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Isaiah 24:1 Behold, Yahweh creates the earth empty, creates it waste, turns it upside down, and scatters its inhabitants- I have noted through Is. 13-23 that the judgments upon Judah and the surrounding nations all featured supernatural Divine intervention after the pattern of His judgment of Sodom; and also there is an appeal for repentance to all of them. The prophetic potential was that a remnant from all those nations including Judah was to repent, although the majority would be destroyed. Those remnants would then unite together in a multiethnic revived Kingdom of God in Judah led by a Messianic figure (see on Is. 26:15). That scenario was potentially possible, but didn't come about. Those prophecies are now brought together in what has been termed Isaiah's "little apocalypse" in Is. 24-26, a picture of judgment upon the entire eretz focusing upon Judah. Perhaps it was given just before Shalmaneser destroyed Moab (Is. 25:10), before Samaria and the ten tribes were taken into captivity, and perhaps therefore delivered soon after Hezekiah became king. There were primary fulfillments but all the prophecies remained unfulfilled in toto. They are to be reapplied to the last days.  

The earth or land promised to Abraham was to be "created" empty; there was to be a return to the "without form and empty" state of that same eretz or land presented in Gen. 1. There was therefore the impression given that the destructions were to clear the land for a new creation. The envisioned wide scale destruction was in fact creative.

Isaiah 24:2 It will be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest-
The judgments were to affect all of society and not just the leadership. Isaiah began his prophecy by making this same point, in saying that both heavens and earth were to be judged. 

Isaiah 24:3 The earth will be utterly emptied and utterly laid waste-
This utter emptying is the word used of the judgment of Egypt in Is. 19:3, as well as about Judah . As explained on :1, the various scenes of judgment on the nations in Is. 13-23 are here presented as coming upon the entire eretz promised to Abraham.  Likewise "laid waster" is used of both Judah and the surrounding nations.

For Yahweh has spoken this word- This may appear axiomatic until we appreciate the allusion to the Genesis creation noted on :1. As creation was performed by a word, God said and it was done, so this uncreation was to be performed by a word, and likewise that same word would bring a new creation.

Isaiah 24:4 The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the proud people of the earth languish-
The intention of the large scale judgments upon the entire eretz were in order to humble pride. Out of all the sins present in that territory, it is pride which is repeatedly stated as the parade example of their sins. We too need to perceive that in all things humility is of the essence and pride is so abhorrent to God- and it will be judged. There is a conscious parallel between the earth and the world; the reference may be to the earth / land of Israel (see on :5), and to the "world" as the nations around Israel. Those nations have been mentioned so far in the judgments of Isaiah- Assyria, Babylon, Egypt (at least from the Nile northwards), Tyre etc. They were "the world" known and experienced by Isaiah and his audience. And yet this scenario could have come about at the time of the Assyrian invasion; for it was then that the earth / land mourned and languished (s.w. Is. 33:9; see note there).

Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is polluted under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant-
"The earth" therefore seems to specifically refer to Israel, both the ten tribes and Judah. For it was they who had broken God's law and the eternal covenant. We note that the "everlasting covenant" could be broken; God was willing to eternally honour it, but Israel broke it. Any claim that the Jewish laws are eternal because the covenant was eternal must factor this in. That covenant is not now operative; it was broken. But the judgment here spoken was long delayed; for the same words are used in Jer. 3:2 about Judah's pollution of the land and the judgment that was to come through the Babylonians. So the judgment scenario presented here in Isaiah didn't fulfill at least until the Babylonian invasion; and indeed even then it didn't fully. It is all reapplied to the last days.

Isaiah 24:6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell therein are found guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left-
I suggested on :1 that what is in view is supernatural Divine judgment upon the entire territory, and not simply one group within it invading other areas. The burning by fire didn't happen; but the vision was that it would, and that very few would survive. And they would be the repentant remnant. This is the language of Revelation, where a series of judgments are poured out upon the earth / land, destroying everything and leaving a very small repentant remnant. The evident connections with Is. 24 suggest that what is primarily in view in Revelation is a situation in the eretz promised to Abraham.

Isaiah 24:7 The new wine mourns, the vine languishes. All the merry-hearted sigh-
This is the language of Joel 1:10, which is in the context of Joel appealing for desperate repentance in order to avert this scenario. So it could be that the non-fulfilment of this prophecy of mass destruction of the eretz was not simply because Judah had failed to repent and so the reestablished Kingdom of God in Judah was not to come at that time; the suspension or delay of the judgments could also be because a minority did repent and intercede, and this led to the judgments being averted. Even if the potential of the Kingdom being restored was not then realized.

Isaiah 24:8 the mirth of tambourines ceases, the sound of those who rejoice ends, the joy of the harp ceases-
Jeremiah foresaw the repentant remnant taking the tambourine again and going forth in the dance, when they enter the new covenant. But as explained on :1, this uncreation was required before that new creation could come.

Isaiah 24:9 They will not drink wine with a song, strong drink will be bitter to those who drink it-
Babylon, Tyre and Judah are all condemned for feasting rather than fasting in repentance (Is. 22:2; 23:7; 32:13). And as noted on :1, they were all therefore to meet similar judgments. God's people acted as the world and were therefore "condemned with the world", as the rejected of the new Israel will be (1 Cor. 11:32).

Isaiah 24:10 The confused city is broken down, every house is shut up so that no man may come in-
"Confused" is the word used in Gen. 1:2 for the eretz being "without form". As noted on :1, the land is being decreated, as it were, in preparation for a new creation, albeit from a very small seed which would abide the judgments. The assurance of Is. 45:18 was to be that God had not created the earth / land "in vain" (s.w. "confused"). His intention was that it would be eternally inhabited by His reformed people. But firstly it had to be made "without form" ("confused", s.w.) and this is what was to happen in the Babylonian desolation of the city of Jerusalem (s.w. Jer. 4:23). Likewise the houses being shut up spoke of the Babylonian aftermath (s.w. Ez. 3:24).  So the judgment scenario presented here in Isaiah didn't fulfill at least until the Babylonian invasion; and indeed even then it didn't fully. It is all reapplied to the last days.

Isaiah 24:11 There is a crying in the streets because of the wine- all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone-
Jerusalem was condemned for feasting rather than fasting in repentance (Is. 22:2; 32:13). It was the wine they had drunk and abused which had led to their "crying in the streets". This was the fruit of enjoying the good life of hedonism for the moment; there would be a terrible ending. "Darkened" continues the idea noted on :1- that the earth / land is returning to the darkness and formless (:10) state before creation began. The darkness had to come before Zion's light could arise and shine upon that darkness.


Isaiah 24:12 The city is left in desolation, and the gate is struck with destruction-
Desolation of the city is the very term used often about Jerusalem (Jer. 19:8; 25:18) but also about Babylon (Jer. 51:43) and the cities of Edom (Jer. 49:13) and Moab (Jer. 48:9). Again we note that the judgment scenario presented here in Isaiah didn't fulfill at least until the Babylonian invasion; and indeed even then it didn't fully. It is all reapplied to the last days.

Isaiah 24:13 For it will be so in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done-
Jerusalem was to be desolate (:12), and a repentant remnant of Judah "among the peoples", perhaps implying there would be a repentant remnant amongst the peoples too. That repentant remnant is what would be left after the judgment was over. Olives were struck down from the higher branches with a stick, and that rod or stick which was to beat Judah and the nations is clearly defined as Babylon / Assyria in Is. 10. This is the scenario we have in Is. 17:6: "Yet gleanings will be left there, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outermost branches of a fruitful tree, says Yahweh, the God of Israel". The idea is that the tree was "fruitful" [potentially] but only a very few bits of fruit would be found. This finding of this tiny remnant "there", in a valley near Jerusalem (see on Is. 17:5). This didn't happen at the time, Mic. 7:1 says that actually no gleanings of the vintage were found; but all this will be transferred, reapplied and rescheduled to the outcome of the final judgment in a similar valley near Jerusalem at the Lord's return. And this is the context here too (:21-23).

Isaiah 24:14 These shall lift up their voice, they will shout for the majesty of Yahweh, they cry aloud from the sea-
This seems to speak of the joy of the repentant Jewish remnant as they see the majestic glory of Yahweh literally revealed. Their joy will be matched by that of the repentant Gentile remnant (:15). It will have arisen as a direct result of the judgment / vintage which will destroy the majority: "But when the vintage is done, these shall cry aloud; and they that are left on the land shall rejoice together in the glory of the Lord: the water of the sea shall be troubled" (LXX). But "the sea" is the same word translated "west", and this would match the glorification of Yahweh in the east of :15. A primary fulfilment could have come at the restoration from Babylon; the same words are used about the shouting for joy when Yahweh returned the people of Zion (Is. 52:8). But again the potential wasn't realized; the final fulfilment will be at the Lord's return."The majesty of Yahweh" will be revealed when the earth is riven with earthquakes in a theophany and 'coming down' of Yahweh greater than Sinai (s.w. Is. 2:10,19,21). This could have happened at Isaiah's time but it clearly didn't, and thus becomes the language of the last days.

Isaiah 24:15 Therefore glorify Yahweh in the east, even the name of Yahweh the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea!-
The eretz Israel is sometimes presented as an island, surrounded by the "sea" of Gentiles, her immediate neighbours. It is they who are envisaged here as joining in with the repentant remnant of Judah in glorifying Israel's God. "The God of Israel" underlines this point. These people emerge from the judgment period on the whole eretz, having lost the majority of their compatriots. And it is they who turn to Israel's God.  

Isaiah 24:16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs of glory to the righteous!-
Songs of glory of Israel's God were to come from every corner of the Gentile nations within the eretz promised to Abraham. But this is juxtaposed against Isaiah's lamentation and complaint at 'treachery' later in this same verse. Perhaps we should understand these songs of glory to God as being hypocritical and insincere. When Isaiah grasps that, he is heartbroken that the Kingdom potential isn't going to happen. And there's in this case a lesson for us. We tend to think that if others are hypocrites, well, I’d better ensure I’m not. But this indicates a lack of perception of the glory of God, and omits the factor of how He must feel at all those other peoples’ hypocrisies; the glory that is intended to be given to Him, that isn’t. Because of hypocritical “songs of praise” to God, Isaiah felt physically ill- “I pine away, I pine away” (Is. 24:16). The prophets felt for God, seeing things from His viewpoint.

But I said, I pine away! I pine away! Woe is me!- Isaiah speaks of “My leanness… I pine away” (RV), as he spoke about Israel’s future glory and the inevitable judgments upon the enemies of his people. He didn’t gloat over the prospect, as some Christians appear to gloat over any defeat suffered by their nations’ enemies. Isaiah’s heart bled for humanity, he so believed his message that he emotionally responded to it himself. He too bled for the people whose doom he had to foretell.

The treacherous have dealt treacherously, yes, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously- It could be that Isaiah perceived that things weren't going to work out as prophesied in his lifetime. He felt deeply, therefore, a sense of betrayal and treachery from his own "treacherous" people (s.w. Is. 48:8; Jer. 3:8). Or he could simply be distraught at the degree of treachery which was being practiced, against Jew (s.w. Is. 33:1) and Gentile (s.w. Is. 21:2) alike. 

Isaiah 24:17 Fear, the pit and the snare are on you who inhabit the earth-
I explained on :1 that the judgments here were intended to come upon Judah and all the surrounding nations. And so we note that this very verse is applied to Moab in Jer. 48:43- although this implies that the prophecy of Is. 24 wasn't fulfilled in Isaiah's lifetime. This language is clearly reapplied to the last days. For the day of the Lord will be a snare to the unsuspecting worldling, who will suddenly find that the Lord has come and destroyed him (Is. 8:14; 24:17,18; Jer. 50:24; Lk. 21:35). Yet the materialistic believer falls into the snare of riches here and now. Surely the point is that our attitude to riches is a preview of the judgment; the materialistic believer has condemned himself, right now. Is. 8:14 has used the same word for "snare" in describing how the rejected Messiah figure would be a snare who would catch most of God's people. This is going to be the case in the last days, and is already the case- for it is literally a case of "believe or perish".

Isaiah 24:18 It will happen that he who flees from the noise of the fear will fall into the pit; and he who comes up out of the midst of the pit will be taken in the snare-
Whilst the snare could refer to the Lord Jesus (see on :17), the same word for "snare" is applied to the priests (Hos. 5:1) and false prophets of Israel (Hos. 9:8).

For the windows on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble- As noted on :1, this is language which implies more than a military invasion of one people by another. It gives the impression of direct, Divine supernatural judgment and intervention. This scenario isn't what happened at the time; it was deferred or reapplied to the last days.

Isaiah 24:19 The earth is utterly broken. The earth is torn apart, the earth is shaken violently-
These Hebrew words and phrases are used about the Gentile nations (Mic. 5:6 re Assyria) as well as Judah (Jer. 25:29). As explained on :1, the envisaged scenario was the judgment of Judah, Israel and all the nations within the eretz at the same time, involving supernatural Divine judgments such as earthquakes shaking the land, resulting in the destruction of the majority and the repentance of a minority. "Torn apart" however is a term usually used about Israel's breaking the covenant with God. Their tearing apart was because of how they had torn apart the covenant.

Isaiah 24:20 the earth will stagger like a drunken man-
The whole land was to tremble or stagger under judgment when it came; the same word is used of the trembling state of Judah's unbelieving hearts (Is. 7:2). Judgment was but the articulation of the state of their faithless hearts. They were judged for the state of their hearts. Spiritual mindedness is of paramount significance to God. It seems extreme literal earthquakes are also in view (see on :1).

And will sway back and forth like a hammock. Its disobedience will be heavy on it, and it will fall and not rise again- "Hammock" is "hut". The word is only used elsewhere in Is. 1:8: "The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field ... like a besieged city"This could refer to how the Assyrians would take the whole land apart from Jerusalem. The entire "vineyard" of God's work was to be destroyed, apart from a "shelter"- which was Zion. But it is the "daughter of Zion", the faithful remnant, and not the literal Zion which is in view here. They were to be a "shelter", a place of refuge, for others (Is. 4:6 s.w.).  As explained on Is. 4:6, Zion was intended to become not only a place of spiritual refuge, but the capital of a revived Kingdom of God in Judah. That didn't happen, Zion was saved by grace alone from the Assyrians; and so the "hut" was destroyed.

Isaiah 24:21 It shall happen in that day that Yahweh will punish the army of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth-
LXX "And God shall bring his hand upon the host of heaven, and upon the kings of the earth". The idea may be that the kings of the earth / land are the 'heavens', the rulers. And they will be particularly judged. All the rulers of the eretz were not judged together at any time, although this is required here. But it will happen in the last days. Revelation is full of information about how "the kings of the earth" / land are to be judged (Rev. 6:15;  16:14; 17:2,18; 18:3,9;  19:19; 21:24).

Isaiah 24:22 They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and after many days shall they be visited-
This didn't happen at the time, but is transferred to the last days. The whole book of Revelation is full of allusions to the Old Testament prophecies. Rev. 20:1–3 is surely based upon Is. 24:21,22, which prophesied that the kings of the earth will be gathered together, imprisoned in a pit and punished. It is these very human “kings of the earth” who are described in the more figurative language of Revelation as “Satan”.

Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for Yahweh of Armies will reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before His elders will be glory-
The end result of the majority of the people being destroyed in the eretz was that the repentant remnants of the peoples, including Judah, would see the literal coming of Yahweh to Zion and His reigning from Zion, the temple mount. This is the Kingdom scenario of Is. 2 and many other passages. The existing 'heavens' of Judah would be confounded and ashamed, and replaced by a new set of "elders". And perhaps in a literal sense there will then be no need of sun and moon; for that is how things shall be in the Kingdom of God (Rev. 21:23).