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TitleIsaiah 24
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Book of Isaiah: A New Translation (Preliminary Edition)
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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The World Changes the Ordinance and Breaks the Covenant (24:1–12)


24 1Behold, the LORD is emptying the earth and making it waste,
and He twists its surface and scatters its inhabitants.

2And it will be the same for the people, as it is with the priest;
the slave, as it is with his master;

the maid, as it is with her mistress;
the buyer, as it is with the seller;

the borrower, as it is with the lender;
the debtor, as it is with the creditor.

3The earth will be completely emptied
and totally plundered, for the LORD has spoken this word.

4The earth mourns, withers;
the world languishes, withers.
The haughty of the people of the earth languish.

5The earth is polluted beneath its inhabitants

for they have transgressed the laws,
they have changed the ordinance[1],
they have broken the everlasting covenant.

6Therefore, a curse consumes the earth,
and its inhabitants must bear their guilt.

Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned,
and few men remain.

7The new wine mourns,
the vine languishes;

all who have rejoicing hearts sigh, 8the exultation of tambourines has ceased;
the roar of the jubilant has stopped, the exultation of the harp has ceased.

9No more do they drink wine with song;
strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.

10The town of chaos is broken down.
Every house is shut, no one can enter.

11In the streets, there is an outcry over the wine.
All rejoicing has grown dark;
the exultation of the earth is banished.

12Desolation remains in the city;
the gates are crushed to ruins.


A Righteous Remnant Sing Gladly (24:13–16a)


13For thus it will be in the midst of the earth,
among the peoples,

as when an olive tree is beaten,
as the gleanings after the grape harvest.

14They lift up their voices;
they sing gladly.

On account of the majesty of the LORD,
they cry out from the west.

15Therefore, glorify the LORD in the region of light,
in the coastlands of the sea—the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.

16From the ends of the earth, we hear songs:

God’s covenant people

“Glory[2] to the Righteous One!”


The Earth Reacts to Its Inhabitants’ Iniquities (24:16b–23)


16But I say, “I waste away,
I waste away; woe is me!

For the traitors have betrayed;[3]
with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.

17O inhabitant of the earth—dread, and the pit,
and the snare are upon you.


18And it will come to pass,
he who flees from the noise of the dread will fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare,

for the windows of heaven are opened,
and the foundations of the earth tremble.

19The earth is completely broken,
the earth is altogether split
the earth totally shakes.

20The earth[4] will reel to and fro like a drunkard;
it sways like a hut.

Its iniquity will weigh it down, that it will fall
and will not rise again.

21And on that day the LORD will punish the host of high ones above
and the kings of the earth below.

22And they will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit,
and they will be shut up in prison and after many days they will be visited.

23The moon will be confounded
and the sun ashamed.

For the LORD of Hosts will reign on Mount Zion
and in Jerusalem, in glory, and before His elders.”

[1] “Ordinance” (Hebrew choq) comes from the root chaqaq, meaning to “carve or engrave.”

[2] “Glory” (Hebrew tzvi) can also be translated as “beauty,” meaning the Righteous One also has beauty.

[3] Isaiah uses a clever wordplay wherein he repeats the root Hebrew term bagad (“betray”) five times. His wordplay is largely lost in the English translation, but I have tried to provide a literal translation (although it is somewhat awkward).

[4] Note that Isaiah portrays the earth as a person, specifically as a female, to indicate the anguish of the earth as she deals with her inhabitants’ evil conduct. The Hebrew uses feminine grammatical forms when it refers to the earth; these forms are lost in the translation.


Scripture Reference

Isaiah 24:1