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Isaiah 24:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad its inhabitants.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Behold, Jehovah maketh the land empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad its inhabitants.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Lo! Yahweh emptying the earth, and laying it waste,—And he will overturn the face thereof, And scatter them who dwell therein.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Lo, Jehovah is emptying the land, And is making it waste, And hath overturned [it on] its face, And hath scattered its inhabitants.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Behold the Lord shall lay waste the earth, and shall strip it, and shall afflict the face thereof, and scatter abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Behold, the LORD maketh the earth emptie, and maketh it waste, and turneth it vpside downe, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Behold, the Lord is about to lay waste the world, and will make it desolate, and will lay bare the surface of it, and scatter them that dwell therein.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Behold, Yahweh maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
maketh the earth y776
[0776] Standard
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
empty, 1238
{1238} Prime
A primitive root; to pour out, that is, to empty, figuratively to depopulate; by analogy to spread out (as a fruitful vine).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
(0776) Complement
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
and maketh it waste, 1110
{1110} Prime
A primitive root; to annihilate.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
and turneth y5753
[5753] Standard
A primitive root; to crook, literally or figuratively.
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
it upside down, 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
(5753) Complement
A primitive root; to crook, literally or figuratively.
and scattereth abroad 6327
{6327} Prime
A primitive root; to dash in pieces, literally or figuratively (especially to disperse).
<8689> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2675
the inhabitants 3427
{3427} Prime
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 24:1

_ _ Isaiah 24:1-23. The last times of the world in general, and of Judah and the church in particular.

_ _ The four chapters (the twenty-fourth through the twenty-seventh) form one continuous poetical prophecy: descriptive of the dispersion and successive calamities of the Jews (Isaiah 24:1-12); the preaching of the Gospel by the first Hebrew converts throughout the world (Isaiah 24:13-16); the judgments on the adversaries of the Church and its final triumph (Isaiah 24:16-23); thanksgiving for the overthrow of the apostate faction (Isaiah 25:1-12), and establishment of the righteous in lasting peace (Isaiah 26:1-21); judgment on leviathan and entire purgation of the Church (Isaiah 27:1-13). Having treated of the several nations in particular — Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Edom, and Tyre (the miniature representative of all, as all kingdoms flocked into it) — he passes to the last times of the world at large and of Judah the representative and future head of the churches.

_ _ the earth — rather, “the land” of Judah (so in Isaiah 24:3, Isaiah 24:5, Isaiah 24:6; Joel 1:2). The desolation under Nebuchadnezzar prefigured that under Titus.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 24:1-12

_ _ It is a very dark and melancholy scene that this prophecy presents to our view; turn our eyes which way we will, every thing looks dismal. The threatened desolations are here described in a great variety of expressions to the same purport, and all aggravating.

_ _ I. The earth is stripped of all its ornaments and looks as if it were taken off its basis; it is made empty and waste (Isaiah 24:1), as if it were reduced to its first chaos, Tohu and Bohu, nothing but confusion and emptiness again (Genesis 1:2), without form and void. It is true earth sometimes signifies the land, and so the same word eretz is here translated (Isaiah 24:3): The land shall be utterly emptied and utterly spoiled; but I see not why it should not there, as well as Isaiah 24:1, be translated the earth; for most commonly, if not always, where it signifies some one particular land it has something joined to it, or at least not far from it, which does so appropriate it; as the land (or earth) of Egypt, or Canaan, or this land, or ours, or yours, or the like. It might indeed refer to some particular country, and an ambiguous word might be used to warrant such an application; for it is good to apply to ourselves, and our own hands, what the scripture says in general of the vanity and vexation of spirit that attend all things here below; but it should seem designed to speak what often happens to many countries, and will do while the world stands, and what may, we know not how soon, happen to our own, and what is the general character of all earthly things: they are empty of all solid comfort and satisfaction; a little thing makes them waste. We often see numerous families, and plentiful estates, utterly emptied and utterly spoiled, by one judgment or other, or perhaps only by a gradual and insensible decay. Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth has become quite a different thing to man from what it was when God made it to be his habitation. Sin has also scattered abroad the inhabitants thereof. The rebellion at Babel was the occasion of the dispersion there. How many ways are there in which the inhabitants both of towns and of private houses are scattered abroad, so that near relations and old neighbours know nothing of one another! To the same purport is Isaiah 24:4. The earth mourns, and fades away; it disappoints those that placed their happiness in it and raised their expectations high from it, and proves not what they promised themselves it would be. The whole world languishes and fades away, as hastening towards a dissolution. It is, at the best, like a flower, which withers in the hands of those that please themselves too much with it, and lay it in their bosoms. And, as the earth itself grows old, so those that dwell therein are desolate; men carry crazy sickly bodies along with them, are often solitary, and confined by affliction, Isaiah 24:6. When the earth languishes, and is not so fruitful as it used to be, then those that dwell therein, that make it their home, and rest, and portion, are desolate; whereas those that by faith dwell in God can rejoice in him even when the fir-tree does not blossom. If we look abroad, and see in how many places pestilences and burning fevers rage, and what multitudes are swept away by them in a little time, so that sometimes the living scarcely suffice to bury the dead, perhaps we shall understand what the prophet means when he says, The inhabitants of the earth are burned, or consumed, some by one disease, others by another, and there are but few men left, in comparison. Note, The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a vale of tears, and a dying world; and the children of men in it are but of few days, and full of trouble.

_ _ II. It is God that brings all these calamities upon the earth. The Lord that made the earth, and made it fruitful and beautiful, for the service and comfort of man, now makes it empty and waste (Isaiah 24:1), for its Creator is and will be its Judge; he has an incontestable right to pass sentence upon it and an irresistible power to execute that sentence. It is the Lord that has spoken this word, and he will do the work (Isaiah 24:3); it is his curse that has devoured the earth (Isaiah 24:6), the general curse which sin brought upon the ground for man's sake (Genesis 3:17), and all the particular curses which families and countries bring upon themselves by their enormous wickedness. See the power of God's curse, how it makes all empty and lays all waste; those whom he curses are cursed indeed.

_ _ III. Persons of all ranks and conditions shall share in these calamities (Isaiah 24:2): It shall be as with the people, so with the priest, etc. This is true of many of the common calamities of human life; all are subject to the same diseases of body, sorrows of mind, afflictions in relations, and the like. There is one event to those of very different stations; time and chance happen to them all. It is in a special manner true of the destroying judgments which God sometimes brings upon sinful nations; when he pleases he can make them universal, so that none shall escape them or be exempt from them; whether men have little or much, they shall lose it all. Those of the meaner rank smart first by famine; but those of the higher rank go first into captivity, while the poor of the land are left. It shall be all alike, 1. With high and low: As with the people, so with the priest, or prince. The dignity of magistrates and ministers, and the respect and reverence due to both, shall not secure them. The faces of elders are not honoured, Lamentations 5:12. The priests had been as corrupt and wicked as the people; and, if their character served not to restrain them from sin, how can they expect it should serve to secure them from judgments? In both it is like people, like priest, Hosea 4:8, Hosea 4:9. 2. With bond and free: As with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress. They have all corrupted their way, and therefore will all be made miserable when the earth is made waste. 3. With rich and poor. Those that have money before-hand, that are purchasing, and letting out money to interest, will fare no better than those that are so impoverished that they are forced to sell their estates and take up money at interest. There are judgments short of the great day of judgment in which rich and poor meet together. Let not those that are advanced in the world set their inferiors at too great a distance, because they know not how soon they may be set upon a level with them. The rich man's wealth is his strong city in his own conceit; but it does not always prove so.

_ _ IV. It is sin that brings these calamities upon the earth. The earth is made empty, and fades away, because it is defiled under the inhabitants thereof (Isaiah 24:5); it is polluted by the sins of men, and therefore it is made desolate by the judgments of God. Such is the filthy nature of sin that it defiles the earth itself under the sinful inhabitants thereof, and it is rendered unpleasant in the eyes of God and good men. See Leviticus 18:25, Leviticus 18:27, Leviticus 18:28. Blood, in particular, defiles the land, Numbers 35:33. The earth never spues out its inhabitants till they have first defiled it by their sins. Why, what have they done? 1. They have transgressed the laws of their creation, not answered the ends of it. The bonds of the law of nature have been broken by them, and they have cast from them the cords of their obligations to the God of nature. 2. They have changed the ordinances of revealed religion, those of them that have had the benefit of that. They have neglected the ordinances (so some read it), and have made no conscience of observing them. They have passed over the laws, in the commission of sin, and have passed by the ordinance, in the omission of duty. 3. Herein they have broken the everlasting covenant, which is a perpetual bond and will be to those that keep it a perpetual blessing. It is God's wonderful condescension that he is pleased to deal with men in a covenant-way, to do them good, and thereby oblige them to do him service. Even those that had no benefit by God's covenant with Abraham had benefit by his covenant with Noah and his sons, which is called an everlasting covenant, his covenant with day and night; but they observe not the precepts of the sons of Noah, they acknowledge not God's goodness in the day and night, nor study to make him any grateful returns, and so break the everlasting covenant and defeat the gracious designs and intentions of it.

_ _ V. These judgments shall humble men's pride and mar their mirth. When the earth is made empty, 1. It is a great mortification to men's pride (Isaiah 24:4): The haughty people of the earth do languish; for they have lost that which supported their pride, and for which they magnified themselves. As for those that have held their heads highest, God can make them hang the head. 2. It is a great damp to men's jollity. This is enlarged upon much (Isaiah 24:7-9): All the merry-hearted do sigh. Such is the nature of carnal mirth, it is but as the crackling of thorns under a pot, Ecclesiastes 7:6. Great laughters commonly end in a sigh. Those that make the world their chief joy cannot rejoice ever more. When God sends his judgments into the earth he designs thereby to make those serious that were wholly addicted to their pleasures. Let your laughter be turned into mourning. When the earth is emptied the noise of those that rejoice in it ends. Carnal joy is a noisy thing; but the noise of it will soon be at an end, and the end of it is heaviness. Two things are made use of to excite and express vain mirth, and the jovial crew is here deprived of both: — (1.) Drinking: The new wine mourns; it has grown sour for want of drinking; for, how proper soever it may be for the heavy heart (Proverbs 31:6), it does not relish to them as it does to the merry-hearted. The vine languishes, and gives little hopes of a vintage, and therefore the merry-hearted do sigh; for they know no other gladness than that of their corn, and wine, and oil increasing (Psalms 4:7), and, if you destroy their vines and their fig-trees, you make all their mirth to cease, Hosea 2:11, Hosea 2:12. They shall not now drink wine with a song and with huzzas, as they used to, but rather drink it with a sigh; nay, Strong drink shall be bitter to those that drink it, because they cannot but mingle their tears with it; or, through sickness, they have lost the relish of it. God has many ways to embitter wine and strong drink to those that love them and have the highest gust of them: distemper of body, anguish of mind, the ruin of the estate or country, will make the strong drink bitter and all the delights of sense tasteless and insipid. (2.) Music: The mirth of tabrets ceases, and the joy of the harp, which used to be at their feasts, Isaiah 5:12. The captives in Babylon hang their harps on the willow trees. In short, All joy is darkened; there is not a pleasant look to be seen, nor has any one power to force a smile; all the mirth of the land is gone (Isaiah 24:11); and, if it was that mirth which Solomon calls madness, there is no great loss of it.

_ _ VI. The cities will in a particular manner feel from these desolations of the country (Isaiah 24:10): The city of confusion is broken, is broken down (so we read it); it lies exposed to invading powers, not only by the breaking down of its walls, but by the confusion that the inhabitants are in. Every house is shut up, perhaps by reason of the plague, which has burned or consumed the inhabitants, so that there are few men left, Isaiah 24:6. Houses infected are usually shut up that no man may come in. Or they are shut up because they are deserted and uninhabited. There is a crying for wine, that is, for the spoiling of the vintage, so that there is likely to be no wine. In the city, in Jerusalem itself, that had been so much frequented, there shall be left nothing but desolation; grass shall grow in the streets, and the gate is smitten with destruction (Isaiah 24:12); all that used to pass and repass through the gate are smitten, and all the strength of the city is cut off. How soon can God make a city of order a city of confusion, and then it will soon be a city of desolation!

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 24:1

The land — Of Canaan. Waste — He will shortly make it waste, first by the Assyrians, and then by the Chaldeans. Turneth — Brings it into great disorder and confusion.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 24:1

Behold, the LORD maketh the (a) earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad its inhabitants.

(a) This prophecy is as a conclusion of that which has been threatened to the Jews and other nations from the 13th chapter and therefore by the earth he means those lands which were named before.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 3292, bc 712

maketh the:

Isaiah 1:7-9 Your country [is] desolate, your cities [are] burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and [it is] desolate, as overthrown by strangers. ... Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, [and] we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Isaiah 6:11-12 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, ... And the LORD have removed men far away, and [there be] a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
Isaiah 7:17-25 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; [even] the king of Assyria. ... And [on] all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.
Isaiah 27:10 Yet the defenced city [shall be] desolate, [and] the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof.
Isaiah 32:13-14 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns [and] briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy [in] the joyous city: ... Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
Isaiah 42:15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
Jeremiah 4:7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; [and] thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
Ezekiel 5:14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that [are] round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
Ezekiel 6:6 In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
Ezekiel 12:20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.
Ezekiel 24:11 Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and [that] the filthiness of it may be molten in it, [that] the scum of it may be consumed.
Ezekiel 35:14 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate.
Nahum 2:10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain [is] in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

turneth it upside down:
Heb. perverteth the face thereof,
Isaiah 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
2 Kings 21:13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as [a man] wipeth a dish, wiping [it], and turning [it] upside down.
Psalms 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;


Deuteronomy 4:27 And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.
Deuteronomy 28:64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, [even] wood and stone.
Deuteronomy 32:26 I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:
Nehemiah 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, [If] ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Jeremiah 9:16 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.
Jeremiah 40:15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know [it]: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?
Jeremiah 50:17 Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
Ezekiel 5:2 Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, [and] smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.
Zechariah 13:7-9 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. ... And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
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Dt 4:27; 28:64; 32:26. 2K 21:13. Ne 1:8. Ps 146:9. Is 1:7; 5:6; 6:11; 7:17; 27:10; 29:16; 32:13; 42:15. Jr 4:7; 9:16; 40:15; 50:17. Ezk 5:2, 14; 6:6; 12:20; 24:11; 35:14. Na 2:10. Zc 13:7. Lk 21:24. Ac 17:6. Jm 1:1.

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