Isaiah 5:21-30

Isa 5:21

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!


Isaiah now gives the fifth woe and that is woe unto them who are wise in their own eyes, who think that all the judgments they make are good even though they are made from a sinful vantage point and will propel them deeper into sin.  They are deceiving themselves believing that they are prudent which carries with it the meaning of “wise, careful, or shrewd.”  Their decisions have only caused them to go deeper into sin and bring others into their own sin.  Many today believe they are wise in their own eyes especially those who believe in evolution, atheism, dark politics, condemnation of Christianity and those who hold leadership positions in government local, state, or federal and in industry.  This even applies to many in ministry who have had center stage for a long time and think they are intellectually invincible. 


Isa 5:22

Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:


Then Isaiah brings the sixth woe.  There are many who can drink large amounts of alcoholic beverage and it does not affect them but it does affect their judgments.  Then there are those whose minds should be on their calling as leaders who instead spend their time creating alcoholic drinks which are more potent than the regular ones.  They mix herbs, spices and even certain drugs they put into the drinks to increase potency.  Their lives are wasted on trying to create new ways of escaping reality through liquor.


Isa 5:23

Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!


Then there are those judges who take a bribe and always judge in favor of the one who bribed them no matter how guilty the one giving the bribe is.  Then while justifying the one who has bribed the judge they turn the judgment on the innocent one and pronounce them as guilty thus taking a righteous person and turning them into an unrighteous person by means of a false verdict.  They make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent like in the fourth woe.


Isa 5:24

Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.


When they will not expect it the judgment of God will fall upon them as quickly as fire devours stubble which is like dry straw and will consume them as flame consumes chaff which is very dry, like dry grass and quickly ignitable.  Just as a tree whose roots are hit with a disease and causes the roots to die which means the tree dies following the dead roots, they will suffer from rotten roots which they have made of their false religions and arrogant attitudes.  The blossom which is normally a very pretty flower in the springtime is akin to what they have valued as their precious cargo.  Whatever they valued like gold and silver will disappear as dust does in the wind and will be seen no more.  They have completely cast away the law of the LORD and have no longer studied it and obeyed it plus they now despise the word of the Holy One.  Despise carries with it the meaning of “abhorred or condemned.”  After all the LORD has done for them, how could they have gotten themselves into such a mindset?  Easy, all they needed was one sin to cause them to walk away and go to a second sin and so on.  When one continues to walk the path of darkness, it will not be long before the word of God is a loathsome thing.  Then sin becomes easier when the people around you are doing it.  During the pandemic many spoke of “herd immunity” which helps the disease to wane but what about “herd sinning” when everyone around you is doing sinful things, it doesn’t lessen the sin instead it propels it even more strongly and that is what Judah was doing at the time.


Isa 5:25

Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


Owing to all the evil they are involved in the anger of the LORD is kindled against those who profess to know him.  Kindled means to set on fire or ignite.  Stretching forth his hand refers to the judgments they received in the past and also the judgments they will receive in the future from the Babylonians and the Romans.  The hills did tremble may refer to the time of the earthquake in the time of Uzziah.  The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. (Amos 1:1)  Their bodies remained unburied right where they fell which was a symbol of judgment.  His anger not being turned away shows that the judgments had not yet been equal to their sins but they will be increased because they paid no attention to the judgments they suffered and will suffer much more intensely.


Isa 5:26

And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly: 


The ensign would be some kind of banner or standard and will hiss unto them, that is, he will whistle to them for the purpose of summoning them and their response will be a swift one.  They will come from a far distance but they will suffer no fatigue as they, unbeknownst to them, will be doing the work of being the judging hand of God against his rebellious people.


Isa 5:27

None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:


They will arrive at the scene of the battle in the same strong condition in which they left their homeland.  This verse tells us that not even the most minor thing will hinder them such as the latchets of their shoes being broken.  They will be under divine protection from the LORD until they perform the judgments upon Judah that was decreed for them by God.  There will be no hindering of their efforts to arrive at the battle in a strong position.


Isa 5:28

Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:


The arrows are sharp and their bows are bent to indicate that all their weapons will be in top shape when they engage the battle.  The hooves of the horses will be like flint, that is, they will remain strong and will continue to support horse and rider without any of them breaking or wearing out. This means that their cavalry and chariots will arrive at the city gates as strong as they left their city.  The wheel of the chariots will be like a whirlwind and will sound like a tornado or hurricane as they approach the city and that sound will instill fear in the inhabitants of Judah.


Isa 5:29

Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.


The sound of the approaching army with all their soldiers and chariots will be like that of a roaring lion who is out searching for food and is in a state of prowling and seeking out his prey.  Then the lion will find its prey and when it does it goes in for the kill and then carries it away safely to his own den.  The same thing will happen to Judah as the Babylonians will come in and capture them and remove them to their home country.  Since this is decreed by God, no one will be able to stop or hinder that oncoming judgment.


Isa 5:30

And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.


Their roaring shall be against Judah just as the roaring sea is deadly when it is churned up by a storm making it boisterous.  The twelve disciples were on the Sea of Galilee when a boisterous storm came up and keep in mind some of them were seasoned fishermen like Peter.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (Matthew 14:30)  If they look toward the land and hope to find safety there, they will see nothing but darkness and sorrow because their land is now filled with the enemy and there will be no deliverance by the land.  If they look to the heavens for light, that is, they look to God to be spared from this judgment, then they will not receive any help because their judgment for their obstinacy in committing sins against the LORD is now being judged and nothing will stop that judgment.