|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 6. - The curse; rather, a curse. God has pronounced a curse upon the earth on account of man's perversity; and hence the calamities which the earth is about to suffer. Are desolate; rather, are held as guilty (see Zechariah 11:5; and compare the marginal rendering of Psalm 5:10; Psalm 34:21). Are burned; or, scorched - shriveled up by the "burning anger" (Isaiah 30:27)and "fiery indignation" (Hebrews 10:27) of Jehovah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth,.... The inhabitants of it, and the fruits upon it, alluding to the earth being cursed for the sin of man, when it brought forth briers and thorns; this may denote the seven vials of God's wrath poured upon the earth, or the antichristian states. Some, by the curse, understand perjury or false swearing; so the Targum,
"therefore, because of perjury (or a false oath) the earth is become a desert;''
of which popes, and Popish princes, cardinals, priests, Jesuits, &c. have been notoriously guilty:
and they that dwell therein are desolate: for want of houses, cities and towns being destroyed by war; or through famine, for want of provisions, the earth being cursed for their sins: or the words may be rendered, "for they that dwell therein are guilty" (s); of idolatry, bloodshed, perjury, thefts, sorcery, and all other abominations, Revelation 9:20,
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned; their cities burnt with fire, and particularly the city of Rome; or their persons, their bodies burnt with burning fevers, and pestilential diseases; and their minds with envy, fury, and madness: this may be the same with the fourth vial poured upon the sun, when men will be scorched with fire and great heat, and blaspheme, Revelation 16:8. The Vulgate Latin version here renders it, "shall be mad"; through the wrath of God poured out upon them:
and few men left; but what shall be consumed by fire or sword, by famine or pestilence, or by one or other of the vials; and those that remain shall be frightened, and give glory to the God of heavens Revelation 11:13.
(s) Sept. "peccabunt", V. L. "quia deliquerunt", Tigurine version; "rei aguntur, sive luunt", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. earth—the land.
burned—namely, with the consuming wrath of heaven: either internally, as in Job 30:30 [Rosenmuller]; or externally, the prophet has before his eyes the people being consumed with the withering dryness of their doomed land (so Joe 1:10, 12), [Maurer].
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