God's vengeance against the enemies of his church. (1-8) Their desolation. (9-17)
Verses 1-8 Here is a prophecy of the wars of the Lord, all which are both righteous and successful. All nations are concerned. And as they have all had the benefit of his patience, so all must expect to feel his resentment. The description of bloodshed suggests tremendous ideas of the Divine judgments. Idumea here denotes the nations at enmity with the church; also the kingdom of antichrist. Our thoughts cannot reach the horrors of that awful season, to those found opposing the church of Christ. There is a time fixed in the Divine counsels for the deliverance of the church, and the destruction of her enemies. We must patiently wait till then, and judge nothing before the time. Through Christ, mercy is exercised to every believer, consistently with justice, and his name is glorified.
Verses 9-17 Those who aim to ruin the church, can never do that, but will ruin themselves. What dismal changes sin can make! It turns a fruitful land into barrenness, a crowded city into a wilderness. Let us compare all we discover in the book of the Lord, with the dealings of providence around us, that we may be more diligent in seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What the mouth of the Lord has commanded, his Spirit will perform. And let us observe how the evidences of the truth continually increase, as one prophecy after another is fulfilled, until these awful scenes bring in more happy days. As Israel was a figure of the Christian church, so the Edomites, their bitter enemies, represent the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. God's Jerusalem may be laid in ruins for a time, but the enemies of the church shall be desolate for ever.
This chapter is a prophecy of the destruction of all the antichristian nations of the world, and particularly of Rome, signified by Idumea; which is introduced with a call to a general attention to it, it being a very awful and solemn affair, Isa 34:1 utter and universal destruction is declared, as the effect of God's wrath, Isa 34:2 which is expressed by a dreadful scene of blood, to the melting of the mountains with it, and by the dissolution of the heavens, and the hosts of them, Isa 34:3,4 particularly the destruction of Idumea is denounced by the sword of the Lord being on it, and bathed with the blood, both of the common people, and of their princes, signified by various sorts of creatures, Isa 34:5-7 the cause of which is the Lord's vengeance for the controversy of his church and people, injured by Edom or Rome, Isa 34:8 whose desolate and calamitous state is represented as being like that of Sodom, Isa 34:9,10 and should be no more inhabited by men, nor governed by princes, but be the dwelling of wild beasts and unclean birds, Isa 34:11-15 all which is confirmed by the word and Spirit of God, Isa 34:16,17.