Isaiah 28:14
Therefore hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.
The Infatuation of SinW. Clarkson Isaiah 28:14, 15, 18-20
Incongruous ScorningIsaiah 28:14-22
Isaiah's ResponseSir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 28:14-22
Jehovah Pronounces JudgmentE. Johnson Isaiah 28:14-22
Refuges of LiesN. D. Hillis, D. D.Isaiah 28:14-22
ScornersIsaiah 28:14-22
Scornful RulersIsaiah 28:14-22

The rulers or politicians are addressed. They are stigmatized as "men of scorn" (cf. ver. 22; Isaiah 29:20; Hosea 7:5). The scornful or scoffing habit implies excessive self-confidence on the one hand, on the other contempt of religion and of God. But "be not deceived; God is not mocked." "It has been commonly found," says Calvin, "in almost every age, that the common people, though they are distinguished by unrestrained fierceness and violence, do not proceed to such a pitch of wretchedness as nobles and courtiers, or other crafty men, who think that they excel others in ability and wisdom." It is a dreadful and monstrous thing when the governors of the Church, not only are themselves blinded, but even blind others, and excite them to despise God and ridicule godly doctrine.

I. FALSE SECURITY. It is some delusion as to their own security which leads men to mock at the judgments of God. The ruling classes thought they had secured themselves against an Assyrian invasion. "They had their fortresses, their soothsayers and prophets, their diplomatists - the latter almost occupied with the preliminaries for a treaty with Egypt" (Cheyne). This fancied security is expressed under a bold figure. To be in covenant with death is like being in covenant with the beasts or the stones of the field (Job 5:23; Hosea 2:18). They have made, as they think, a compact with Hades. Probably enough the allusion may be to the wizards whom they consult. If so, it is true enough to all experience that men, when they have cast off the restraints of true religion, seek to make up for it by dabbling in superstition. "The scorners or free-thinkers have retained a strong belief in the infernal powers, though little enough in those supernal" (Cheyne). Idly have they made lies their refuge, and so think to be exempt from the "flooding scourge" as it sweeps over the land (cf. Isaiah 8:7, 8). They act as if there was any security except in "walking uprightly, and in speaking truth with the heart." Their resources are spoken of by them under plausible names, and there are ways that "seem right to them." They do not think they are falsehoods; but the prophet tears away the disguise, and calls them by their proper names. "The essential substance of the thoughts and words of the rulers is manifest to the Searcher of hearts" (Delitzsch).

II. THE TRUE FOUNDATION. A Foundation-stone is, or shall be, laid in Zion, nay, costly and solid (cf. 1 Kings 5:17, "Great stones, costly stones, hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house"). The foundation-stone of the temple typifies the unchangeable verity of God, as revealed from age to age in his holy seat and oracle. The believer shall rest securely upon God, and only here shall true security be found. (For the general idea, of. Matthew 7:24, 25. For the application to the Messiah, see 1 Peter 2:6; Romans 10:11; Matthew 21:42; Luke 20:17, 18; Luke 2:34; Ephesians 2:20.) The kingdom of God on earth rests on the Messiah. He was tried by temptation and other suffering, and so proved able and sufficient for the work of salvation. His Name, his work, is the most precious element in the Church's foundation. And amidst every tempest of judgment which shall sweep over the world, he who confides in Christ shall feel that he has built upon a Rock which cannot be shaken; and shall make no haste, shall be free from agitation and alarm. Till we possess faith, we must have continual perplexity and distress; for there is but one Object on which we can safely rely - the truth of the Lord, which alone wilt give us peace and serenity of mind. Peace is the direct result of faith (Romans 5:1), and faith is repose on that Foundation other than which none can be laid (1 Corinthians 3:11).

III. OVERTHROW OF FALSE REFUGES. There will be judgment exact and severe, figured by the carpenter's line and plummet. The hail-symbol of Divine wrath (Psalm 105:32; Ezekiel 13:13; Ezekiel 38:22; Revelation 8:7; Revelation 11:19) will sweep away the refuge of falsehood, and the hiding-place of deceit shall be carried along in the flood. That "covenant with death" shall be cancelled, and the "agreement with Sheol shall not stand. There shall be repeated Assyrian invasions; and the tidings" at which men laughed shall be a terror for them to hear (cf. ver. 9). Or, having neglected the soul-message, they shall be compelled to listen to the preaching of facts. The proverb (ver. 20) depicts the state of distress which will exist. History will repeat itself. As when David conquered the Philistines on Perazim and Gibeon (2 Samuel 5:20; 1 Chronicles 14:16), or as in the scene of Joshua 10:10, Jehovah will arise to do his work of judgment, a work more fitted for an alien people than that of his choice and love. God does not delight in judgment; it may even be called his "strange work," being foreign to the kindness of his heart. All that he drives at in his chastisements is to bring men to the knowledge of themselves. He is "slow to anger," and infinitely compassionate (Psalm 103:8; Exodus 34:6). Or the strangeness may be that he will now proceed to attack and exterminate his people, as formerly he had their foes. The hand felt by their fathers for salvation shall be felt by them for destruction.

IV. CLOSING APPEAL. These scornful politicians who desire to break the Assyrian bonds are exhorted to change their minds, and so avoid the destruction otherwise certain and infallibly decreed by Jehovah of hosts. They wished to escape from their fetters by a breach of faith, with the help of Egypt, without Jehovah, and so mocked at the prophet's warning. He therefore appeals to them to stop their scoffing, lest they should fall out of their present bondage into one more severe, and lest the judgment certainly at hand should fall more weightily upon them. Timely repentance might even now open a way of escape. We may apply the appeal as general. As God gives us' to foresee the issue of unwise ways in time, so by repentance may we avert the danger. To despise the Divine justice is not courage, but madness. Let us judge ourselves, that we may not be judged of the Lord; and because "that day" shall come as a thief in the night, ever let us have oil in our lamps, i.e. faith and repentance in our hearts, wisdom in the intelligence, justice and charity in our lives; and meditate daily on the vanity and shortness of our lives, the certainty and uncertainty of our deaths, the exactness and severity of the judgment to come, and the immutability of its results (South). - J.

Hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men.
The prophet replies that when the storm does sweep over the land, as it assuredly will, these "refuges of lies" will prove no shelter to their builders; they have been tried by the plummet of honesty and righteousness and found to be so out of line that they must come down: but meanwhile, nay, from of old, Jehovah has Himself founded a really serviceable house for His people, namely, the ancient constitution and polity of which He Himself is the chief cornerstone; and the man who trusts in that foundation, believing that it really is there, will not be urged to any impatient acts of panic, whatever may be the apparent danger.

(Sir E. Strachey, Bart.)

It is bad with a people when their thrones of judgment become the seats of the scornful.

( M. Henry.)

That the rulers of Jerusalem should be men of such a character is very sad. Who will be mourners in Zion if they are scorners?

( M. Henry.)

I. HOW THESE SCORNFUL MEN LULLED THEMSELVES ASLEEP in carnal security, and even challenged God Almighty to do His worst (ver. 15).

II. HOW GOD AWAKENS THEM OUT OF THIS SLEEP, and shows them the folly of their security.

1. He tells them upon what grounds they might be secure. He doth not disturb their false confidences till He hath first showed them a firm bottom on which they may repose themselves (ver. 16). This foundation is —

(1)The promises of God in general.

(2)The promise of Christ in particular (1 Peter 2:6-8).

2. He tells them that upon these grounds which they now built on they could not be safe, but their confidences would certainly fail them (vers. 17-21).


( M. Henry.)

We have made lies our refuge.
Let us assemble in classes the excuses of a score or more of people who have told me frankly why they had decided not to become Christians.

1. First of all, is a class who excuse themselves because the Church has stood for bigotry, narrowness, and cruelty. It is said that in all ages the Church has included hypocrites among its members. But can anything be more unfair than these excuses? Granted that Peter cursed and denied with vulgar oaths his Master, what has that to do with the beauty of Christ's character or the claim of His kingdom upon your life? Confessedly, John Calvin was simply an organised syllogism, an animated argument, bloodless as a stone. Even if he did play the traitor like Peter, and refuse to forgive his enemy and forgot the God who makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, how does his recreancy make right yours? Here is the world of business and commerce. Tomorrow merchants will adulterate their goods, traders will tamper with the weights, clerks will steal money from the bank, assistants will rob their employers. Since you do not care to associate with hypocrites, withdraw tomorrow morning from business. Give up all physicians, because some are quacks. Draw down the shades over your windows, because there are spots on the sun; and give up the summer, because there are stormy days in July; and give up the fruits, because there are blemishes on the apples.

2. There is another class that emphasise the uncertainty and disagreements concerning Christianity. Since it is all so hazy, and at best only a probability, they are unwilling to commit themselves to the Christian life. It is not necessary that we should understand all doctrines and the philosophy of duty, in order to fulfil the moral obligations. Life is governed by probability. There may be a thousand disagreements as to theology, but there is no disagreement as to what it is to be a Christian. We are asked to show the fruits of love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness.

3. Others there are who urge that becoming a Christian puts restraints upon the individual, narrows the range of his enjoyments, shuts up certain highways of happiness. "I want always to feel perfectly free," exclaims the youth. "I am afraid that I might find myself somewhat cabined and confined by taking upon myself these obligations." But becoming a Christian is simply to obey the laws of Christ. This objection is based upon a false theory of liberty. Liberty is obedience to law. It is sin that narrows the life. It is disobedience that cabins men and confines them; it is loyalty to God's laws that breaks down the walls, pushes back the horizons and makes the soul a citizen of the universe.

(N. D. Hillis, D. D.)

Gibeon, Isaiah
Assyria, Jerusalem, Mount Perazim, Valley of Gibeon, Zion
Ballad-mongers, Ear, Jerusalem, O, Pride, Rule, Rulers, Ruling, Scoffers, Scornful, Scorning, Wherefore
1. The prophet threatens Ephraim for their pride and drunkenness
5. The residue shall be advanced in the kingdom of Christ
7. He rebukes their error
9. Their unwillingness to learn
14. And their security
16. Christ the sure foundation is promised
17. Their security shall be tried
23. They are incited to the consideration of God's providence

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 28:14

     5818   contempt

Isaiah 28:14-15

     8819   scoffing

June 8. "Bread Corn is Bruised" (Isa. xxviii. 28).
"Bread corn is bruised" (Isa. xxviii. 28). The farmer does not gather timothy and blue grass, and break it with a heavy machine. But he takes great pains with the wheat. So God takes great pains with those who are to be of much use to Him. There is a nature in them that needs this discipline. Don't wonder if the bread corn is treated with the wise, discriminating care that will fit it for food. He knows the way He is taking, and there is infinite tenderness in the oversight He gives. He is watching
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Foundation of God
'Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.'--ISAIAH xxviii. 16. 'Therefore thus saith the Lord.' Then these great words are God's answer to something. And that something is the scornful defiance by the rulers of Israel of the prophet's threatenings. By their deeds, whether by their words or no, they said that they had made friends of their enemies, and that
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

God's Strange Work
'That He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.'--ISAIAH xxviii. 21. How the great events of one generation fall dead to another! There is something very pathetic in the oblivion that swallows up world- resounding deeds. Here the prophet selects two instances which to him are solemn and singular examples of divine judgment, and we have difficulty in finding out to what he refers. To him they seemed the most luminous illustrations he could find of the principle
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Man's Crown and God's
'In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty.'--ISAIAH xxviii. 5. 'Thou shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord.'--ISAIAH lxii 3. Connection of first prophecy--destruction of Samaria. Its situation, crowning the hill with its walls and towers, its fertile 'fat valley,' the flagrant immorality and drunkenness of its inhabitants, and its final ruin, are all presented in the highly imaginative picture of its fall as being like the trampling
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Judgment of Drunkards and Mockers
'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! 2. Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which, as a tempest of hail, and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. 3. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: 4. And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Husbandman and his Operations
'Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. 24. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground! 25. When lie hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? 26. For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. 27. For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Crown Op Pride or a Crown of Glory
'The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet; 4. And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.'--ISAIAH xxviii. 3-5. The reference is probably to Samaria as a chief city of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Bed and Its Covering
Now, I think it may be readily granted, that man's body is, after all, only a picture of his inner being: just what the body needs materially, that the soul needs spiritually. The soul, then, needs two things. It requires rest, which is pictured to us in sleep. The soul needs a bed upon which it may repose quietly and take its ease. And, again, the soul needs covering, for as a naked body would be both uncomfortable, unseemly, and dangerous; much more would the naked soul be unhappy, noxious to the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

The Extent of Messiah's Spiritual Kingdom
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever! T he Kingdom of our Lord in the heart, and in the world, is frequently compared to a building or house, of which He Himself is both the Foundation and the Architect (Isaiah 28:16 and 54:11, 12) . A building advances by degrees (I Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:20-22) , and while it is in an unfinished state, a stranger cannot, by viewing its present appearance, form an accurate judgment
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Of Predestination
Eph. i. 11.--"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."--Rom. ix. 22, 23.--"What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory." In the creation of the world, it pleased the Lord,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Samaria. Sychem.
"The country of Samaria lies in the middle, between Judea and Galilee. For it begins at a town called Ginea, lying in the Great plain, and ends at the Toparchy of the Acrabateni: the nature of it nothing differing from Judea," &c. [Acrabata was distant from Jerusalem, the space of a day's journey northwards.] Samaria, under the first Temple, was the name of a city,--under the second, of a country. Its metropolis at that time was Sychem; "A place destined to revenges": and which the Jews, as it seems,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Self-Righteousness Insufficient.
1 "Where are the mourners, [1] (saith the Lord) "That wait and tremble at my word, "That walk in darkness all the day? "Come, make my name your trust and stay. 2 ["No works nor duties of your own "Can for the smallest sin atone; "The robes [2] that nature may provide "Will not your least pollutions hide. 3 "The softest couch that nature knows "Can give the conscience no repose: "Look to my righteousness, and live; "Comfort and peace are mine to give.] 4 "Ye sons of pride that kindle coals "With your
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Letter xxxvi (Circa A. D. 1131) to the Same Hildebert, who had not yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope.
To the Same Hildebert, Who Had Not Yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope. He exhorts him to recognise Innocent, now an exile in France, owing to the schism of Peter Leonis, as the rightful Pontiff. To the great prelate, most exalted in renown, Hildebert, by the grace of God Archbishop of Tours, Bernard, called Abbot of Clairvaux, sends greeting, and prays that he may walk in the Spirit, and spiritually discern all things. 1. To address you in the words of the prophet, Consolation is hid from
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Of the Scriptures
Eph. ii. 20.--"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Believers are "the temple of the living God," in which he dwells and walks, 2 Cor. vi. 16. Every one of them is a little sanctuary and temple to his Majesty, "sanctify the Lord of hosts in your hearts." Though he be "the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity," yet he is pleased to come down to this poor cottage of a creature's heart, and dwell in it. Is not this
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

He Does Battle for the Faith; He Restores Peace among those who were at Variance; He Takes in Hand to Build a Stone Church.
57. (32). There was a certain clerk in Lismore whose life, as it is said, was good, but his faith not so. He was a man of some knowledge in his own eyes, and dared to say that in the Eucharist there is only a sacrament and not the fact[718] of the sacrament, that is, mere sanctification and not the truth of the Body. On this subject he was often addressed by Malachy in secret, but in vain; and finally he was called before a public assembly, the laity however being excluded, in order that if it were
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

How to Make Use of Christ for Steadfastness, in a Time when Truth is Oppressed and Borne Down.
When enemies are prevailing, and the way of truth is evil spoken of, many faint, and many turn aside, and do not plead for truth, nor stand up for the interest of Christ, in their hour and power of darkness: many are overcome with base fear, and either side with the workers of iniquity, or are not valiant for the truth, but being faint-hearted, turn back. Now the thoughts of this may put some who desire to stand fast, and to own him and his cause in a day of trial, to enquire how they shall make
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Of Orders.
Of this sacrament the Church of Christ knows nothing; it was invented by the church of the Pope. It not only has no promise of grace, anywhere declared, but not a word is said about it in the whole of the New Testament. Now it is ridiculous to set up as a sacrament of God that which can nowhere be proved to have been instituted by God. Not that I consider that a rite practised for so many ages is to be condemned; but I would not have human inventions established in sacred things, nor should it be
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

The Knowledge that God Is, Combined with the Knowledge that He is to be Worshipped.
John iv. 24.--"God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." There are two common notions engraven on the hearts of all men by nature,--that God is, and that he must be worshipped, and these two live and die together, they are clear, or blotted together. According as the apprehension of God is clear, and distinct, and more deeply engraven on the soul, so is this notion of man's duty of worshipping God clear and imprinted on the soul, and whenever the actions
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour, and are Wearied," &C.
Matth. xi. 28.--"Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are wearied," &c. It is the great misery of Christians in this life, that they have such poor, narrow, and limited spirits, that are not fit to receive the truth of the gospel in its full comprehension; from whence manifold misapprehensions in judgment, and stumbling in practice proceed. The beauty and life of things consist in their entire union with one another, and in the conjunction of all their parts. Therefore it would not be a fit way
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

An Address to the Regenerate, Founded on the Preceding Discourses.
James I. 18. James I. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. I INTEND the words which I have now been reading, only as an introduction to that address to the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, with which I am now to conclude these lectures; and therefore shall not enter into any critical discussion, either of them, or of the context. I hope God has made the series of these discourses, in some measure, useful to those
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Of the Necessity of Divine Influences to Produce Regeneration in the Soul.
Titus iii. 5, 6. Titus iii. 5, 6. Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. IF my business were to explain and illustrate this scripture at large, it would yield an ample field for accurate criticism and useful discourse, and more especially would lead us into a variety of practical remarks, on which it would be pleasant
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

The Justice of God
The next attribute is God's justice. All God's attributes are identical, and are the same with his essence. Though he has several attributes whereby he is made known to us, yet he has but one essence. A cedar tree may have several branches, yet it is but one cedar. So there are several attributes of God whereby we conceive of him, but only one entire essence. Well, then, concerning God's justice. Deut 32:4. Just and right is he.' Job 37:23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Mercy of God
The next attribute is God's goodness or mercy. Mercy is the result and effect of God's goodness. Psa 33:5. So then this is the next attribute, God's goodness or mercy. The most learned of the heathens thought they gave their god Jupiter two golden characters when they styled him good and great. Both these meet in God, goodness and greatness, majesty and mercy. God is essentially good in himself and relatively good to us. They are both put together in Psa 119:98. Thou art good, and doest good.' This
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Knowledge of God
'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lord is a God of knowledge; or as the Hebrew word is, A God of knowledges.' Through the bright mirror of his own essence, he has a full idea and cognisance
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

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