Isaiah 27:4

Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

Fury is not in me,.... Against his vineyard he takes so much care of, his church and people, whom he has loved with an everlasting love; they are indeed deserving of his wrath, but he has not appointed them to it, but has appointed his Son to bear it for them, who has delivered them from wrath to come, and they being justified by his blood and righteousness, are saved from it; and though the Lord chastises them for their sins, yet not in wrath and sore displeasure; there is no wrath or fury in his heart towards them, nor any expressed in the dispensations of his providence:

who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? either suggesting the weakness of his people, who, was he to deal with them as their sins and corruptions deserved, for which they may be compared to thorns and briers, they would be as unable to bear his wrath and fury as briers and thorns could to withstand a consuming fire; or rather intimating, that should such persons rise up in his vineyard, the church, as often do, comparable to briers and thorns for their unfruitfulness and unprofitableness, for the hurt and mischief they do, and the grief and trouble they give to the people of God, as hypocrites and false teachers, and all such as are of unsound principles, and bad lives and conversations, and which are very offensive to the Lord; and therefore, though there is no fury in him against his vineyard, the church, yet there is against those briers and thorns, wicked men, whom he accounts his enemies, and will fight against them in his wrath, and consume them in his fury; see 2 Samuel 23:6:

I would go through them: or, "step into it" {p}; the vineyard, where those briers or thorns are set and grow up; the meaning is, that he would step into the vineyard, and warily and cautiously tread there, lest he should hurt any of the vines, true believers, while he is plucking up and destroying the briers and thorns; or contending, in a warlike manner, with carnal and hypocritical professors:

I would burn them together; or, "I would burn" out of it {q}; that is, gather out of the vineyard the briers and thorns, and bind them up in bundles, as the tares in the parable, which signify the same as here, and burn them, or utterly destroy them; though the words may be rendered, "who will give, or set, me a brier and thorn in battle, that I should go against it, and burn it up together?", or wholly {r} and the meaning is, who shall irritate or provoke me to be as a brier and thorn, to hurt, grieve, and distress my people, to cause me to go into them, and against them, in a military way, in wrath and fury to consume them? no one shall. This rendering and sense well agree with the first clause of the verse. Jerom renders it thus, "who will make me an adamant stone?" as the word "shamir" is rendered in Ezekiel 3:9 Zechariah 7:12 and gives the sense, who will make me hard and cruel, so as to overcome my nature, my clemency, to go forth in a fierce and warlike manner, and walk upon my vineyard, which before I kept, and burn it, which I had hedged about?

{p} hb hevpa "gradiar in eam"; so some in Vatablus; "caute ingrediar eam", Piscator.
{q} hntyua "succendam ex ea", Junius & Tremellius; "comburam illos ex ipsa", Piscator.
{r} So De Dieu; and some in Vatablus; and which is approved by Noldius, who renders it in like manner, to the same sense, Ebr. Concord. Part. p. 409. No. 1671.