Isaiah 24

The LORD’s Devastation of the Earth

1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants—
2 it will be the same for priest as for people, for the master as for his servant, for the mistress as for her servant, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor.
3 The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word.
4 The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
7 The new wine dries up and the vine withers; all the merrymakers groan.
8 The joyful timbrels are stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent.
9 No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers.
10 The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred.
11 In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all joyful sounds are banished from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces.
13 So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.
14 They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD’s majesty.
15 Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One.” But I said, “I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!”
17 Terror and pit and snare await you, people of the earth.
18 Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare. The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again.
21 In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below.
22 They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished[a] after many days.
23 The moon will be dismayed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory.

Isaiah 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

The desolation of the land. (1-12) A few shall be preserved. (13-15) God's kingdom advanced by his judgments. (16-23)

Verses 1-12 All whose treasures and happiness are laid up on earth, will soon be brought to want and misery. It is good to apply to ourselves what the Scripture says of the vanity and vexation of spirit which attend all things here below. Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth is become quite different to man, from what it was when God first made it to be his habitation. It is, at the best, like a flower, which withers in the hands of those that please themselves with it, and lay it in their bosoms. The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a vale of tears; the children of men in it are but of few days, and full of trouble, See the power of God's curse, how it makes all empty, and lays waste all ranks and conditions. Sin brings these calamities upon the earth; it is polluted by the sins of men, therefore it is made desolate by God's judgments. Carnal joy will soon be at end, and the end of it is heaviness. God has many ways to imbitter wine and strong drink to those who love them; distemper of body, anguish of mind, and the ruin of the estate, will make strong drink bitter, and the delights of sense tasteless. Let men learn to mourn for sin, and rejoice in God; then no man, no event, can take their joy from them.

Verses 13-15 There shall be a remnant preserved from the general ruin, and it shall be a devout and pious remnant. These few are dispersed; like the gleanings of the olive tree, hid under the leaves. The Lord knows those that are his; the world does not. When the mirth of carnal worldlings ceases, the joy of the saints is as lively as ever, because the covenant of grace, the fountain of their comforts, and the foundation of their hopes, never fails. Those who rejoice in the Lord can rejoice in tribulation, and by faith may triumph when all about them are in tears. They encourage their fellow-sufferers to do likewise, even those who are in the furnace of affliction. Or, in the valleys, low, dark, miry places. In every fire, even the hottest, in every place, even the remotest, let us keep up our good thoughts of God. If none of these trials move us, then we glorify the Lord in the fires.

Verses 16-23 Believers may be driven into the uttermost parts of the earth; but they are singing, not sighing. Here is terror to sinners; the prophet laments the miseries he saw breaking in like a torrent; and the small number of believers. He foresees that sin would abound. The meaning is plain, that evil pursues sinners. Unsteady, uncertain are all these things. Worldly men think to dwell in the earth as in a palace, as in a castle; but it shall be removed like a cottage, like a lodge put up for the night. It shall fall and not rise again; but there shall be new heavens and a new earth, in which shall dwell nothing but righteousness. Sin is a burden to the whole creation; it is a heavy burden, under which it groans now, and will sink at last. The high ones, that are puffed up with their grandeur, that think themselves out of the reach of danger, God will visit for their pride and cruelty. Let us judge nothing before the time, though some shall be visited. None in this world should be secure, though their condition be ever so prosperous; nor need any despair, though their condition be ever so deplorable. God will be glorified in all this. But the mystery of Providence is not yet finished. The ruin of the Redeemer's enemies must make way for his kingdom, and then the Sun of Righteousness will appear in full glory. Happy are those who take warning by the sentence against others; every impenitent sinner will sink under his transgression, and rise no more, while believers enjoy everlasting bliss.

Cross References 78

  • 1. ver 20; Isaiah 2:19-21; Isaiah 33:9; Jeremiah 25:29
  • 2. S Joshua 6:17; S Isaiah 13:5
  • 3. S Genesis 11:9
  • 4. Hosea 4:9
  • 5. Ezekiel 7:12; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
  • 6. S Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 23:19-20; Isaiah 3:1-7
  • 7. S Genesis 6:13
  • 8. Isaiah 6:11-12; Isaiah 10:6
  • 9. S Isaiah 7:7
  • 10. Jeremiah 12:11; Jeremiah 14:4; Joel 1:10
  • 11. S Isaiah 15:6
  • 12. S Isaiah 2:12
  • 13. S Isaiah 3:26
  • 14. S Genesis 3:17; Numbers 35:33
  • 15. S Isaiah 1:2; Isaiah 9:17; Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 59:12; Jeremiah 7:28
  • 16. S Genesis 9:11; S Jeremiah 11:10
  • 17. S Joshua 23:15
  • 18. S Isaiah 1:31
  • 19. Jeremiah 48:33; Joel 1:5
  • 20. Isaiah 7:23; S Isaiah 15:6; Isaiah 32:10; Joel 1:10-12
  • 21. S Isaiah 3:26; Isaiah 16:8-10
  • 22. S Genesis 31:27; S Isaiah 5:12
  • 23. Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9; Jeremiah 25:10; Jeremiah 33:11; Hosea 2:11
  • 24. S Isaiah 5:14; S Isaiah 21:5
  • 25. S Psalms 137:2; Revelation 18:22
  • 26. Lamentations 5:14; Ezekiel 26:13
  • 27. Isaiah 5:11,22
  • 28. Isaiah 5:20
  • 29. Isaiah 25:2; Isaiah 26:5
  • 30. S Genesis 1:2; S Isaiah 6:11
  • 31. S Psalms 144:14
  • 32. Lamentations 2:12
  • 33. S Isaiah 15:6; Isaiah 16:10; Isaiah 32:13; Jeremiah 14:3
  • 34. S Isaiah 19:18
  • 35. S Isaiah 3:26; S Isaiah 13:2
  • 36. S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Isaiah 17:6
  • 37. Obadiah 1:5; Micah 7:1
  • 38. S Isaiah 12:6
  • 39. Isaiah 43:5; Isaiah 49:12
  • 40. S Psalms 113:3
  • 41. Isaiah 42:12; Isaiah 66:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:12
  • 42. S Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 25:3; Isaiah 59:19; Malachi 1:11
  • 43. S Isaiah 12:4
  • 44. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 45. S Psalms 48:10
  • 46. S Psalms 65:8
  • 47. Isaiah 28:5; Isaiah 60:1,19
  • 48. S Ezra 9:15
  • 49. S Leviticus 26:39
  • 50. 1 Samuel 4:8; S Isaiah 5:8; Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 45:3
  • 51. S Psalms 25:3
  • 52. Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 3:6,20; Jeremiah 5:11; Jeremiah 9:2; Hosea 5:7; Hosea 9:1
  • 53. Deuteronomy 32:23-25
  • 54. Isaiah 8:14; Jeremiah 48:43
  • 55. Luke 21:35
  • 56. S Job 20:24
  • 57. Isaiah 42:22
  • 58. S Job 18:9; S Isaiah 8:14; Lamentations 3:47; Ezekiel 12:13
  • 59. S Genesis 7:11
  • 60. S Judges 5:4; S Job 9:6; S Psalms 11:3; S Ezekiel 38:19; Psalms 18:7
  • 61. S Psalms 46:2
  • 62. S Deuteronomy 11:6
  • 63. S Job 12:25; Isaiah 19:14
  • 64. S Job 27:18
  • 65. S Isaiah 1:2,28; Isaiah 43:27; Isaiah 58:1
  • 66. S Psalms 46:2
  • 67. S Job 12:14
  • 68. S Isaiah 2:11; S Isaiah 10:20; Revelation 16:14
  • 69. Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 13:11; Jeremiah 25:29
  • 70. 1 Corinthians 6:3; Ephesians 6:11-12
  • 71. S Isaiah 2:12
  • 72. S Isaiah 10:4
  • 73. Isaiah 42:7,22; Luke 8:31; Revelation 20:7-10
  • 74. Ezekiel 38:8
  • 75. S Isaiah 13:10
  • 76. S Psalms 97:1; Revelation 22:5
  • 77. S Isaiah 2:2; Hebrews 12:22
  • 78. Isaiah 28:5; Isaiah 41:16; Isaiah 45:25; Isaiah 60:19; Ezekiel 48:35; Zechariah 2:5; Revelation 21:23

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a prophecy of calamities that should come upon the whole world, and the inhabitants of it, for their sins; of the preservation of a remnant; of the visitation of the kings of the earth; and of the appearance of Christ in his glory and majesty. The miserable condition of the world, and its inhabitants, especially all within the Romish jurisdiction, is set forth by various phrases, Isa 24:1-4 the causes of which are the transgression and mutation of the laws and ordinances of Christ, Isa 24:5 the effects of which are the cursing and burning of the inhabitants, Isa 24:6 cessation of all joy among them, Isa 24:7-9 and the destruction of their chief city, Rome, Isa 24:10-12 then follows a prophecy of a remnant that shall escape, and be brought into a very comfortable condition, and sing for joy, and glorify God in the midst of the earth, and in the uttermost parts of it, Isa 24:13-16 but it is intimated it shall go ill with others for their perfidy and treachery; fear and danger shall attend them everywhere, Isa 24:16-18 yea, in the issue, the world shall be shaken, and moved and removed, and be utterly dissolved, fall and not rise more, Isa 24:19,20 when the kings and great ones of the earth shall be taken prisoners, and punished by the Lord, Isa 24:21,22 and then Christ shall take to himself his great power, and reign with his people gloriously in the New Jerusalem state, Isa 24:23.

Isaiah 24 Commentaries

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