Isaiah 28: Bible Study Guide.

September 18, 2020 in Today's Q&A by TGV

Isaiah 28: Bible Study Guide.
23-BSG-28J, (Isaiah 28)


Note: the “[Francis D. Nichol, Ed., The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1977), volume 4]” is abbreviated “[SDA BC 4].”

[1] What is the main content of this chapter? Woe—to Ephraim and Judah: Sins that destroy a Nation and its People, (Isa. 28:1–29)

[2] What does the chapter say about God? [a] God can use even foreigners (the Assyrians Isa 28:11) who bind themselves to serve Him, the privilege of witnessing to Israel.

[b] God can bring deliverance from Humiliation! To those who trust in Him, He promise freedom from fear, dismay, panic — “Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone) will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away [in sudden panic].” (Isaiah 28:16, AMP)

[3] How does the chapter begin? “Woe to [Samaria] the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim [the ten tribes], and to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome and smitten down with wine!” (Isaiah 28:1, AMP)

“This chapter is Isaiah’s only message of reproof specifically addressed to the northern kingdom (though Jerusalem is also mentioned in v. 14). It must therefore have been given before the capture of Samaria by the Assyrians in 723/722. Samaria, the “proud crown” of a nation of drunkards, was rebuked more than once for drunkenness (Amos 4:1, 2; 6:1, 6). The prophets frequently issued warnings against this vice (Isa. 5:11, 12; 28:7, 8). However, as the context makes apparent, Isaiah refers primarily to the leaders of the northern kingdom, who were drunk both literally and figuratively and incapable of guiding the nation in harmony with God’s will.”  –(SDA BC 4:209).

[4] How had this flower and it glorious beauty faded? (28:1) “From the death of Jeroboam II in 753 until the fall of the kingdom 30 years later, the waning strength and glory of Israel were plain for all to see. The kingdom was rapidly disintegrating (see on 2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chron. 5:26). When Isaiah bore this message it was, indeed, “a fading flower.” (SDA BC 4:209).

[5] How would the wreath be trampled underfoot? (28:3) “The Lord would use Assyria, one who is powerful and strong (v. 2), to destroy Samaria in 722 B.C.” (NIV Quest Study Bible Notes)

[6] What will the LORD be to the residue (remnant) of His people? (28:5) A magnificent crown, and A glorious diadem!  “When Israel fell, the people of Judah remained comparatively true to the Lord, and to them the Lord was a glorious crown.” (SDA BC 4:209).

Notice what is said about Judah’s relationship to the LORD after the fall of Israel:

  • Hosea 4:15–17 (NKJV)15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Let not Judah offend. Do not come up to Gilgal, Nor go up to Beth Aven, Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’— 16 “For Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn calf; Now the Lord will let them forage Like a lamb in open country. 17 “Ephraim is joined to idols, Let him alone.
  • Hosea 11:12 (NKJV)12 “Ephraim has encircled Me with lies, And the house of Israel with deceit; But Judah still walks with God, Even with the Holy One who is faithful.

[7] A spirit of justice would be given to who? (28:6) to him who sits in judgment—(administering the law). “God gave good king Hezekiah a spirit of wisdom and sound judgment which in times of crisis enabled him to make wise decisions that saved his nation from the fate that overwhelmed Israel to the north. This same discerning spirit is promised to God’s leaders today.” (SDA BC 4:209).

[8] What sins (specific sins) of the Priests and Prophets in Judah are listed here? (28:7)  They are alcoholic (strong drink); They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while seeing visions, They stagger when pronouncing judgment!

“The people of Judah, particularly its leaders, had also become enslaved to wine. Even the priests and prophets, who should have set a perfect example, were misled. In their drunken stupor they staggered and wandered out of the way. False prophets were intoxicated as they gave their counterfeit messages, and priests stumbled in their sacred ministrations. Having given themselves over to wine and strong drink, they were no longer able to “put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean” (Lev. 10:9, 10)”—(SDA BC 4:209–210).

[9] “To whom would He teach knowledge? And to whom would He explain the message? (28:9) “The priests and prophets whose business it was to teach the people were themselves misled, and therefore in no position to carry out their responsibilities (see on Matt. 23:16). They were so befogged that God could not teach them. It was necessary, therefore, that they be put aside and new leaders chosen—men who were both meek and willing, alert and spiritual-minded. The old leaders whose minds were spiritually befogged must be replaced by men to whom God could speak His messages of truth and wisdom. These might be regarded as babes by the learned priests, but they were humble and teachable and able to learn the ways of God.”—(SDA BC 4:210).

[10] “No, but [the Lord will teach the rebels in a more humiliating way] by men with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people [says Isaiah, and teach them His lessons].” (Isaiah 28:11, AMP) How would God use foreigners to speak to this people? (28:11)

“The Assyrians are surely in view: either their destruction of Samaria and the northern kingdom in 722 bc or their devastation of Judah in 701 bc. If the Israelites couldn’t understand plain Hebrew, God would teach them through the Akkadian language of the Assyrians. In reality, it was through the Assyrians’ swords that God would speak his message that he was serious about the Israelites’ sins and their need for repentance.” (NIV Quest Study Bible Notes)

Another tongue. “That is, “a foreign language.” God had spoken to His people in their own tongue through His messengers the prophets, but they did not listen. Now He would speak to them by other means, first the Assyrians and later the Babylonians, the Persians, and the Romans. In 1 Cor. 14:21 Paul applies this scripture to men whose speech was unintelligible to the hearers.” —(SDA BC 4:210).

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