Isaiah Chapter 27
Verses 1-13: “Leviathan” is a symbolic monster also referred to here as “that crooked serpent … the dragon,” or Satan. The context indicates that Isaiah has in view the final victory of God over Satan (Rev. 20:2). The prophet then bursts into a joyful song of the “vineyard” (Israel) of the Lord (Isaiah 5:1-7).
Now the vineyard will succeed because “I the Lord do keep it.” The wandering Israelites will now “take root” and will “blossom and bud” during the kingdom age when all the nations will come up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.
Isaiah 27:1 “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.”
“Leviathan”: This term appears in four other Old Testament texts (Job 41:1; Job 3:8; Psalms 74:14; 104:26). In each case Leviathan refers to some mighty creature who can overwhelm man but is no match for God. Since this creature lives in the sea among ships (Psalms 104:26), some form of sea monster, possibly an ancient dinosaur, is in view.
Some feel it was a crocodile, which had scaly hide (Job 41:15), terrible teeth (Job 41:14), and speed in the water (Job 41:31-32). Some have thought it was a killer whale or a great white shark because he is the ultimate killer beast over all other proud beasts (Job 41:34). It could also have been some sea going dinosaur.
Whatever it is, it is a symbol of evil. This is all speaking of the spirit of Satan, in the form of a serpent.
Notice, the judgment against these serpents is threefold. This leviathan also symbolizes Babylon. These three could be speaking of three very evil nations God brings judgment against. The fact that there are three could also mean, God comes against antichrist, the false prophet, and the beast. All of these make up the antichrist system.
The dragon mentioned could be Satan himself. Whoever or whatever they are, they symbolize evil, and God destroys them.
Verses 2-6: This vineyard of the Lord contrasts sharply (with the one in 5:1-7). Far from a disappointment to the vine keeper, this one bore abundant fruit (verse 6).
Isaiah 27:2 “In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.”
(Verse 6), identifies this vineyard as Israel.
The vineyard is speaking of the believers. We know God is the Lord of the vineyard. We know the parable of the vineyard was spoken by Jesus. This red wine comes from a rich grape. The vineyard is the same as the wheat. This takes place on earth. The Christians sing the joyous song.
Isaiah 27:3 “I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest [any] hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”
“I will keep it night and day”: God’s future provisions for restored Israel will be complete.
This speaks of the protection awarded to all the believers in Christ. He is our very present help. Water indicates the Spirit, and also, the Word. It is the Word of God which builds us up. The Spirit is our Teacher and Guide. God’s protection is continuous.
We are covered in the blood of Jesus and protected from the enemy. Our safety is in the LORD.
Isaiah 27:4 “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.”
The time for Israel’s punishment by God will pass.
“Briers and thorns … burn them”: The enemies of His people.
This is like the tares that grew with the wheat. These are in the vineyard, but were planted there by the devil. Just as the tares were to grow with the wheat until harvest, these briers and thorns grew with the grape vines.
This is speaking of those who say with their mouths they are Christians, but do not believe in their hearts. They are against God and His followers. The answer to the question above, is the devil himself set them against God.
Isaiah 27:5 “Or let him take hold of my strength, [that] he may make peace with me; [and] he shall make peace with me.”
The enemies of Israel today may make peace with God.
God leaves the door open for them to repent and come to Him. God will accept their repentance and forgive them, if they will come to Him.
Isaiah 27:6 “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.”
In the future kingdom of the Messiah, restored Israel will rule with Him and fill the earth with the fruit of righteousness and peace.
Jacob is Israel. We have discussed many times that there are two Israels. The family of Jacob in the physical is physical Israel. Spiritual Israel makes up all believers in Christ. The fruit, spoken of here, are souls of men. Christianity has flourished. The fruit are plentiful and scattered around the world.
Isaiah 27:7 “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?”
“Smitten … smote”: God has tempered His dealings with Israel, but not so with those He used to punish Israel. His compassion for the other nations has come to an end.
We could look at this, as if God is the one who has smitten. We already know of the judgments of the evil nations, such as Babylon. The punishment for the evil nations would be much more severe, than the punishment for the family of Jacob.
The smiting of the family of Jacob would be more in the line of chastisement. God will always have a remnant of the physical house of Israel (Jacob).
Isaiah 27:8 “In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.”
The Lord sent Judah into captivity to awaken the nation to trust in Him.
Notice, the chastisement on Jacob is in measure. It is carefully meted out to accomplish what God wants. We know the punishment on Jacob’s family will not be severe. It would greatly grieve God that it was necessary at all to chastise His own.
Isaiah 27:9 “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.”
“Iniquity of Jacob be purged”: Jacob atoned for his iniquity by undergoing punishment from God.
Now, we see why they were chastised at all. It is to purge them and make them pure. We have spoken earlier about the vessels of Gold and silver that can withstand the heat of purging. God turned up the heat to purify them. This is the same thing here. God is taking away all the evil from them and leaving a pure vessel.
This is a destruction of the evil in the church, as well. This will remove the false worship, such as the images and groves.
Isaiah 27:10 “Yet the defensed 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.”
“Defensed city”: The city symbolized Judah’s oppressors (24:10; 25:2; 26:5).
The city of Jerusalem will never be completely flattened as some of the other cities are, but it will be forsaken of people and partially destroyed. The citizens will flee, and it will be like a feeding place for the calf. Jerusalem will be rebuilt, however.
Isaiah 27:11 “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 show them no favor.”
“Will not have mercy on them”: In contrast with His dealings with Israel, the Creator will deal a fatal blow to her enemies.
The sad thing is that judgment begins at the house of God and among His people. We see in this, the city spoken of as a tree. The tree is not uprooted, but the branches that have withered are cut off and burned. God will not have mercy on those who have turned against Him, even if they are His chosen.
Isaiah 27:12 “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.”
After the judgment of her enemies at the end of Daniel’s 70th week, the faithful remnant of Israelites will return to their Land (Matthew 24:31).
This is similar to the olives that were harvested in another lesson. God will harvest (beat off), His people. This appears, to me, as the harvest of souls at the trump of God. Individual Israelites will go to be with Him. That is what is meant by one by one.
Remember one more time; this can be the physical house of Israel and the spiritual house of Israel. Salvation is one at a time. Egypt symbolizes the world.
Isaiah 27:13 “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.”
The prophet reiterates one of his great themes; future worship of regathered Israel on Mt. Zion (24:23; 25:6-7, 10).
This is the final gathering of spiritual Israel into the church. Physical Israel is coming back to the Holy Land today. God is preparing His church for the sound of the trumpet, also. All of this is speaking of the time when the Christians will be called to worship in that heavenly Jerusalem.
It will not matter what denomination they belonged to, or how wealthy they are, or even if they are of the physical, or the spiritual house. They will be called as individuals out of every nation and every kindred. This would be the day of the LORD.
Isaiah Chapter 27 Questions
- What is the meaning of leviathan?
- What is it a symbol of?
- What could the fact it is mentioned 3 times mean?
- The dragon mentioned could be ________ _________.
- Who is the vineyard in verse 2?
- Who is Lord of the vineyard?
- The vineyard is also the same as the _______.
- Who sings the joyous song?
- What 2 things does the water in verse 3 indicate?
- What does the Spirit do for us?
- Our safety is in the _______.
- What can the briers and thorns be likened to?
- Where did the briers come from?
- What is the answer to the question in verse 4?
- Why does God leave the door open?
- Who is Jacob?
- Who are the 2 Israels spoken of?
- What is the fruit in verse 6 speaking of?
- What happens to God’s people who turn away?
- The punishment of God’s people is more like ______________.
- God will always have a _____________ of the physical house of Israel.
- Notice, the chastisement on Jacob is in ____________.
- Why were they chastised?
- Why had God turned up the heat on His chosen vessels?
- What do images and groves speak of?
- Jerusalem will never be __________ ____________ as some of the evil cities were.
- Where does judgment begin?
- The city is spoken of as what in verse 11?
- Verse 12 is similar to what we have learned before?
- What is meant, one by one?
- What does the author believe verse 12 to be saying?
- Salvation is _____ at a time.
- What is verse 13 speaking of?