24 Behold, the Lord will make the land and the [a]earth empty and make it waste and turn it upside down (twist the face of it) and scatter abroad its inhabitants.
2 And it shall be—as [what happens] with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
3 The land and the earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly pillaged; for the Lord has said this.
4 The land and the earth mourn and wither, the world languishes and withers, the high ones of the people [and the heavens with the earth] languish.
5 The land and the earth also are defiled by their inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, disregarded the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant.(A)
6 Therefore a curse devours the land and the earth, and they who dwell in it suffer the punishment of their guilt. Therefore the inhabitants of the land and the earth are scorched and parched [under the curse of God’s wrath], and few people are left.(B)
7 The new wine mourns, the vine languishes; all the merrymakers sigh.
8 The mirth of the timbrels is stilled, the noise of those who rejoice ends, the joy of the lyre is stopped.
9 No more will they drink wine with a song; strong drink will be bitter to those who drink it.
10 The wasted city of emptiness and confusion is broken down; every house is shut up so that no one may enter.
11 There is crying in the streets for wine; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is banished and gone into captivity.
12 In the city is left desolation, and its gate is battered and destroyed.
13 For so shall it be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking and beating of an olive tree, or as the gleaning when the vintage is done [and only a small amount of the fruit remains].
14 [But] these [who have escaped and remain] lift up their voices, they shout; for the majesty of the Lord they cry aloud from the [Mediterranean] Sea.
15 Wherefore glorify the Lord in the east [whether in the region of daybreak’s lights and fires, or in the west]; [glorify] the name of the Lord, the God of Israel in the isles and coasts of the [Mediterranean] Sea.
16 From the uttermost parts of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the Righteous One [and to the people of Israel]! But I say, Emaciated I pine away, I pine away. Woe is me! The treacherous dealers deal treacherously! Yes, the treacherous dealers deal very treacherously.
17 Terror and pit [of destruction] and snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
18 And he who flees at the noise of the terror will fall into the pit; and he who comes up out of the pit will be caught in the snare. For the windows of the heavens are opened [as in the deluge], and the foundations of the earth tremble and shake.
19 The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is shaken violently.
20 The earth shall stagger like a drunken man and shall sway to and fro like a hammock; its transgression shall lie heavily upon it, and it shall fall and not rise again.
21 And in that day the Lord will visit and punish the host of the high ones on high [the host of heaven in heaven, celestial beings] and the kings of the earth on the earth.(C)
22 And they will be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in a pit or dungeon; they will be shut up in prison, and after many days they will be visited, inspected, and punished or [b]pardoned.(D)
23 Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, when [they compare their ineffectual fire to the light of] the Lord of hosts, Who will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders will show forth His glory.
- Isaiah 24:1 “The prophet transports himself in spirit to the end of all things. He describes the destruction of the world. He sees, however, that this destruction will be gradually accomplished. He here depicts the first scene: the destruction of all that exists on the surface of the earth... as even now occurs [in limited areas] as a consequence of wars... Jehovah empties, devastates, depopulates the surface of the earth...” (Johan P. Lange, A Commentary). “The writer feels that he is living in the last days, and in the universal wretchedness and confusions of the age he seems to discern the ‘beginning of sorrows.’ His thoughts glide almost imperceptibly from the one point of view to the other, now describing the distress and depression which exist, and now the more terrible visitation which is imminent” (The Cambridge Bible).
- Isaiah 24:22 The Hebrew word used here may mean visit in mercy as well as visit in punishment, but the context does not seem to indicate the possibility of mercy in this case.
- Isaiah 24:5 : Gen. 9:1-17; Deut. 29:20.
- Isaiah 24:6 : Rom. 1:20.
- Isaiah 24:21 : I Cor. 15:25; Eph. 3:10; 6:12.
- Isaiah 24:22 : Zech. 9:11, 12; II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.