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.
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).