Isaiah 1:21-31

Isa 1:21

How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.


When David and Solomon ruled, the city of Jerusalem was dedicated totally unto the LORD but over the years when the kingdom split and there were some bad kings, the nation of Judah had become like an unfaithful wife.  Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 3:20)  Judah had departed from her husband which was the LORD.  Once there was a time when it had proper justice for all and was equitable for all social classes and righteousness had pervaded the city because of their devotion to the LORD.  Now it is full of murderers as those who have stoned the prophets and those rich people who had the poor people killed so they could steal their land and property to increase their wealth.  And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. (Hosea 6:9)


Isa 1:22

Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:


They had degenerated into sin so deeply that here they are compared to dross instead of silver.  The dross is left after the silver ore is removed from it making the dross useless.  The wine which was a valued drink among the ancient people is here stated it was mixed with water which means it was diluted as they were.  They diluted their lives with the sins of the flesh and made themselves weak and useless.


Isa 1:23

Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.


These princes who administered in various offices became rebellious against God by means of becoming corrupted.  They loved to judge a case based upon how much bribes they took.  For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. (Amos 5:12)  They desired to keep company with those who could line their pockets and keep them in the position they are in.  The principle is found in Jude 16.  These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. (Jude 16)  The poor people such as the widows and orphans did not receive the same justice as those who were wealthy.  In fact, these people were so despised by the rulers that they could not even get a hearing in their courts of law.


Isa 1:24

Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:


Therefore means that since they are guilty of all these violations of the law of God, he is now going to tell them what they can expect in return for their evil ways.  “Ah” is an expression that conveys God’s disgust at their pernicious ways.  He is now going to deal with his enemies.  To be at ease means he is now going to bring judgment upon them and that will be vengeance upon his enemies, that is, those who have perverted the people and those people who have adopted the pernicious ways of the leaders.  At one time Judah was his children but now they are acting as his enemies with their evil lifestyles.


Isa 1:25

And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

The hand of the LORD will be upon them but within God’s judging hand is also mercy as he will not make a complete end of them, instead his hand will reverse their evil and bring them back into line according to his law.  God will purely purge away the dross, that is, he is going to rid Judah of those leaders and people who have committed crimes against others contrary to the law of God.  He will take away the tin, that is, an alloyed metal and they will no longer be diluted but will be pure silver again.  The tin has an appearance of silver which means the hypocrites among them will also be purged.  Those who claim they are righteous but are evil to the core.


Isa 1:26

And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellers as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.


The work of god’s judgment will end up in time of restoration as it was at the beginning when their rulers were godly men.  The judges will be replaced which means there will once again be a godly and fair system of law.  The counsellors will be those who will give their biblical counsel to both the judges and the princes according to the law of God.  Once these are put into place, then Jerusalem shall be called the city of righteousness where all people no matter what their social class is will be treated properly and it will be called the faithful city because once again the city of Jerusalem will become a city totally dedicated to God.  Of course, the deeper spiritual meaning here is that both of these titles belong to the body of believers in Christ.  The true believer is made righteous because of Christ and we are called a city as the one Abraham sought for and we are made faithful of the indwelling Holy Spirit.


Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)


These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)


8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews



Isa 1:27

Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.


Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, that is the remnant within the ancient nation of Israel and they shall become righteous in the LORD.  This means they will become saved in Christ, both before the physical and after the physical cross.  The old city of Jerusalem will benefit greatly from the reforms the LORD is going to place there.  It will be purged of the evil doers by means of the judgment of God and those who will obey the law of God will be deemed righteous.  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4:8)  The ultimate righteousness is imputed to the Elect from the righteousness of Christ as was the case of Abraham which was representative of all believers receiving the righteousness of Christ.  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23) 


Isa 1:28

And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.


Those who were the troublemakers in Judah and Jerusalem will be removed permanently from the people.  All those who transgressed the law by means of their sinful lifestyles will be permanently removed from the people so their influence and sinful ways will cease among the people when they see their fate.  Then those who have forsaken the LORD especially by means of idolatry and false religion will be consumed.  The word “consumed” means they will perish from the land.  This is also a foreshadow of the final judgment on the last day.  All those who are unredeemed and have died in their sins will be consumed by the LORD into everlasting damnation.


Isa 1:29

For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.


Then those who have partook in sacrifices to false gods will cause them to be shamed when they see that the idols were no gods at all.  Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. (Jeremiah 2:11)  They had sacrificed to false gods under oaks in groves which were forbidden under the law of God.  For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. (Jeremiah 2:20)  Not only did they sacrifice to the false gods in the forest, they also did it in gardens.  A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; (Isaiah 65:3) 


Isa 1:30

For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.


Then in contrast to the tree which gives shade by its leaves and the garden which is well-watered which sometimes God had compared Israel to.  5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! 6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. (Numbers 24:5-6)  Now they are compared to a tree which has no leaves and a garden which has no water.  The tree is dead and shows it by no leaves or fruit on it and a garden which is not watered will grow no fruit and everything will die on the vine.  Judah had become a dead tree and a dead garden, both useless and ready to be cut down and uprooted.


Isa 1:31

And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.


The mighty men who thought they were so strong and invincible and thought they drew their strength from the false gods will be nothing more than tow.  Tow is a broken part of flax or hemp and would easily be consumed by a fire because of its dryness.  Both the false gods, the makers of the false gods and their worshippers will be consumed quickly as in the fire and will not be part of the saved remnant and nothing they do or anybody else does can quench that fire.  This is another foreshadow of the final judgment day that those who are condemned to everlasting damnation will suffer the lake of fire and nothing is going to be able to prevent or to stop their torment in hell.  Once the sentence is passed it must be carried out.