|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 9. - They shall not drink wine with a song. Men will still drink; they will seek to drown their care in wine; but they will not have the heart to attempt a song as they drink. Even in their cups they will be silent. Strong drink shall be bitter. By "strong drink" (shekar) seems to be meant any intoxicating liquor whatever, including wine. Many such liquors were drunk in Palestine (see 'Dict. of the Bible,' vol. 1. pp. 458, 459). All were more or less pleasant to the taste; but they would taste bitter to those who were warped and soured by the calamities of the time, which would prevent all enjoyment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They shall not drink wine with a song,.... They that have wine to drink shall not drink it with that pleasure they have heretofore done; nor shall their drinking be attended with merry songs, such as are sung by drunkards, who, while they are quaffing, are chanting to the sound of the viol, or other musical instruments; see Amos 6:5,
strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it; they shall have no gust for it, or relish of it, as they formerly had; either through bodily diseases upon themselves, or because of the calamities upon the nations and states in which they dwell: this will be the case of her that says, "I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow", Revelation 18:7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. with a song—the usual accompaniment of feasts.
strong drink—(See on Isa 5:11). "Date wine" [Horsley].
bitter—in consequence of the national calamities.
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