|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-12 All whose treasures and happiness are laid up on earth, will soon be brought to want and misery. It is good to apply to ourselves what the Scripture says of the vanity and vexation of spirit which attend all things here below. Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth is become quite different to man, from what it was when God first made it to be his habitation. It is, at the best, like a flower, which withers in the hands of those that please themselves with it, and lay it in their bosoms. The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a vale of tears; the children of men in it are but of few days, and full of trouble, See the power of God's curse, how it makes all empty, and lays waste all ranks and conditions. Sin brings these calamities upon the earth; it is polluted by the sins of men, therefore it is made desolate by God's judgments. Carnal joy will soon be at end, and the end of it is heaviness. God has many ways to imbitter wine and strong drink to those who love them; distemper of body, anguish of mind, and the ruin of the estate, will make strong drink bitter, and the delights of sense tasteless. Let men learn to mourn for sin, and rejoice in God; then no man, no event, can take their joy from them.
Verse 4. - The earth... fadeth away. As a flower that fades and withers up (comp. Isaiah 1:30; Isaiah 28:1, 4; Isaiah 34:4, etc.; Psalm 1:3; Psalm 37:2). The world. Tabel has never any narrower sense than the entire "world," and must be regarded as fixing the meaning of arets in passages where (as here) the two are used as synonymous. The haughty people; or, the high ones. All the great are brought down, and laid low, that "the Lord alone may be exalted in that day" (cf. Isaiah 2:11-17).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The earth mourneth, and fadeth away,.... It mourns, because of its inhabitants being destroyed; and it fades away, because stripped of its wealth and riches: so the kings of the earth, and merchants of it are represented as weeping and mourning at the destruction of Rome, because of its judgments, and the loss of its trade and riches, Revelation 18:9,
the world languisheth, and fadeth away: the inhabitants of it are like a sick man, that is so faint and feeble that he cannot stand, but totters and falls; and like the leaves of trees and flowers of the fields, whose strength and beauty are gone, and fade and fall:
the haughty people of the earth do languish: the kings and merchants of the earth before mentioned, who grow sick and faint through fear of what is coming upon them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. world—the kingdom of Israel; as in Isa 13:11, Babylon.
haughty—literally, "the height" of the people: abstract for concrete, that is, the high people; even the nobles share the general distress.
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