ch. 24




From special denunciations of woe upon particular nations — Babylon,

Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria of Damascus, Egypt and Ethiopia, Arabia,

Judea, Tyrethe prophet passes to denunciations of a broader character,

involving the future of the whole world. This section of his work extends

from the commencement of Isaiah 24. to the conclusion of Isaiah 27., thus

including four chapters. The world at large is the general subject of the

entire prophecy; but the “peculiar people” still maintains a marked and

prominent place, as spiritually the leading country, and as one in whose

fortunes the world at large would be always vitally concerned (see

Isaiah 24:23; 25:6-8; 26:1-4; 27:6, 9, 13).


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vs. 1-3 - depopulation - "turneth it upside down" -no respect of persons –

            all walks of society – no favor shown to men of any particular

            rank or station.  All shall suffer equally!


Compare the declaration of our Lord, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors

of wars: see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass,

but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom

against kingdom.., all these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).


v. 4 - "the earth....fadeth away" - As a flower that fades and withers

up (comp.Isaiah 1:30; 28:1, 4; 34:4,Psalm 1:3; 37:2, 103:15-17)).


In the margin of my commentary I wrote - dogwoods - 4/26/93 –

where are they today? Where is that day?


My diary of "Monday - April 26, 1993 - a real pretty day -

we got out of school at 1:18 pm for Mr. Bell's funeral -

dau. stayed in and had cheerleading practice - her

boyfriend and sister took her to a local fast food

place - wife picked her up & took her to gymnastics

 - got in around 9 pm - I went to an artifact site -

conditions weren't good for looking but I did find a

Clovis preform that is an excellent teaching example

(I won't go into the details)





Now where is that day?  "we spend our lives as a tale that is told"

 (Psalm 90:9) – NOW IS THE DAY FOR SALVATION – to get

right with God - to do what we are going to do  - tomorrow or nearly

13 years from now may be or is too late!  This being 2006 – CY


NOW IT IS MARCH, 2009 – another three years have passed! CY


One of the saddest verses in the Bible is “The harvest is past, the

summer has ended, AND WE ARE NOT SAVED” – Jeremiah 8:20


It is not unusual for the Lord to say to any person – “this night

thy soul shall be required of thee” – Luke 12:20



              This was given to me before a service recently.


the haughty people of the earth do languish” – All the great are

brought down, and laid low, that “the Lord alone may be exalted

in that day”


ch. 2:11,17 & in between - (on your own)


v. 5 – “The earth also is defiled


Hitherto the prophet has been concerned with the mere fact of a terrible

judgment to be sent by God upon the whole world. Now he sets forth THE

CAUSE of the fact. It is the old cause, which has reduced so many lauds to

desolation, and which in the far-off times produced the Flood, viz. the

wickedness of man (Genesis 6:5-13). The earth is “defiled” or “polluted”

by the sins of its inhabitants,and has to be purged from the defilement by



“I will destroy THEM with the earth” – Genesis 6:13

thou…shouldest destroy THEM which destroy the earth” – Revelation 11:17-18


Remember – it was “the inhabitants” who “defiled” the earth!  v. 5


"they have transgressed the laws"

  • "law written in their hearts" - Rom. 2:15
  • "the Law handed down from Adam,Noah, Moses

Mankind has in all ages largely transgressed both laws and both would

seem to be pointed at in the present passage. The transgression of the

law written in the heart” is doubtless that which especially calls down

God’s vengeance, and makes Him from time to time execute wrath on

the whole world.


"changed the ordinance" - a modern violation also!


"broken the everlasting covenant" – that “everlasting covenant” which

exists between God and man, in virtue of the nature wherewith God has

endowed man, and of the laws which He has impressed upon man’s



v. 6 - "therefore hath the curse devoured the earth" -God has pronounced

            a curse upon the earth on account of man’s perversity; and hence

            the calamities which the earth is about to suffer.


The Old Testament ends with the threat "lest I come and smite the earth

with a curse" - Mal. 4:6b


v. 7 – “The new wine mourneth-  Even when the joyous time of the

vintage comes round, the earth is still sad, cannot shake off its

depression or wake up to merriment. Even those most disposed to be

“merry-hearted,” under the dismal circumstances of the time can do

nothing but “SIGH.”


vs. 8 - As if it all depended on wine, not God – All is dismay and

            wretchedness - desolation in the present - worse desolation

            expected in the future.


v. 9 – “They shall not drink wine with a song-  Men will still drink;

they will seek to drown their care in wine; but they will not have the heart

to attempt a song as they drink. Even in their cups they will be silent.

strong drink shall be bitter” - By “strong drink” (shekar) seems to be

meant any intoxicating liquor whatever, including wine. Many such liquors

were drunk in Palestine (see ‘Dict. of the Bible,’ vol. 1. pp. 458, 459). All

were more or less pleasant to the taste; but they would taste bitter to those

who were warped and soured by the calamities of the time, which would

prevent all enjoyment.



v. 10 – “The city of confusion is broken down-  No special city seems

to be intended.  Chaos (tohu) reigns in the cities, where there is no civic life,

no government, no order, nothing but confusion – “every house is shut up

bolted and barred against intruders. There is no confidence, no friendly

intercourse, no visiting.  (Sound familiar – CY – 2009)_


v. 11 – “There is a crying for wine in the streets-  Wine, though still

manufactured (see vs. 7, 9) is scarce, but is much sought after. Men

clamor for it at the doors of the wine-shops, but are unable to obtain it.

They crave for its exhilarating effects, or perhaps for the oblivion which it

brings when drunk to excess. If they could obtain it, they would act as the

Jews in the siege of Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:13). But they cannot. Hence

even the factitious merriment, which wine is capable of producing, is

denied now to the inhabitants of the earth, with whom “all joy is darkened”

from whom “all mirth is gone.


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v. 14 – “They shall lift up their voice” -  Even in this time of depression

and ruin there shall be a “remnant,” which will be faithful to God, and

which, from the midst of the sufferings and calamities of the period, will

lift up its voice,” in songs of adoration and praise, to Jehovah,


v. 15 - "wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires"


Compare I Peter 4:12 – “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the

fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened

unto you”


“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:  behold, the devil

shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall

have tribulation ten days:  be thou faithful unto death and I will

give thee a crown of life” – Revelation 2:10


v. 16 – “Glory to the righteous” - The righteous remnant perceive that

the calamities which have come upon the earth are ushering in a time of

honor and glory for themselves; and they console themselves by making

this fact the burden of some of their songs. Their honor, it must be

remembered, is bound up with God’s glory; which will not shine forth

fully till their salvation is complete, and they “reign with him” in glory

(2Timothy 2:12).


"my leanness, my leanness” – the thought of this joyful time, when the

saints shall reign with their Lord in a new heaven and a new earth,

recalls the prophet to the misery of the present, and his own participation

therein.  A time of suffering, of wasting, and pining away must be endured –

for how long he knows not - before the joyous consummation, towards

which he stretches in hope and confident expectancy, can be reached. This

is the period of his “leanness.”


The ‘treacherous dealers”, or ungodly of the earth, will bear sway during

this period, and will deal treacherously and cruelly with God’s saints,

persecuting them incessantly in a thousand ways.


vs. 17-20 - bad tidings - not Good News!


v. 17 – “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee” - Man will be

like a hunted animal, flying from pursuit, and in danger at each step of

falling into a pit or being caught in a snare.


v. 18 – “The noise of the fear” - the sound of the pursuers. Hunters

pursued their game with shouts and cries – “the windows from on high

are open” (comp. Genesis 7:11). It is not actually another flood that is

threatened, but it is a judgment as sweeping and destructive as the Flood.


the foundations of the earth do shake”


See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not

who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we

escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven:

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised,

saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those

things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things

which cannot be shaken may remain.  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom

which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God

acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire”.

Hebrews 12:25-29


vs. 19-20 – “The earth is utterly broken downclean dissolved…..moved



The present earth will disappear altogether to be superseded by "a new

heaven and a new earth"


“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the

heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with

fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons

ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting

unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall

be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless

we,  according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,

wherein dwelleth righteousness”.  II Peter 3:10-13



“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was

a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,

and the moon became as blood;  And the stars of heaven fell unto the

earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken

of a mighty wind.  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled

together; and  every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the

chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free

man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And

said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of

Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 6:12-17


the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it” - the earth perishes on

account of men’s sins – “it shall fall, and not rise again” - The present

earth is to disappear altogether, and to be superseded by “a new heaven

and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1)


v. 21 - "in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones

            that are on high" – see note on v. 4


A special visitation on those who have been especially instrumental in

producing the great wickedness that has brought the world to an end!


See Revelation 11:18 - "and shouldest destroy them which destroy the



spirits - spiritual wickedness in high places (effects of the drug culture

in the United States and world) – brought about the general corruption

and wickedness which necessitated the destruction of the earth!


v. 21 – “In that day” - About that time — in connection with the series

of events just related. he Lord shall punish the host of the high ones” -

It is generally allowed that these high ones, set m contrast as they are with

the “kings of the earth,” must belong to the class of supramundane

intelligences, spiritual beings of a high order. Some have inclined to

identify them with the “patron-spirits of nations,” spoken of by Daniel

(Daniel 10:13, 20, 21); but those “patron-spirits” are among the elect

and unfallen angels; they protect nations, but do not lead them into sin or

wickedness; they have no need to be “visited,” and will certainly not be

shut up in prison” with the wicked kings of the earth. The spirits here

spoken of must belong to the class of fallen spirits — they must be

included among those “principalities and powers,” of whom St. Paul

speaks (Ephesians 6:12), whom he calls “the rulers of the darkness of

this world,” and to whom he ascribes “spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The punishment of such spirits is, perhaps, shadowed forth in the 82nd

Psalm; it was distinctly taught in the Book of Enoch; and it is

glanced at by St. Jude in his Epistle (v. 6). “and the kings’ - Kings,

especially kings in the Oriental sense, have an enormous influence over the

nations which they govern, and therefore a heavy responsibility. The kings

of the nations are viewed here as having brought about the general

corruption and wickedness which has necessitated the destruction of the



gathered in the pit” - literally, in a dungeon. Mr. Cheyne suggests that

sheol, or “hell,” is meant; but the context points to some narrower

confinement. In the prison; rather, in prison (comp. 2 Peter 2:4;

Jude 1:6). after many days” - In the Revelation (Revelation 20:2)

Satan is bound “a thousand years;” i.e. an indefinite term. The

imprisonment of the present passage is scarcely the same, but it is

analogous. God’s purposes require sometimes long periods of inaction.

shall they be visited” - or, punished. The word is the same as that

translated “punish” in ver. 21. “Visiting” for good is scarcely to be thought



v. 23 – “the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed” -

Some interpret this in the light of Joel 2:31; 3:15; Matthew 24:29;

Revelation 6:12, as pointing to that physical change, real or

phenomenal, in the shining of the sun and moon, which is to be one of the

antecedent signs of Christ’s coming at the last day. But the expressions

used suggest rather a contrast between the dazzling splendor of Christ’s

actual appearance and the normal brightness of sunlight and moonlight.

The greater and lesser lights will “pale their ineffectual fires” before the

incomparable brightness of the “Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2).

when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem” -

The spiritual Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem can alone be meant, since the

earth is no more (v. 20). (On these, see Revelation 21., 22.) – “before His

ancients gloriously” or, his elders. Four and twenty elders, clothed in white

raiment, with crowns of gold upon their heads, are represented in the

Apocalypse as sitting round about the throne of God perpetually

(Revelation 4:4), and worshipping God and the Lamb (Revelation 4:10; 5:8, 14).


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                                                A SUMMARY


                        God’s Final Judgment upon the Earth.


In striking contrast with man’s self-complacent theories of continual

progress and improvement in the world, resulting in something like the

final perfection of our race, is God’s prophetic announcement that, as the

years roll on, mankind will go from bad to worse, plunge deeper and

deeper into wickedness, bring calamity after calamity upon themselves, and

finally so provoke him that he will destroy the very earth itself as “defiled

by its inhabitants (v. 5), causing it to “fall, and not rise again” (v. 20).

The judgment, as set forth in this chapter, is progressive. It begins with wars,

which spread from country to country, until all nations are involved in them.

Territories are wasted (v. 3); cities are thrown into confusion (v. 10); the

population of the earth rapidly diminishes; the “few men left” (v. 6) are

scattered widely over the face of the globe; there is general desolation; and

there is general sadness and misery (vs. 7-12). All classes suffer (v. 2); the

haughty especially are brought down (v. 4). If men escape one calamity,

they are overtaken by another (v. 18). Treachery is at work (v. 16), and

each man feels like a hunted animal, sure sooner or later to be the prey of

the destroyer (v. 17). The judgment passes on from man to the material fabric

which he inhabits; man’s transgression lies heavy upon the earth (v. 20); it

totters and trembles from its foundations (v. 18), reels to and fro (v. 20), is

broken up and shattered (ver. 19); finally, FALLS FROM ITS PLACE!


 “The inhabitants of the earth are burned” (v. 6); the earth is “utterly emptied”

(v. 3); the remnant that has previously escaped necessarily disappears with

the earth that is their habitation; and that earth is “utterly broken down,”

clean dissolved,” “fallen” so as never to rise again (vs. 19, 20).


In the midst of the gloom, and the sadness, and the desolation, and the

confusion, there are yet cheerful voices heard. All flesh has not corrupted

its way before the Lord. There are still those who “lift up their voice,

and sing for the majesty of the Lord” (v. 14), who “glorify the Lord” in

the midst of the “fires” of affliction, and pour forth songs whereof the

burden is “Honor to the righteous.” They constitute, it may be, a

small minority; but they are not dismayed. “God,” they know, “is on their

side;” and they “do not fear what flesh can do unto them.” They bear

witness for God to the last; and when the final crash comes they are

those blessed ones who “meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17),

and are translated to the heavenly kingdom, without passing through

the gates of death, there to “be forever with the Lord.”






                                         ADDITIONAL NOTES




                                    A Sorer Punishment Reserved

                                                      for the

                        AUTHORS AND INSTIGATORS OF EVIL

                                                than for Others.


The kings of the earth to a large extent lead their subjects into sin.

JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT, by the setting up of the golden calves

at Dan and Bethel, “made Israel to sin,” and was the original and main cause of

that lapse into idolatry which brought down destruction upon the Israelite

nation. AHAB, by his marriage with JEZEBEL, and introduction of the BAAL

worship, intensified the evil, and hastened the final overthrow.  MANASSEH

seduced Judah to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord

destroyed before the children of Israel (2 Kings 21:9), and brought

upon Judah a fate similar to that which had befallen the sister kingdom

(2 Kings 24:3, 4). The blood-thirstiness and cruelty of the heathen

nations were encouraged by their kings, who were forever engaging in

unjust wars, and looking for success to the terror they inspired by the

fierceness of their soldiers, who were instructed to be savage and

unsparing. Hence, when the day of reckoning came, it was just that the

kings should be reserved for special retribution, and punished with special

severity. We must not too closely press the details of the prophetical

announcement. “The pit,” “the prison,” are wonted phrases in the imagery

of Divine retributive justice. What is intended to be taught is that exact

justice will be meted out; wherever lies the main guilt of the evil done

under the sun, there will be the main severity of punishment. Where kings

have been in fault, kings will suffer; where nobles and prime ministers, on

them will fall the heaviest woe; where leaders sprung from the ranks, theirs

will be the sorest suffering. “God is not mocked.” God will know who are

the really guilty ones, and will execute his special vengeance upon them,

however exalted they be. Nor will He spare the instigators of evil who

belong to the spiritual world. Fallen spirits are ever tempting men to sin,

suggesting lines of sin, egging their victims on, aiding them so far as they

are permitted, and conducting them to depths of sin and wickedness

whereof they would have had no conception had they been left to

themselves. It is just that these spirits, who are the primary movers in the

widespread conspiracy of crime, should suffer the most. St. Jude tells us of

those evil angels who are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness

unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6). St. John saw in the

Apocalyptic vision that “the devil who deceived the nations” was at length

cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false

prophet are,” and was “tormented day and night forever and ever”

(Revelation 20:10). These, too, have their deserts. Inexorable justice

requires for so much sin so much suffering. THE LAW IS ABSOLUTE,

IMPERATIVE AND UNIVERSAL.  And the whole redounds to the honor

and glory of the great Ruler of the universe. “For we are unto God a sweet

savor of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we

are the savor of death unto death; and to the other we are the savor of life unto

life” (2 Corinthians 2:15, 16). The thought is overwhelming, and the

apostle with reason exclaims, “And who is sufficient for these things?”


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May GOD have mercy and may YOUR and MY SOULS be saved in