Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
isa 24:1The land - Of Canaan. Waste - He will shortly make it waste, first by the Assyrians, and then by the Chaldeans. Turneth - Brings it into great disorder and confusion.
isa 24:2It shall be - The approaching calamity shall be universal, without any distinction of persons or ranks; the priests themselves having been partakers of the peoples sins, shall also partake with them in their plagues. The seller - The purchaser of lands shall have no more left than he that hath sold all his patrimony; and all persons shall be made equal in beggary and slavery.
isa 24:4The world - The land of Judea. The majesty - Not only common people, but the high and lofty ones.
isa 24:5Defiled - By the wickedness of its people. The laws - The laws of God. Ordinance - God's ordinances concerning his worship and service; the singular being put for the plural. Covenant - The covenant made between God and Abraham, and all his posterity, which was everlasting, both on God's part, who, upon the conditions therein expressed, engaged himself to be a God to them and to their seed forever; and on Israel's part, who were obliged thereby to constant and perpetual obedience thro' all generations.
isa 24:6The curse - The curse of God threatened to transgressors. Burned - Are consumed by the wrath of God, which is commonly compared to fire.
isa 24:7Mourneth - Because there are none to drink it. Grief is ascribed to senseless creatures by a figure usual in all authors. Languisheth - Because there are no people left to dress it, or gather its grapes. The merry - hearted - That made their hearts merry with wine.
isa 24:8Tabrets - Which they used in their feasts. The noise - The word properly signifies a confused clamour, such as drunken men make.
isa 24:9Bitter - Because of the fears and miseries wherewith it is mixed.
isa 24:10The city - Jerusalem, and other cities; for the singular word may be here taken collectively. A city of confusion or disorder, breaking all the laws and orders which God had established among them. Shut up - Because the inhabitants are either dead, or gone into captivity.
isa 24:11A crying - Such was their gross sensuality and sottishness, that instead of crying for their sins, they did only howl for their corn, and wine, and oil, Hos 7:14.
isa 24:13When - When this judgment shall be executed, there shall be left a remnant; as there are some few olives or grapes left after the vintage is over.
isa 24:14They - The remnant shall sing for the glorious power and goodness of God, manifested in their deliverance. The sea - From the isles of the sea; from those parts beyond the sea into which, they were carried captive.
isa 24:15In distress - When you are in the furnace of affliction. In the isles - In remote countries, beyond the sea, which in scripture are commonly called isles.
isa 24:16From - From all the parts of the earth in which the Jews are or shall be. Songs - Of joy and praise. Glory - Or, glory be to the righteous. The Lord, the righteous one. But - In the midst of these joyful tidings, I discern something which gives me cause of lamentation. My leanness - I faint and pine away for grief, for the following reason. Treacherously - The Jews, who have been frequently guilty of great perfidiousness towards God, are now acting the same part. Even the Hebrew doctors expound this place of the perfidiousness of some Jews in the times of the Messiah. And it is not strange that so sad a sight made the prophet cry out, My leanness, &c. He repeats it to shew the horridness of the crime.
isa 24:17The snare - Great and various judgments, some actually inflicted, and others justly feared.
isa 24:18Fleeth - Upon the report of some terrible evil. The foundations - Both heaven and earth conspire against him. He alludes to the deluge of waters which God poured down from heaven, and to the earthquakes which he often causes below.
isa 24:19The earth - This is repeated again, to shew the dreadfulness and, certainty of these judgments, and to awaken the stupid Israelites.
isa 24:20A tent - Which is easily and commonly carried from place to place.
isa 24:22Gathered - By God's special providence, in order to their punishment. And thus the unbelieving Jews were generally gathered together at Jerusalem, to their solemn feast, when Titus came and besieged, and destroyed them. Shut up - As malefactors, which are taken in several places, are usually brought to one common prison. After - After the apostate Jews shall have been shut up in unbelief, and in great tribulations for many ages together, they shall be convinced of their sin in crucifying the Messiah, and brought home to God and Christ by true repentance.
isa 24:23The sun - All earthly powers and glories shall be obscured with the far greater splendor of Christ, the king of kings, at whose feet even the kings of the earth shall fall down and worship. The Lord - The Messiah, who, tho' man, yet is also God, and the Lord of hosts. Shall reign - Shall come in the flesh, and set up his kingdom, first in Jerusalem, and afterward in all other nations. Before - Before his ministers, who are in some sort the courtiers of the King of Glory. But the ancients are here put for the whole church, in whose name and for whose service they act.