Study Guide

Book of Isaiah Chapter 28

Chapter 28

Fig Newtons, Old School Version

  • The over-fed drunkards of Ephraim wear a garland of flowers that is fading in beauty.
  • But God's going to come and destroy that garland, and the people wearing it, and trample them in the dust.
  • Straggling people will then come by and eat the fallen flowers from the garlands, as though they were figs.
  • God himself will be like a garland or a crown on the remnant his people in that day, ornamenting them with righteousness.
  • Also, all the priests and so-called prophets are drunk on strong drink (maybe metaphorically). They give confused advice and their tables are covered in puke (aw, come on).
  • A voice asks who will God (or Isaiah) explain his message to. Apparently, people who've been weaned off of breast-milk and can handle learning a little bit at a time—a precept here, a line there.
  • Like Moses, someone (Isaiah?) will speak in a strange language with a stammer, telling his people to give rest to the weary.
  • But they won't listen, so God says they'll just learn a little bit at a time. Finally they will fall back and be defeated because they couldn't learn enough. (So do your homework, gang.)

One Order of Righteousness—with Dill and Cumin

  • The rulers in Jerusalem think they've managed to cheat death, making a deal with the Underworld. But they haven't. God's going to totally defeat them.
  • God says that he's laying a cornerstone in Zion that will stand forever. People should trust in it and not panic.
  • God will scourge the rulers with hail and destroy them, washing them away. Beds will be too small and uncomfortable to sleep on.
  • God will rage and accomplish his violent work, destroying all the rulers who thought they'd cheated death.
  • Isaiah rhetorically asks if people who are plowing a field just keep plowing it forever. Or do they plant seeds like dill and cumin in it? (Mmm… cumin.)
  • He says that these seeds are beaten out with sticks and rods, and grain is threshed. Still, none of this happens forever.
  • Isaiah hints that God's wrath is just a necessary part of his people's development towards righteousness.