Rev. Bernard Ross, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Alma, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Isaiah 27.
“He will slay the dragon that is in the sea.” Isaiah chapter 27 begins with this act of God’s judgment, concluding the previous chapter. Angels are often described in serpentine terms in the Old Testament. Here God promises to punish a fallen angel, the coiling sea dragon named “Leviathan,” as He destroys the nations and evil forces that have oppressed Israel.
And where there are serpents, there is often fruit. The next verse goes back to the vineyard metaphor of chapter 5. God calls His people to repentance, to bear good fruit by destroying their idols. King Hezekiah led the people of Judah in this temporal atonement, but he represents Jesus Christ, the good king who gives us spiritual atonement, not only through His suffering and death, but also through His resurrection and works of love.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
The Redemption of Israel
27 In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.
2 In that day,
“A pleasant vineyard,[a] sing of it!
3 I, the Lord, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
Lest anyone punish it,
I keep it night and day;
4 I have no wrath.
Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
I would march against them,
I would burn them up together.
5 Or let them lay hold of my protection,
let them make peace with me,
let them make peace with me.”
6 In days to come[b] Jacob shall take root,
Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
and fill the whole world with fruit.
7 Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them?
Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain?
8 Measure by measure,[c] by exile you contended with them;
he removed them with his fierce breath[d] in the day of the east wind.
9 Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for,
and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:[e]
when he makes all the stones of the altars
like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
no Asherim or incense altars will remain standing.
10 For the fortified city is solitary,
a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
there the calf grazes;
there it lies down and strips its branches.
11 When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
women come and make a fire of them.
For this is a people without discernment;
therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them;
he who formed them will show them no favor.
12 In that day from the river Euphrates[f] to the Brook of Egypt the Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
- Isaiah 27:2 Many Hebrew manuscripts A vineyard of wine
- Isaiah 27:6 Hebrew In those to come
- Isaiah 27:8 Or By driving her away; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
- Isaiah 27:8 Or wind
- Isaiah 27:9 Septuagint and this is the blessing when I take away his sin
- Isaiah 27:12 Hebrew from the River