The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The earth is utterly broken . . .—We note the characteristic form of Hebrew emphasis in the threefold iteration of “the earth.” (Comp. Isaiah 6:3; Jeremiah 22:29.) There the form (more visibly in the Hebrew than in the English) is a climax representing the three stages of an earthquake: the first cleavage of the ground; the wide open gaping; the final shattering convulsion. The rhythm of the whole passage is almost an echo of the crashes.Isaiah 24:19-20. The earth is utterly broken down — This is repeated again, to show the dreadfulness and certainty of these judgments, and to awaken the stupid Israelites. The earth shall reel to and fro — The people of the earth, the inhabitants of the land, shall be sorely perplexed and distressed, not knowing what to do, or whither to go. Or rather, the prophet here, in metaphorical expressions, borrowed from an earthquake, signifies how terribly Judea should be shaken by wars, desolations, and other divine judgments, to the entire overthrow of their church and commonwealth; and shall be removed — The people shall be removed, or their constitution, civil and religious, like a cottage — Or, like a lodge in a garden, of which this word is used, Isaiah 1:8, which is soon taken down and set up in another place: or, like a tent, which is easily and commonly carried from place to place. And the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it — Upon their state and nation, especially the sin of crucifying the Lord of glory. And it shall fall — Their government shall be overturned, their state dissolved, and their nation ruined; and not rise again — Not till the latter days, when they shall believe in and receive Him whom they rejected and crucified.
The earth is moved exceedingly - Everything in this verse is intense and emphatic. The verbs are in the strongest form of emphasis: 'By breaking, the land is broken;' 'by scattering, the land is scattered;' 'by commotion, the land is moved.' The repetition also of the expression in the same sense three times, is a strong form of emphasis; and the whole passage is designed to denote the utter desolation and ruin that had come upon the land.
the earth is clean dissolved; it will be an entire dissolution, nothing shall remain; all these things, as Peter says, the heavens and the earth, and all in them, shall be dissolved, 2 Peter 3:11,
the earth is moved exceedingly; out of its place and form, and shall fall into its original chaos and confusion. The Targum is,
"moving, the earth shall be moved; agitating, the earth shall be agitated; breaking or dissolving, the earth shall be broken or dissolved;''The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. is clean dissolved] Better, is utterly shivered. For is moved render staggereth.Verse 19. - The earth is utterly broken down. The material globe itself breaks up and perishes. It is "the crack of doom." Mr. Cheyne remarks that "the language imitates the cracking and bursting with which the present world shall pass away." The Authorized Version is very feeble compared to the original. Isaiah 32:13-14), after we have taken "the earth" (hâ'âretz) in the sense of kosmos (the world). It is rather the central city of the world as estranged from God; and it is here designated according to its end, which end will be tohu, as its nature was tohu. Its true nature was the breaking up of the harmony of all divine order; and so its end will be the breaking up of its own standing, and a hurling back, as it were, into the chaos of its primeval beginning. With a very similar significance Rome is called turbida Roma in Persius (i. 5). The whole is thoroughly Isaiah's, even to the finest points: tohu is the same as in Isaiah 29:21; and for the expression מבּוא (so that you cannot enter; namely, on account of the ruins which block up the doorway) compare Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 7:8; Isaiah 17:1, also Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 6:11; Isaiah 32:13. The cry or lamentation for the wine out in the fields (Isaiah 24:11; cf., Job 5:10) is the mourning on account of the destruction of the vineyards; the vine, which is one of Isaiah's most favourite symbols, represents in this instance also all the natural sources of joy. In the term ‛ârbâh (rejoicing) the relation between joy and light is presupposed; the sun of joy is set (compare Micah 3:6). What remains of the city בּעיר is partitive, just as בּו in Isaiah 10:22) is shammâh (desolation), to which the whole city has been brought (compare Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 32:14). The strong gates, which once swarmed with men, are shattered to ruins (yuccath, like Micah 1:7, for yūcath, Ges. 67, Anm. 8; שׁאיּה, ἁπ λεγ, a predicating noun of sequence, as in Isaiah 37:26, "into desolated heaps;" compare Isaiah 6:11, etc., and other passages). In the whole circuit of the earth (Isaiah 6:12; Isaiah 7:22; hâ'âretz is "the earth" here as in Isaiah 10:23; Isaiah 19:24), and in the midst of what was once a crowd of nations (compare Micah 5:6-7), there is only a small remnant of men left. This is the leading thought, which runs through the book of Isaiah from beginning to end, and is figuratively depicted here in a miniature of Isaiah 17:4-6. The state of things produced by the catastrophe is compared to the olive-beating, which fetches down what fruit was left at the general picking, and to the gleaning of the grapes after the vintage has been fully gathered in (câlâh is used here as in Isaiah 10:25; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 21:16, etc., viz., "to be over," whereas in Isaiah 32:10 it means to be hopelessly lost, as in Isaiah 15:6). There are no more men in the whole of the wide world than there are of olives and grapes after the principal gathering has taken place. The persons saved belong chiefly, though not exclusively, to Israel (John 3:5). The place where they assemble is the land of promise.
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