Archive for isaiah 5

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Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!



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Isaiah 5:27 Biblical Military Warfare

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by paulthepoke

No one in it is weary or stumbles, none slumbers or sleeps; nor is the belt at its waist undone, nor its sandal strap broken.

The armed forces being discussed are well rested. The troops are physically trained and fit. The soldiers are coordinated, physically the best of the best.  In today’s vernacular, they are athletically trained. They are not lacking sleep and they are not drowsy or sluggish.

This foreign army has good clothing and they are organized.

Have you ever tried to run in a sandal with the thong broken? It will slow you down. The soldiers have good shoes and can run at peak performance. The thong of a sandal was to secure the foot to the shoe. In Isaiah 20:2, Isaiah walked around barefoot and naked to foreshadow the poverty that was coming to Egypt and Cush as judgment. Shoes indicated wealth to some degree.

Its arrows are sharp and all its bows are bent; the hoofs of its horses seem like flint and its chariot wheels like a whirlwind.

This group is well armed and supplied. A bent bow is loaded with an arrow. There is an arrow loaded and ready to be shot. All of the bows are bent. All of the soldiers are ready to shoot and inflict damage.

Back in the time of Isaiah, bows were made with a flexible wood. The bow was approximately five feet in length. The string of the bow was dried sheep’s gut. The Assyrians perfected the bow when they laminated the wood or made the bow of horn. This allowed for greater resistance and allowed for increased velocity of the arrow. This of course inflicted more penetrating damage. The construction of these types of bows was more expensive.  Israel eventually developed bows made of steel and bronze. The countries which had more money had better equipment for fighting war (sounds familiar).

The arrows were carried in quivers and draped over the shoulder. Arrows were likely made of reeds and tipped with flint points or wood tipped with metal. They were approximately thirty inches long and winged with three rows of feathers. The weapon tip was poisoned or on fire.

The armed forces attack with speed as evidenced with the horse and chariot. The horse drawn chariot was the premier fighting piece of equipment. It was the modern day equivalent to the nuclear bomb. Up to three people would ride in a chariot: an archer, shield bearer, and driver. Archers were highly skilled specialists in the army. Archers were transported by chariot. The Assyrians placed large wooden shields for the protection of their archers.

Military information provided by Manners and Customs of Bible Times, Ralph Gower and Unger’s Bible Dictionary.

Isaiah 5:26 A Distant Nation, Prophetic Implications?

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:26 He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation, and will whistle for it from the ends of the earth; and behold, it will come with speed swiftly.

The nation is not specifically named. There is a hint in the language. The first is with the term distant. It is the Hebrew word rachowq. In the Hebrew it means: remote, far, distant, distant lands, distant ones, of distance. The text also states this nation will come from “the ends of the earth”. The extremity of the earth is the idea (Strong’s Concordance).

There are many ideas about this nation. Some think this was fulfilled with Babylon lead by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish in 605BC (Wycliffe Bible Commentary). Charles Ryrie commented that the nation could be Assyria or Babylon. History tells us the Romans stormed Israel in 70 AD. All of these events would be future to the time of Isaiah and his writing. These are all factors of consideration.

Another point of consideration is the future. Daniel 9:27 speaks of a man who will form a peace covenant with the Jewish people in a day that is future to us in 2012. “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

Jesus quotes this same verse of Daniel when he refers to difficult times to come in Matthew 24:15-28. The context of Jesus’ words is in regards to His return.  These events will initiate when the events of Daniel 9:27 occur. Jesus talks of a great tribulation that has never occurred since the beginning of the world. His directions are specific. Get out of Judea and go to the mountains. Do not hesitate and go immediately. Jesus warns of false prophets claiming to be Him, signs and wonders. Guard against being deceived.

This nation is like an obedient dog being called and whistled to come here. God gives them a signal and a hiss to get their attention. The nation is as hostile as it can be toward the Jewish people. This nation wastes no time and comes in haste. They are fleet and eager. Yet, God has complete control of them.

History does repeat itself.

Isaiah 5:24-25 Israel Rejects God’s Word

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:24-25 Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

On this account the anger of the LORD has burned against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down. And the mountains quaked, and their corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, but His hand is still stretched out. 

The imagery of a consuming fire is not that hard to imagine considering the summer of 2012. There were stories of sparks starting massive fires across the country side. Flowers were literally drying and shriveling away to nothing due to the heat. This is the comparison to the reality of Israel. They are the burning grass and withering flower.

Why is Israel in such peril? They rejected God’s word. The grammar in the Hebrew indicates that Israel has intensively rejected and spurned God’s word. They have not casually dismissed His commands. They have actively shunned.

God will have an emphatic response to this rejection. The people of Israel will be subjected to fire, death, and earthquakes for starters. The figurative language describing the death is vivid. The bodies will lie in the street like a pile of dung. Growing up in Oklahoma, I can visualize the splat of a cow patty on Main Street after the rodeo parade in the middle of summer.

This will not be the end. God’s wrath is not complete. He is poised to continue. Moving forward from verse 26 through the end of the chapter, there will be an invasion from a swift and hostile country.

Isaiah 5:23 Eroding Freedoms

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right! 

In the previous verse, God was pronouncing judgment on those who brag about how much alcohol they can drink. These folks also brag about their bar tending skills.

Also under judgment are those who take money or material gain to prop up, endorse a scoundrel. The adjective “wicked” or rasha in the Hebrew assumes the person is guilty of a crime. Thankfully in 21st century American culture we have evolved past this…right. This currently is on full display with an election cycle coming up this November of 2012. We hear about how great this candidate is and how smart he/she is. They must be elected. Think of all the good things they are going to do for us. Never mind the fact they have not paid their taxes. Never mind the fact their gay partner is running a brothel out the basement of their house. No big deal, just give me a little something, we will overlook this.

Second, the rights of the innocent are ignored. Personal freedom erodes. Does this sound familiar? It is happening all around us in multiple aspects of our culture. Take the War on Terrorism. Look at the personal freedoms surrendered in the name of safety. The government has been allowed unprecedented liberty to wiretap and eavesdrop on communication.

A small town in Missouri is trying to pass a law that would allow officers to inspect private property without the owner’s permission if the local judge finds probable cause to issue a search warrant for the purpose of proving existence of violations. The officers would be allowed to search at “any reasonable time” and with “any reasonable cause”. The counter argument is protection under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, privacy in regards to search and seizure of private property.

God is for the protection of personal freedom and rights within the boundaries of moral, just law.

Isaiah 5:18-19 Mocking and Taunting God

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:18-19 Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood, And sin as if with cart ropes; who say, “Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come to pass, that we may know it!” 

It is those who drag and lug around sin. These guys have a cart full of sin. They are proud of their sinful ways, they keep dragging it about from day to day. It is a lifestyle being pulled by ropes. God says, “You folks are toast”.

They challenge God. “Bring it! Let’s see you in action God. Prove it to us. God won’t really do it. Come on and judge us, we are sinning…”

This same attitude of mocking God is observed two other places in Scripture.

Look at Matthew 27:39-44 where Jesus was mocked on the cross.

The irony: God the Father is judging sin at the cross. The Son is taking the place of those mocking Him. Look at the list of sinners in Matthew 27 passage: robbers, chief priests, scribes, and local elders. These are the folks who gave Jesus a lot of grief. He died on their behalf and paid for their sins too.

Look at the list of items endured by Jesus. He was stripped (v. 28). He received a crown of thorns (v. 29). He was mocked (v. 29). They spit on Him (v. 30). He was beaten on the head while wearing a crown of thorns (v. 30). He was stripped again (v. 31). He was crucified (v. 35). Verbal abuse and insults continued during the remainder of the process. A spear was thrust through His chest to insure He was dead (John 19:34).

2 Peter 3:3-4 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

The pattern in Isaiah 5:19 and 2 Peter 3:3-4 is the same. Sinners will continue in their lifestyle and sinners will continue to mock God. Humanity has not changed whether it is approximately 700 years before Christ or at least 2000 years after Christ. Humanity thinks this is the way it has always been and this is the way it is going to be. Man sees no proof that God is actually going to judge. The sinner presses the action. He dares and taunts a patient God.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Isaiah 5:13-14 The Party Is Over

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:13-14 Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst. Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat and opened its mouth without measure; and Jerusalem’s splendor, her multitude, her din of revelry and the jubilant within her, descend into it.

The Hebrew grammar of verse 13 indicates the exile is a foregone conclusion. It is written in what we would consider the past tense in English. It is a done deal, you are exiled. Even though, the event is yet to happen in the time of Isaiah’s writing. The deportation out of the land occurs not because of their actions. The Jews are kicked out of the land because of a lack of discernment or understanding.

The irony of the judgment is this. The rich, greedy, and materialistic who loved to throw big banquets and feasts will have nothing to eat. They will be afflicted with hunger and famine. The people, who loved to get up and start drinking till late in the evening, will have nothing to drink. There will be a lack of water.

Their destination is Sheol. Strong’s defines sheol as the underworld, a grave, hell, a pit. This is the Old Testament designation for the abode of the dead. It is a place of no return. The wicked are sent here for punishment.

The city of Jerusalem in all of its glory and majesty, the people in all of its noise and celebration will sink into Sheol.  There will be no limit to the amount of death and destruction.

Isaiah 5:11-12 Party All the Time!

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on July 6, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:11-12 Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; but they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, nor do they consider the work of His hands.

The Hebrew grammar describes these guys are getting up with a purpose. They hit the ground drinking. It was the first thing they thought about in the morning. The “strong drink” is alcohol, the hard stuff. They were not waiting until noon to start. These were all day parties. The drinking started upon awakening and they were up late. These Jews knew how to throw a good party. They had food and music as well.

Do not confuse the issue. This is a matter of lifestyle. The lifestyle presented in Isaiah 5 is what is being condemned. God is not impressed with how much one can drink. Isaiah 5:22 Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink…

The Bible is a very practical book. It shows that nothing has really changed with alcohol. This was going on hundreds of years before Christ.  When drinking excessively, one’s ability to walk was impaired. They weebled, they wobbled, and they did fall down. Judgment was decreased along with ability to think. The drunks back in Isaiah’s day swore they saw things too. And yes, they partied till they puked. Isaiah 28:7-8 And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; they reel while having visions, they totter when rendering judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.

A reminder, Jesus did turn water into wine at a wedding feast. God is not opposed to alcohol in moderation or for the purpose of medication. The Apostle Paul gave Timothy this advice, 1 Timothy 5:23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. Balance is provided with the topic of alcohol. Is it a good idea to have a drink around an alcoholic? Probably not. Romans 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. Applied common sense goes a long way.

Drinking and partying were the focus. There was no place for God in their lifestyle. Another “Woe”.

Isaiah 5:8-10 Greedy Real Estate Moguls

Posted in Culture, Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:8-9 Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field, until there is no more room, so that you have to live alone in the midst of the land! In my ears the LORD of hosts has sworn, “Surely, many houses shall become desolate, even great and fine ones, without occupants”.

These two verses further the notion of materialism and greed. This is a theme of the era. A couple of examples include the material girls of Isaiah 3:16-24 and the corruption of the leadership in Isaiah 1:23 Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them.

Commentators (McGee, Wycliffe Bible Translators, NET Bible) have noted the underhanded deals that took place in regards to the acquisition of real estate. People’s property was acquired by forced sales and foreclosures of mortgages. And we thought this only occurred during our time. Nothing has changed. Greed always wants more and is never satisfied. It is coveting.

It is not a good day if God proclaims “Woe” in your direction. Woe can be translated many ways. Woe can mean: dead, as good as dead, poor, those doomed, judged, sure to be judged, danger awaits, grave danger, or sinful.

Owning and acquiring real estate are not bad. Using real estate and property acquired in a constructive manner are not bad. Renting, leasing, or selling those homes to others for a place to live is providing shelter. Buying land and farming the land are productive and beneficial to others.

The goal and soul purpose of these people is the acquisition of property and wealth. This is a demonstration of gross materialism and greed. No one is living in these properties. The properties are not being loaned or rented to others. This is impractical. A person can only live in one house at a time. This is selfishness. The land and property grab is to the point that all others have been pushed out. The greed is living in isolation.

The guy could have hired workers to farm the land. Employment could have been created. The land is not being farmed or leased to be farmed. The end result is poor crop yields in verse 10. “For ten acres of vineyard will yield only one bath of wine, and a homer of seed will yield but an ephah of grain.” Translated, the vineyard produces 6-12 gallons of wine. It is estimated the land produces 5-10 bushels total output. The harvest is a complete disaster.

These are nice, huge, plentiful homes. Look at the adjectives that describe these houses.

Rab: much, many, great, abounding in, more numerous than, abundant, enough, strong, greater than

Gadowl: great, large (in magnitude and extent)

Towb: good, pleasant, agreeable (to the senses), excellent (of its kind),
good, rich, valuable in estimation, becoming, better (comparative). Definitions per Strong’s Concordance.

Congratulations to the greedy.  You have won and you have the most stuff. Good for you! Your reward, God has pronounced judgment.

Isaiah 5:6 Lessons in Gardening

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:6 “And I will lay it waste; it will not be pruned or hoed, but briars and thorns will come up. I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.”

The vineyard has gone from having the best of everything to having nothing. Care is no longer provided for Israel and destruction is coming. God is going to neglect Israel, the vineyard.

Pruning no longer takes place in the vineyard. It is a blessing to being pruned. It is how we grow. Some would think it is best to grow wildly without direction. Growth, whether it is a plant, a nation, or us personally, comes when we are pruned. It is painful to be pruned, but it is necessary.

The vineyard, or Israel, is no longer being hoed. The briars are growing and taking over. Killing off the weeds with a hoe allows the good plants to grow and thrive. Weeds take away nutrients from the soil. In this case, the thorny bushes are choking out the best grape vines.

God is in control of the weather. Rain is withheld from the vegetation. Water is life. We all know what happens when plants do not get water. Think of a yard during the summer when it is hot and dry. There has not been rain for weeks. The land is parched and cracked. The grass is dormant and yellow. The only thing that really grows is weeds. Israel became a deserted wasteland for hundreds of years.

Thorns and briars are growing in the vineyard. Thorns are a reminder and a consequence of the fall of man. It should take us back to the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:18a “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you…” This is the first time thorns are mentioned in the Bible. God states thorns are a consequence of Adam’s eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam listened to the woman instead to listening to God. God does no more than wives. Thorns were not part of Earth’s original creation. Thorns are a physical reality of not following God’s directives.

Moving forward in time, Christ wore a crown of thorns on the cross. He bore a reminder of sin on his head. He became sin for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21a He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


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