Notes for Isa 24:2LEB

"and it will be like the people, like the priest."


"like the servant, like his master."


"like the female servant, like her mistress."


"like the buyer, like the seller."


"like the lender, like the borrower."


"like the creditor, just as the one to whom he lends."


Notes for Isa 24:3LEB

"for Yahweh has spoken this word."


Notes for Isa 24:4LEB

Some prefer to read "land" here, but the word pair אֶרֶץ/תֵּבֵל (erets/tevel [see the corresponding term in the parallel line]) elsewhere clearly designates the earth/world (see 1 Sam 2:8LEB; 1 Chr 16:30LEB; Job 37; Ps 19:4LEB; Ps 24:1LEB; Ps 33:8LEB; Ps 89:11LEB; Ps 90:2LEB; Ps 96:13LEB; Ps 98:9LEB; Prov 8:26LEB, Prov 31:LEB; Isa 14:16–17LEB; Isa 34:1LEB; Jer 10:12LEB; Jer 51:15LEB; Lam 4:12LEB). According to L. Stadelmann, תבל designates "the habitable part of the world" (The Hebrew Conception of the World [AnBib], 130).


Or "mourns" (BDB 5 s.v. אָבַל). HALOT 6–7 lists the homonyms I אבל ("mourn") and II אבל ("dry up"). They propose the second here on the basis of parallelism.


"the height of the people of the earth." The translation assumes an emendation of the singular form מְרוֹם (mérom, "height of") to the plural construct מְרֹמֵי (mérome, "high ones of"; note the plural verb at the beginning of the line), and understands the latter as referring to the prominent people of human society.


Notes for Isa 24:5LEB

"beneath"; cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV "under"; NAB "because of."


Isa 26:21LEB suggests that the earth’s inhabitants defiled the earth by shedding the blood of their fellow human beings. See also Num 35:33–34LEB, which assumes that bloodshed defiles a land.


"moved past [the?] regulation."


Or "everlasting covenant" (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB "the ancient covenant"; CEV "their agreement that was to last forever."


For a lengthy discussion of the identity of this covenant/treaty, see R. Chisholm, "The ‘Everlasting Covenant’ and the ‘City of Chaos’: Intentional Ambiguity and Irony in Isaiah 24LEB, " CTR 6 (1993): 237-53. In this context, where judgment comes upon both the pagan nations and Yahwehs covenant community, the phrase "permanent treaty" is intentionally ambiguous. For the nations this treaty is the Noahic mandate of Gen 9:1–7LEB with its specific stipulations and central regulation (Gen 9:7LEB). By shedding blood, the warlike nations violated this treaty, which promotes population growth and prohibits murder. For Israel, which was also guilty of bloodshed (see Isa 1:15LEB, Isa 21LEB; Isa 4:4LEB), this "permanent treaty" would refer more specifically to the Mosaic Law and its regulations prohibiting murder (Exod 20:13LEB; Num 35:6–34LEB), which are an extension of the Noahic mandate.


Notes for Isa 24:6LEB

Ancient Near Eastern treaties often had "curses," or threatened judgments, attached to them. (See Deut 28LEB for a biblical example of such curses.) The party or parties taking an oath of allegiance acknowledged that disobedience would activate these curses, which typically threatened loss of agricultural fertility as depicted in the following verses.


The verb אָשַׁם (’asham, "be guilty") is here used metonymically to mean "pay, suffer for one’s guilt" (see HALOT 95 s.v. אשׁם).


BDB 359 s.v. חָרַר derives the verb חָרוּ (kharu) from חָרַר (kharar, "burn"), but HALOT 351 s.v. II חרה understands a hapax legomenon חָרָה (kharah, "to diminish in number," a homonym of חָרָה) here, relating it to an alleged Arabic cognate meaning "to decrease." The Qumran scroll 1QIsa has חורו, perhaps understanding the root as חָוַר (khavar, "grow pale"; see Isa 29:22 and HALOT 299 s.v. I חור).


"and mankind is left small [in number]."


Notes for Isa 24:7LEB

The Hebrew text reads literally, "all the joyful in heart," but the context specifies the context as parties and drinking bouts.


Notes for Isa 24:8LEB

"the joy" (again later in this verse).


Notes for Isa 24:9LEB

"with a song they do not drink wine."


Notes for Isa 24:10LEB

"the city of chaos" (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). Isaiah uses the term תֹּהוּ (tohu) rather frequently of things (like idols) that are empty and worthless (see BDB 1062 s.v.), so the word might characterize the city as rebellious or morally worthless. However, in this context, which focuses on the effects of divine judgment, it probably refers to the ruined or worthless condition in which the city is left (note the use of the word in Isa 34:11LEB). For a discussion of the identity of this city, see R. Chisholm, "The ‘Everlasting Covenant’ and the ‘City of Chaos’: Intentional Ambiguity and Irony in Isaiah 24LEB, " CTR 6 (1993): 237-53. In the context of universal judgment depicted in Isa 24LEB, this city represents all the nations and cities of the world which, like Babylon of old and the powers/cities mentioned in chapters 13–23, rebel against Yahweh's authority. Behind the stereotypical language one can detect various specific manifestations of this symbolic and paradigmatic city, including Babylon, Moab, and Jerusalem, all of which are alluded or referred to in chapters 24–27.


"every house is closed up from entering."


Notes for Isa 24:11LEB

"[there is] an outcry over the wine in the streets."


"all joy turns to evening," the darkness of evening symbolizing distress and sorrow.


"the joy of the earth disappears."


Notes for Isa 24:12LEB

"and there is left in the city desolation."


"and [into] rubble the gate is crushed."


Notes for Isa 24:13LEB

"in the midst of" (so KJV, ASV, NASB).


The judgment will severely reduce the earth’s population. See v. 6.


Notes for Isa 24:14LEB

The remnant of the nations (see v. 13) may be the unspecified subject. If so, then those who have survived the judgment begin to praise Yahweh.


"they yell out concerning."


Notes for Isa 24:15LEB

The Hebrew text reads literally, "in the lights," interpreted by some to mean "in the region of light," referring to the east. Some scholars have suggested the emendation of בָּאֻרִים (baurim) to בְּאִיֵּי הַיָּם (iyyey hayyam, "along the seacoasts"), a phrase that is repeated in the next line. In this case, the two lines form synonymous parallelism. If one retains the MT reading (as above), "in the east" and "along the seacoasts" depict the two ends of the earth to refer to all the earth (as a merism).


The word "extol" is supplied in the translation; the verb in the first line does double duty in the parallelism.


"name," which here stands for Yahweh's reputation achieved by his mighty deeds.


Notes for Isa 24:16LEB

The identity of the subject is unclear. Apparently in vv. 15–16a an unidentified group responds to the praise they hear in the west by exhorting others to participate.


"Beauty belongs to the just one." These words may summarize the main theme of the songs mentioned in the preceding line.


The prophet seems to contradict what he hears the group saying. Their words are premature because more destruction is coming.


"and [with] deception deceivers deceive."


Verse 16b is a classic example of Hebrew wordplay. In the first line ("I’m wasting away…") four consecutive words end with hireq yod (י); in the second line all forms are derived from the root בָּגַד (bagad). The repetition of sound draws attention to the prophet’s lament.


Notes for Isa 24:17LEB

"[are] upon you, O inhabitant of the earth." The first line of v. 17 provides another classic example of Hebrew wordplay. The names of the three instruments of judgment (פָח,פַחַת,פַּחַד [pakhad, fakhat, fakh]) all begin with the letters פח (peh-khet) and the first two end in dental consonants (ת/ד, tet/dalet). Once again the repetition of sound draws attention to the statement and contributes to the theme of the inescapability of judgment. As their similar-sounding names suggest, terror, pit, and snare are allies in destroying the objects of divine wrath.


Notes for Isa 24:18LEB

The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in 2:2.


"from the height"; KJV "from on high."


The language reflects the account of the Noahic Flood (see Gen 7:11LEB).


Notes for Isa 24:19LEB

Once more repetition is used to draw attention to a statement. In the Hebrew text each lines ends with אֶרֶץ (’erets, "earth"). Each line also uses a Hitpolel verb form from a geminate root preceded by an emphatic infinitive absolute.


Notes for Isa 24:20LEB

"staggering, staggers." The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before the finite verb for emphasis and sound play.


The words "in a windstorm" are supplied in the translation to clarify the metaphor.


Notes for Isa 24:21LEB

Or "in that day" (so KJV). The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in 2:2.


"visit [in judgment]."


"the host of the height in the height." The "host of the height/heaven" refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets, see, among others, Deut 4:19LEB; Deut 17:3LEB; 2 Kgs 17:16LEB; 2 Kgs 21:3-5LEB; 2 Kgs 23:4–5LEB; 2 Chr 33:3, 5LEB) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7LEB; Isa 14:13LEB).


Notes for Isa 24:22LEB

"they will be gathered [in] a gathering [as] a prisoner in a cistern." It is tempting to eliminate אֲסֵפָה (’asefah, "a gathering") as dittographic or as a gloss, but sound repetition is one of the main characteristics of the style of this section of the chapter.


"and after a multitude of days."


"visited" (so KJV, ASV). This verse can mean to visit for good or for evil. The translation assumes the latter, based on v. 21a. However, BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד B.Niph.2 suggests the meaning "visit graciously" here, in which case one might translate "they will be released."


Notes for Isa 24:23LEB

"will be ashamed."


Or "glow of the sun."


"will be ashamed" (so NCV).


Or "take his throne," "become king."


"and before his elders [in] splendor."