Isaiah 34

God's Wrath against Nations

1 Draw near, 1O nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples! 2Let the earth and all it contains hear, and the world and all that springs from it.
2 For the LORD'S 3indignation is against all the nations, And His wrath against all their armies; He has 4utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to 5slaughter.
3 So their slain will be 6thrown out, And their corpses will give off their 7stench, And the mountains will be drenched with their 8blood.
4 And 9all the host of heaven will wear away, And the 10sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as one withers from the fig tree.
5 For 11My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon 12Edom And upon the people whom I have 13devoted to destruction.
6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in 14Bozrah And a great slaughter in the land of 15Edom.
7 16Wild oxen will also fall with them And 17young bulls with strong ones; Thus their land will be 18soaked with blood, And their dust become greasy with fat.
8 For the LORD has a day of 19vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
9 Its streams will be turned into pitch, And its loose earth into 20brimstone, And its land will become burning pitch.
10 It will 21not be quenched night or day; Its 22smoke will go up forever. From 23generation to generation it will be desolate; 24None will pass through it forever and ever.
11 But 25pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the 26line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles -there is 27no one there Whom they may proclaim king - And all its princes will be 28nothing.
13 Thorns will come up in its 29fortified towers, Nettles and thistles in its fortified cities; It will also be a haunt of 30jackals And an abode of ostriches.
14 The desert 31creatures will meet with the wolves, The 32hairy goat also will cry to its kind; Yes, the night monster will settle there And will find herself a resting place.
15 The tree snake will make its nest and lay eggs there, And it will hatch and gather them under its protection. Yes, 33the hawks will be gathered there, Every one with its kind.
16 Seek from the 34book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these will be missing; None * will lack its mate. For 35His mouth has commanded, And His Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the 36lot for them, And His hand has divided it to them by 37line. They shall possess it forever *; From 38generation to generation they will dwell in it.

Isaiah 34 Commentary

Chapter 34

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.

Cross References 38

  • 1. Psalms 49:1; Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 43:9
  • 2. Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:2
  • 3. Isaiah 26:20
  • 4. Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 24:1
  • 5. Isaiah 30:25; Isaiah 63:6; Isaiah 65:12
  • 6. Isaiah 14:19
  • 7. Joel 2:20; Amos 4:10
  • 8. Ezekiel 14:19; Ezekiel 35:6; Ezekiel 38:22
  • 9. Isaiah 13:13; Isaiah 51:6; Ezekiel 32:7, 8; Joel 2:31; Matthew 24:29; 2 Peter 3:10
  • 10. Revelation 6:12-14
  • 11. Deuteronomy 32:41, 42; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 21:3-5
  • 12. Isaiah 63:1; Jer 49:7, 8, 20; Ezekiel 25:12-14; Ezekiel 35:1-15; Amos 1:11, 12; Obad 1-14; Malachi 1:4
  • 13. Isaiah 24:6; Isaiah 43:28
  • 14. Isaiah 63:1; Jeremiah 49:13
  • 15. Isaiah 63:1
  • 16. Numbers 23:22; Psalms 22:21
  • 17. Psalms 68:30; Jeremiah 50:27
  • 18. Isaiah 63:6
  • 19. Isaiah 13:6; Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 47:3; Isaiah 61:2; Isaiah 63:4
  • 20. Deuteronomy 29:23; Psalms 11:6; Isaiah 30:33
  • 21. Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 66:24
  • 22. Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:3
  • 23. Isaiah 13:20-22; Isaiah 24:1; Isaiah 34:10-15; Malachi 1:3, 4
  • 24. Ezekiel 29:11
  • 25. Zephaniah 2:14
  • 26. 2 Kings 21:13; Isaiah 24:10; Lamentations 2:8
  • 27. Jeremiah 27:20; Jeremiah 39:6
  • 28. Isaiah 41:11, 12
  • 29. Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 25:2; Isaiah 32:13
  • 30. Psalms 44:19; Jeremiah 9:11; Jeremiah 10:22
  • 31. Isaiah 13:21
  • 32. Isaiah 13:21
  • 33. Deuteronomy 14:13
  • 34. Isaiah 30:8
  • 35. Isaiah 1:20; Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 58:14
  • 36. Isaiah 17:13, 14; Jeremiah 13:25
  • 37. Isaiah 34:11
  • 38. Isaiah 34:10

Footnotes 20

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 34

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.

Isaiah 34 Commentaries