Isaiah 27:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, With His fierce and great and mighty sword, Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.

King James Bible
In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Darby Bible Translation
In that day Jehovah, with his sore and great and strong sword, will visit leviathan the fleeing serpent, and leviathan the crooked serpent; and he will slay the monster that is in the sea.

World English Bible
In that day, Yahweh with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan, the fleeing serpent, and leviathan the twisted serpent; and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

Young's Literal Translation
In that day lay a charge doth Jehovah, With his sword -- the sharp, and the great, and the strong, On leviathan -- a fleeing serpent, And on leviathan -- a crooked serpent, And He hath slain the dragon that is in the sea.

Isaiah 27:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

In that day - In that future time when the Jews would be captive in Babylon, and when they would sigh for deliverance (see the note at Isaiah 26:1). This verse might have been connected with the previous chapter, as it refers to the same event, and then this chapter would have more appropriately commenced with the poem or song which begins in Isaiah 27:2.

With his sore - Hebrew, הקשׁה haqāshâh - 'Hard.' Septuagint, Τὴς ἁγίαν Tēn hagian - 'Holy.' The Hebrew means a sword that is hard, or well-tempered and trusty.

And great, and strong sword - The sword is an emblem of war, and is often used among the Hebrews to denote war (see Genesis 27:40; Leviticus 26:25). It is also an emblem of justice or punishment, as punishment then, as it is now in the Turkish dominions, was often inflicted by the sword Deuteronomy 32:41-42; Psalm 7:12; Hebrews 11:37. Here, if it refers to the overthrow of Babylon and its tyrannical king, it means that God would punish them by the armies of the Medes, employed as his sword or instrument. Thus in Psalm 17:13, David prays, 'Deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword' (compare the notes at Isaiah 10:5-6).

Leviathan - לויתן livyâthân. The Septuagint renders this, Τὴν δράκοντα Tēn drakonta - 'The dragon.' The word 'leviathan' is probably derived from לוה lâvâh in Arabic, to weave, to twist (Gesenius); and literally means, "the twisted animal." The word occurs in six places in the Old Testament, and is translated in Job 3:8, 'mourning,' Margin, 'leviathan;' in Job 41:1, 'leviathan' - in which chapter is an extended description of the animal; in Psalm 74:14, it is rendered 'leviathan,' and seems to be applied to Pharaoh; and in Psalm 104:26, and in the passage before us, where it is twice also rendered 'leviathan.' Bochart (Hierez. ii. 5. 16-18) has gone into an extended argument to show that by the leviathan the crocodile is intended; and his argument is in my view conclusive. On this subject, Bochart, Dr. Good (on Job 41), and Robinson's Calmet, may be consulted.

The crocodile is a natural inhabitant of the Nile and of other Asiatic and African rivers; is of enormous voracity and strength, as well as of fleetness in swimming; attacks mankind and all animals with prodigious impetuosity; and is furnished with a coat of mail so scaly and callous that it will resist the force of a musket ball in every part except under the belly. It is, therefore, an appropriate image by which to represent a fierce and cruel tyrant. The sacred writers were accustomed to describe kings and tyrants by an allusion to strong and fierce animals. Thus, in Ezekiel 29:3-5, the dragon, or the crocodile of the Nile, represents Pharaoh; in Ezekiel 22:2, Pharaoh is compared to a young lion, and to a whale in the seas; in Psalm 74:13-14, Pharaoh is compared to the dragon, and to the leviathan. In Daniel 7, the four monarchs that should arise are likened to four great beasts. In Revelation 12, Rome, the new Babylon, is compared to a great red dragon.

In the place before us, I suppose that the reference is to Babylon; or to the king and tyrant that ruled there, and that had oppressed the people of God. But among commentators there has been the greatest variety of explanation. As a "specimen" of the various senses which commentators often assign to passages of Scripture, we may notice the following views which have been taken of this passage. The Chaldee Paraphrast regards the leviathans, which are twice mentioned, as referring, the first one to some king like Pharaoh, and the second to a king like Sennacherib. rabbi Moses Haccohen supposes that the word denotes the most select or valiant of the rulers, princes, and commanders that were in the army of the enemy of the people of God. Jarchi supposes that by the first-mentioned leviathan is meant Egypt, by the second Assyria, and by the dragon which is in the sea, he thinks "Tyre" is intended.

Aben Ezra supposes that by the dragon in the sea, Egypt is denoted. Kimchi supposes that this will be fulfilled only in the times of the Messiah, and that the sea monsters mentioned here are Gog and Magog - and that these denote the armies of the Greeks, the Saracens, and the inhabitants of India. Abarbanel supposes that the Saracens, the Roman empire, and the other kingdoms of Gentiles, are intended by these sea monsters. Jerome, Sanctius, and some others suppose that "Satan" is denoted by the leviathan. Brentius supposes that this was fulfilled in the day of Pentecost when Satan was overcome by the preaching of the gospel. Other Christian interpreters have supposed, that by the leviathan first mentioned "Mahomet" is intended; by the second, "heretics;" and by the dragon in the sea, "Pagan India." Luther understood it of Assyria and Egypt; Calvin supposes that the description properly applies to the king of Egypt, but that under this image other enemies of the church are embraced, and does not doubt that "allegorically" Satan and his kingdom are intended. The more simple interpretation, however, is that which refers it to Babylon. This suits the connection: accords with the previous chapters; agrees with all that occurs in this chapter, and with the image which is used here. The crocodile, the dragon, the sea monster - extended, vast, unwieldy, voracious, and odious to the view - would be a most expressive image to denote the abhorrence with which the Jews would regard Babylon and its king.

The piercing serpent - The term 'serpent' (נחשׁ nāchâsh) may be given to a dragon, or an extended sea monster. Compare Job 26:13. The term 'piercing,' is, in the Margin, 'Crossing like a bar.' The Septuagint renders it, Ὄφιν Φεύγοντα Ophin pheugonta - 'Flying serpent. The Hebrew, בריח bāriyach, rendered 'piercing,' is derived from ברץ bârach," to flee;" and then to stretch across, or pass through, as a bar through boards Exodus 36:33. Hence, this word may mean fleeing; extended; cross bar for fastening gates; or the cross piece for binding together the boards for the tabernacle of the congregation Exodus 26:26; Exodus 36:31. Lowth renders it, 'The rigid serpent;' probably with reference to the hard scales of the crocodile. The word "extended, huge, vast," will probably best suit the connection. In Job 26:13, it is rendered, 'the crooked serpent;' referring to the constellation in the heavens by the name of the Serpent (see the note at that place). The idea of piercing is not in the Hebrew word, nor is it ever used in that sense.

That crooked serpent - This is correctly rendered; and refers to the fact that the monster here referred to throws itself into immense volumes or folds, a description that applies to all serpents of vast size. Virgil has given a similar description of sea monsters throwing themselves into vast convolutions:

'Ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta

- immensis orbibus angues.'

- AEn. ii.203.

And again:

continued...

Isaiah 27:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Twelfth Day for the Spirit to Convince the World of Sin
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Spirit to convince the World of Sin "I will send the Comforter to you. And He, when He is come, will convict the world in respect of sin."--JOHN xvi. 7, 8. God's one desire, the one object of Christ's being manifested, is to take away sin. The first work of the Spirit on the world is conviction of sin. Without that, no deep or abiding revival, no powerful conversion. Pray for it, that the gospel may be preached in such power of the Spirit, that men may see that they have
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

How Shall one Make Use of Christ as the Life, when Wrestling with an Angry God Because of Sin?
That we may give some satisfaction to this question, we shall, 1. Shew what are the ingredients in this case, or what useth to concur in this distemper. 2. Shew some reasons why the Lord is pleased to dispense thus with his people. 3. Shew how Christ is life to the soul in this case. 4. Shew the believer's duty for a recovery; and, 5. Add a word or two of caution. As to the first, There may be those parts of, or ingredients in this distemper: 1. God presenting their sins unto their view, so as
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Ahaz
The accession of Ahaz to the throne brought Isaiah and his associates face to face with conditions more appalling than any that had hitherto existed in the realm of Judah. Many who had formerly withstood the seductive influence of idolatrous practices were now being persuaded to take part in the worship of heathen deities. Princes in Israel were proving untrue to their trust; false prophets were arising with messages to lead astray; even some of the priests were teaching for hire. Yet the leaders
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

The Great Shepherd
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. I t is not easy for those, whose habits of life are insensibly formed by the customs of modern times, to conceive any adequate idea of the pastoral life, as obtained in the eastern countries, before that simplicity of manners, which characterized the early ages, was corrupted, by the artificial and false refinements of luxury. Wealth, in those
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Cross References
Revelation 12:3
Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.

Revelation 12:4
And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

Job 3:8
"Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.

Job 26:13
"By His breath the heavens are cleared; His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.

Job 41:1
"Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?

Psalm 74:14
You crushed the heads of Leviathan; You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

Psalm 104:26
There the ships move along, And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.

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