Isaiah 28: Don’t Drink and Preach

Isaiah 28: Don’t Drink and Preach

Original Publication Date
February 9, 2019
Jan 29, 2023 5:59 AM
IsaiahChapter StudyDeathSalvationRepentance and ForgivenessProphecyDrunkenness
Bible References
Isaiah 28
Table of Contents
This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on February 9, 2019 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.


Isaiah 28 gives us a few reminders:

  • not to be drunk
  • that God is the ultimate authority
  • and by His ultimate authority, He has given us a way to be redeemed from death

One of the most beautiful things about the Bible is that even when God is telling us about our sin and wickedness, He gives us hope.


I don't think anyone will argue about the Bible condemning drunkenness—how we carry that into our daily lives might be another topic. The first part of Isaiah 28 is evidence of God's stance against drunkenness. In His judgements against the drunkards of Ephraim, God points out their inability to do what is needed because of their drunken stupor. The reason it is illegal to drink and drive is because alcohol impairs our reaction time, as well as, our decision making.

Have you ever seen videos of people after getting their wisdom teeth removed or other surgeries? The drugs used to put them to sleep leave them in a confused but often heightened stupor. Some are extremely emotional,[1] some are rambunctious,[2] and some are forgetful.[3]

Now imagine your pastor standing in the pulpit trying to explain the word of God in that condition. His words would be slurred, his interpretation probably wouldn't make sense. He would struggle to hold his composure and likely have random outbursts that you wouldn't be able to follow. His body would be fighting an internal war trying to process the alcohol, meanwhile his brain would be trying to recall the word of God. That's not an easy task.

Literal Interpretation

God describes this disaster in literal form. Isaiah 28:7-8 is exactly the image I had in my mind, complete with the after effects of a hangover. A person in this condition is in no shape to teach someone—to do anything, really.

Spiritual Interpretation

We know the literal effects of drugs and alcohol, but if we step back for a minute and realize that God is always talking to us about our salvation, we would see that there is spiritual meaning here as well. In Revelation 17:2, we see the "kings of the world" become "drunk" from sin. The specific sin mentioned is sexual immorality, but in context, we can infer that this references all sin. Why? Because, throughout the Bible God always refers to the Israelites' breach of the covenant as adultery or fornication with pagan gods. In Revelation, the woman is the false church, so the passage is referring to being a part of this false church and following her instruction instead of God's—which could be any and all types of sin.

In that light, if we are drunk with sin, we distance ourself from God. Our ability to understand His message or the visions He gives us becomes impaired. Similarly, it is hard for us to bring others into the Body of Christ or teach the gospel when we are so embroiled in our own problems.

Precept Upon Precept

Have you heard the phrase "precept upon precept, line upon line?" I've heard it a plenty. Usually it's given to mean that the interpretation gathered from a particular verse must match the rest of the Bible. It is basically a warning not to take things out of context. The actual verse is found in Isaiah 28:10 and Isaiah 28:13.

Isaiah 28:10 seems to fit the use that I've heard it all my life, but Isaiah 28:13 confused me. The fact that the Word of God was given to them in this manner causes them to fall implies that this isn't a good method.

I read a few commentaries trying to figure out what was being said. Some agree with the usual interpretation, concluding that in this passage, people were mocking the way Isaiah taught and wouldn't listen. The response in verse 13 is therefore God repeating their mockery to remind them why they are being punished.

Others had a slightly different take on it. They believe this is a reference to how children are taught, in simplistic terms with repetition. Reading the commentaries,[4] I had a flash back to elementary school when we had math drills. We learned multiplication through memorization, which used repetition. 7 year old me probably couldn't tell you why 7 x 8 = 56 or 6 x 9 = 72, but I could have spat out the times table with ease. Sometimes, this is how we teach the Word of God. It's simply drilled into us without tapping into the fact that the Word is living. It is meant to help us form a relationship with God, not robotically obey.

Regardless of which interpretation you agree with, I think there is truth in both. To understand the Word you do need to go line by line and each piece of the puzzle has to fit. It also beneficial to teach the Word through living examples as opposed to beating it into memory. Just as I could rapidly recite the times table as a child, but had no connection to what I was saying, the same can happen to believers who only memorize their beliefs. When we simply memorize the Word of God, it hasn't necessarily touched out hearts yet so it has no effect on us.

A Deal with Death

Isaiah 28:15 talks about mankind's covenant with death. Because we have sinned, we have chosen death over life. By sinning, we do Death's bidding and thus are marked as his instead of God's.


The great news is that God has found a way to get us out of this contract with death. If you remember a few years ago, the LA Clippers owner was caught saying racist things. The players, though likely offended by his comments, could not just up and quit their jobs because they signed legally binding contracts that committed them to that team. This is what we have done with death. Luckily, God is a phenomenal lawyer, judge, and jury. He has agreed to both represent us and judge our case, ensuring that we can break that contract. All we need is to accept His cornerstone

The cornerstone discussed here is none other than God's Son, the Messiah. Other passages that speak of this cornerstone are Psalm 118:22, Zechariah 10:4, Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, and 1 Peter 2:6-7. From these verses, it is evident that here God is explaining the plan of salvation, redemption, and freedom from our covenant with death.

God's Approach to Justice

The last few verses in the chapter discuss the differences that happen on a farm, since that is was that is what the people would know best. He reminds us that there are several different tasks needed to grow crops (plowing, planting, etc.), and each crop needs different things. For instance, a cactus needs very little water to grow, but some plants actually grow submerged in water. This same principle carries over to the treatment of people. God judges us on a case by case scenario, determining what is needed for our specific situation.

References and Footnotes

  1. Jayci Underwood. " Girl Desperate to be Nicki Minaj After Wisdom Teeth Removal". Youtube. October 21, 2014
  2. Dolan Twins. "Ethan Gets His Wisdom Teeth Removed !!". Youtube. Dec 13, 2016
  3. CNN. "Man after surgery: 'You're my wife?'". YouTube. September 10, 2013
  4. "Isaiah 28:10 Commentary". Bible Hub; visited February 2019

Back to


Other Pages to View

Bible Studies


Related Studies



Related Studies


Related Podcasts

Related Experiences


Related History

Revelation 1: John Receives a Vision
ProphecyThe 7 ChurchesSymbolismJohn of PatmosRevelationChapter StudyMessiah
1 Chronicles 10: Saul’s Death
1 ChroniclesChapter StudySaulDeath
2 Kings 13-15: Elisha’s Death + 8 Kings of Israel
2 KingsChapter StudyMoabSyriaElishaAhaziah/JehoahazDeathAssyriaCaptivity
2 Kings 2: Elisha Succeeds Elijah
2 KingsChapter StudyElijahElishaDeathFireWater
2 Kings 1: Ahaziah
2 KingsChapter StudyAhaziah/JehoahazDeathElijah
1 Kings 1-2: Solomon Crowned King
1 KingsChapter StudySolomonDavidWomenDeath
Ecclesiastes 12: The Meaning of Life
EcclesiastesChapter StudyDeathRepentance and ForgivenessWisdom
Ecclesiastes 8-10: Wisdom
EcclesiastesChapter StudyCommandmentsLeadershipDeathMoney
Ecclesiastes 7: Wise Sayings
EcclesiastesChapter StudyWisdomDeathWomenAngerFalse Doctrine
Ecclesiastes 3: A Time For Everything
EcclesiastesChapter StudyDeathSeasons
Ecclesiastes 1-2: The Futility of Life
Chapter StudyEcclesiastesWaterDeathMoneyWisdom
Psalms 31-40
Chapter StudyPsalmsRepentance and ForgivenessCommunicationMessianic ProphecyBook 1
Psalms 11-20
Chapter StudyPsalmsBook 1DeathPovertyMessianic ProphecyJobJosephAbrahamMosesPatiencePeace
Psalms 21-30
Chapter StudyPsalmsMessianic ProphecyBook 1DeathLeadershipIntercessory PrayerDavid
Proverbs 31: A Virtuous Woman
ProverbsChapter StudyPovertyDrunkennessWomen
Proverbs 30: Agur’s Proverbs
ProverbsChapter StudyWisdomDeathAnimals
Proverbs 10-22: More of Solomon’s Wisdom
ProverbsChapter StudyPrideWisdomAngerRepentance and ForgivenessWomenJusticeLyingCommandmentsRelationshipsMoney
Job 41-42: God’s Final Word
JobChapter StudyAnimalsWaterRepentance and Forgiveness
Job 2-3: A Conversation with Friends
JobChapter StudyMental HealthRelationshipsDeath
Jonah 4: Selfish Righteousness
JonahChapter StudyAngerMental HealthRepentance and ForgivenessAssyria
Jonah 1: Running From God
Chapter StudyJonahWaterDavidAnimalsRepentance and ForgivenessMessiahFaith
Joshua 23-24: The Last Days of Joshua
JoshuaChapter StudyDeath
Joshua 18-19: Dividing the Land (Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan)
JoshuaChapter StudyTempleBenjaminSimeonZebulunIssacharAsherNaphtaliDanProphecy
Psalms 1-10
Chapter StudyPsalmsBook 1Messianic ProphecySymbolismProphecyCovenantJusticeDavid
Genesis 37-50: The 12 Tribes of Israel
GenesisChapter StudyJosephBenjaminLeviJudahRuebenSimeonZebulunIssacharGadDanManassehEphraimAsherNaphtaliRepentance and ForgivenessFamineEgyptWomenSexual ImoralityGenealogyIncestTamarDreams and VisionsIrony
Deuteronomy 1-4: The First Address
DeuteronomyChapter StudyMoabAmmonFalse Deities and ProphetsCommandmentsMosesRepentance and ForgivenessJoshua (person)
2 Chronicles 33: Manasseh & Amon
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyAmonManassehJosiahJudahFalse Deities and ProphetsRepentance and Forgiveness
2 Chronicles 29-32: Hezekiah
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyHezekiahMusicPassoverDeathIsaiah the prophetAssyriaLevi
2 Chronicles 21: Jehoram
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyJehoramPlaguesDeathEdomElijahAhabFalse Deities and ProphetsMurder
2 Chronicles 25: Amaziah
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyMurderFalse Deities and ProphetsDeathAmaziahEdom
2 Chronicles 14-16: Asa
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyAsaEthiopiaDeath
Would You Rather?: Betray or Deny
Would You RatherJudasPeterRepentance and ForgivenessLuke
2 Chronicles 23-24: Athaliah and Joash
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyAthaliahJoashProphecyDeath
1 Samuel 8-10: A King for Israel
1 SamuelChapter StudyRelationshipsProphecySaulLeadership
1 Samuel 12: Samuel
1 SamuelChapter StudySamuelRepentance and Forgiveness
1 Samuel 15: Saul Sins
1 SamuelChapter StudyAmalakitesSaulRepentance and ForgivenessSamuel
Numbers 22-24: Balak, Balaam, and the Talking Donkey
NumbersChapter StudyMoabAnimalsMessianic ProphecyProphecyFalse Deities and Prophets
Song of Solomon 5-7: The Second Night of Separation
Song of SolomonChapter StudyRelationshipsSymbolismMetaphorLoveProphecyMessianic Prophecy
Isaiah 59-66: The Program of Peace
IsaiahChapter StudyNew JerusalemFalse Deities and ProphetsMessianic ProphecyProphecyClean and Unclean
Isaiah 49-58: The Prince of Peace
IsaiahChapter StudyMessianic ProphecySabbathJusticePeaceLGBT
Isaiah 40-48: The Purpose of Peace
IsaiahChapter StudyPeaceHyperboleMessianic ProphecyPovertyBabylonFalse Deities and ProphetsAbraham
Isaiah 34-39: A Judgement and A Future
IsaiahChapter StudyDeathJudgementHezekiahEdomFalse Doctrine
Isaiah 29-33: Woe to the Unbeliever
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyJudgementPovertyWomenMessianic Prophecy
Isaiah 24: All the Earth
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyJudgementFalse Deities and Prophets
Isaiah 23: Tyre
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyTyre
Isaiah 22: Eat, Drink, & Be Merry
IsaiahChapter StudyMessianic ProphecyCaptivityProphecy
Isaiah 25-27: Songs
IsaiahChapter StudyDeathProphecyMusic
Isaiah 21: Edom & Arabia
IsaiahChapter StudyEdomProphecyGenealogy
Isaiah 21: The Fall of Babylon
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyBabylon
Isaiah 20: Prophesying in the Nude
IsaiahChapter StudyEgyptProphecy
Isaiah 19: Egypt
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyEgyptSymbolism
Isaiah 18: The Unnamed Nation
IsaiahChapter StudyEthiopiaMetaphorJudgementProphecy
Isaiah 17: Damascus/Syria
IsaiahChapter StudyJudgementProphecyAssyriaSyria
Isaiah 15-16: Moab
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyMoabCaptivity
Isaiah 14: Satan’s Origin Story?
IsaiahChapter StudyPhilistineSatanProphecyBabylonDeathWater
Isaiah 12: Praise God with Song
IsaiahChapter StudyMusic
Isaiah 11: The Lion and the Lamb
IsaiahChapter StudyGenealogyProphecyMessiahNew JerusalemAnimalsFood and Diet
Isaiah 13: Babylon is Fallen, is Fallen
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyBabylonPersiaSymbolism
Isaiah 10: Woe to those Who Oppress the Poor
IsaiahChapter StudyPovertyAssyriaProphecy
Isaiah 8: Concluding the Message to Ahaz
IsaiahChapter StudyWaterSigns Seals and MarksProphecyWitchcraftSymbolism
Isaiah 6: A Glimpse of Angels
IsaiahChapter StudyAngelsRepentance and ForgivenessJudeEnoch
Isaiah 7: A Prophecy for Ahaz
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyCaptivityJudgement
Isaiah 7: Born of a Virgin
IsaiahChapter StudyMessianic ProphecyMary & JosephMatthewLukeMiracle Birth
Isaiah 9: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
IsaiahChapter StudyEphraimManassehMessianic ProphecySatanJudgementRepentance and Forgiveness
Isaiah 5: The 6 Woes
IsaiahChapter StudyMetaphorParableJudgementMoneyFalse Deities and ProphetsProphecy
Isaiah 3: Judgment of Israel (Pt. 2)
IsaiahChapter StudyFalse Deities and ProphetsWomenProphecyJudgement
Isaiah 4: Judgment of Israel (Pt. 3)
IsaiahChapter StudyWomenRelationshipsJerusalemSymbolismProphecy
Isaiah 2: Judgment of Israel
IsaiahChapter StudyJudgementTempleProphecyFalse Deities and Prophets
Isaiah 1: Judgment for Israel is Coming
IsaiahChapter StudyCaptivityRepentance and ForgivenessJudgement
Numbers 19: Purification
NumbersChapter StudyDeathClean and UncleanSacrifice
Numbers 16-18: Rebellion
NumbersChapter StudyIntercessory PrayerAaronPriesthoodTithesDeath
Numbers 35: Special Cities
NumbersChapter StudyMurderPovertyLeviRepentance and Forgiveness
Exodus 33-35: Repentance & The Second Set of Tablets
ExodusChapter StudyRepentance and ForgivenessClean and UncleanIsraelIntercessory PrayerFeasts & Holy DaysMoses
Exodus 32: The Golden Calf
ExodusChapter StudyFalse Deities and ProphetsMosesAaronCommandmentsRepentance and ForgivenessIntercessory Prayer
Jeremiah 1: Jeremiah’s Call
JeremiahChapter StudyDreams and VisionsProphecyJosiah
Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
DanielChapter StudyBabylonNebuchadnezzarProphecyPersiaRomePapal RomeDreams and Visions
Nehemiah 7-11: Restoration of Jerusalem
NehemiahChapter StudyTithesGenealogyRepentance and ForgivenessSalvationFeasts & Holy Days
Acts 1-5: The Early Days of the Church
Chapter StudyActsCainAbelDiscipleshipLyingProphecyMoneyThe ChurchPeterTheft
Acts 9: From Saul to Paul
ActsChapter StudyPaulRepentance and ForgivenessHoly SpiritTheft
Acts 15: Disagreements in the Church
ActsChapter StudyPaulPeterLeadershipCommandmentsSalvationCircumcisionRepentance and Forgiveness
Obadiah 1: Woe to Edom
Chapter StudyObadiahEdomProphecy
2 Samuel 13-19: Absalom’s Coup
Chapter Study2 SamuelDavidRelationshipsTamarWomenSexual ImoralitySexual AssaultRepentance and Forgiveness
You Are What You Eat: Isaiah 66
Food and DietClean and UncleanIsaiahProphecy
Why ‘The Bride of Christ’ is the Perfect Description
Would You Rather?: Marriage vs. Singleness
Would You RatherRelationshipsLoveRepentance and ForgivenessHoseaPaul
PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.