|Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
||Lo! Jehovah will lay waste the earth and empty it;he will disfigure its surfaceand scatter its inhabitants.
||הִנֵּה יְהוָה בּוֹקֵק הָאָרֶץ וּבוֹלְקָהּ וְעִוָּה פָנֶיהָ וְהֵפִיץ יֹשְׁבֶיהָ ׃
|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.
||And it shall be with priest as with people,with master as with servant,with mistress as with maid,with seller as with buyer,with borrower as with lender,with debtor as with creditor—
||וְהָיָה כָעָם כַּכֹּהֵן כַּעֶבֶד כַּאדֹנָיו כַּשִּׁפְחָה כַּגְּבִרְתָּהּ כַּקּוֹנֶה כַּמּוֹכֵר כַּמַּלְוֶה כַּלּוֶֹה כַּנֹּשֶׁה כַּאֲשֶׁר נֹשֶׁא בוֹ ׃
|The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.
||when the earth is sacked,it shall be utterly ravaged.Jehovah has given word concerning it.
||הִבּוֹק תִּבּוֹק הָאָרֶץ וְהִבּוֹז תִּבּוֹז כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֶּר אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה ׃
|The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
||The earth shall pine away,the world miserably perish;the elite of the earth shall be made wretched.
||אָבְלָה נָבְלָה הָאָרֶץ אֻמְלְלָה נָבְלָה תֵּבֵל אֻמְלָלוּ מְרוֹם עַם־הָאָרֶץ ׃
|The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
||The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants:they have transgressed the laws,changed the ordinances,set at nought the ancient covenant.
||וְהָאָרֶץ חָנְפָה תַּחַת יֹשְׁבֶיהָ כִּי־עָבְרוּ תוֹרֹת חָלְפוּ חֹק הֵפֵרוּ בְּרִית עוֹלָם ׃
|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.
||The curse devours the earth,for those who dwell on it have incurred guilt;because of it the population of the earthshall be diminishedaand little of mankind remain.
||עַל־כֵּן אָלָה אָכְלָה אֶרֶץ וַיֶּאְשְׁמוּ יֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ עַל־כֵּן חָרוּ יֹשְׁבֵי אֶרֶץ וְנִשְׁאַר אֱנוֹשׁ מִזְעָר ׃
|The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh.
||The new wine withers on languishing vines,making all the lighthearted lament.
||אָבַל תִּירוֹשׁ אֻמְלְלָה־גָפֶן נֶאֶנְחוּ כָּל־שִׂמְחֵי־לֵב ׃
|The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.
||The rhythm of drums ceases,the revelers’ din stops;the pulsating of lyres comes to an end.
||שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ תֻּפִּים חָדַל שְׁאוֹן עַלִּיזִים שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ כִּנּוֹר ׃
|They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.
||Men no longer drink wine amid song;liquor has turned bitter to drinkers.
||בַּשִּׁיר לֹא יִשְׁתּוּ־יָיִן יֵמַר שֵׁכָר לְשֹׁתָיו ׃
|The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.
||The towns of disorder are broken up;all houses are shuttered, that none may enter.
||נִשְׁבְּרָה קִרְיַת־תֹּהוּ סֻגַּר כָּל־בַּיִת מִבּוֹא ׃
|There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
||Outside is heard the clamor for wine,though all joy has become gloom:the earth’s vitality is gone.
||צְוָחָה עַל־הַיַּיִן בַּחוּצוֹת עָרְבָה כָּל־שִׂמְחָה גָּלָה מְשׂוֹשׂ הָאָרֶץ ׃
|In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.
||Havoc remains in the city;the gates lie battered to ruin.
||נִשְׁאַר בָּעִיר שַׁמָּה וּשְׁאִיָּה יֻכַּת־שָׁעַר ׃
|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.
||Then shall it happen in the earth among the nationsas when an olive tree is beaten,or as grapes are gleaned when the vintage is ended.
||כִּי כֹה יִהְיֶה בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ בְּתוֹךְ הָעַמִּים כְּנֹקֶף זַיִת כְּעוֹלֵלֹת אִם־כָּלָה בָצִיר ׃
|They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea.
||Then will these lift up their voice and shout for joy,and those from across the seaexult at Jehovah’s ingenuity.
||הֵמָּה יִשְׂאוּ קוֹלָם יָרֹנּוּ בִּגְאוֹן יְהוָה צָהֲלוּ מִיָּם ׃
|Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.
||Because of it they will give glory to Jehovahin the regions of sunrise,and in the isles of the seato the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel.
||עַל־כֵּן בָּאֻרִים כַּבְּדוּ יְהוָה בְּאִיֵּי הַיָּם שֵׁם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל ׃
|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.
||From a sector of the earth we hear singing:Glorious are the righteous!Whereas I thought, I am wasting away;I am weakening:woe is me; the traitors have been treacherous,the turncoats have deceitfully betrayed!
||מִכְּנַף הָאָרֶץ זְמִרֹת שָׁמַעְנוּ צְבִי לַצַּדִּיק וָאֹמַר רָזִי־לִי רָזִי־לִי אוֹי לִי בֹּגְדִים בָּגָדוּ וּבֶגֶד בּוֹגְדִים בָּגָדוּ ׃
|Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
||Terrors and pitfalls and traps await you,O inhabitants of the earth:
||פַּחַד וָפַחַת וָפָח עָלֶיךָ יוֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ ׃
|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.
||those who flee at the sound of terrorshall fall into a pit,and those who get up from the pitshall be caught in a trap.For when the windows on high are opened,the earth shall shake to its foundations.
||וְהָיָה הַנָּס מִקּוֹל הַפַּחַד יִפֹּל אֶל־הַפַּחַת וְהָעוֹלֶה מִתּוֹךְ הַפַּחַת יִלָּכֵד בַּפָּח כִּי־אֲרֻבּוֹת מִמָּרוֹם נִפְתָּחוּ וַיִּרְעֲשׁוּ מוֹסְדֵי אָרֶץ ׃
|The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
||The earth shall be crushed and rent;the earth shall break up and cave in;the earth shall convulse and lurch.
||רֹעָה הִתְרֹעֲעָה הָאָרֶץ פּוֹר הִתְפּוֹרְרָה אֶרֶץ מוֹט הִתְמוֹטְטָה אָרֶץ ׃
|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.
||The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,sway back and forth like a shanty;its transgressions weigh it down,and when it collapses it shall rise no more.
||נוֹעַ תָּנוּעַ אֶרֶץ כַּשִּׁכּוֹר וְהִתְנוֹדְדָה כַּמְּלוּנָה וְכָבַד עָלֶיהָ פִּשְׁעָהּ וְנָפְלָה וְלֹא־תֹסִיף קוּם ׃
|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.
||In that day will Jehovah deal on highwith the hosts on highand on earth with the rulers of the earth.
||וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד יְהוָה עַל־צְבָא הַמָּרוֹם בַּמָּרוֹם וְעַל־מַלְכֵי הָאֲדָמָה עַל־הָאֲדָמָה ׃
|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.
||They shall be herded togetherlike prisoners to a dungeonand shut in confinement many days, as punishment.
||וְאֻסְּפוּ אֲסֵפָה אַסִּיר עַל־בּוֹר וְסֻגְּרוּ עַל־מַסְגֵּר וּמֵרֹב יָמִים יִפָּקֵדוּ ׃
|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.
||The moon will blush and the sun be put to shame,when Jehovah of Hosts manifests his reignin Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,and his glory in the presence of his elders.
||וְחָפְרָה הַלְּבָנָה וּבוֹשָׁה הַחַמָּה כִּי־מָלַךְ יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת בְּהַר צִיּוֹן וּבִירוּשָׁלִַם וְנֶגֶד זְקֵנָיו כָּבוֹד ׃
Chapters 24-27 comprise what scholars call the Isaiah Apocalypse—a prophecy dealing with the end of the world. In all respects, however, these chapters, together with their parallel counterpart, form a continuum of Isaiah’s development of prophetic concepts in Part V of Isaiah’s Seven-Part Structure (Isaiah 24-27; 48-54). Five Songs of Salvation (Isaiah 24:13-16; 25:1-5, 9; 26:1-6; 27:2-6) interject predictions of doom for the world. Nuancing Isaiah’s vision of Greater Babylon, particularly its cosmic destruction (Isaiah 13:9-10), chapter 24 portrays a tragic desolation of the earth and its inhabitants.
The destruction of the “earth” and the “world” parallels that of Greater Babylon, which also consists of the “earth” and the “world” (Isaiah 13:5, 9, 11, 13; 14:16-17, 21, Isaiah 13:5, 9, 11, 13; 14:16-17, 21, 26; 16:4; 23:9; 16:4; 23:9). The decimation of “mankind” continues that theme (Isaiah 13:12; 33:8). Causing these curses is the wickedness of Jehovah’s people, who have altered his “ordinances” or “ritual” (hoq) and perverted his “laws” or “doctrine” (torot), thereby violating Jehovah’s covenant and rendering it void. Jehovah’s servant, who personifies Jehovah’s covenant (Isaiah 42:6; 49:8), they likewise set at nought (Isaiah 49:7; 50:5-11; 52:14).
Whether through lawlessness by citizens or invasion by enemies, the land’s desolation dries up supplies of beverages, putting an end to revelry. Entertainments cease and the indolent lifestyle of pleasure lovers becomes a thing of the past. The curse the prophet had pronounced as a warning to Jehovah’s people turns into reality: “Woe to those who go after liquor as soon as they arise in the morning, who linger at night parties, inflamed by wine! There are harps and lyres, drums, flutes, and wine at their banquets, but they regard not what Jehovah does, nor perceive his hands at work” (Isaiah 5:11-12).
The “city” and “town/s”—in this case a representation of Jehovah’s wicked people and the nations—suffer destruction in Jehovah’s Day of Judgment prior to and on the heels of Assyria’s aggression (Isaiah 14:31; 19:2; 22:2; 23:7-9; 25:2; 26:5-6; 32:13-14; 37:26-27; 64:10-11). Addicts can no longer satisfy their cravings. Excesses turn into privation and joy into gloom even as Jehovah’s righteous people experience the opposite (vv 14-16). At the very time the wicked “city” perishes, the righteous “city” regenerates (Isaiah 1:26; 19:18; 26:1-3; 33:20-21; 45:13; 52:1-3; 60:13-15; 62:12; 65:18).
While the “vintage” or “harvest” (basir) of the earth denotes the destruction of the wicked in Jehovah’s Day of Judgment, those who are “gleaned” out of it comprise a righteous remnant of Jehovah’s people: “In that day Jehovah will thresh out [his harvest] from the torrent of the River to the streams of Egypt. But you shall be gleaned one by one, O children of Israel. In that day a loud trumpet shall sound, and they who were lost in the land of Assyria and they who were outcasts in the land of Egypt shall come and bow down to Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:12-13; cf. 63:2-4).
Songs of Salvation erupt from Jehovah’s elect people in two chief places where Jehovah delivers them: (1) where “these” take refuge—that is, in the land of Israel; and (2) where “[those] from across the sea . . . in the regions of sunrise . . . in the isles of the sea” await Israel’s God. Those in the land of Israel lift up their voice and rejoice in Jehovah’s salvation, while those abroad exult at Jehovah’s ingenuity in orchestrating events in such a way as to deliver them (Isaiah 12:1-6; 42:1-12). Secondarily, those who “lift up” or “sustain” (yis’u) their voice uphold or sustain Jehovah’s servant (Isaiah 50:10; 52:8).
The remnants of Jehovah’s people who survive Jehovah’s Day of Judgment rejoice as they learn of each other’s deliverance. Joy and singing characterize the dawning of the earth’s millennial age of peace. Although the righteous are mistreated and betrayed even by former friends—wondering whether they can endure their afflictions much longer—those who remain faithful to the end inherit glory (Isaiah 4:2-3; 46:13; 52:1; 60:1-3; 62:1-3). The words “Glorious are the righteous” (sebi lassaddiq) additionally mean “Glorious is the righteous one,” a reference to Jehovah’s servant (Isaiah 41:2, 26; 53:11).
Worldwide calamity ensues after “the windows on high are opened,” signifying a Sodom-and-Gomorrah type of destruction. Cosmic cataclysm—when “the earth shall shake to its foundation”—signals the start of an onslaught of covenant curses that befall the wicked and from which there appears no escape (Isaiah 13:13-15). Isaiah uses assonance and alliteration to depict the “terrors” (pahad), “pitfalls” (pahat), and “traps” (pah) that spread pervasively throughout the earth, reflecting a point of no return for its inhabitants until the entire cycle of deliverance and destruction has fulfilled its purpose.
Deep convulsions of Mother Earth—earthquakes, mega-volcanoes, and collisions with cosmic debris (Isaiah 5:25; 29:6; 32:19; 34:4, 9)—characterize Jehovah’s Day of Judgment. Jarred out of its current secure orbit (Isaiah 13:13), the earth reels and sways “like a drunkard,” reflecting the intoxicated spiritual state of its inhabitants. The people’s “transgressions” or “crimes” (pis‘ah) cause them to self-destruct. The earth with its inhabitants “collapses” or “falls” (napla) even as Greater Babylon “falls” (napla) (Isaiah 21:9), awaiting Jehovah’s new creation out of utter chaos (Isaiah 51:16; 65:17).
As with the king of Assyria/Babylon—who rises high in the heavens, then falls to the depths of the Pit (Isaiah 14:9-15)—Jehovah puts down the “rulers of the earth” and certain “hosts on high.” Rulers who misrule (Isaiah 3:12-15; 9:14-16) and alien angels who abet evil in the world (Isaiah 34:4), who had the chance to enjoy the earth’s paradisiacal glory, instead spend that time confined in a “dungeon” or “pit” (bor). After wicked leaders are supplanted by the King of Zion and by his servants whom he appoints as rulers, the earth at last enjoys an enduring peace (Isaiah 32:1; 60:17-21; 65:13-25).
As anciently Jehovah manifested himself to Moses and the seventy elders on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:9-11), and as Moses witnessed his glory (Exodus 24:15-18), so when he comes to reign on the earth Jehovah manifests himself to his end-time elders in the two spiritual and political centers of Mount Zion and Jerusalem. During the earth’s millennial age of peace, Jehovah sends emissaries to those who survive his Day of Judgment so that they may likewise receive the chance to see his glory: “I will come to gather all nations and tongues, that they may approach and behold my glory” (Isaiah 66:18).