Judgment on the Earth
Behold, the Lord [a]lays waste to the earth, devastates it, twists and distorts its face and scatters its inhabitants. And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor [as God’s impartial judgment of sin comes on all]. The earth will be completely laid waste and utterly pillaged, for the Lord has spoken this word. The earth dries up and crumbles away, the world dries out and crumbles away, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. The earth also is polluted [b]by its inhabitants, because they have transgressed laws, violated statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live on it suffer the punishment of their guilt. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned [under the curse of God’s wrath], and few people are left.
The new wine mourns,
The vine decays;
All the merry-hearted sigh and groan.
The mirth of the timbrels (tambourines) ceases,
The noise of those who rejoice ends,
The joy of the harp ceases.
They do not drink wine with a song;
Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
The city of chaos is broken down;
Every house is shut up so that no one may enter.
There is an outcry in the streets concerning the wine;
All jubilation is darkened,
The joy of the earth is banished.
Horrible desolation is left in the city,
And the gate is battered into ruins.
For so it will be in the midst of the earth among the peoples,
As the shaking of an olive tree,
As the gleanings when the grape harvest is over [and only a little of the fruit remains].
They [who have escaped and remain] raise their voices, they shout for joy;
They rejoice from the [Mediterranean] Sea in the majesty of the Lord.
Therefore honor and glorify the Lord in the east [in the region of light],
The name of the Lord, the God of Israel [honor His name],
In the coastlands and islands of the [Mediterranean] Sea.
From the ends of the earth we hear songs, “Glory and honor to the Righteous One,”
But I say, “I waste away, I waste away. Woe to me!
The treacherous deal treacherously,
Indeed, the treacherous deal very treacherously.”
Terror and pit [of destruction] and snare
Confront you, O inhabitant of the earth.
Then it will be that he who flees at the sound of terror will fall into the pit,
And he who comes up out of the pit will be caught in the snare;
For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is broken completely apart,
The earth is split apart,
The earth is shaken violently.
The earth reels back and forth like a drunkard
And sways like a shack;
Its transgression lies heavily upon it,
And it will fall and not rise again.
So it will happen in that day
That the Lord will visit and punish the host (fallen angels) of heaven on high,
And the kings of the earth on the earth.
They will be gathered together
As prisoners [are gathered] in a dungeon;
They will be shut up in prison,
And after many days they will be visited and punished.
Then the full moon will be embarrassed and the sun ashamed,
For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
And His glory and brilliance will shine before His elders.
- Isaiah 24:1 The gradual destruction of the earth, as revealed by God to Isaiah, is prophesied in this passage. He sees both the current and the future tragedies which will befall earth.
- Isaiah 24:5 Lit under.
Song of Praise for God’s Favor
O Lord, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will praise and give thanks to Your name;
For You have done miraculous things,
Plans formed long, long ago, [fulfilled] with perfect faithfulness.
For You have made a city into a heap [of trash],
A fortified city into a ruin;
A palace of [a]foreigners is no longer a city,
It will never be rebuilt.
Therefore a strong people will honor You;
Cities of terrible and violent nations will fear You.
For You have been a stronghold for the helpless,
A stronghold for the poor in his distress,
A shelter from the storm, a shade from the heat;
For the breath of tyrants
Is like a rainstorm against a wall.
Like heat in a dry land, You will subdue the noise of foreigners [rejoicing over their enemies];
Like heat in the shadow of a cloud, the song of the tyrants is [b]silenced.
On this mountain [Zion] the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples [to welcome His reign on earth],
A banquet of aged wines—choice pieces [flavored] with marrow,
Of refined, aged wines.
And on this mountain He will destroy the covering that is [cast] over all peoples,
And the veil [of death] that is woven and spread over all the nations.
He will swallow up death [and abolish it] for all time.
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
And He will take away the disgrace of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.
It will be said in that day,
“Indeed, this is our God for whom we have waited that He would save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
Let us shout for joy and rejoice in His salvation.”
For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain [Zion],
And Moab will be trampled down in his place
As straw is trampled down in the [filthy] water of a manure pile.
And Moab will spread out his hands in the middle of the filth
As a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim,
But the Lord will humiliate his pride in spite of the [skillful] movements of his hands.
The high fortifications of your walls He will bring down,
Lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
Song of Trust in God’s Protection
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city;
He sets up salvation as walls and ramparts.
“Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter,
The one that [a]remains faithful and trustworthy.
“You will keep in [b]perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both [c]inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
“Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner],
For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
“For He has thrown down the [arrogant] ones who dwell on high, the lofty and inaccessible city;
He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He hurls it to the dust.
“The foot will trample it,
Even the feet of the suffering, and the steps of the helpless.”
The way of the righteous [those in right-standing with God—living in moral and spiritual integrity] is smooth and level;
O Upright One, make a level path for the just and righteous.
Indeed, in the path of Your judgments, O Lord,
We have waited expectantly for You;
Your name, even Your memory, is the desire and deep longing of our souls.
In the night my soul longs for You [O Lord],
Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently;
For [only] when Your judgments are experienced on the earth
Will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Though the wicked is shown compassion and favor,
He does not learn righteousness;
In the land of uprightness he deals unjustly,
And refuses to see the majesty of the Lord.
Though Your hand is lifted up [to strike], O Lord, the wicked do not see it.
Let them see Your zeal for Your people and be put to shame;
Indeed, let the fire reserved for Your enemies consume them.
Lord, You will establish peace for us,
Since You have also performed for us all that we have done.
O Lord our God, other masters besides You have ruled over us;
But through You alone we confess Your name.
The [wicked] dead will not live [again], the spirits of the dead will not rise and return;
Therefore You have punished and destroyed them,
And You have wiped out every memory of them [every trace of them].
You have increased the nation, O Lord;
You have increased the nation, You are glorified;
You have extended all the borders of the land.
O Lord, they sought You in distress;
They managed only a prayerful whisper
When Your discipline was upon them.
As a woman with child approaches the time to give birth,
She is in pain and struggles and cries out in her labor,
So we were before You, O Lord.
We have been with child, we have twisted and struggled in labor;
We gave birth, as it seems, only to wind.
We could not accomplish salvation for the earth,
Nor were inhabitants of the world [d]born.
Your dead will live;
[e]Their dead bodies will rise.
You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy!
For your dew is a dew of [celestial] light [heavenly, supernatural],
And the earth will give birth to the spirits of the dead.
Come, my people, enter your chambers
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide for a little while
Until the [Lord’s] [f]wrath is past.
Listen carefully, the Lord is about to come out of His [heavenly] place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing];
The earth will reveal the [innocent] blood shed upon her
And will no longer cover her slain.
- Isaiah 26:2 Lit keeps trustworthiness.
- Isaiah 26:3 Lit peace, peace, a Hebrew idiom of emphasis.
- Isaiah 26:3 The Hebrew word for inclination became a technical term in Jewish tradition, and the rabbis frequently referred to the “evil inclination” much in the same sense as the sin nature. They also recognized a “good inclination,” which the righteous choose to follow, and urged people to make their good inclination king over the evil inclination.
- Isaiah 26:18 Lit fallen.
- Isaiah 26:19 So with some ancient versions; MT reads My dead body.
- Isaiah 26:20 Lit curse.