Isaiah Thirty Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Isaiah 34:1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.

Isaiah 34:2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.

the indignation. This chapter deals with the climax and immediate aftermath of the great tribulation, “the day of the Lord's vengeance” (Isaiah 34:8), when the assembled armies of all the world's rebellious nations will be destroyed at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16; 19:11-21).

Isaiah 34:3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.

Isaiah 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

as a scroll. These “fearful sights from heaven” (Luke 21:11) will be seen following the opening of the sixth seal on the great title deed scroll in heaven (Revelation 6:12-14) during the early years of the great tribulation period that will come on the earth in the last days. The falling stars suggest a great swarm of meteorites impacting the earth. Rolling up the heavenly scroll would indicate either a slipping of earth's crust or a great cosmic cloud moving around the earth to blot out the sky.

Isaiah 34:5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

Idumea. Idumea is the land of Edom, and there are indications that Christ will return first to that land of the cursed Edomites (note Obadiah 18 and Malachi 1:3, for example), then proceed to Jerusalem (compare Isaiah 63:1-4), all the way treading the terrible “winepress of the wrath of God,” wearing a “vesture dipped in blood” (Revelation 14:19, 20; 19:13). Note also Isaiah 34:6, revealing that “the Lord hath ... a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.” The distance from Bozrah (Isaiah 34:6) to Jerusalem is about sixteen hundred furlongs (Revelation 14:20).

Isaiah 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

the unicorns. See note on Job 39:9; note on Psalm 92:10.

Isaiah 34:8 For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

Isaiah 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.

Isaiah 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

shall go up for ever. See note on Revelation 14:11. Since God's principle of conservation assures that nothing is ever annihilated, even smoke particles, once produced in the fire, will continue in some form forever.

Isaiah 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

Isaiah 34:12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.

Isaiah 34:13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.

Isaiah 34:14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.

satyr. The English word refers to a mythical forest demon. The Hebrew word is translated in various ways depending on context (“devil,” “goat,” “hairy,” etc.). Probably the meaning here is “wild goat.”

Isaiah 34:15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.

Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

the book of the Lord. This “book of the Lord” undoubtedly consisted of not only the books of Moses, but the other divinely inspired writings (Joshua, Samuel, etc.) that had been accumulated by this time.

Isaiah 34:17 And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.