Isaiah 28:5
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,
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(5) In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory.—The words are obviously used in direct contrast with the “crown of pride “in Isaiah 28:1-3. The true glory of the people for “the remnant that should be left” of Israel, as well as Judah, should be found in the presence of Jehovah, whom they would then acknowledge. In the gathering of some of the Ten Tribes at Hezekiah’ s passover (2Chronicles 30:11) there had already been an earnest of such a restored union.




Isaiah 28:5
. - Isaiah 62:3.

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 under foot of a garland on a reveller’s head, the roses of which fade and droop amid the fumes of the banqueting hall, and are then flung out on the highway. The contrast presented is very striking and beautiful. When all that gross and tumultuous beauty has faded and died, then God Himself will be a crown of beauty to His people.

The second text comes into remarkable line with this. The verbal resemblance is not quite so strong in the original. The words for diadem and crown are not the same; the word rendered glory in the second text is rendered beauty in the first, but the two texts are entirely one in meaning. The same metaphor, then, is used with reference to what God is to the Church and what the Church is to God. He is its crown, it is His.

I. The Possession of God is the Coronation of Man.

{a} Crowns were worn by guests at feasts. They who possess God sit at a table perpetually spread with all which the soul can wish or want. Contrast the perishable delights of sense and godless life with the calm and immortal joys of communion with God; ‘a crown that fadeth not away’ beside withered garlands.

{b} Crowns were worn by kings. They who serve God are thereby invested with rule over selves, over circumstances, over all externals. He alone gives completeness to self-control.

{c} Crowns were worn by priests. The highest honour and dignity of man’s nature is thereby reached. To have God is like a beam of sunshine on a garden, which brings out the colours of all the flowers; contrast with the same garden in the grey monotony of a cloudy twilight.

II. The Coronation of Man in God is the Coronation of God in Man.

That includes the following thoughts.

The true glory of God is in the communication of Himself. What a wonderful light that throws on divine character! It is equivalent to ‘God is Love.’

He who is glorified by God glorifies God, as showing the most wonderful working of His power in making such a man out of such material, by an alchemy that can convert base metal into fine gold; as showing the most wonderful condescension of His love in taking to His heart man, into whose flesh the rotting leprosy of sin has eaten.

Such a man will glorify God by becoming a conscious herald of His praise. He who has God in his heart will magnify Him by lip and life. Redeemed men are ‘secretaries of His praise’ to men, and ‘to principalities and powers in heavenly places is made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.’

He who thus glorifies God is held in God’s hand.

‘None shall pluck them out of My Father’s hand.’

All this will be perfected in heaven. Redeemed men lead the universal chorus that thunders forth ‘glory to Him that sitteth on the throne.’

‘He shall come to be glorified in His saints.’

‘Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.’

Isaiah 28:5-6. “Thus far,” says Bishop Lowth, “the prophecy relates to the Israelites, and manifestly denounces their approaching destruction by Shalmaneser. Here it turns to the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the remnant of God’s people, who were to continue a kingdom after the final captivity of the Israelites. It begins with a favourable prognostication of their affairs under Hezekiah: but soon changes to reproofs and threatenings, for their intemperance, disobedience, and profaneness.” In that day — When the kingdom of Israel shall be utterly destroyed; the Lord of hosts shall be for a crown of glory, &c. — Shall give eminent glory and beauty unto the residue of his people — Unto the kingdom of Judah, who shall continue in their own country, when Israel is carried into captivity. And for a spirit of judgment, &c. — He explains how, or wherein, God would glorify and beautify them, even by giving wisdom to their rulers, and courage to their soldiers; which two things contribute much to the strength, safety, and glory of a nation. To them that turn the battle to the gate — Who not only drive their enemies from their land, but pursue them into their own lands, and besiege them in their own cities.

28:5-15 The prophet next turns to Judah, whom he calls the residue of his people. Happy are those alone, who glory in the Lord of hosts himself. Hence his people get wisdom and strength for every service and every conflict. But it is only in Christ Jesus that the holy God communicates with sinful man. And whether those that teach are drunk with wine, or intoxicated with false doctrines and notions concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah, they not only err themselves, but lead multitudes astray. All places where such persons have taught are filled with errors. For our instruction in the things of God, it is needful that the same precept and the same line should be often repeated to us, that we may the better understand them. God, by his word, calls us to what is really for our advantage; the service of God is the only true rest for those weary of the service of sin, and there is no refreshment but under the easy yoke of the Lord Jesus. All this had little effect upon the people. Those who will not understand what is plain, but scorn and despise it as mean and trifling, are justly punished. If we are at peace with God, we have, in effect, made a covenant with death; whenever it comes, it cannot do us any real damage, if we are Christ's. But to think of making death our friend, while by sin we are making God our enemy, is absurd. And do not they make lies their refuge who trust in their own righteousness, or to a death-bed repentance? which is a resolution to sin no more, when it is no longer in their power to do so.In that day - This verse commences a new subject, and affirms that while the kingdom of Israel should be destroyed, the kingdom of Judah would be preserved, and restored (compare Isaiah 7-9)

Be for a crown of glory - He shall reign there as its king, and he shall guard and defend the remnant of his people there. This reign of Yahweh shall be to them better than palaces, towers, walls, and fruitful fields, and shall be a more glorious ornament than the proud city of Samaria was to the kingdom of Israel.

And for a diadem of beauty - A beautiful garland. The phrase stands opposed to the wreath of flowers or the diadem which was represented Isaiah 28:1, Isaiah 28:3 as adorning the kingdom and capital of Israel. Yahweh and his government would be to them their chief glory and ornament.

Unto the residue of his people - To the kingdom of Judah, comprising the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. This doubtless refers to the comparatively prosperous and happy times of the reign of Hezekiah.

5-13. The prophet now turns to Judah; a gracious promise to the remnant ("residue"); a warning lest through like sins Judah should share the fate of Samaria.

crown—in antithesis to the "fading crown" of Ephraim (Isa 28:1, 3).

the residue—primarily, Judah, in the prosperous reign of Hezekiah (2Ki 18:7), antitypically, the elect of God; as He here is called their "crown and diadem," so are they called His (Isa 62:3); a beautiful reciprocity.

In that day; when the kingdom of Israel shall be utterly destroyed.

For a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty; God shall give them eminent glory and beauty. Unto the residue of his people; unto the kingdom of Judah, who shall continue in their own country, when Israel is carried into captivity.

In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory,.... Or, "glorious crown" (p); surrounding, adorning, and protecting his people; granting them his presence; giving them his grace, and large measures of it; causing them to live soberly, righteously, and godly: this stands opposed to "the crown of pride" before mentioned, and refers to the time when that should be trampled under foot, or when the ten tribes should be carried into captivity, which was in the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, 2 Kings 18:10 at which time, and in whose reign, as well as in the reign of Josiah, this prophecy had its accomplishment:

and for a diadem of beauty: or, "a beautiful diadem" (q); the same as expressed by different words, for the confirmation and illustration of it:

unto the residue of his people; the Arabic version adds, "in Egypt"; the people that remained there, when the others were carried captive, but without any foundation. Jarchi interprets it of the righteous that were left in it, in Samaria, or in Ephraim, in the ten tribes before spoken of; but it is to be understood, as Kimchi observes, of the other two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, which remained in their own land, when others were carried captive, to whom God gave his favours, spiritual and temporal, in the times of Hezekiah and Josiah; and especially the former is meant, and who was a type of Christ, to whom this passage may be applied, who is the glory of his people Israel; and so the Targum paraphrases it,

"in that day shall the Messiah of the Lord of hosts be for a crown of joy;''

and Kimchi says their Rabbins expound this of the King Messiah, in time to come, when both the kingly and priestly glory should be restored; the one being signified by the "crown of glory", the other by the "diadem of beauty".

(p) "pro corona decora", Piscator. (q) "et pro diademate ornante", Piscator.

In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, to the {e} remnant of his people,

(e) Signifying that the faithful who do not put their trust in any worldly prosperity but made God their glory, will be preserved.

5. a crown of glory] no longer a “crown of pride,” as Isaiah 28:1; Isaiah 28:3.

diadem of beauty] The word çěphîrâh (diadem) occurs again only in Ezekiel 7:7; Ezekiel 7:10 (where, however, the sense is disputed). It probably denotes a “ring or circlet.

the residue (remnant) of his people] The exact phrase is not found elsewhere.

5, 6. Jehovah Himself the true glory of His people; a Messianic pendant to the foregoing picture of Samaria’s fall. The phrase in that day points as usual to the indefinite future of the Messianic age, not to the day of the judgment on North Israel. Whether the “remnant of His people” denotes the survivors of the Northern tribes, or those of Judah, or of the whole nation, it means a converted remnant; and there is no reason to suppose that Isaiah at any time expected the conversion of Judah to follow immediately the destruction of Ephraim. He is here looking beyond the whole series of national judgments, and the insertion of the promise is evidently suggested by the contrast between the false glory that has vanished and the true glory which shall endure.

Verses 5, 6. - THE FALL OF SAMARIA COINCIDENT WITH AN OFFER OF FAVOR TO JUDAH. Her sister's fate was the most powerful of all possible warnings to Judah against treading in her steps. Samaria had perished through want of faith in Jehovah. She had turned to other gods; she had trusted in her own "glory" and "beauty;" and she had trusted in Egypt. If Judah would do the exact opposite, she might be saved. If she would take Jehovah for her "Crown of glory" and "Diadem of beauty," he was willing to be so taken. He was willing to impart a "spirit of judgment" to her rulers, and "strength" to her armed force. Verse 5. - In that day shall the Lord of hosts be, etc. This is an offer, and something more than an offer. It is implied that, to some extent, the offer would be accepted. And clearly the closing of the clouds around Samaria was coincident with the dawn of a brighter day in Judah. Hezekiah came to the throne only three years before the fatal siege of Samaria began. His accession must have been nearly contemporaneous with that expedition of Shal-maneser against Hoshea, when he "shut him up, and bound him in prison" (2 Kings 17:4). Yet he was not daunted by his neighbor's peril. He began his reign with a political revolution and a religious reformation. He threw off the yoke of Assyria, to which his father had submitted (2 Kings 18:7), and he cleared the land of idols and idol-worship. It was the dawn of a day of promise, such as the prophet seems to point to in these two verses. Unhappily, the dawn was soon clouded over (vers. 7-9). The residue of his people; i.e. Judah. All admit that "they also," in ver. 7, refers to Judah, and Judah only; but the sole antecedent to "they also" is this mention of the residue of God's people. Isaiah 28:5The threat is now followed by a promise. This is essentially the same in character as Isaiah 4:2-6. The place of the false glory thus overthrown is now filled by a glory that is divine and true. "In that day will Jehovah of hosts be the adorning crown and the splendid diadem to the remnant of His people; and the spirit of justice to them that sit on the judgment-seat, and heroic strength to them that drive back war at the gate." "The remnant of His people" (שׁאר with a fixed kametz, as in Isaiah 21:17) is not Judah, as distinguished from Ephraim that had utterly perished; but Judah and the remaining portion of Ephraim, as distinguished from the portion which had perished. After the perishable thin in which they gloried had been swept away, the eternal person of Jehovah Himself would be the ornament and pride of His people. He, the Lord of the seven spirits (Isaiah 11:1), would be to this remnant of His people the spirit of right and heroic strength. There would be an end to unjust judging and powerless submission. The judges are called "those who sit ‛al-hammishpât" in the sense of "on the seat of judgment" (Psalm 9:5; Psalm 122:5); the warriors are called "those who press back milchâmâh shâ‛râh" (war at the gate), i.e., either war that has reached their own gate (Isaiah 22:7), or war which they drive back as far as the gate of the enemy (2 Samuel 11:23; 1 Macc. 5:22). The promise in this last passage corresponds to Micah 5:4-5. The athnach in Isaiah 28:6 ought to stand at hammishpât; the second clause of the v. may be completed from the first, ולגבוּרה being equivalent to גבורה ולרוח, and משיבי to למישבי. We might regard 2 Chronicles 30 as a fulfilment of what is predicted in Isaiah 28:6, if the feast of passover there described really fell in the age succeeding the fall of Samaria; for this feast of passover did furnish a representation and awaken a consciousness of that national unity which had been interrupted from the time of Rehoboam. But if we read the account in the Chronicles with unprejudiced minds, it is impossible to shut our eyes to the fact that this feast of passover took place in the second month of the first year of Hezekiah's reign, and therefore not after the depopulation of the northern kingdom by Shalmanassar, but after the previous and partial depopulation by Tiglath-pileser. In fact, the fulfilment cannot be looked for at all in the space between the sixth and fourteenth years of Hezekiah, since the condition of Judah during that time does not answer at all to the promises given above. The prophet here foretells what might be hoped for, when Asshur had not only humbled Ephraim, but Judah also. The address consists of two connected halves, the promising beginnings of which point to one and the same future, and lay hold of one another.
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