Isaiah 24:9
They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.
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(9) They shall not drink wine with a song . . .—Literally, in their song they drink no wine; i.e., the music of the feasts (Amos 6:5) should cease, and if they sang at all it should be a chant of lamentation (Amos 8:10). The very appetite for “strong drink” (probably the palm-wine of the East) should pass away, and it would be bitter as the wine of gall (Deuteronomy 32:33).

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.drink wine with a song - That is, accompanied with a song, as the usual mode was in their feasts.

Strong drink - On the word שׁכר shêkār see the note at Isaiah 5:11.

Shall be bitter ... - They shall cease to find pleasure in it in consequence of the general calamitics that have come upon the nation.

9. with a song—the usual accompaniment of feasts.

strong drink—(See on [733]Isa 5:11). "Date wine" [Horsley].

bitter—in consequence of the national calamities.

Because of the fears and miseries wherewith it is mixed. 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.

They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.
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. It is thoroughly characteristic of Isaiah, that the commencement of this prophecy, like Isaiah 19:1, places us at once in the very midst of the catastrophe, and condenses the contents of the subsequent picture of judgment into a few rapid, vigorous, vivid, and comprehensive clauses (like Isaiah 15:1; Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 23:1, cf., Isaiah 33:1). "Behold, Jehovah emptieth the earth, and layeth it waste, and marreth its form, and scattereth its inhabitants. And it happeneth, as to the people, so to the priest; as to the servant, so to his master; as to the maid, so to her mistress; as to the buyer, so to the seller; as to the lender, so to the borrower; as to the creditor, so to the debtor. Emptying the earth is emptied, and plundering is plundered: for Jehovah hat spoken this word." The question, whether the prophet is speaking of a past of future judgment, which is one of importance to the interpretation of the whole, is answered by the fact that with Isaiah "hinnēh" (behold) always refers to something future (Isaiah 3:1; Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 30:27, etc.). And it is only in his case, that we do meet with prophecies commencing so immediately with hinnēh. Those in Jeremiah which approach this the most nearly (viz., Jeremiah 47:2; Jeremiah 49:35, cf., Isaiah 51:1, and Ezekiel 29:3) do indeed commence with hinnēh, but not without being preceded by an introductory formula. The opening "behold" corresponds to the confirmatory "for Jehovah hath spoken," which is always employed by Isaiah at the close of statements with regard to the future and occurs chiefly,

(Note: Vid., Isaiah 1:20; Isaiah 21:17; Isaiah 22:25; Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 58:14; also compare Isaiah 19:4; Isaiah 16:13, and Isaiah 37:22.)

though not exclusively,

(Note: Vid., Obadiah 1:18, Joel 3:8, Micah 4:4; 1 Kings 14:11.)

in the book of Isaiah, whom we may recognise in the detailed description in Isaiah 24:2 (vid., Isaiah 2:12-16; Isaiah 3:2-3, Isaiah 3:18-23, as compared with Isaiah 9:13; also with the description of judgment in Isaiah 19:2-4, which closes in a similar manner). Thus at the very outset we meet with Isaiah's peculiarities; and Caspari is right in saying that no prophecy could possibly commence with more of the characteristics of Isaiah than the prophecy before us. The play upon words commences at the very outset. Bâkak and bâlak (compare the Arabic ballūka, a blank, naked desert) have the same ring, just as in Nahum 2:11, cf., Isaiah 24:3, and Jeremiah 51:2. The niphal futures are intentionally written like verbs Pe-Vâv (tibbōk and tibbōz, instead of tibbak and tibbaz), for the purpose of making them rhyme with the infinitive absolutes (cf., Isaiah 22:13). So, again, caggebirtâh is so written instead of cigbirtâh, to produce a greater resemblance to the opening syllable of the other words. The form נשׁה is interchanged with נשׁא) (as in 1 Samuel 22:2), or, according to Kimchi's way of writing it, with נשׁא) (written with tzere), just as in other passages we meet with נשׁא along with נשׁה, and, judging from Arab. ns', to postpone or credit, the former is the primary form. Nōsheh is the creditor, and בו נשׁא אשׁר is not the person who has borrowed of him, but, as נשה invariably signifies to credit (hiphil, to give credit), the person whom he credits (with ב obj., like בּ נגשׂ in Isaiah 9:3), not "the person through whom he is נשׁא)" (Hitzig on Jeremiah 15:10). Hence, "lender and borrower, creditor and debtor" (or taker of credit). It is a judgment which embraces all, without distinction of rank and condition; and it is a universal one, not merely throughout the whole of the land of Israel (as even Drechsler renders הארץ), but in all the earth; for as Arndt correctly observes, הארץ signifies "the earth" in this passage, including, as in Isaiah 11:4, the ethical New Testament idea of "the world" (kosmos).

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