Isaiah 24
The Earth Will Be Punished
1The Lord is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert. Everyone will be scattered, 2including ordinary people and priests, slaves and slave owners, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, the rich and the poor. 3The earth will be stripped bare and left that way. This is what the Lord has promised.
4The earth wilts away;
its mighty leaders melt
to nothing.#24.4 its … to nothing: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5The earth is polluted
because its people
disobeyed the laws of God,
breaking their agreement
that was to last forever.
6The earth is under a curse;
its people are dying out
because of their sins.
7Grapevines have dried up:
wine is almost gone—
mournful sounds are heard
instead of joyful shouts.
8No one plays tambourines
or stringed instruments;
all noisy celebrating
has come to an end.
9They no longer sing
as they drink their wine,
and it tastes sour.
10Towns are crushed and in chaos;
houses are locked tight.
11Happy times have disappeared
from the earth,
and people shout in the streets,
“We're out of wine!”
12Cities are destroyed;
their gates are torn down.
13Nations will be stripped bare,
like olive trees or vineyards
after the harvest season.
Praise the God of Justice
14People in the west shout;
they joyfully praise
the majesty of the Lord.
15And so, everyone in the east
and those on the islands
should praise the Lord,
the God of Israel.
16From all over the world
songs of praise are heard
for the God of justice.#24.16 God of justice: Or “people who do right.”
But I feel awful,
terribly miserable.
Can anyone be trusted?
So many are treacherous!
There's No Escape
17Terror, traps, and pits
are waiting for everyone.
18If you are terrified and run,
you will fall into a pit;
if you crawl out of the pit,
you will get caught in a trap.
The sky has split apart
like a window thrown open.
The foundations of the earth
have been shaken;
19the earth is shattered,
ripped to pieces.
20It staggers and shakes
like a drunkard
or a hut in a windstorm.
It is burdened down with sin;
the earth will fall,
never again to get up.
21On that day the Lord
will punish the powers
in the heavens#24.21 the powers in the heavens: In ancient times the stars were thought of as powerful spiritual beings, and sometimes they stood for pagan gods.
and the kings of the earth.
22He will put them in a pit
and keep them prisoner.
Then later on,
he will punish them.
23Both the moon and sun will
be embarrassed and ashamed.
The Lord All-Powerful will rule
on Mount Zion in Jerusalem,
where he will show its rulers
his wonderful glory.

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