Isaiah 28:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim's drunkards, to the fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley-- to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!

New Living Translation
What sorrow awaits the proud city of Samaria--the glorious crown of the drunks of Israel. It sits at the head of a fertile valley, but its glorious beauty will fade like a flower. It is the pride of a people brought down by wine.

English Standard Version
Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!

New American Standard Bible
Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley Of those who are overcome with wine!

King James Bible
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim's drunkards, and to the fading flower of its beautiful splendor, which is on the summit above the rich valley. Woe to those overcome with wine.

International Standard Version
How terrible it will be for that arrogant garland— the drunks of Ephraim! How terrible it will be for that fading flower of his glorious beauty, which sits on the heads of people bloated with food, of people overcome with wine!

NET Bible
The splendid crown of Ephraim's drunkards is doomed, the withering flower, its beautiful splendor, situated at the head of a rich valley, the crown of those overcome with wine.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
How horrible it will be for the arrogant drunks of Ephraim. Their glorious beauty is [like] a withered flower. They are at the entrance to a fertile valley where they lie drunk from wine.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim and to the open flower of the beauty of their glory which is upon the head of the fertile valley of those that are overcome with wine!

King James 2000 Bible
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is on the head of the rich valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

American King James Version
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

American Standard Version
Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are overcome with wine!

Douay-Rheims Bible
WOE to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower the glory of his joy, who were on the head of the fat valley, staggering with wine.

Darby Bible Translation
Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious adornment, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are overcome with wine.

English Revised Version
Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are overcome with wine!

Webster's Bible Translation
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower; who are on the head of the rich valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

World English Bible
Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley of those who are overcome with wine!

Young's Literal Translation
Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim. And the fading flower of the beauty of his glory, That is on the head of the fat valley of the broken down of wine.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

28:1-4 What men are proud of, be it ever so mean, is to them as a crown; but pride is the forerunner of destruction. How foolishly drunkards act! Those who are overcome with wine are overcome by Satan; and there is not greater drudgery in the world than hard drinking. Their health is ruined; men are broken in their callings and estates, and their families are ruined by it. Their souls are in danger of being undone for ever, and all merely to gratify a base lust. In God's professing people, like Israel, it is worse than in any other. And he is just in taking away the plenty they thus abuse. The plenty they were proud of, is but a fading flower. Like the early fruit, which, as soon as discovered, is plucked and eaten.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-4. - A WARNING TO SAMARIA. The prophet has now east his eagle glance over the whole world and over all time. He has denounced woe upon all the principal nations of the earth (Isaiah 13-23.), glanced at the destruction of the world itself (Isaiah 24:17-20), and sung songs over the establishment of Christ's kingdom, and the ingathering of the nations into it (Isaiah 25-27.). In the present chapter he returns to the condition of things in his own time and among his own people. After a brief warning, addressed to Samaria, he turns to consider the condition of Judah, which he accuses of following the example of Samaria, of perishing through self-indulgence and lack of knowledge (vers. 7-12). He then proceeds to expostulate seriously with the "rulers of Jerusalem," on whom lies the chief responsibility for its future. Verse 1. - Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkard; rather, of the drunkards, The "drunkards of Ephraim," or of the ten tribes, were at once intoxicated with wine (Amos 4:1; Amos 6:6) and with pride (Amos 6:13). As the external aspect of affairs grew mere and more threatening through the advances of Tiglath-Pileser and Shalmaneser, they gave themselves up more and more to self-indulgence and luxury, lay upon beds of ivory, drank wine from bowls, feasted to the sound of the viol, and even invented fresh instruments of music (Amos 6:4, 5). At the same time, they said in their hearts, "Have we not taken by our own strength?" (Amos 6:13). They persisted in regarding themselves as secure, when even ordinary political foresight might have seen that their end was approaching. Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower; rather, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty. The "glorious beauty" of Samaria was a beauty of magnificent luxury. "Summer" and "winter houses," distinct each from the other (Amos 3:15); "ivory palaces" (1 Kings 22:39; Amos 3:15); a wealth of "gardens, vineyards, fig-orchards, and olive yards" (Amos 4:9); residences of "hewn stone" (Amos 5:11); feasts enlivened with "the melody of viols" (Amos 5:23); "beds of ivory" (Amos 6:4); "wine in bowls" (Amos 6:6); "chief ointments" (Amos 6:6); constituted a total of luxurious refinement beyond which few had proceeded at the time, and which Isaiah was fain to recognize, in a worldly point of view, as "glorious" and "beautiful." But the beauty was of a kind liable to fade, and it was already fading under the sirocco of Assyrian invasion. Which are on the head of the fat valleys; rather, which is on the head (or, which decks the head) of the rich valley. Samaria was built on a hill of an oval form, which rose up in the midst of a fertile valley shut in by mountains. The prophet identifies the valley with the kingdom itself, and then personifies it, and regards its head as crowned by the fading flower of Samaria's beauty.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,.... Or, "of the drunkards of Ephraim": or, "O crown of pride, O drunkards of Ephraim (l)"; who are both called upon, and a woe denounced against them. Ephraim is put for the ten tribes, who were drunk either in a literal sense, for to the sin of drunkenness were they addicted, Hosea 7:5, Amos 6:6. The Jews say (m), that wine of Prugiatha (which perhaps was a place noted for good wine), and the waters of Diomasit (baths), cut off the ten tribes from Israel; which both Jarchi and Kimchi, on the place, make mention of; that is, as Buxtorf (n) interprets it, pleasures and delights destroyed the ten tribes. The inhabitants of Samaria, and the places adjacent, especially were addicted to this vice; these places abounding with excellent wines. Sichem, which were in these parts, is thought to be called, from the drunkenness of its inhabitants, Sychar, John 4:5 this is a sin very uncomely in any, but especially in professors of religion, as these were, and ought to be declaimed against: or they were drunkards in a metaphorical sense, either with idolatry, the two calves being set up in Dan and Bethel, which belonged to the ten tribes; just as the kings of the earth are said to be drunk with the wine of antichrist's fornication, or the idolatry of the church of Rome, Revelation 17:2 or with pride and haughtiness, being elated with the fruitfulness of their country, their great affluence and riches, and numbers of people; in all which they were superior to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and in which they piqued themselves, and are therefore called "the crown of pride"; and especially their king may be meant, who was lifted up with pride that he ruled over such a country and people; or rather the city of Samaria, the metropolis of the ten tribes, and the royal city. Perhaps there may be an allusion to the crowns wore by drunkards at their revels, and particularly by such who were mighty to drink wine or strong drink, and overcame others, and triumphed in it: pride and sensuality are the vices condemned, and they often go together:

whose glorious beauty; which lay in the numbers of their inhabitants, in their wealth and riches, and in their fruits of corn and wine:

is a fading flower; not to be depended on, soon destroyed, and quickly gone:

which are on the head of the fat valleys; meaning particularly the corn and wine, the harvest and vintage, with which the fruitful valleys being covered, looked very beautiful and glorious: very probably particular respect is had to Samaria, the head of the kingdom, and which was situated on a hill, and surrounded with fruitful valleys; for not Jerusalem is here meant, as Cocceius; nor Gethsemane, by the fat valleys, as Jerom:

of them that are overcome with wine; or smitten, beaten (o) knocked down with it, as with a hammer, and laid prostrate on the ground, where they lie fixed to it, not able to get up; a true picture of a drunkard, that is conquered by wine, and enslaved unto it; see Isaiah 28:3.

(l) "vae coronae erectionis ebriorum Ephraimi", Cocceius, Gataker. (m) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 147. 2.((n) Lex. Talmud. col. 529. (o) "concussi vino", Pagninus, "percussi vino", so some in Vatablus; "conquassantur vel conculcantur a vino", Forerius; "contusorum a vino", Cocceius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 28

Isa 28:1-29.

The twenty-eighth through thirty-third chapters form almost one continuous prophecy concerning the destruction of Ephraim, the impiety and folly of Judah, the danger of their league with Egypt, the straits they would be reduced to by Assyria, from which Jehovah would deliver them on their turning to Him; the twenty-eighth chapter refers to the time just before the sixth year of Hezekiak's reign, the rest not very long before his fourteenth year.

1. crown of pride—Hebrew for "proud crown of the drunkards," &c. [Horsley], namely, Samaria, the capital of Ephraim, or Israel. "Drunkards," literally (Isa 28:7, 8; Isa 5:11, 22; Am 4:1; 6:1-6) and metaphorically, like drunkards, rushing on to their own destruction.

beauty … flower—"whose glorious beauty or ornament is a fading flower." Carrying on the image of "drunkards"; it was the custom at feasts to wreathe the brow with flowers; so Samaria, "which is (not as English Version, 'which are') upon the head of the fertile valley," that is, situated on a hill surrounded with the rich valleys as a garland (1Ki 16:24); but the garland is "fading," as garlands often do, because Ephraim is now close to ruin (compare Isa 16:8); fulfilled 721 B.C. (2Ki 17:6, 24).

Isaiah 28:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Judgment on Ephraim
1Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley Of those who are overcome with wine! 2Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent; As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction, Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.…
Cross References
Leviticus 26:19
I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.

Isaiah 5:11
Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.

Isaiah 9:9
All the people will know it-- Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria-- who say with pride and arrogance of heart,

Isaiah 28:7
And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions.

Hosea 5:9
Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning. Among the tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain.

Hosea 7:5
On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers.
Treasury of Scripture

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

A.M.3279. B.C.725
the crown. This chapter begins a new subject, chiefly relating to the devastations of Israel and Judah by the Assyrian kings. The ancient Samaria being beautifully situated on the top of a round hill, and surrounded immediately with a rich valley, and then a circle of other hills around it, suggested the idea of a chaplet, or wreath of flowers.

Isaiah 28:3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

Hosea 5:5 And the pride of Israel does testify to his face: therefore shall …

Hosea 6:10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the …

drunkards

Isaiah 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are …

Isaiah 5:11,22 Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow …

Proverbs 23:29 Who has woe? who has sorrow? who has contentions? who has babbling? …

Hosea 4:11 Prostitution and wine and new wine take away the heart.

Hosea 7:5 In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles …

Amos 2:8,12 And they lay themselves down on clothes laid to pledge by every altar…

Amos 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: …

whose

Isaiah 28:4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, …

Isaiah 7:8,9 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; …

Isaiah 8:4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother…

2 Kings 14:25-27 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath to the …

2 Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, …

2 Kings 18:10-12 And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year …

2 Chronicles 28:6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty …

2 Chronicles 30:6,7 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes …

Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of …

overcome. Heb. broken

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