His watchmen are blind,
they are all without knowledge;
they are all mute dogs,
they cannot bark;
dreaming, lying down,
loving to slumber. Bible see other translations

“His watchmen are blind.” Isaiah 56:10 starts a new subject, which concerns the evil leaders of Judah and what happens under their rule. It would have been very helpful to the English reader if Isaiah 56:10 had been numbered as Isaiah 57:1, which would make the current Isaiah 57:1 be Isaiah 57:4. If that were done, the Bible reader would more easily see the scripture flow from the end of Isaiah 56 through the start of Isaiah 57. Then it would be much clearer as to why the righteous people were being taken from the earth and why no one seemed to notice or care (Isa. 57:1).

The close of Isaiah 56 (Isa. 56:10-12) describes the leaders of the time, and they are referred to by common words for leaders: “watchmen” and “shepherds.” But they are also referred to in a derogatory manner and called “dogs.” They did not keep watch and give warnings (they are mute dogs that cannot bark—so even as “dogs” they don’t bark and warn others); they love to sleep; they are greedy and seek their own gain instead of the welfare of others; they are shepherds who have no understanding; and they love to get drunk. In that horrific situation, the righteous people quietly disappear. Some no doubt die or are even executed after kangaroo courts and mock trials. Some likely move away, and some, sadly, seeing the prosperity of the wicked and that God does not seem to care or intervene, lose their will to stand up for the righteous laws of God and join the ranks of the evil leaders. Thus, slowly but surely, the righteous people “perish” and are “taken away.” Yet the wicked people are so focused on themselves and their own gain that “no one takes it to heart” and there is “no one considering” what is happening or that in fact the righteous people are actually being taken from the earth and thus spared experiencing the terrible evil that God promised will come upon the earth, both to the people of earth and the earth itself.

Commentary for: Isaiah 56:10