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Isa 24:1-23. THE LAST TIMES OF THE WORLD IN GENERAL, AND OF JUDAH AND THE CHURCH IN PARTICULAR.
The four chapters (the twenty-fourth through the twenty-seventh) form one continuous poetical prophecy: descriptive of the dispersion and successive calamities of the Jews (Isa 24:1-12); the preaching of the Gospel by the first Hebrew converts throughout the world (Isa 24:13-16); the judgments on the adversaries of the Church and its final triumph (Isa 24:16-23); thanksgiving for the overthrow of the apostate faction (Isa 25:1-12), and establishment of the righteous in lasting peace (Isa 26:1-21); judgment on leviathan and entire purgation of the Church (Isa 27:1-13). Having treated of the several nations in particular--Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Edom, and Tyre (the miniature representative of all, as all kingdoms flocked into it)--he passes to the last times of the world at large and of Judah the representative and future head of the churches.
2. as with the people, so with the priest--All alike shall share the same calamity: no favored class shall escape (compare Eze 7:12, 13; Ho 4:9; Re 6:15).
4. world--the kingdom of Israel; as in
5. earth--rather, "the land."
6. earth--the land.
7. mourneth--because there are none to drink it
[BARNES]. Rather, "is
become vapid" [HORSLEY].
8. (Re 18:22).
10. city of confusion--rather, "desolation." What Jerusalem would
be; by anticipation it is called so.
HORSLEY translates, "The city is
broken down; it is a ruin."
12. with destruction--rather "crash" [GESENIUS]. "With a great tumult the gate is battered down" [HORSLEY].
13. the land--Judea. Put the comma after "land," not after "people." "There shall be among the people (a remnant left), as the shaking (the after-picking) of an olive tree"; as in gathering olives, a few remain on the highest boughs (Isa 17:5, 6).
14. They--those who are left: the remnant.
15. in the fires--VITRINGA translates, "in the caves." Could it mean the fires of affliction (1Pe 1:7)? They were exiles at the time. The fires only loose the carnal bonds off the soul, without injuring a hair, as in the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. LOWTH reads, in the islands (Eze 26:18). Rather translate for "fires," "in the regions of morning light," that is, the east, in antithesis to the "isles of the sea," that is, the west [MAURER]. Wheresoever ye be scattered, east or west, still glorify the Lord (Mal 1:11).
16. Songs to God come in together to Palestine from distant lands,
as a grand chorus.
17. This verse explains the wretchedness spoken of in Isa 24:16. Jeremiah (Jer 48:43, 44) uses the same words. They are proverbial; Isa 24:18 expressing that the inhabitants were nowhere safe; if they escaped one danger, they fell into another, and worse, on the opposite side (Am 5:19). "Fear" is the term applied to the cords with feathers of all colors which, when fluttered in the air, scare beasts into the pitfall, or birds into the snare. HORSLEY makes the connection. Indignant at the treatment which the Just One received, the prophet threatens the guilty land with instant vengeance.
18. noise of . . . fear--the shout designed to rouse the game and drive
it into the pitfall.
19. earth--the land: image from an earthquake.
20. removed like a cottage--(See on
Here, a hanging couch, suspended from the trees by cords, such
as NIEBUHR describes the Arab keepers of lands as
having, to enable them to keep watch, and at the same time to be secure
from wild beasts. Translate, "Shall wave to and fro like a hammock"
swung about by the wind.
21. host of . . . high ones--the heavenly host, that is, either the visible host of heaven (the present economy of nature, affected by the sun, moon, and stars, the objects of idolatry, being abolished, Isa 65:17; 60:19, simultaneously with the corrupt polity of men); or rather, "the invisible rulers of the darkness of this world," as the antithesis to "kings of the earth" shows. Angels, moreover, preside, as it were, over kingdoms of the world (Da 10:13, 20, 21).
22. in the pit--rather, "for the pit"
[HORSLEY]. "In the dungeon"
Image from captives thrust together into a dungeon.
Still future: of which Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem amidst
hosannas was a pledge.