12 .

Verse 9

Whom = Whom [say they].

milk. breasts? (Two questions.)

Verse 10

For = For [say they] mimicking the prophet as though he were teaching little children in a school.

must be: or, [hath been]. The verse then reads: "For it is zav lazav, zav lazav kav lakav, kav lakav ze'er sham, ze'er sham . "The Figures of speech: Epizeuxis and Paronomasia ( App-6 ), for emphasis. It may be Englished by: "Law upon law, Saw upon saw".

Verse 11

For = Yea, verily. Taking the words out of their own taunting lips, and turning them against themselves. Quoted in 1 Corinthians 14:21 .

stammering = jabbering.

another = foreign. Referring to the Assyrian language they were (alas!) soon to hear (Compare Isaiah 33:19 . Deuteronomy 28:49 ).

He speak: i.e. by the Assyrians.

Verse 12

To whom He said: or, He (Jehovah) Who said to them: i.e. by His prophets (Isaiah 7:4 ; Isaiah 8:6 ; Isaiah 30:15 ).

Verse 13

was = became. Giving back to the scoffers their own words (from Isaiah 28:10 ) in the form of a threatening.

might = may.

fall backward, &c. Note the Figure of speech Synonymia , by which the similar words are heaped together to impress on them the solemnity and certainty of the judgment.

taken = caught.

Verse 15

made = cut, or solemnized.

made a covenant. It is alleged that the use of the word "covenant" is confined to Jehovah by the "second Isaiah" (i.e. after Isaiah 40:0 ): but it is so used before that (See Isaiah 24:5 ; Isaiah 33:8 ), But why should not a covenant be made with, and by, other parties as it is here in Isaiah 28:15 , Isaiah 28:18 ? See App-79 .

hell. Hebrew Sheol. App-35 .

Verse 16

I lay = I have laid. So the Syriac and Septuagint. Laid, in the counsels of eternity: in Abraham's promise (Genesis 12:0 ); in David's covenant (2 Samuel 7:0 ).

in Zion. In Zion; not Zion itself.

a stone. This is a distinct reference to Isaiah 49:24 . It is the Immanuel (of Isaiah 7:0 ), the promised Son (of Isaiah 9:0 ), the rod from Jesse's stem (of Isaiah 11:0 ).

a tried stone = a test stone: i.e. tested itself, and testing others. Compare Isaiah 28:17 , and Zechariah 3:9 .

a sure foundation. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), for emphasis. Hebrew a foundation founded: i.e. a wellfounded foundation, or a firm or sure foundation.

not make haste = be constant, steady, not fleeing away. See note on Proverbs 8:30 . Note the Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), by which the hastening, or flight is put for the confusion and shame which is the cause of it. Septuagint reads "ashamed". In Romans 9:33 ; Romans 10:11 . 1 Peter 2:6 , the Figure of speech is translated, and means therefore exactly the same thing: = shall have no need for hurried flight (Compare Isaiah 49:23 ).

Verse 17

Judgment also will I lay to the line, &c. = I will make judgment the line, and righteousness the plumbline.

Verse 19

take you = take you away.

vexation = terror.

report = hearing. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for what is heard.

Verse 20

the bed, &c. This allegory is to show that their false security as to the approach of Sennacherib would afford them no real rest, it would soon be disturbed.

Verse 21

Perazim. Gibeon. This could not be known or understood without reference to 2 Samuel 5:20 , and Joshua 10:10 ; and this reference must have been in writing: too long before (700 years) to be a matter of mere memory. See App-92 .

His strange work = strange His work [is]. Hebrew. zur = foreign.

His strange act = unwonted [is] His act. Hebrew. nakar.

Verse 22

earth = land, or soil.

Verse 24

plow all day: i.e. continually = ever keep ploughing? See the note on Isaiah 28:28 .

he open = he [for ever] open.

Verse 25

The principal wheat = wheat in rows. Only here. place = due order. Connect "appointed" with "place", not with "barley".

Verse 26

For his God, &c. Render: "For One hath instructed him in the right course; his God doth teach him".

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

Verse 27

threshing instrument. Only here, and Isaiah 41:15 .

Verse 28

Bread = Corn. Bread is put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), for the corn of which it is made. Compare Job 28:5 .

bruised = crushed: i.e. reduced to powder. Compare Exodus 32:20 . 2 Kings 23:6 . Render, as a question: Is corn crushed? because = nay. The Hebrew accent t ebir is disjunctive and requires this rendering. Compare Revised Version margin, and Job 22:2 .

ever = for ever.

Verse 29

This: i.e. this same design in His treatment of His people. His purpose is the same as that of the husbandman. Compare Amos 9:9 .

excellent = lofty.

working = wisdom. The sort of wisdom which carries the purpose through to permanency. Hebrew. tushiyah, See note on Proverbs 2:7 .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 28". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.