Articles and Notes

Isaiah 28-35 - Source of true deliverance

The Source Of True Deliverance (28-35)


1) To review the messages Isaiah delivered when Israel and Judah were
   being threatened by Assyria

2) To note the condemnation for seeking help from Egypt when the people
   should have looked to the Lord for deliverance


The messages in this section (chs. 28-35) seem to relate mostly to the
approaching calamities involving the Assyrian invasion.  During the
reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, Shalmaneser king of Assyria
came against Israel to the north and took them away captive (cf. 2 Kin
17:1-18:12).  In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of
Assyria sought to do the same thing with Judah (cf. 2Ki 18:13-17).
What was Judah to do?  Surrender to the Assyrians?  Put their trust in
an alliance with Egypt to the south?  Isaiah's message was simple:  The
source of true deliverance was in the Lord!

Chapters 28-29 reveals the Lord's design for Ephraim (Israel) and Ariel
(Jerusalem). Ephraim's crown of pride would fade, while the Lord would
be a crown of glory for the remnant.  Led to error by intoxicating
drink, Israel's leaders had not been able to benefit from God's
instructions.  As for Ariel, her leaders (like Ahaz) had trusted in a
false confidence for deliverance.  God would instead lay in Zion a sure
foundation based on justice and righteousness (a shadow of Christ, cf. 1
Pe 2:4-8).  Removing their false and inadequate confidences, God would
have Ariel besieged but then her enemy mysteriously defeated.  The house
of Jacob would again fear the God of Israel, and those who erred and
complained would come to understand and learn the ways of God.

In chapters 30-31 we find the desire to create alliances with Egypt
denounced.  Confidence in Egypt was futile and those who trusted in her
would be judged.  On the other hand, God would be gracious and merciful
to those who trusted in Him.  As God would judge the nations, including
Assyria, it was folly to trust in Egypt with her chariots and horsemen.
God would deliver Jerusalem Himself, having Assyria fall by a sword not
of man, fleeing with fear (cf. 37:36-39).

Chapter 32 describes the coming of a new regime in which a king will
reign in righteousness and his princes in justice.  It will be preceded
by difficult times, but the work of righteousness will produce peace,
quietness and assurance.  Some think there may have been an initial
reference to Hezekiah, but virtually all believe its ultimate reference
is to the coming of the Messiah.

Chapter 33 depicts how the plunderer (Assyria) will be defeated while
the plundered (Judah) looks to the Lord for deliverance and salvation.
The Lord will indeed intervene with His might, and Zion (Jerusalem) will
be made a quiet and secure home.  Assyria's plunder will be divided,
while God's people will be healed and forgiven.

Chapters 34-35 contain a fitting conclusion to the prophecies delivered
by Isaiah during the Assyrian period.  It is a beautiful poem consisting
of two parts, both of which proclaim the sovereignty of God.  God's
sovereignty would be manifested in His judgment on the nations of the
world, with a focus on His judgment on Edom in particular.  His
sovereignty would then be manifested in His salvation for Zion, in which
the land will be transformed and the redeemed traveling to Zion with
singing and everlasting joy.  While some might see an initial
fulfillment with the deliverance from Assyrian or Babylonian oppression,
its ultimate fulfillment is likely Messianic:  "The prophecy before us I
regard as a kind of summing up, or recapitulation of all that he had
delivered; and the general idea is, that the people of God would be
delivered from all their foes, and that happier times under the Messiah
would succeed all their calamities. This he had expressed often in the
particular prophecies; he here expresses it in a summary and condensed
manner." (Barnes)



      1. Regarding Ephraim (Israel) - 28:1-13
         a. Her crown of pride will fade - 28:1-4
         b. The Lord will be a crown of glory for the remnant - 28:5-6
         c. Intoxicating drink has led them to error - 28:7-8
         d. They are unable to benefit from God's instructions - 28:9-13
      2. Regarding Ariel (Jerusalem) - 28:14-29:27
         a. Her leaders have trusted in false confidences for
            deliverance - 28:14-15
         b. God will lay in Zion a sure foundation - 28:16; cf. 1Pe 2:
         c. God will remove their false and inadequate confidences
            - 28:17-22
         d. Learn from the farmer; so God varies His judgments
            accordingly - 28:23-29
         e. Ariel will be besieged, but her enemy mysteriously defeated
            - 29:1-8; cf. 37:36
         f. Her blindness the result of disobedience and impiety
            - 29:9-13
         g. Judgment to come on those who try to hide their counsel from
            the Lord - 29:14-16
      3. The future restoration of the house of Jacob - 29:17-24
         a. Lebanon shall be a fruitful field, esteemed as a forest
            - 29:17
         b. The deaf shall hear, the blind shall see - 29:18
         c. The humble and poor shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel
            - 29:19
         d. The wicked and scornful are brought to nothing, sinners are
            cut off - 29:20-21
         e. Jacob will not be ashamed, but fear the God of Israel
            - 29:22-23
         f. Those who erred and complained will come to understand and
            learn - 29:24

      1. Woe to those seeking aid from Egypt - 30:1-17
         a. Trusting in Egypt is to be deceived, for her help is in vain
            - 30:1-7
         b. God will break those who reject Him for their rebellious
            attitudes - 30:8-14
         c. Their trust in God should be their strength; but no, they
            would not - 30:15-17
      2. God would yet be gracious and merciful to those who trust Him
         - 30:15-33
         a. People will dwell at Jerusalem after adversity and
            reformation - 30:15-22
         b. God would bless the land as He heals the bruise of His
            people - 30:23-26
      3. God will judge the nations, especially Assyria - 30:27-33
         a. With indignation toward the nations, while His people
            worship Him - 30:27-30
         b. Assyria will be beaten down, followed by rejoicing
            - 30:31-33

      1. Woe to those who trust in Egypt - 31:1-3
         a. Trusting in her horses and chariots rather than in God
            - 31:1
         b. God will bring disaster on Egypt and those helped by her
            - 31:2-3
      2. The Lord will defend Jerusalem from the Assyrians - 31:4-9
         a. As a lion He will fight for Mount Zion - 31:4-5
         b. Return to Him against Whom they revolted with their idolatry
            - 31:6-7
         c. Assyria will fall by a sword not of man, fleeing with fear
            - 31:8-9; cf. 37:36-38


      1. With a righteous King and spiritual illumination - 32:1-8
         a. The King and His princes will rule with righteousness and
            justice - 32:1
         b. A man (Messiah? Hezekiah?) will offer protection and
            provision - 32:2
         c. Spiritual blindness and deafness removed, knowledge
            understood - 32:3-4
         d. Moral distinctions made clearer - 32:5-8
      2. Preceded by painful judgment - 32:9-14
         a. Upon women at ease and complacent - 32:9-11
         b. People will mourn the devastation of the land - 32:12-14
      3. Inaugurated by the outpouring of God's Spirit - 32:15-20
         a. Producing a fruitful field and forest from the wilderness
            - 32:15
         b. In which justice and righteousness will produce peace
            - 32:16-17
         c. Peace and security, even in hard times - 32:18-20

      1. The plunderer (Assyria) will be defeated - 33:1-16
         a. The plunderer will himself be plundered - 33:1
         b. The plundered looks to the Lord for deliverance and
            salvation - 33:2-6
         c. The pitiful condition of the land before deliverance
            - 33:7-9
         d. The Lord to intervene with His might - 33:10-13
         e. The sinners in Zion will be fearful, the righteous secure
            - 33:14-16
      2. Jerusalem to be a quiet home, made secure by the Lord
         - 33:17-24
         a. They shall see the King (Messiah? Hezekiah?) in His beauty
            - 33:17
         b. The people will later wonder:  why all the worry? - 33:18-19
         c. Zion (Jerusalem) will be peaceful, secured by the Lord
            - 33:20-22
         d. Assyria's plunder will be divided; God's people healed and
            forgiven - 33:23-24

      1. Manifested in His judgment on the nations - 34:1-17
         a. Judgment on the nations as a whole - 34:1-4
         b. Judgment on Edom in particular - 34:5-17
            1) A great slaughter in the land - 34:5-7
            2) The day of the Lord's vengeance, with total devastation
               - 34:8-15
            3) It's judgment inevitable - 34:16-17
      2. Manifested in His salvation for Zion - 35:1-10
         a. The transformation of the land - 35:1-2
         b. The weak and fearful reassured - 35:3-4
         c. The blind, deaf, and lame healed; the dry land filled with
            pools and springs - 35:5-7
         d. The Highway of Holiness, upon which the redeemed will travel
            to Zion with singing and everlasting joy - 35:8-10


1) What is suggested as the theme of Isaiah chapters 28-35?
   - The Source Of True Deliverance

2) What are the two main divisions of this section?
   - True Deliverance Found Not In Egypt (28-31)
   - True Deliverance Found In The Lord (32-35)

3) Upon what and whom does Isaiah pronounce woe in chapter 28? (28:1)
   - Upon the crown of pride and the drunkards of Ephraim

4) For whom will the Lord be "a crown of glory" and "a diadem of
   beauty"? (28:5)
   - The remnant of His people

5) What had caused the people, including their religious leaders, to
   err? (28:7)
   - Wine and intoxicating drink

6) To whom does Isaiah begin to address his comments in verse 14?
   - Those who rule in Jerusalem

7) With whom had they made a covenant?  What were they hoping to escape?
   - Sheol (death)
   - The overflowing scourge that would pass through

8) What would the Lord lay in Zion?  Who would therefore not act
   hastily? (28:16)
   - A stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone
   - Whoever believes

9) To whom is this applied in the New Testament? (cf. 1Pe 2:4-6)
   - Jesus Christ

10) What would God do to those who made their covenant with Sheol?
   - Annul their covenant with death; trample them with the overflowing

11) Whom does Isaiah use to illustrate how God varies His ways of
    judgment? (28:23-29)
   - The farmer

12) What will happen to Ariel (Jerusalem)? (29:1-3)
   - God will lay a siege around it

13) Yet what would happen to those nations who fight against it? (29:
    7-8; cf. 37:36)
   - They will be mysteriously defeated

14) What caused the blindness of so many at that time? (29:9-13)
   - God brought it upon them because of their disobedience and impiety

15) What would come upon those who try to hide their counsel from the
    Lord? (29:14-16)
   - A marvelous work and a wonder as judgment from the Lord

16) Yet what did the future hold for the house of Jacob? (29:17-24)
   - Restoration, in which they will hallow the Holy One of Jacob and
     fear the God of Israel

17) Upon whom were the rebellious children of Israel placing their
    trust? (30:1-7)
   - Egypt, whose help would be in vain

18) What would God yet do for those who trusted Him? (30:15-26)
   - He would be gracious and merciful, and allow them to dwell at
     Jerusalem after adversity and reformation

19) As God sifted the nations with "the sieve of futility", what nation
    in particular would be beaten down? (30:27-33)
   - Assyria

20) Why was it foolish for the people to trust in Egypt and her
    chariots? (31:1-3)
   - Because God would bring disaster on Egypt and those helped by her

21) Who would defend Jerusalem from the Assyrians? (31:4)
   - The Lord, fighting for Mount Zion as a lion

22) How would Assyria fall? (31:8)
   - By a sword not of man, fleeing with fear (cf. 37:36-38)

23) What is foretold that would give hope? (32:1)
   - A reign involving a righteous King and princes ruling with justice

24) What would precede this hopeful future? (32:9-14)
   - A painful judgment involving devastation upon the land

25) What would inaugurate the time of justice and righteousness? (32:
   - The pouring out of God's Spirit

26) What would be the result of this justice and righteousness? (32:
   - God's people would enjoy peace, quietness, and assurance, even in
     stormy times

27) What will happen to the one (Assyria) who has been plundering?
   - He will be plundered

28) To Whom does the faithful look for deliverance and salvation? (33:
   - The Lord

29) What will provide stability and the strength of salvation? (33:6)
   - Wisdom and knowledge

30) When the Lord brings His judgment on Zion, who will be afraid, and
    who will be secure? (33:10-16)
   - The sinners will be fearful, the righteous secure

31) What will Jerusalem become? (33:20-22)
   - A quiet home, made secure by the Lord

32) What will happen to the prey of the plunderer?  To those in the
    city? (33:23-24)
   - The lame will take the prey, those in the city will be forgiven

33) How is the sovereignty of God depicted in chapter 34? (34:1-4)
   - By His judgment on the nations

34) What nation in particular is marked for judgment? (34:5-17)
   - Edom

35) How is the sovereignty of God depicted in chapter 35? (35:1-10)
   - By His salvation for Zion

36) How shall the ransomed of the Lord return to Zion? (35:10)
   - Singing with everlasting joy and gladness

Isaiah 28

Back to Articles and Notes