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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Isaiah 24

 

 

Verse 1

Isaiah 24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

Ver. 1. Behold the Lord emptieth.] It must needs be a matter of some rare and marvellous consequence, that "Behold" - the "oh yes!" of the Holy Ghost - is thus set before.

The Lord emptieth,] i.e., Will empty; an idiom proper to God’s prophets, who saw in the Spirit things to come as if they were even then done.

The earth.] Or, The land, sc., Of Jewry, by a woeful desolation, Lege et luge, by law and lament. Some hold it to be a metaphor from ships overloaded, which therefore must be disburdened; so was the land to be eased of her inhabitants, which she could hardly stand under.

And waste.] Making havoc of persons and things of worth.

Turneth it upside down.] Ferens, agens sursum deorsum omnia, turning all things topsy turvy, as they say.


Verse 2

Isaiah 24:2 And it shall 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 lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

Ver. 2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest.] Or, Prince. Dignity and wealth hindereth him not; doth he esteem nobility or riches, or anything that fortifieth strength? Poverty or meanness findeth no favour with him. In a common calamity, all commonly share and fare alike.


Verse 3

Isaiah 24:3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.

Ver. 3. The land shall be utterly emptied.] See on Isaiah 24:1.

For the Lord hath spoken this word.] And his words are not in vain. Doth he say, and shall he not do it? [Numbers 23:23]


Verse 4

Isaiah 24:4 The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

Ver. 4. The earth mourneth and fadeth away.] Luxit et diffiuxit, waileth and faileth; gallant rhetoric in the original, as this is a stately chapter all along: all the rollings of Demosthenes are but dull stuff compared to it.

The world languisheth.] As a sick man, so enfeebled that he cannot stand high alone.


Verse 5

Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

Ver. 5. The earth also is defiled,] (a) viz., With sin, and therefore so decayed; yea, the very visible heavens are defiled with man’s sin, and shall therefore be purged by the fire of the last day; like as the vessels that held the sin-offering was to pass the fire.

Because they have transgressed the laws.] Natural and moral; those bounds and banks set to keep men within the compass of obedience: "but the unjust knoweth no shame," [Zephaniah 3:5] is lawless, aweless, yokeless, untameable, untractable as the wild ass colt, as the horse and mule, &c.

Changed the ordinances.] Or, Passed by the ordinances - sc., by sins of omission, as before by commission; so in Hebrews 2:2, "every transgression and disobedience," i.e., every commission and omission.

Broken the everlasting covenant.] Disannulled, vacated the covenant founded in Christ, when coming unto his own, his own received him not; when the Pharisees and others, by slighting holy offers and ordinances of grace, "rejected the counsel of God against themselves." [Luke 7:30] This last especially brought the curse. [Isaiah 24:6] Some by laws here understand the judicial laws, by ordinances the ceremonial, and by everlasting covenant the Decalogue. Others by laws, the municipal laws of the commonwealth, by ordinances the laws of nations, as not to violate an ambassador, &c., by everlasting covenant the law of nature, which is that "light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world." [John 1:9]


Verse 6

Isaiah 24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

Ver. 6. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth.] The Chaldee and Vatablus render it the perjury - viz., in transgressing the laws, &c., which they had covenanted and sworn to observe; see Psalms 119:106. That dreadful curse of the Jews [Matthew 27:25] is come upon them to the utmost, devouring their land and desolating the inhabitants thereof. Though the curse causeless come not, yet God sometimes saith Amen to other men’s curses, as he did to Jotham’s upon the Shechemites. [ 9:57] How much more to men’s cursing themselves?


Verse 7

Isaiah 24:7 The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh.

Ver. 7. The new wine mourneth.] As being spilled and spoiled by the enemy.

All the merry hearted do sigh.] Who were wont to sing away care, and to call for their cups.


Verse 8

Isaiah 24:8 The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.

Ver. 8. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth.] Quicquid laetitiarum fuit, in luctum vertitur.


Verse 9

Isaiah 24:9 They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.

Ver. 9. They shall not drink wine with a song.] Revel it as they had wont to do: non convivabuntur pergraecando. We use to call such merry griggs - that is, Greeks.


Verse 10

Isaiah 24:10 The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.

Ver. 10. The city of confusion.] Urbs desolanda, destined to desolation: whether it be Babylon, Tyre, Jerusalem, or any other. Mundum intellige in quo nihil nisi vanum, saith Oecolampadius: that is, by this city of vanity - so the Vulgate translateth it - understand the world; according to that of the preacher, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Augustine, in the beginning of that excellent work of his, De Civitate Dei, maketh two opposite cities - the one the city of God, the other the city of the devil; the one a city of verity, the other a city of vanity.


Verse 11

Isaiah 24:11 [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.

Ver. 11. There is a crying for wine.] The drunkards weep, the ale stakes yell, because the new wine is cut off from their mouths. [Joel 1:5]

All joy is darkened.] Heb., It is eventide with joy. As the air in the evening waxeth dark, so shall their mirth be turned into heaviness.

The mirth of the land is gone.] Together with their liquor. Wine is by Simonides called the expeller of sadness - Aμυντωρ δυσφροσυναων..


Verse 12

Isaiah 24:12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.

Ver. 12. In the city is left desolation.] There is nothing of any worth left, but havoc made of all; it is plundered to the life, as now we phrase it. Since the Swedish wars custom is the sole mint master of current words.


Verse 13

Isaiah 24:13 When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, [there shall be] as the shaking of an olive tree, [and] as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.

Ver. 13. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land.] Or, For so it shall be in the land among the people, as in the beating of an olive tree, &c. En misericordiae specimen, still there is a remnant reserved for royal use; quando omnia passim pessum eunt. God never so punisheth but he leaveth some matter for his mercy to work upon. A church on earth he will ever have.


Verse 14

Isaiah 24:14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea.

Ver. 14. They shall lift up their voice, &c.] Laudabunt Deum et laetabuntur: this elect remnant in all countries shall be filled with spiritual joy and peace through the belief of the truth, which shall vent itself by singing praises to God. And here we have the very mark of the true Church, which is to celebrate and profess the great and glorious name of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the majesty of the Lord.] Or, For the magnificence; that great work of his especially of divulging his gospel all the world over, and thereby gathering his Church out of all nations.

They shall cry aloud from the sea,] i.e., From the islands and transmarine parts, as we do now from Great Britain - "thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" - calling to our neighbour nations, and saying,


Verse 15

Isaiah 24:15 Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, [even] the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.

Ver. 15. Glorify ye God in the fires.] In ipsis ignibus, in the hottest fires of afflictions, "rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation"; praise God for crosses also: this is Christianorum propria virtus, saith Jerome.

In the isles of the sea.] Quicunqui quocunque loco, et inter quoseunque sitis. (a)


Verse 16

Isaiah 24:16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, [even] glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.

Ver. 16. From the uttermost part of the land have we heard songs.] Or, Psalms, aliquid Davidicam. The martyrs sang in the fire. Luther in deep distress called for the 46th Psalm to be sung in contemptum diaboli, in despite of the devil.

Even glory to the righteous.] To Jesus the Just One. [1 John 2:2]

But I said, My leanness, my leanness.] The prophet’s flesh was wasted and consumed with care and grief (a) for his graceless countrymen. See the like in David [Psalms 119:158] and Paul. [Romans 9:1-2]

Woe unto me.] Or, Alas for me.

The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously.] They have crucified the Lord of glory upon a desperate and deep malice, out of most notorious contumacy and ingratitude. This was with most treacherous treachery to deal treacherously; this was to "do evil as they could."


Verse 17

Isaiah 24:17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.

Ver. 17. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee.] Metaphora a venatoribus, a metaphor from hunters, elegantly expressed in the original by words of a like sound. God hath variety of plagues at command; his quiver is full of shafts, neither can he possibly want a weapon to beat his rebels with. If the Amorites escape the sword, yet they are brained with hailstones [Joshua 10:11] If the Syrians get into a walled town, yet they are baned by the fall of a wall upon them. [1 Kings 20:30]


Verse 18

Isaiah 24:18 And it shall come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.

Ver. 18. He who fleeth from the noise of the fear.] See Amos 5:19. {See Trapp on "Amos 5:19"} And learn to fear God, the stroke of whose arm none may think to escape.

For the windows from on high are opened.] The cataract or sluices of the clouds, as once in the general deluge.

The foundations of the earth do shake.] Heaven and earth shall fight against them, and conspire to mischieve them.


Verse 19

Isaiah 24:19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

Ver. 19. The earth is utterly broken down.] This he had said before. Oil, if not well rubbed in, pierceth not the skin. Menaces must be inculcated, or else they will be but little regarded. Let preachers press matters to the utmost, drive the nail home to the head; not forbearing through faint-heartedness, nor languishing through lukewarmness.


Verse 20

Isaiah 24:20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

Ver. 20. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard.] As the inhabitants thereof had drunk in iniquity like water; [Job 15:16] so they should now drink and be drunk with the cup of God’s wrath.

And shall be removed like a cottage.] Or, Lodge, hut, or tent; so shall they be tossed and tumbled from one place to another.

And the transgression,] i.e., The punishment of your transgression. Observe here the wages and the weight of sin.


Verse 21

Isaiah 24:21 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones [that are] on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.

Ver. 21. The Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high.] Altitudinis in excelso. Hereby he may mean the Jews, God’s "firstborn, and therefore higher than the kings of the earth," [Psalms 89:27] though now for most part degenerated, and therefore in the next words also heavily threatened, for versum vicesimum primum secundus explicat, saith Scultetus.


Verse 22

Isaiah 24:22 And 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.

Ver. 22. And they shall be gathered together, &c.] Id quod de poenis Iudaeorum intelligimus, saith an interpreter - that is, This we understand to be the punishment of the obstinate Jews, whose bodies after death were clapped up close prisoners in the grave, their souls held fast in hell till the last day; when after many days they shall be visited, i.e., in the whole man punished with eternal torments. Caveamus, si sapimus, a destinata peccandi malitia. Origen was certainly out when he argued from his text, that the damned in hell should after a time be visited, that is, delivered. There are that begin the promise at these words,

And after many days shall they be visited,] i.e., In mercy and favour {as Isaiah 23:17} through Christ. This gracious visitation began in Israel, [Luke 1:68] and then came abroad to the Gentiles also. [Acts 15:14-17]


Verse 23

Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Ver. 23. Then the moon shall be confounded.] The glory of Christ’s kingdom shall be so great, that in comparison to it the sun and moon shall cast no light. See Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 60:19.

When the Lord of hosts.] The Lord Christ, summus caelitum Imperator.

And before his ancients.] The whole Church and especially her officers, which are the glory of Christ. [2 Corinthians 8:23]

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 24:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-24.html. 1865-1868.

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Monday, May 20th, 2019
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