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D. Apocalypse of Isaiah[a]

Chapter 24

Judgment upon the World and the Lord’s Enthronement on Mount Zion[b]

See! The Lord is about to empty the earth and lay it waste;
    he will twist its surface,
    and scatter its inhabitants:(A)
People and priest shall fare alike:
    servant and master,
Maid and mistress,
    buyer and seller,
Lender and borrower,
    creditor and debtor.(B)
The earth shall be utterly laid waste, utterly stripped,
    for the Lord has decreed this word.
The earth mourns and fades,
    the world languishes and fades;
    both heaven and earth languish.(C)
The earth is polluted because of its inhabitants,
    for they have transgressed laws, violated statutes,
    broken the ancient covenant.[c](D)
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
    and its inhabitants pay for their guilt;
Therefore they who dwell on earth have dwindled,
    and only a few are left.(E)
The new wine mourns, the vine languishes,
    all the merry-hearted groan.(F)
Stilled are the cheerful timbrels,
    ended the shouts of the jubilant,
    stilled the cheerful harp.(G)
They no longer drink wine and sing;
    strong brew is bitter to those who drink it.(H)
10 Broken down is the city of chaos,[d]
    every house is shut against entry.(I)
11 In the streets they cry out for lack of wine;
    all joy has grown dim,
    cheer is exiled from the land.(J)
12 In the city nothing remains but desolation,
    gates battered into ruins.
13 For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth,
    among the peoples,
As when an olive tree has been beaten,
    as with a gleaning when the vintage is done.(K)
14 These[e] shall lift up their voice,
    they shall sing for joy in the majesty of the Lord,
    they shall shout from the western sea:
15 “Therefore, in the east
    give glory to the Lord!
In the coastlands of the sea,
    to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel!”(L)
16 From the end of the earth we hear songs:
    “Splendor to the Just One!”
But I said, “I am wasted, wasted away.
    Woe is me! The traitors betray;
    with treachery have the traitors betrayed!(M)
17 Terror, pit, and trap
    for you, inhabitant of the earth!(N)
18 One who flees at the sound of terror
    will fall into the pit;
One who climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in the trap.
For the windows on high are open
    and the foundations of the earth shake.(O)
19 The earth will burst asunder,
    the earth will be shaken apart,
    the earth will be convulsed.
20 The earth will reel like a drunkard,
    sway like a hut;
Its rebellion will weigh it down;
    it will fall, never to rise again.”(P)
21 On that day the Lord will punish
    the host of the heavens[f] in the heavens,
    and the kings of the earth on the earth.
22 They will be gathered together
    like prisoners into a pit;
They will be shut up in a dungeon,
    and after many days they will be punished.(Q)
23 Then the moon will blush
    and the sun be ashamed,(R)
For the Lord of hosts will reign
    on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
    glorious in the sight of the elders.[g](S)

Footnotes

  1. 24:1–27:13 Although it has become traditional to call these chapters “Apocalypse of Isaiah,” and although they do contain some apocalyptic traits, many others are lacking, so that the title is imprecise as a designation. These chapters are not a unified composition and their growth into their present form was a long, complicated process. They echo many themes from chaps. 13–23, “Oracles Against the Foreign Nations,” as well as from earlier parts of Isaiah (e.g., the reversal of the “vineyard song,” 5:1–7, in 27:2–5). Of particular interest is an unnamed city (24:10–13; 25:2; 26:5–6; 27:10–11), a wicked city, doomed to destruction; to the extent that it is identifiable, it may be Babylon, but more generally it symbolizes all forces hostile to God. And it stands in contrast to another city, also unnamed but no doubt to be identified with Jerusalem (26:1–2).
  2. 24:1–23 The world is about to be shaken by a devastating judgment that will overthrow both the human and divine enemies of the Lord, who will then reign in glory over his people on Mount Zion.
  3. 24:5 Ancient covenant: God’s commandments to all humankind (cf. Gn 9:4–6).
  4. 24:10 City of chaos: a godless city which appears several times in chaps. 24–27; see note on 24:1–27:13.
  5. 24:14 These: the saved.
  6. 24:21 Host of the heavens: the stars, which were often regarded as gods; cf. Dt 4:19; Jer 8:2.
  7. 24:23 The elders: the tradition in Ex 24:9–11 suggests that this refers to the people of God who are to share in the banquet on Mount Zion (Is 25:6–8).

The Lord’s Devastation of the Earth

24 See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth(A)
    and devastate(B) it;
he will ruin its face
    and scatter(C) its inhabitants—
it will be the same
    for priest as for people,(D)
    for the master as for his servant,
    for the mistress as for her servant,
    for seller as for buyer,(E)
    for borrower as for lender,
    for debtor as for creditor.(F)
The earth will be completely laid waste(G)
    and totally plundered.(H)
The Lord has spoken(I) this word.

The earth dries up(J) and withers,(K)
    the world languishes and withers,
    the heavens(L) languish with the earth.(M)
The earth is defiled(N) by its people;
    they have disobeyed(O) the laws,
violated the statutes
    and broken the everlasting covenant.(P)
Therefore a curse(Q) consumes the earth;
    its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,(R)
    and very few are left.
The new wine dries up(S) and the vine withers;(T)
    all the merrymakers groan.(U)
The joyful timbrels(V) are stilled,
    the noise(W) of the revelers(X) has stopped,
    the joyful harp(Y) is silent.(Z)
No longer do they drink wine(AA) with a song;
    the beer is bitter(AB) to its drinkers.
10 The ruined city(AC) lies desolate;(AD)
    the entrance to every house is barred.
11 In the streets they cry out(AE) for wine;(AF)
    all joy turns to gloom,(AG)
    all joyful sounds are banished from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins,(AH)
    its gate(AI) is battered to pieces.
13 So will it be on the earth
    and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,(AJ)
    or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.(AK)

14 They raise their voices, they shout for joy;(AL)
    from the west(AM) they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
15 Therefore in the east(AN) give glory(AO) to the Lord;
    exalt(AP) the name(AQ) of the Lord, the God of Israel,
    in the islands(AR) of the sea.
16 From the ends of the earth(AS) we hear singing:(AT)
    “Glory(AU) to the Righteous One.”(AV)

But I said, “I waste away, I waste away!(AW)
    Woe(AX) to me!
The treacherous(AY) betray!
    With treachery the treacherous betray!(AZ)
17 Terror(BA) and pit and snare(BB) await you,
    people of the earth.(BC)
18 Whoever flees(BD) at the sound of terror
    will fall into a pit;(BE)
whoever climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in a snare.(BF)

The floodgates of the heavens(BG) are opened,
    the foundations of the earth shake.(BH)
19 The earth is broken up,(BI)
    the earth is split asunder,(BJ)
    the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth reels like a drunkard,(BK)
    it sways like a hut(BL) in the wind;
so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion(BM)
    that it falls(BN)—never to rise again.(BO)

21 In that day(BP) the Lord will punish(BQ)
    the powers(BR) in the heavens above
    and the kings(BS) on the earth below.
22 They will be herded together
    like prisoners(BT) bound in a dungeon;(BU)
they will be shut up in prison
    and be punished[a] after many days.(BV)
23 The moon will be dismayed,
    the sun(BW) ashamed;
for the Lord Almighty will reign(BX)
    on Mount Zion(BY) and in Jerusalem,
    and before its elders—with great glory.(BZ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 24:22 Or released

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