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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Isaiah Chapter 24

Isaiah 24:1

isa 24:1


the earth--rather, "the land" of Judah (so in Isa 24:3, Isa 24:5-6; Joe 1:2). The desolation under Nebuchadnezzar prefigured that under Titus.

Isaiah 24:2

isa 24:2

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; Hos 4:9; Rev 6:15).

Isaiah 24:4

isa 24:4

world--the kingdom of Israel; as in Isa 13:11, Babylon.

haughty--literally, "the height" of the people: abstract for concrete, that is, the high people; even the nobles share the general distress.

Isaiah 24:5

isa 24:5

earth--rather, "the land."

defiled under . . . inhabitants--namely, with innocent blood (Gen 4:11; Num 35:33; Psa 106:38).

laws . . . ordinance . . . everlasting covenant--The moral laws, positive statutes, and national covenant designed to be for ever between God and them.

Isaiah 24:6

isa 24:6

earth--the land.

burned--namely, with the consuming wrath of heaven: either internally, as in Job 30:30 [ROSENMULLER]; or externally, the prophet has before his eyes the people being consumed with the withering dryness of their doomed land (so Joe 1:10, Joe 1:12), [MAURER].

Isaiah 24:7

isa 24:7

mourneth--because there are none to drink it [BARNES]. Rather, "is become vapid" [HORSLEY].

languisheth--because there are none to cultivate it now.

Isaiah 24:8

isa 24:8

(Rev 18:22).

Isaiah 24:9

isa 24:9

with a song--the usual accompaniment of feasts.

strong drink--(See on Isa 5:11). "Date wine" [HORSLEY].

bitter--in consequence of the national calamities.

Isaiah 24:10

isa 24:10

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."

shut up--through fear; or rather, "choked up by ruins."

Isaiah 24:11

isa 24:11

crying for wine--to drown their sorrows in drink (Isa 16:9); Joe 1:5, written about the same time, resembles this.

Isaiah 24:12

isa 24:12

with destruction--rather "crash" [GESENIUS]. "With a great tumult the gate is battered down" [HORSLEY].

Isaiah 24:13

isa 24:13

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).

Isaiah 24:14

isa 24:14

They--those who are left: the remnant.

sing for the majesty of the Lord--sing a thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord, who has so mercifully preserved them.

from the sea--from the distant lands beyond the sea, whither they have escaped.

Isaiah 24:15

isa 24:15

in the fires--VITRINGA translates, "in the caves." Could it mean the fires of affliction (Pe1 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).

Isaiah 24:16

isa 24:16

Songs to God come in together to Palestine from distant lands, as a grand chorus.

glory to the righteous--the burden of the songs (Isa 26:2, Isa 26:7). Amidst exile, the loss of their temple, and all that is dear to man, their confidence in God is unshaken. These songs recall the joy of other times and draw from Jerusalem in her present calamities, the cry, "My leanness." HORSLEY translates, "glory to the Just One"; then My leanness expresses his sense of man's corruption, which led the Jews, "the treacherous dealers" (Jer 5:11), to crucify the Just One; and his deficiency of righteousness which made him need to be clothed with the righteousness of the Just One (Psa 106:15).

treacherous dealers--the foreign nations that oppress Jerusalem, and overcome it by stratagem (so in Isa 21:2) [BARNES].

Isaiah 24:17

isa 24:17

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 (Amo 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.

Isaiah 24:18

isa 24:18

noise of . . . fear--the shout designed to rouse the game and drive it into the pitfall.

windows . . . open--taken from the account of the deluge (Gen 7:11); the flood-gates. So the final judgments of fire on the apostate world are compared to the deluge (Pe2 3:5-7).

Isaiah 24:19

isa 24:19

earth--the land: image from an earthquake.

Isaiah 24:20

isa 24:20

removed like a cottage--(See on Isa 1:8). 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.

heavy upon it--like an overwhelming burden.

not rise again--not meaning, that it never would rise (Isa 24:23), but in those convulsions it would not rise, it would surely fall.

Isaiah 24:21

isa 24:21

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; Isa 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 (Dan 10:13, Dan 10:20-21).

Isaiah 24:22

isa 24:22

in the pit--rather, "for the pit" [HORSLEY]. "In the dungeon" [MAURER]. Image from captives thrust together into a dungeon.

prison--that is, as in a prison. This sheds light on the disputed passage, Pe1 3:19, where also the prison is figurative: The "shutting up" of the Jews in Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, and again under Titus, was to be followed by a visitation of mercy "after many days"--seventy years in the case of the former--the time is not yet elapsed in the case of the latter. HORSLEY takes "visited" in a bad sense, namely, in wrath, as in Isa 26:14; compare Isa 29:6; the punishment being the heavier in the fact of the delay. Probably a double visitation is intended, deliverance to the elect, wrath to hardened unbelievers; as Isa 24:23 plainly contemplates judgments on proud sinners, symbolized by the "sun" and "moon."

Isaiah 24:23

isa 24:23

(Jer 3:17). Still future: of which Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem amidst hosannas was a pledge.

his ancients--the elders of His people; or in general, His ancient people, the Jews. After the overthrow of the world kingdoms. Jehovah's shall be set up with a splendor exceeding the light of the sun and moon under the previous order of things (Isa 60:19-20).

The restoration from Babylon and re-establishment of the theocracy was a type and pledge of this.

Next: Isaiah Chapter 25