Isaiah 24:11
There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
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(11) There is a crying for wine in the streets.—Literally, because of wine in the fields. The Hebrew noun for the latter word hovers between the meaning of an open place within and one without a city. The context seems in favour of the latter sense. Men weep in the fields because there is no vintage.

All joy is darkened.—The English verb exactly expresses the force of the Hebrew, which is used, as in Judges 19:9, of the gloom of sunset. (Comp. Micah 3:6.) The light of joy had passed into the blackness of darkness.

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.There is a crying for wine in the streets - The inhabitants of the city, turned from their dwellings, would cry for wine to alleviate their distress, and to sustain them in their calamity (compare Isaiah 16:8-10).

All joy is darkened - Is gone, or has departed, like the joyful light at the setting of the sun.

11. crying for wine—to drown their sorrows in drink (Isa 16:9); Joe 1:5, written about the same time, resembles this. There is a crying for wine; for the want or loss of their wine, and spoil of their vines, whereby they were deprived of the means both of their delight and profit; whereby he intimates their gross sensuality and sottishhess, that instead of crying for their sins, and humbling themselves under God’s judgments, did only howl for their corn, and wine, and oil, as they did, Hosea 7:14. There is a crying for wine in the streets,.... Not to them that have it, to come and sell it, as Kimchi; but for want of it: there shall be a howling and lamentation in the streets of Rome, during the siege of it, when there will be a famine of bread and of wine, as in Revelation 18:8 by those who used to drink wine, and make glad their hearts; but now shall be without it. This is put for all desirable things, which their souls lusted after; but now will be departed from them, Revelation 18:14,

all joy is darkened: or come to an eventide; the light of joy is turned into the darkness of misery and distress; this will be, when the fifth vial is poured out on the seat of the beast, and his kingdom will be full of darkness; and men will gnaw their tongues for pain, and yet not repent of their sins, but blaspheme the God of heaven, Revelation 16:10,

the mirth of the land is gone; not Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth, as Jarchi; but the mirth and joy of the city of Rome; See Gill on Isaiah 24:8.

There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the {g} mirth of the land is gone.

(g) Because they did not use God's benefits correctly their pleasures would fail, and they would fall to mourning.

11. a crying for wine] Rather, as R.V.: a crying because of the wine. The word for streets, meaning strictly “that which is without,” is by some rendered “fields”; but this is less natural.

the mirth of the earth is gone] Lit. “gone into exile.”Verse 11. - There is a crying for wine in the streets. Wine, though still manufactured (see vers. 7, 9) is scarce, but is much sought after. Men clamor for it at the doors of the wine-shops, but are unable to obtain it. They crave for its exhilarating effects, or perhaps for the oblivion which it brings when drunk to excess. If they could obtain it, they would act as the Jews in the siege of Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:13). But they cannot. Hence even the factitious merriment, which wine is capable of producing, is denied now to the inhabitants of the earth, with whom all joy is darkened, from whom all mirth is gone. That this is the case is evident from Isaiah 24:4-9, where the accursed state into which the earth is brought is more fully described, and the cause thereof is given. "Smitten down, withered up is the earth; pined away, wasted away is the world; pined away have they, the foremost of the people of the earth. And the earth has become wicked among its inhabitants; for they transgressed revelations, set at nought the ordinance, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they who dwelt in it make expiation: therefore are the inhabitants of the earth withered up, and there are very few mortals left. New wine mourneth, vine is parched, all the merry-hearted groan. The joyous playing of tabrets is silent; the noise of them that rejoice hath ceased; the joyous playing of the guitar is silent. They drink no wine with a song; meth tastes bitter to them that drink it." "The world" (tēbēl) is used here in Isaiah 24:4, as in Isaiah 26:9 (always in the form of a proper name, and without the article), as a parallel to "the earth" (hâ'âretz), with which it alternates throughout this cycle of prophecies. It is used poetically to signify the globe, and that without limitation (even in Isaiah 13:11 and Isaiah 18:3); and therefore "the earth" is also to be understood here in its most comprehensive sense (in a different sense, therefore, from Isaiah 33:9, which contains the same play upon sounds). The earth is sunk in mourning, and has become like a faded plant, withered up with heat; the high ones of the people of the earth (merōm; abstr. pro concr., like câbōd in Isaiah 5:13; Isaiah 22:24) are included (עם is used, as in Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 40:7, to signify humanity, i.e., man generally). אמללוּ (for the form, see Comm. on Job, at Job 18:16-19) stands in half pause, which throws the subjective notion that follows into greater prominence. It is the punishment of the inhabitants of the earth, which the earth has to share, because it has shared in the wickedness of those who live upon it: chânaph (not related to tânaph) signifies to be degenerate, to have decided for what is evil (Isaiah 9:16), to be wicked; and in this intransitive sense it is applied to the land, which is said to be affected with the guilt of wicked, reckless conduct, more especially of blood-guiltiness (Psalm 106:38; Numbers 35:33; compare the transitive use in Jeremiah 3:9). The wicked conduct of men, which has caused the earth also to become chanēphâh, is described in three short, rapid, involuntarily excited sentences (compare Isaiah 15:6; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 29:20; Isaiah 33:8; also Isaiah 24:5; Isaiah 1:4, Isaiah 1:6, Isaiah 1:8; out of the book of Isaiah, however, we only meet with this in Joel 1:10, and possibly Joshua 7:11). Understanding "the earth" as we do in a general sense, "the law" cannot signify merely the positive law of Israel. The Gentile world had also a torâh or divine teaching within, which contained an abundance of divine directions (tōrōth). They also had a law written in their hearts; and it was with the whole human race that God concluded a covenant in the person of Noah, at a time when the nations had none of them come into existence at all. This is the explanation given by even Jewish commentators; nevertheless, we must not forget that Israel was included among the transgressors, and the choice of expression was determined by this. With the expression "therefore" the prophecy moves on from sin to punishment, just as in Isaiah 5:25 (cf., Isaiah 5:24). אלה is the curse of God denounced against the transgressors of His law (Daniel 9:11; compare Jeremiah 23:10, which is founded upon this, and from which אבלה has been introduced into this passage in some codices and editions). The curse of God devours, for it is fire, and that from within outwards (see Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:16-17; Isaiah 29:6; Isaiah 30:27., Isaiah 33:11-14): chârū (milel, since pashta is an acc. postpos.),

(Note: In correct texts châr has two pashtas, the former indicating the place of the tone.)

from chârar, they are burnt up, exusti. With regard to ויּאשׁמוּ, it is hardly necessary to observe that it cannot be traced back to אשׁם equals ישׁם, שׁמם; and that of the two meanings, culpam contrahere and culpam sustinere, it has the latter meaning here. We must not overlook the genuine mark of Isaiah here in the description of the vanishing away of men down to a small remnant: נשׁאר (שׁאר) is the standing word used to denote this; מזער (used with regard to number both here and in Isaiah 16:14; and with regard to time in Isaiah 10:25 and Isaiah 29:17) is exclusively Isaiah's; and אנושׁ is used in the same sense as in Isaiah 33:8 (cf., Isaiah 13:12). In Isaiah 24:7 we are reminded of Joel 1 (on the short sentences, see Isaiah 29:20; Isaiah 16:8-10); in Isaiah 24:8, Isaiah 24:9 any one acquainted with Isaiah's style will recall to mind not only Isaiah 5:12, Isaiah 5:14, but a multitude of other parallels. We content ourselves with pointing to עלּיז (which belongs exclusively to Isaiah, and is taken from Isaiah 22:2 and Isaiah 32:13 in Zephaniah 2:15, and from Isaiah 13:3 in Zephaniah 3:11); and for basshir (with joyous song) to Isaiah 30:32 (with the beating of drums and playing of guitars), together with Isaiah 28:7. The picture is elegiac, and dwells so long upon the wine (cf., Isaiah 16:1-14), just because wine, both as a natural production and in the form of drink, is the most exhilarating to the heart of all the natural gifts of God (Psalm 104:15; Judges 9:13). All the sources of joy and gladness are destroyed; and even if there is much still left of that which ought to give enjoyment, the taste of the men themselves turns it into bitterness.

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