The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The haughty people of the earth.—Literally, the heights, or, to use an English term with a like history, “the highnesses of the people.”Isaiah 24:4. The earth, the land, mourneth and fadeth away — Hebrew, אבלה נבלה, abelah nabelah, lamenteth, falleth. The world languisheth, &c. — “The world,” says Bishop Lowth, “is the same with the land; that is, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; orbis Iraeliticus,” the Israelitish world. Heathen authors frequently speak of particular provinces and countries under the name of orbis, orbis habitabilis, and orbis terrarum, the world, the habitable world, the whole world, &c. And the same mode of speaking is often used in the Scriptures, where we not only find the Roman empire termed the world, (even all the world,) as Luke 2:1; Acts 11:28; but also Babylon, (Isaiah 13:11,) and this very land of Judea, John 12:19; and John 18:20. The haughty people of the land — Hebrew, מרום עם, the height of the people, those of the highest dignity in it; or the lofty people, as Bishop Lowth renders it. Not only common people are depressed and stink in sorrow, but the magistrates and rulers, the rich and powerful, the haughty and high-minded. Indeed, these are wont to suffer most under such calamities, either as having most to lose, or as not being used to hardships.Isaiah 24:1, means the land of Judea, or that and so much of the adjacent countries as would be subject to the desolation described. The figure here is taken from flowers when they lose their beauty and languish; or when the plant that lacks moisture, or is cut down, loses its vigor and its vitality, and soon withers (compare the note at Isaiah 1:30; Isaiah 34:4; Psalm 1:3).
The world - (תבל têbêl). Literally, the inhabitable world, but used here as synonymous with the 'land,' and denoting the kingdoms of Judah and Israel (compare the note at Isaiah 13:11)
haughty—literally, "the height" of the people: abstract for concrete, that is, the high people; even the nobles share the general distress.The world: from this word some infer that this prophecy concerns not only the land of Judea, but also the neighbouring countries. But if the proper signification of that word be urged, this prophecy must be extended to all the parts of the world, which these learned men will not allow. And the world, both in Scripture and other authors, is often used synecdochically for that which in truth is but a small part of it, at least in comparison with the whole; as it is not only of the Roman empire, as Luke 2:1 Acts 11:28, but also of Babylon, Isaiah 13:11, and, which cometh nearer to the point, of this very land of Judea, as John 12:19 18:20, and elsewhere. And therefore it may well be so understood here, especially when this word world is explained by those other words the earth and the land, which the very next verse showeth to be meant of Israel or Judea, as we shall there discover.
The haughty people; not only common people, who use to be of low spirits; but the high and lofty ones, who use to be stout in their words and carriages towards me, and to deride my threatenings. 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 earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. mourneth … languisheth … fadeth away] Another instance of paronomasia in the original. Cf. ch. Isaiah 33:9; Hosea 4:3; Joel 1:10.
the haughty people] Lit. “the height of the people,” i.e. the noblest of the people. It is the only case where the word is so used (though cf. Ecclesiastes 10:6).
4–6. The earth lies under a curse on account of the wickedness of its inhabitants.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). 2 Chronicles 36:21), that is to say, with the duration of the Chaldean rule. During this period Tyre continued with its world-wide commerce in a state of involuntary repose. "Tyre will be forgotten:" v'nishcachath is not a participle (Bttcher), but the perf. cons. which is required here, and stands for ונשׁכּחה with an original ת fem. (cf., Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 118:23). After the seventy years (that is to say, along with the commencement of the Persian rule) the harlot is welcomed again. She is like a bayadere or troubadour going through the streets with song and guitar, and bringing her charms into notice again. The prophecy here falls into the tone of a popular song, as in Isaiah 5:1 and Isaiah 27:2. It will be with Tyre as with such a musician and dancer as the one described in the popular song.
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