Isaiah 24:1
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Behold, the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.

King James Bible
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

American Standard Version
Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

Douay-Rheims Bible
BEHOLD the Lord shall lay waste the earth, and shall strip it, and shall afflict the face thereof, and scatter abroad the inhabitants thereof.

English Revised Version
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad its inhabitants.

Isaiah 24:1 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The prophet now proceeds to describe the fate of Phoenicia. "Behold the Chaldean land: this people that has not been (Asshur - it hath prepared the same for desert beasts) - they set up their siege-towers, destroy the palaces of Kena'an, make it a heap of ruins. Mourn, he ships of Tarshish: for your fortress is laid waste." The general meaning of Isaiah 23:13, as the text now runs, is that the Chaldeans have destroyed Kenaēan, and in fact Tyre. הקימוּ (they set up) points to the plural idea of "this people," and בּחוּניו (chethib בּחיניו) to the singular idea of the same; on the other hand, the feminine suffixes relate to Tyre. "They (the Chaldeans) have laid bare the palaces ('armenoth, from 'armoneth) of Tyre," i.e., have thrown them down, or burned them down to their very foundations (עורר, from ערר equals ערה, Psalm 137:7, like ערער in Jeremiah 51:58); it (the Chaldean people) has made her (Tyre) a heap of rubbish. So far the text is clear, and there is no ground for hesitation. But the question arises, whether in the words לציּים יסדהּ אשּׁוּר Asshur is the subject or the object. In the former case the prophet points to the land of the Chaldeans, for the purpose of describing the instruments of divine wrath; and having called them "a nation which has not been" (היה לא), explains this by saying that Asshur first founded the land which the Chaldeans now inhabit for them, i.e., wild hordes (Psalm 72:9); or better still (as tziyyim can hardly signify mountain hordes), that Asshur has made it (this nation, עם fem., as in Jeremiah 8:5; Exodus 5:16) into dwellers in steppes (Knobel), which could not be conceived of in any other way than that Asshur settled the Chaldeans, who inhabited the northern mountains, in the present so-called land of Chaldea, and thus made the Chaldeans into a people, i.e., a settled, cultivated people, and a people bent on conquest and taking part in the history of the world (according to Knobel, primarily as a component part of the Assyrian army). But this view, which we meet with even in Calvin, is exposed to a grave difficulty. It is by no means improbable, indeed, that the Chaldeans, who were descendants of Nahor, according to Genesis 22:22, and therefore of Semitic descent,

(Note: Arpachshad (Genesis 10:22), probably the ancestor of the oldest Chaldeans, was also Semitic, whether his name is equivalent to Armachshad (the Chaldean high-land) or not. Arrapachitis rings like Albagh, the name of the table-land between the lake of Urmia and that of Van, according to which shad was the common Armenian termination for names of places.)

came down from the mountains which bound Armenia, Media, and Assyria, having been forced out by the primitive migration of the Arians from west to east; although the more modern hypothesis, which represents them as a people of Tatar descent, and as mixing among the Shemites of the countries of the Euphrates and Tigris, has no historical support whatever, the very reverse being the case, according to Genesis 10, since Babylon was of non-Semitic or Cushite origin, and therefore the land of Chaldea, as only a portion of Babylonia (Strabo, xvi. 1, 6), was the land of the Shemites. But the idea that the Assyrians brought them down from the mountains into the lowlands, though not under Ninus and Semiramis,

(Note: The same view is held by Oppert, though he regards the Casdim as the primitive Turanian (Tatar) inhabitants of Shinar, and supposes this passage to relate to their subjugation by the Semitic Assyrians.)

as Vitringa supposes, but about the time of Shalmanassar (Ges., Hitzig, Knobel, and others),

(Note: For an impartial examination of this migration or transplantation hypothesis, which is intimately connected with the Scythian hypothesis, see M. V. Niebuhr's Geschichte Assurs und Babels seit Phul (1857, pp. 152-154). Rawlinson (Monarchies, i.-71-74) decidedly rejects the latter as at variance with the testimonies of Scripture, of Berosus, and of the monuments.)

is pure imagination, and merely an inference drawn from this passage. For this reason I have tried to give a different interpretation to the clause לציּים יסדהּ אשּׁוּר in my Com. on Habakkuk (p. 22), viz., "Asshur - it has assigned the same to the beasts of the desert." That Asshur may be used not only pre-eminently, but directly, for Nineveh (like Kena‛an for Tzor), admits of no dispute, since even at the present day the ruins are called Arab. 'l-âṯūr, and this is probably a name applied to Nineveh in the arrow-headed writings also (Layard, Nineveh and its Remains).

The word tziyyim is commonly applied to beasts of the wilderness (e.g., Isaiah 13:21), and לציּים יסד for ציּה שׂם (used of Nineveh in Zephaniah 2:13-14) may be explained in accordance with Psalm 104:8. The form of the parenthetical clause, however, would be like that of the concluding clause of Amos 1:11. But what makes me distrustful even of this view is not a doctrinal ground (Winer, Real Wrterbuch, i. 218), but one taken from Isaiah's own prophecy. Isaiah undoubtedly sees a Chaldean empire behind the Assyrian; but this would be the only passage in which he prophesied (and that quite by the way) how the imperial power would pass from the latter to the former. It was the task of Nahum and Zephaniah to draw this connecting line. It is true that this argument is not sufficient to outweigh the objections that can be brought against the other view, which makes the text declare a fact that is never mentioned anywhere else; but it is important nevertheless. For this reason it is possible, indeed, that Ewald's conjecture is a right one, and that the original reading of the text was כּנענים ארץ הן. Read in this manner, the first clause runs thus: "Behold the land of the Canaaneans: this people has come to nothing; Asshur has prepared it (their land) for the beasts of the desert." It is true that היה לא generally means not to exist, or not to have been (Obadiah 1:16); but there are also cases in which לא is used as a kind of substantive (cf., Jeremiah 33:25), and the words mean to become or to have become nothing (Job 6:21; Ezekiel 21:32, and possibly also Isaiah 15:6). Such an alteration of the text is not favoured, indeed, by any of the ancient versions. For our own part, we still abide by the explanation we have given in the Commentary on Habakkuk, not so much for this reason, as because the seventy years mentioned afterwards are a decisive proof that the prophet had the Chaldeans and not Asshur in view, as the instruments employed in executing the judgment upon Tyre. The prophet points out the Chaldeans - that nation which (although of primeval antiquity, Jeremiah 5:15) had not yet shown itself as a conqueror of the world (cf., Habakkuk 1:6), having been hitherto subject to the Assyrians; but which had now gained the mastery after having first of all destroyed Asshur, i.e., Nineveh

(Note: This destruction of Nineveh was really such an one as could be called yesor l'ziyyim (a preparation for beasts of the desert), for it has been ever since a heap of ruins, which the earth gradually swallowed up; so that when Xenophon went past it, he was not even told that these were the ruins of the ancient Ninus. On the later buildings erected upon the ruins, see Marcus v. Niebuhr, p. 203.)

(namely, with the Medo-Babylonian army under Nabopolassar, the founder of the Neo-Babylonian empire, in 606 b.c.) - as the destroyers of the palaces of Tyre. With the appeal to the ships of Tarshish to pour out their lamentation, the prophecy returns in Isaiah 23:14 to the opening words in Isaiah 23:1. According to Isaiah 23:4, the fortress here is insular Tyre. As the prophecy thus closes itself by completing the circle, Isaiah 23:15-18 might appear to be a later addition. This is no more the case, however, here, than in the last part of chapter 19. Those critics, indeed, who do not acknowledge any special prophecies that are not vaticinia post eventum, are obliged to assign Isaiah 23:15-18 to the Persian era.

Isaiah 24:1 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A.M.3292. B.C.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...

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there shall come up briers and thorns...

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...

Isaiah 7:17-25 The LORD shall bring on you, and on your people, and on your father's house, days that have not come...

Isaiah 27:10 Yet the defended city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed...

Isaiah 32:13,14 On the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yes, on all the houses of joy in the joyous city...

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...

Ezekiel 5:14 Moreover I will make you waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about you, in the sight of all that pass by.

Ezekiel 6:6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate...

Ezekiel 12:20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 24:11 Then set it empty on the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn...

Ezekiel 35:14 Thus said the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.

Nahum 2:10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melts, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins...

Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations...

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...

2 Kings 21:13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab...

Psalm 146:9 The LORD preserves the strangers; he relieves the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.

Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brothers to the rulers of the city, crying...


Deuteronomy 4:27 And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, where the LORD shall lead you.

Deuteronomy 28:64 And the LORD shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other; and there you shall serve other gods...

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 you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you transgress...

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...

Jeremiah 40:15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly saying, Let me go, I pray you...

Jeremiah 50:17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria has devoured him...

Ezekiel 5:2 You shall burn with fire a third part in the middle of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled...

Zechariah 13:7-9 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, said the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd...

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Cross References
Isaiah 2:19
And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.

Isaiah 5:6
I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

Isaiah 7:20
In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River--with the king of Assyria--the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

Isaiah 13:5
They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

Isaiah 13:13
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.

Isaiah 24:19
The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken.

Isaiah 24:20
The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.

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