New American Standard Bible
The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard And it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.
King James Bible
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
Darby Bible Translation
The earth reeleth to and fro like a drunkard, and is shaken like a night hut; and its transgression is heavy upon it; and it falleth and shall not rise again.
World English Bible
The earth will stagger like a drunken man, and will sway back and forth like a hammock. Its disobedience will be heavy on it, and it will fall and not rise again.
Young's Literal Translation
Stagger greatly doth the land as a drunkard, And it hath been moved as a lodge, And heavy on it hath been its transgression, And it hath fallen, and addeth not to rise.
Isaiah 24:20 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard - This is descriptive of the agitation that occurs in an earthquake when everything is shaken from its foundation, and when trees and towers are shaken by the mighty concussion. The same figure is used in Isaiah 29:9. See also the description of a tempest at sea, in Psalm 107:27 :
They reel to and fro,
And stagger like a drunken man,
And are at their wit's end.
And shall be removed like a cottage - Or rather, shall move or vacillate (התנודדה hitenôdedâh) like a cottage. The word "cottage" (מלוּנה melûnâh from לין lı̂yn, "to pass the night, to lodge for a night") means properly a temporary shed or lodge for the watchman of a garden or vineyard (see the note at Isaiah 1:8). Sometimes these cottages were erected in the form of a hut; and sometimes they were a species of hanging bed or couch, that was suspended from the limbs of trees. They were made either by interweaving the limbs of a tree, or by suspending them by cords from the branches of trees, or by extending a cord or cords from one tree to another, and laying a couch or bed on the cords. They were thus made to afford a convenient place for observation, and also to afford security from the access of wild beasts. Travelers in the East even now resort to such a temporary lodge for security (see Niebuhr's Description of Arabia). These lodges were easily moved to and fro, and swung about by the wind - and this is the idea in the verse before us. The whole land was agitated as with an earthquake; it reeled like a drunkard; it moved, and was unsettled, as the hanging couch on the trees was driven to and fro by the wind.
And the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it - Like a vast incumbent weight on a dwelling which it cannot sustain, and beneath which it is crushed.
And it shall fall, and not rise again - This does not mean, as I apprehend, that the nation should never be restored to its former dignity and rank as a people, for the prophet immediately Isaiah 24:23 speaks of such a restoration, and of the re-establishment of the theocracy; but it must mean that in those convulsions it would not rise. It would not be able to recover itself; it would certainly be prostrated. As we say of a drunkard, he may stumble often, and partially recover himself, yet he will certainly fall so as not then to be able to recover himself, so it would be with that agitated and convulsed land. They would make many efforts to recover themselves, and they would partially succeed, yet they would ultimately be completely prostrate in the dust.
LibraryThe Impending Conflict
From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satan's purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead them to transgress God's law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result …
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy
Desolation of the Earth
"They grope in darkness with no light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits' end.
But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, And those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.
The LORD has mixed within her a spirit of distortion; They have led Egypt astray in all that it does, As a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants.
And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment.
"Your first forefather sinned, And your spokesmen have transgressed against Me.
Jump to PreviousCottage Crushing Disobedience Drink Drunkard Drunken Earth Fall Falleth Falls Forth Fro Greatly Guilt Heavy Hut Lodge Moved Moving Overcome Rebellion Reel Reeleth Reels Removed Rise Shaken Shaking Sin Stagger Sway Sways Tent Thereof Totters Transgression Uncertainly Weight Wind
Jump to NextCottage Crushing Disobedience Drink Drunkard Drunken Earth Fall Falleth Falls Forth Fro Greatly Guilt Heavy Hut Lodge Moved Moving Overcome Rebellion Reel Reeleth Reels Removed Rise Shaken Shaking Sin Stagger Sway Sways Tent Thereof Totters Transgression Uncertainly Weight Wind
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