Isaiah continues speaking on the topic of wine and the harvest (Isaiah 24:7, 24:8, 24:9, 24:11, 24:13) where traditionally this is a time of rejoicing. The idea is that as the grapes are harvested, the people would celebrate and drink some of the new wine. The fall agricultural preparation is about to begin, and the end of grape harvesting is a time of celebration. We note the tone of Isaiah, which parallels what we read in the book of Joel. Some commentators place Joel in the 9th century BC, others place him in the 4th to 5th centuries. Regardless of whether he was prior to Isaiah (724 BC) or after Isaiah, His prophecy parallels what we see Isaiah is saying.
ספר יואל פרק א
א דְּבַר־יְהוָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָיָ֔ה אֶל־יוֹאֵ֖ל בֶּן־פְּתוּאֵֽל׃ ב שִׁמְעוּ־זֹאת֙ הַזְּקֵנִ֔ים וְהַֽאֲזִ֔ינוּ כֹּ֖ל יוֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ הֶהָ֤יְתָה זֹּאת֙ בִּֽימֵיכֶ֔ם וְאִ֖ם בִּימֵ֥י אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃ ג עָלֶ֖יהָ לִבְנֵיכֶ֣ם סַפֵּ֑רוּ וּבְנֵיכֶם֙ לִבְנֵיהֶ֔ם וּבְנֵיהֶ֖ם לְד֥וֹר אַחֵֽר׃ ד יֶ֤תֶר הַגָּזָם֙ אָכַ֣ל הָֽאַרְבֶּ֔ה וְיֶ֥תֶר הָאַרְבֶּ֖ה אָכַ֣ל הַיָּ֑לֶק וְיֶ֣תֶר הַיֶּ֔לֶק אָכַ֖ל הֶחָסִֽיל׃ ה הָקִ֤יצוּ שִׁכּוֹרִים֙ וּבְכ֔וּ וְהֵילִ֖לוּ כָּל־שֹׁ֣תֵי יָ֑יִן עַל־עָסִ֕יס כִּ֥י נִכְרַ֖ת מִפִּיכֶֽם׃ ו כִּֽי־גוֹי֙ עָלָ֣ה עַל־אַרְצִ֔י עָצ֖וּם וְאֵ֣ין מִסְפָּ֑ר שִׁנָּיו֙ שִׁנֵּ֣י אַרְיֵ֔ה וּֽמְתַלְּע֥וֹת לָבִ֖יא לֽוֹ׃
1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. 1:2 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 1:3 Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. 1:4 That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten. 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. 1:6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. (KJV)
Here Joel opens his book with a very Torah-like statement saying, שִׁמְעוּ־זֹאת֙ הַזְּקֵנִ֔ים וְהַֽאֲזִ֔ינוּ כֹּ֖ל יֹושְׁבֵ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ “hear this, old men, and give ear all inhabitants of the land.” The idea is for the people to wake up, to snap to attention, and pay attention to what the Lord God in heaven has to say. Joel describes the grape harvest as poor due to the palmer worm, the locust, cankerworm, and the caterpillar. These are things that are under the control of God in heaven which eat garden plants. These things are sent due to their sins, their harvest is less than normal, and the description is how these insects eat up everything. Joel continues saying that a nation is coming up and will consume all the rest of what was left from the pestilence. The point is that these things should become a warning sign for the people. The issue is they are not spiritually in tune with the Lord and so are unable to understand the reasons these things are happening. Sin causes the abundant, self-sufficient world to pass away, and Isaiah shows us how merriment ceases due to the eventual consequences of sin. These things illustrate why our joy should be from above. The Joy of the Lord (Simkhat HaShem) should stem from our dependance and trust in God in heaven whose grace never falls short!
Isaiah continues saying the following according to Isaiah 24:9-10.
ספר ישעיה פרק כד
ט בַּשִּׁיר לֹא יִשְׁתּוּ-יָיִן יֵמַר שֵׁכָר לְשֹׁתָיו: י נִשְׁבְּרָה קִרְיַת-תֹּהוּ סֻגַּר כָּל-בַּיִת מִבּוֹא:
Isaiah 24:9 states, “They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. (בַּשִּׁיר לֹא יִשְׁתּוּ-יָיִן יֵמַר שֵׁכָר לְשֹׁתָיו)” Isaiah 24:10 “The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. (נִשְׁבְּרָה קִרְיַת-תֹּהוּ סֻגַּר כָּל-בַּיִת מִבּוֹא)” Here Isaiah speaks of the people not drinking wine with a song. This suggests that times are tough, and the drinking is not meant to celebrate but to escape. Note how the LXX translates this slightly differently.
Here the LXX uses ᾐσχύνθησαν meaning “shame or disgrace” and because if their disgrace, they did not drink wine. The word σικερα (sikera) is translated as beer, so because of shame all alcoholic beverages were abandoned. We look at the TgJ and L-Peshitta, and these translations are literally word for word, “9 They shall no more drink wine with songs; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. 10 Their city is broken down and laid desolate: all their houses are shut up, so that no one can enter.” (TgJ) In Isaiah 24:10, he shifts to the city itself being desolated, and the houses are closed up so that none may enter. John Oswalt says, “One need only think of the vast deserted cities of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Machu Picchu in Peru for visual images of what the prophet is portraying on a worldwide scale.” The idea is there is some military activity that leads to this worldwide destruction, but Isaiah does not mention this specifically, the other option could be that of a plague or worldwide famine. The point that Isaiah appears to be making here is the utter hopelessness, despair, and depopulation, in relation to the world, when one does not trust in the Lord God in heaven and His Messiah Yeshua! The world is no longer in jubilee in its sin, but quiet and desolate. The Torah states the following concerning these things, in Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:7-10.
ספר דברים פרק לב
ז זְכֹר יְמוֹת עוֹלָם בִּינוּ שְׁנוֹת דֹּר וָדֹר שְׁאַל אָבִיךָ וְיַגֵּדְךָ זְקֵנֶיךָ וְיֹאמְרוּ לָךְ: ח בְּהַנְחֵל עֶלְיוֹן גּוֹיִם בְּהַפְרִידוֹ בְּנֵי אָדָם יַצֵּב גְּבֻלֹת עַמִּים לְמִסְפַּר בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: ט כִּי חֵלֶק יְהוָֹה עַמּוֹ יַעֲקֹב חֶבֶל נַחֲלָתוֹ: י יִמְצָאֵהוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן יְסֹבֲבֶנְהוּ יְבוֹנֲנֵהוּ יִצְּרֶנְהוּ כְּאִישׁוֹן עֵינוֹ:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:7-10
32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 32:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 32:9 For the LORD’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (KJV)
It is interesting how Moshe writes בְּנֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם יַצֵּב֙ גְּבֻלֹ֣ת עַמִּ֔ים לְמִסְפַּ֖ר בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל “sons of man setup the boards of the people according to the number of the sons of Israel.” This suggests a certain dependency upon Israel expressing the idea that God organized the nations with Israel being central to all the nations of the earth. Moshe says that the Lord’s portion is His people and He found them in a desert land in the howling wilderness. This provides imagery like what Isaiah is speaking of, where we find ourselves before we knew the Lord God in heaven. The desolate place where nothing grows, and only the hand of God can raise us up from this place. We are told that God led and instructed His people in the place of wantonness, so that they would seek God and not themselves or personal wealth. This is a significant parallel to the Isaiah text, since the people’s sins, starting with Israel, led to all of the world falling into desolation. Israel was meant to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 2:1-5) but she had fallen short in this time period. Isaiah describes a return to this type of desolation, the sinful beginnings, the place of no hope without the Lord God in heaven. Isaiah continues in Isaiah 24:11-12 saying the following:
ספר ישעיה פרק כד
יא צְוָחָה עַל-הַיַּיִן בַּחוּצוֹת עָרְבָה כָּל-שִֹמְחָה גָּלָה מְשֹוֹשֹ הָאָרֶץ: יב נִשְׁאָר בָּעִיר שַׁמָּה וּשְׁאִיָּה יֻכַּת-שָׁעַר:
Isaiah 24:11 states, “There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. (צְוָחָה עַל-הַיַּיִן בַּחוּצוֹת עָרְבָה כָּל-שִֹמְחָה גָּלָה מְשֹוֹשֹ הָאָרֶץ)” Isaiah 24:12 “In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. (נִשְׁאָר בָּעִיר שַׁמָּה וּשְׁאִיָּה יֻכַּת-שָׁעַר)” Isaiah is continuing to describe the desolation, the fact that there is no wine to drown their sorrows. Previously there was an abundance of wine, now there is none, and joy has ceased. The phrase עָרְבָה כָּל-שִֹמְחָה “evening all joy” is translated as “all joy is darkened.” This reminds us of Sheol, the grave, a place of darkness, which is how the world has become due to sin. Isaiah continues saying the following according to Isaiah 24:13.
ספר ישעיה פרק כד
יג כִּי-כֹה יִהְיֶה בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ בְּתוֹךְ הָעַמִּים כְּנֹקֶף זַיִת כְּעוֹלֵלֹת אִם-כָּלָה בָצִיר:
Isaiah 24:13 states, “When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. (כִּי-כֹה יִהְיֶה בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ בְּתוֹךְ הָעַמִּים כְּנֹקֶף זַיִת כְּעוֹלֵלֹת אִם-כָּלָה בָצִיר)” Here Isaiah draws in the Torah perspective on reaping and gleaning one’s fields. This refers to the Torah according to Vayikra / Leviticus 19:9-10.
ספר ויקרא פרק יט
ט וּבְקֻצְרְכֶם אֶת-קְצִיר אַרְצְכֶם לֹא תְכַלֶּה פְּאַת שָֹדְךָ לִקְצֹר וְלֶקֶט קְצִירְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט: י וְכַרְמְךָ לֹא תְעוֹלֵל וּפֶרֶט כַּרְמְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:
Vayikra / Leviticus 19:9-10
19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. (KJV)
We note here how the Lord God commands a procedure for reaping one’s fields. This places an obligation on the owners of productive assets to ensure that marginalized people have the opportunity to work for a living. Those who are having trouble getting a job to buy food, the harvest time is one of no excuses to not work and provide for one’s family. The Targum Jonathan translates this saying, וּבמִחצַדכֹון יָת חְצָדָא דַאְרַעכֹון לָא תְשֵיצֵי פָתָא דְחַקלָך לְמִחצַד וּלקָטָא דִחצָדָך לָא תְלַקֵיט׃ וְכַרמָך לָא תְעָלֵיל וְנִתרָא דְכַרמָך לָא תְלַקֵיט לְעַניֵי וּלגִיֹורֵי תִשבֹוק יָתְהֹון אְנָא יוי אְלָהְכֹון׃ “And in the time that you reap the harvest of your land you shall not finish one corne that is in the circuit of thy field, and the (full) ingathering of thy harvest thou shalt not collect. Neither mayest thou shake out thy vines; (the whole of) their bunches, and the remnant of thy vines thou shalt not gather: thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the strangers at the time of their collection: I am the Lord your God.” (TgJ) The Targum Jerusalem translates saying, וּבַחֲצַדְכוֹן יַת חֲצַד אַרְעֲכוֹן לָא תְשֵׁיצוּן אוֹמַן אוֹחֲרַיָא דְאִית בְּחַקְלֵיכוֹן לְמֵחֲצוֹד וְלָקַט חֲצַדְכוֹן לָא תְלַקְטוּן: וְכַרְמֵיכוֹן לָא תְבַעֲרוּן טוֹטְלָוַתְהוֹן וּפֶרֶט כַּרְמֵיכוֹן לָאתִלְקוֹטוּן: “And when you reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not altogether finish gathering what is in your fields, and the (full) collection of your harvest you shall not gather in; neither shake your vines of all their clusters, nor collect the fallen grapes of your vines.]” The idea here is to the land being reaped and desolate that the land will be shaken in order to get the last of the olives from the tree. The analogy is to the Lord shaking the land to gather up the last of the wicked, those who choose not to love the Lord God with all their mind, strength, and soul. Here the world is analogized to the orchard, or the grain fields, where even the stray clusters are collected. What remains are only bits and pieces of people, this is the outcome of those who turn from the Lord God in heaven. We note that the Scriptures say the earth is full of God’s glory, (Isaiah 6:1-3) See article: A Vision of God and Angels Isaiah 61
Isaiah continues in Isaiah 24:14 saying the following:
ספר ישעיה פרק כד
יד הֵמָּה יִשְֹאוּ קוֹלָם יָרֹנּוּ בִּגְאוֹן יְהֹוָה צָהֲלוּ מִיָּם:
Isaiah 24:14 states, “They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea. (הֵמָּה יִשְֹאוּ קוֹלָם יָרֹנּוּ בִּגְאוֹן יְהֹוָה צָהֲלוּ מִיָּם)” Here Isaiah shifts from the land to the sea. This is a reference to those who are on the sea, or whose who make a living through trade. A text comparison shows a significant translation difference between the MSS, LXX, and the TgJ.
The TgJ translates “14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall praise on account of the WORD of the Lord: they shall rejoice as they rejoiced on account of the mighty works which were done for them by the sea.” The TgJ says their rejoicing is due to the mighty works of God. The LXX translates that the people call out and that those who remain will be cheered by the glory of the Lord. The translators of the TgJ and LXX are attempting to render their translations in a way to help understand what is happening. From the LXX perspective, those who remain, they recognize that it is the Lord God Almighty who has delivered them and so they glory in the name of the Lord! (Isaiah 9:1-4 See Article: Child Savior King, and Isaiah 12:4-6 See Article: Drawing from the Wellsprings of Life) With the massive amount of destruction, those remaining will know that it was the Lord who delivered them! The word הֵמָּה (They) opens this verse emphasizing “they” in Hebrew. The pronoun “they” referring to two or more people, those who remain, demonstrates how few people will remain when the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth. Isaiah condemns humanity due to their sins (Isaiah 13:11-19, 14:11, 16:6, 23:9, 28:1-3) the nations praise themselves because of their pride in their wealth, or their power over other nations. Only God however is to be exalted, and it won’t be until this point that all the nations will recognize that God in heaven is truly to be praised. This praise unto the Lord will extend from west to east, to the islands of the sea, and to all the nations of the earth (Isaiah 42:4-10, 51:5, 59:18-19, Tehillim / Psalms 96:1-13, 97:1-6, 98:2-4).
Isaiah continues saying the following in Isaiah 24:15-16,
ספר ישעיה פרק כד
טו עַל-כֵּן בָּאֻרִים כַּבְּדוּ יְהֹוָה בְּאִיֵּי הַיָּם שֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: טז מִכְּנַף הָאָרֶץ זְמִרֹת שָׁמַעְנוּ צְבִי לַצַּדִּיק וָאֹמַר רָזִי-לִי רָזִי-לִי אוֹי לִי בֹּגְדִים בָּגָדוּ וּבֶגֶד בּוֹגְדִים בָּגָדוּ:
Isaiah 24:15 states, “Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. (עַל-כֵּן בָּאֻרִים כַּבְּדוּ יְהֹוָה בְּאִיֵּי הַיָּם שֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל)” Isaiah 24:16 “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. (מִכְּנַף הָאָרֶץ זְמִרֹת שָׁמַעְנוּ צְבִי לַצַּדִּיק) But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. (וָאֹמַר רָזִי-לִי רָזִי-לִי אוֹי לִי בֹּגְדִים בָּגָדוּ וּבֶגֶד בּוֹגְדִים בָּגָדוּ)” Isaiah speaks of the people of the earth, specifically מִכְּנַף הָאָרֶץ זְמִרֹת שָׁמַעְנוּ “from the end of the earth we hear a song” suggesting that the peoples of the earth will recognize the glory of God in these things. The reason He receives praise is because He is Lord overall, Creator, Redeemer, and Savior to those who seek Him. (Revelation 4:8-5:13) The text comparison shows the following according to Isaiah 24:15-16.
The TgJ translates our verses to say “15 When light shall come to the righteous, they shall glorify the Lord: in the islands of the sea they shall laud and bless the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 16 From the house of the sanctuary, yea, from thence joy shall go forth to all the inhabitants of the earth, for we have heard the praise of the righteous! The prophet said, a secret! A reward to the righteous is shown to me, a secret! A punishment for the wicked is revealed to me. Woe to the oppressors, for they shall be oppressed; and to those who spoil, for, behold, they shall be spoiled.” The TgJ interestingly writes עַל כֵין בְמֵיתֵי נְהֹורָא לְצַדִיקַיָא “when light comes to the righteous.” This parallels the psalmist according to Tehillim / Psalms 112:4-6.
ספר תהילים פרק קיב
ד זָרַח בַּחשֶׁךְ אוֹר לַיְשָׁרִים חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם וְצַדִּיק: ה טוֹב אִישׁ חוֹנֵן וּמַלְוֶה יְכַלְכֵּל דְּבָרָיו בְּמִשְׁפָּט: ו כִּי-לְעוֹלָם לֹא יִמּוֹט לְזֵכֶר עוֹלָם יִהְיֶה צַדִּיק:
Tehillim / Psalm 112:4-6
112:4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 112:5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: He will guide his affairs with discretion. 112:6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. (KJV)
Here the light is paralleled to the Lord God in heaven coming bringing the light coupled with salvation and mercy. The TgJ looks towards Isaiah 2:1-5 for the source of the praise of God, the joy of the Lord going forth in the salvation of God, and the reward to the righteous. The Lord God turns on the heads of those who destroy, they will be destroyed, etc. The LXX text goes a bit further from the Hebrew text and draws in the idea of the nations who reject the Torah of God. Οὐαὶ τοῖς ἀθετοῦσιν, οἱ ἀθετοῦντες τὸν νόμον “Woe to those who reject the Torah.” Taking these things together, we understand that salvation, redemption, and joy comes at the coming of God’s word and the acceptance of His instruction! In context here the righteous one is God Himself who maintains righteousness in Himself, who calls us to be righteous too.
So what would be the present-day application of these things that we are studying today? The description of the geographic extent of the joy of the Lord, falls in parallel to that of Isaiah 2:1-5 providing us with a future expectation of the glory of God to all nations. We also note a parallel here to what Paul wrote in Philippians 2:9-13 concerning the Messiah of God.
2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and ethings in earth, and things under the earth; 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (KJV, ܡܶܛܾܠ ܗܳܢܳܐ ܐܴܦ݂ ܐܱܠܴܗܳܐ ܐܱܣܓܻ݁ܝ ܪܱܡܪܡܶܗ ܂ ܘܝܰܗ̄ܒ݂ ܠܷܗ ܫܡܳܐ ܕܱ݁ܡܝܰܬܱ݁ܪ ܡܶܢ ܟܾ݁ܠ ܫܡܳܗܺܝ̈ܢ ܆ܕ݁ܒ݂ܰܫܡܶܗ ܕ݁ܝܶܫܽܘܥ ܟܾ݁ܠ ܒ݁ܪܾܘܟ݂ ܬܷ݁ܟܾ݁ܘܦ݂ ܁ ܕ݁ܒ݂ܰܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܂ ܘܒ݂ܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܂ ܘܕ݂ܰܠܬ݂ܱܚܬ݁ ܡܶܢ ܐܱܪܥܳܐ ܇ ܘܟ݂ܽܠ ܠܷܫܳܢ ܢܰܘܕܷ݁ܐ ܕ݁ܡܳܪܝܳܐ ܗ̄ܘ ܝܶܫܽܘܥ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܠܫܽܘܒ݂ܚܳܐ ܕܱ݁ܐܠܴܗܳܐ ܐܱܒ݂ܽܘܗ̄ܝ ܀ ܡܶܟܻ݁ܝܠ ܚܰܒܻ݁ܝ̈ܒ݂ܰܝ ܆ ܐܱܝܟܱ݁ܢܳܐ ܕܱ݁ܒ݂ܟ݂ܽܠܙܒ݂ܰܢ ܐܷܫܬ݁ܡܰܥܬܾ݁ܘܢ ܆ ܠܴܐ ܟܱ݁ܕ݂ ܩܰܪܻܝܒ݂ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܟ݂ܽܘܢ ܒܱ݁ܠܚܽܘܕ݂ ܂ ܐܷܠܴܐ ܗܳܫܳܐ ܕ݁ܪܱܚܺܝܩ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܶܢܟ݂ܽܘܢ ܆ ܝܰܬܻ݁ܝܪܴܐܝܺܬ݂ ܒ݁ܕ݂ܶܚܠܬ݂ܴܐ ܘܒ݂ܰܪܬ݂ܻܝܬ݂ܴܐ ܇ ܦ݁ܠܾܘܚܘ ܦܾ݁ܘܠܚܳܢܳܐ ܕ݁ܚܰܝܰܝ̈ܟܾ݁ܘܢ ܂ ܐܱܠܴܗܳܐ ܗ̄ܘ ܓܷ݁ܝܪ ܡܚܰܦܷ݁ܛ ܒ݁ܟ݂ܽܘܢ ܆ ܐܴܦ݂ ܠܡܶܨܒܴ݁ܐ ܁ ܐܴܦ݂ ܠܡܶܣܥܰܪ ܇ ܗܰܘ ܡܶܕܷ݁ܡ ܕ݁ܨܴܒ݂ܶܝܢ ܐܢ̄ܬܾ݁ܘܢ ܂ 9 διὸ καὶ ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ὑπερύψωσεν καὶ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα, 10 ἵνα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων, 11 καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσηται ὅτι κύριος Ἰησοῦς χριστὸς εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός. 12 Ὥστε, ἀγαπητοί μου, καθὼς πάντοτε ὑπηκούσατε, μὴ ὡς ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ μου μόνον ἀλλὰ νῦν πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐν τῇ ἀπουσίᾳ μου, μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίαν κατεργάζεσθε· 13 θεὸς γάρ ἐστιν ὁ ἐνεργῶν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ τὸ θέλειν καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας.)
We note in this context all will one day recognize the Messiah and bow their knees confessing that Yeshua is Lord to the glory of the Father in heaven. We note Yeshua said in John 15:4 “Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me.” This ultimately explains what is happening here in the world, there is leanness and woe if one does not unite himself with God in heaven through faith in His Messiah. So, those who reject God’s holy word, there is only weakness and lack of abundance. Isaiah saying אוֹי לִי בֹּגְדִים “woe to me in the treacherous” this is the lamentation of the world who is weighed down by those who are proud, who are self-serving, and have no care or empathy for others. The text Οὐαὶ τοῖς ἀθετοῦσιν, οἱ ἀθετοῦντες τὸν νόμον “Woe to those who reject the Torah” we note the translation that the “treacherous” are those who reject God’s holy and righteous ways of truth, live, love, and peace. With this in mind, we are able to understand that those who do such things are destined for destruction and everlasting fire. These words of Isaiah provide us with instruction on what we should do in life. We should seek the holy God and His Messiah Yeshua for life, peace, and truth.
The Targum Jonathan is a Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore is a valuable resource for our study of the book of Isaiah.
תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק כד:ט-טז
ט עַל יְדֵי זְמָר לָא יִשתֹון חְמַר יִמַר עַתִיקָא לְשָתֹוהִי׃ י אִיתְבַרַת קַרתְהֹון צַדִיאַת אִתאְחִידוּ כָל בָתַיָא מִלְמֵיעַל יא מַצוְחִין עַל חַמרָא בְשוּקַיָא שְלֵימַת כָל חְדוּתָא גְלָא בְיָע מִן אַרעָא׃ יב אִשתְאַר בְקַרתָא צָדוּ וְאִתרְגֹושָא בְפִיגוּר תַרעִין׃ יג אְרֵי כְדֵין יִשתַאְרוּן יְחִידָאִין צַדִיקַיָא בְגֹו עָלְמַא בֵינֵי מַלכְווָתָא כְבֵיעוּר זֵיתָא כְעֹולְלָן בָתַר קְטַף׃ יד אִנוּן יְרִימוּן קָלְהֹון יְשַבְחוּן בִשמָא דַיוי יְבוּעוּן כְמָא דְבָעוּ עַל גְבוּרָן דְאִתעְבִידָא לְהֹון עַל יַמָא׃ טו עַל כֵין בְמֵיתֵי נְהֹורָא לְצַדִיקַיָא יְיַקְרוּן קֳדָם יוי בְנֵיסֵי יַמָא יְהֹון מֹודַן וּמבָרְכִין שְמָא דַיוי אְלָהָא דְיִשרָאֵל׃ טז מִבֵית מַקדְשָא דְמִיתַמָן עְתִיד לְמִיפַק חַדוָא לְכָל יָתְבֵי אַרעָא תוּשבְחָא שְמַענָא לְצַדִיקַיָא אְמַר נְבִיָא רָז אְגַר לְצַדִיקַיָא אִיתַחזִי לִי רָז פֹורעָנוּ לְרָשִיעַיָא אִתגְלִי לִי וָי לְאָנֹוסַיָא דְמִתאַנסִין וְלִבזֹוז בָזֹוזִין דְהָא מִתבְזֵיז׃
Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 24:9-16
24:9 They shall no more drink wine with songs; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. 24:10 Their city is broken down, and laid desolate: all their houses are shut up, so that no one can enter. 24:11 They cry for wine in the streets; all joy is ended: all gladness is removed from the land. 24:12 Desolation is left in the city, and there is a tumult in the destruction of the gates. 24:13 When thus the righteous shall be left alone in the midst of the earth, among the kingdoms, as the shaking of olives, as the gleaning of grapes after the vintage. 24:14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall praise on account of the WORD of the Lord: they shall rejoice as they rejoiced on account of the mighty works which were done for them by the sea. 24:15 When light shall come to the righteous, they shall glorify the Lord: in the islands of the sea they shall laud and bless the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 24:16 From the house of the sanctuary, yea, from thence joy shall go forth to all the inhabitants of the earth, for we have heard the praise of the righteous! The prophet said, a secret! A reward to the righteous is shown to me, a secret! A punishment for the wicked is revealed to me. Woe to the oppressors, for they shall be oppressed; and to those who spoil, for, behold, they shall be spoiled. (TgJ)
The TgJ describes the destruction of the land on the idea that there is no longer any strong drink. The destruction involved the removal of the vineyards and methodologies for producing wine and beer. So the people cried out in the streets (Isaiah 24:11) because their joy had ended. The issue is when one finds joy in alcoholic beverages and seeks them out. This is the idea of one who seeks wine at the end of a day, every day this may indicate that there is a problem. The problem is in relation to one’s drinking habits, whether one feels that one cannot end the day without a drink, or maybe one looks forward to drinking all day long until that moment that it begins? The director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland states that one should beware when a drinking habit escalates. Alcohol abuse disorders range in severity from mild to moderate to severe: “One can also have a disorder and not fit the stereotype of a drunk falling down in the street.” Some of the signs for alcohol abuse disorders are as follows:
- Increased tolerance: Does it take more alcohol to get the same effect?
- Trouble stopping: Do you have a hard time cutting off your drinking once you start?
- Unhealthy focus: Do you spend time thinking about drinking?
- Solo style: Do you drink alone?
- Morning maintenance: Do you drink when you wake up?
- Harm to relationships: Do you get into more arguments with loved ones when you drink?
- Decreased productivity: Have you neglected other things because drinking has taken its place? Have you missed work because of drinking?
- Physical symptoms: Has a withdrawal from alcohol caused you to become shaky, nauseous and sweaty?
- Dangerous behavior: You are more promiscuous when you drink, or have you driven a car after drinking?
It is interesting how Isaiah 24:9-16 connects alcoholic beverages with destruction and desolation of the city. The issue here is that we should seek the Simkhat HaShem (The Joy of the Lord) and not the joy of wine or beer. A simple examination of the signs for alcohol abuse demonstrates how these things do not bring glory to God in heaven or to His Messiah Yeshua. Alcohol reduces inhibitions; therefore, it can make it easier to connect to strangers and make joy come more spontaneously in groups. This reduction in inhibitions can also lead to sin, which is one of the primary reasons for sobriety, as in the case of Israel in these ancient days, may have led to idolatry or promiscuity. This was the reason that wine was forbidden to be drunk by the priests who were serving in the Tabernacle, as this would lead to a lack of reverence to the Lord in their hearts / minds. We should consider these outcomes, which are action oriented, but we should not just focus upon our actions, but also on our thought life as well. The reason being our thought life is the well-spring of our actions. This is why we should seriously consider whether we should drink or not. This is why when the Lord brought destruction to the land, one of the outcomes is the turning from alcohol according to the TgJ in Isaiah 24:9 which states, ט עַל יְדֵי זְמָר לָא יִשתֹון חְמַר יִמַר עַתִיקָא לְשָתֹוהִי׃ 24:9 They shall no more drink wine with songs; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. (TgJ) The commentary Ein Yaakov Sota 9:15 states the following concerning these things.
Ein Yaakov (Glick Edition), Sotah 9:15
(Fol. 48) “Since the Sanhedrin were abolished, with them was abolished the custom of singing [while in the wine-houses drinking], as it is said (Is. 24, 9) Amidst singing, etc.” And whence do we know that this refers to the Sanhedrin? Said R. Huna, the son of R. Joshua: “The passage says (Lam. 5, 14) The elders have ceased from the gate, young men from their singing.” R. Udna said: “He who listens to songs will at the end suffer punishment,” Raba said: “In a house where there is frequent singing destruction will be the result, as it is said (Zef. 2, 14) Singing birds shall sing in the windows, ruin shall be on the threshholds; for the cedar waves shall be cut away. What does for the cedar waves shall be cut away, mean? Said R. Isaac, “Even a house covered with cedars will at the end be cut away.” R. Assi said: “From this it may be inferred that ruin of a house begins with the threshold, as it is said, Ruins shall be on the threshold, and if you wish I shall say it may be inferred from the following: (Is. 24, 12) And in ruins is bitten the gate.” R. Huna said: ‘”Singing while at work on a ship or while plowing is permitted, but otherwise is prohibited.” R. Huna caused the abolition of singing, thereupon the market became so cheap that one hundred geese were bought for a Zuza and even for that amount there was no demand. Thereupon R. Chisda came and did not enforce the act of abolition when it came about that each goose was bought for a Zuza and even at that price there was not sufficient supply. R. Joseph said: “Men singing, and women responding is considered licentiousness. When women sing and men respond it is like flax placed before fire.” What is the difference since both of them are prohibited? The difference is against which one we should put more efforts to have it abolished. Said R. Jochanan: “Whoever serves a banquet accompanied by four instruments of music, will bring five calamities upon the world, as it is said (Is. 5, 11) Woe unto those that get up early in the morning, that they may run for strong drink… . and the harp and the psaltry, the tabaret and the pipe, and wine are in their feasts. What is written after this (Ib., ib. 1.5) Therefore were My people lead unto exile, for want of knowledge, ie., this causes exile upon the world; and the honorable men suffer of famine, i.e., which brings hunger upon the world; and their multitude are panting with thirst, i.e., which causes the Torah to be forgotten from its learnings, (Ib., ib. 15) And then shall be the son of earth, and humble shall he the man, i.e., who caused lowering down to the enemies of the Holy One, praised be He, and the word Ish refers to the Lord as it is said (Ex. 15, 3) The Eternal is the Lord of war (Ish Milchama). (Is. 5, 15) And the eye of the lofty shall be hungry, who caused humbleness to Israel. What is written afterwards (Ib., ib. 14) Therefore hath the deep enlarged her desire, etc.
The Sanhedrin was dissolved after the city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in A.D. 70. The midrash speaks to when the sanhedrin was abolished so was the custom of singing. In addition, when birds sing in the windows, ruin will come. Men and women singing to each other is considered licentiousness. The reason for this interpretation is due to singing being connected to the alcoholic beverage. The midrash states that alcohol leads to a famine of honorable men, to having a hunger for the world, and to the forgetting of Torah. This hunger for wine / beer leads to exile, and turns one from knowledge and wisdom, and towards pride and arrogance. These things lead to death, and this is why the midrash concludes saying that “therefore hath the deep enlarged her desire, etc.” We discuss this concept in the study on Isaiah 5:13-33 See Article: Captivity to Pride. Isaiah continues saying the following according to the TgJ, י אִיתְבַרַת קַרתְהֹון צַדִיאַת אִתאְחִידוּ כָל בָתַיָא מִלְמֵיעַל 24:10 Their city is broken down and laid desolate: all their houses are shut up, so that no one can enter. יא מַצוְחִין עַל חַמרָא בְשוּקַיָא שְלֵימַת כָל חְדוּתָא גְלָא בְיָע מִן אַרעָא׃ 24:11 They cry for wine in the streets; all joy is ended: all gladness is removed from the land. יב אִשתְאַר בְקַרתָא צָדוּ וְאִתרְגֹושָא בְפִיגוּר תַרעִין׃ 24:12 Desolation is left in the city, and there is a tumult in the destruction of the gates. (TgJ) The idea of God removing the capacity for alcoholic consumption is provided from the sense of desolation, the shutting up of houses, the cry for wine, the end of this kind of joy, and all that remains is left as a desolate place that is not inhabited. All of these things come to those who trust in wine / beer for their joy as opposed to trusting in the Lord. The rabbis describe this in the following way according to the Talmud Bavli Sota 48a and Rashi on Isaiah 24:12.
Talmud Bavli Sotah 48a:17
The word “uncovered” [era] could be read to mean: Its city [ira]. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of: For its cedar work shall be its city? Furthermore, Rabbi Yitzḥak wondered when he said: Is a house interlaced with cedars not as strong as a city, and therefore not threatened by desolation? Rather, it means that even a house interlaced with cedars will become unstable [mitroe’a] if song is heard there. Rav Ashi said: Learn from it that when the destruction starts it starts with the threshold, as it is stated: “Desolation shall be in the posts.” And if you wish, say instead that they derive this idea from here: “In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten unto ruin [she’iyya]” (Isaiah 24:12). The term “ruin” here is referring to the destructive demon known as She’iyya, who strikes the gate first. Mar bar Rav Ashi said: I saw it, this She’iyya, and it was goring and wreaking havoc like an ox.
Rashi on Isaiah 24,12 Part 1
Through desolation, the gate is battered Through the desolation of loneliness, that the houses are desolate, without an occupant, the gates shall become battered by demons and destructive creatures.
Here the rabbis discuss the destruction in terms of the word וּשְׁאִיָּ֖ה (ruin/destruction) from Isaiah 24:12 נִשְׁאָר בָּעִיר שַׁמָּה וּשְׁאִיָּה יֻכַּת-שָׁעַר “In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.” Both Rashi and the Talmud describe this desolation in terms of a demon of destruction striking the gates. It is important to note how often Yeshua entered into the synagogue or the Beit Midrash and cast out demons from the people. These things teach us how influential the spirit realm is in this world. The Torah idea of walking in the ways of the nations, provides us with a description of the one who seeks out the way of the nations which is opposed to the ways of God. The reason we are commanded not to walk in the way of the nations is because this has the spiritual component of serving evil spirits. There is a serious danger and a warning for us to do all that we can to steer clear of the ways of the nations, and from sin and unfaithfulness. (See past studies on this topic, Parashat Nitzavim 2018 Article Titled: Opening Yourself to Demonic Powers, a Torah Based Warning. and the Article on Demons in Music) Note that involvement in pagan, satanic, or occult practices are not the only ways to be influenced by evil spirits (demons). One can be influenced by demons through other means, such as in television and music! The fact of the matter is the dangers with the influences of the spiritual realm are broader than we realize. In addition, a person suffered from physical or sexual abuse the dangers are even greater. This is why the occult, satanism, witchcraft, all involve some form of ritual sexual abuse. We note that the Talmud writes that “even a house interlaced with cedars will become unstable [mitroe’a] if a song is heard there.” This is a very significant observation, as there are many who claim they are not capable of being influenced by music, and some of the responses I have been given are “I don’t listen to the words, only the tunes, etc.” Yeshua said the following according to Matthew 16:18-19.
16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (KJV, ܐܴܦ݂ ܐܷܢܳܐ ܐܴܡܰܪ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܴܟ݂ ܂ ܕܱ݁ܐܢ̄ܬ݁ ܗ̄ܽܘ ܟܻ݁ܐܦ݂ܳܐ ܂ ܘܥܰܠ ܗܳܕ݂ܶܐ ܟܻ݁ܐܦ݂ܳܐ ܐܷܒ݂ܢܶܝܗ ܠܥܺܕ̱݁ܬ݁ܝ ܂ ܘܬ݂ܱܪ̈ܥܶܐ ܕܱ݁ܫܝܽܘܠ ܂ ܠܴܐ ܢܶܚܣܢܽܘܢܳܗ ܂ܠܴܟ݂ ܐܷܬܷ݁ܠ ܩܠܻܝ̈ܕ݂ܶܐ ܕ݁ܡܰܠܟܾ݁ܘܬ݂ܴܐ ܕܱ݁ܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܂ ܘܟ݂ܽܠ ܡܶܕܷ݁ܡ ܕ݁ܬ݂ܷܐܣܽܘܪ ܒܱ݁ܐܪܥܳܐ ܂ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܐܱܣܺܝܪ ܒܱ݁ܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܂ ܘܡܶܕܷ݁ܡ ܕ݁ܬ݂ܷܫܪܷܐ ܒܱ݁ܐܪܥܳܐ ܂ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܫܪܷܐ ܒܱ݁ܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܀ 18 κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, καὶ πύλαι ἅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς. 19 δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν δήσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ἔσται δεδεμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν λύσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ἔσται λελυμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.)
The term πύλαι ἅδου “gates of hell” comes from the Jewish expression בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֣י שְׁאֹ֑ול from the verse י אֲנִ֣י אָמַ֗רְתִּי בִּדְמִ֥י יָמַ֛י אֵלֵ֖כָה בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֣י שְׁאֹ֑ול פֻּקַּ֖דְתִּי יֶ֥תֶר שְׁנֹותָֽי׃, Isaiah 38:10 that means “gate of the dead” saying same thing πύλαις ᾅδου in the LXX referencing the “realm of the dead.” We find this expression בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֣י שְׁאֹ֑ול “the gates of Sheol,” or πύλαις ᾅδου “gates of hades” where Sheol is a synonym of hell, hades or the underworld. Thus, the “the gates of hell” is a euphemism for death. Yeshua taught that the gates of hell will not prevail against Him (Yeshua) referencing Peter as the little rock, and Yeshua as the great rock that cannot be moved. The analogy of gates draws us back to ancient times where cities had walls and gates to protect the people from war when the enemy would attack. This was the protection of the city, the gates were usually the first place they attacked, and so the strength and power of the gate determined the fate of the city. In parallel, we note that Hades (ᾅδου) is the name of a Demon according to Greek mythology (a Greek god) and this realm of the dead was named after him (Hades). This demon is said to preside over the realm of the dead which was often called the “house of Hades.” This was the place that the spirits of all people went to, either a place of peace and life, or torment and suffering, Hades contained places for both depending upon one’s moral character in this life. This place of death, the realm of the dead, here Hell or Hades is represented as a mighty city with its gates representing its power. What Yeshua was saying was because of what He is doing, this place of death has no power to hold God’s people captive. The gates of Hell are not strong enough to overcome and imprison or keep imprisoned the people of God. We are told in the NT text that Yeshua overcame death (Romans 8:2, Acts 2:24) and that death has no power over Yeshua (Romans 6:9). Those who remain in the Lord, in Yeshua, death also no longer is master over us either. We belong to Yeshua, and to our Father in heaven who is the God of life! The evil one on the other hand uses the power of death to destroy the lives of men through sin. This is what we see going on in Isaiah’s day. Those who were called out from amongst them, were given a promise of life, just as we are called to be faithful to the Lord, the promise is that we will prevail, and we will know God and His Messiah! (John 14:19) This is the power of God in our lives! The power of God to the righteous, appears to be the way that the TgJ is interpreting Isaiah, saying the following, יג אְרֵי כְדֵין יִשתַאְרוּן יְחִידָאִין צַדִיקַיָא בְגֹו עָלְמַא בֵינֵי מַלכְווָתָא כְבֵיעוּר זֵיתָא כְעֹולְלָן בָתַר קְטַף׃ 24:13 When thus the righteous shall be left alone in the midst of the earth, among the kingdoms, as the shaking of olives, as the gleaning of grapes after the vintage. יד אִנוּן יְרִימוּן קָלְהֹון יְשַבְחוּן בִשמָא דַיוי יְבוּעוּן כְמָא דְבָעוּ עַל גְבוּרָן דְאִתעְבִידָא לְהֹון עַל יַמָא׃ 24:14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall praise on account of the WORD of the Lord: they shall rejoice as they rejoiced on account of the mighty works which were done for them by the sea. טו עַל כֵין בְמֵיתֵי נְהֹורָא לְצַדִיקַיָא יְיַקְרוּן קֳדָם יוי בְנֵיסֵי יַמָא יְהֹון מֹודַן וּמבָרְכִין שְמָא דַיוי אְלָהָא דְיִשרָאֵל׃ 24:15 When light shall come to the righteous, they shall glorify the Lord: in the islands of the sea they shall laud and bless the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. (TgJ) The TgJ translates that the shaking, is a reference to those who are righteous that remain. This continues the idea of the righteous / the faithful being protected by God in this world. When we as God’s people see the deliverance, we will lift up our voices in praise on account of the Word of God. The commentary Akeidat Yitzchak 48:1 Part 7 states the following concerning these verses.
Akeidat Yitzchak 48:1 Part 7
The menorah, candelabra and altar of incense in the sanctuary symbolize the planetary orbits. The showbreads are presented on the Sabbath, to remind us of the fact that as soon as G-d had stopped creating, He turned His attention to the problem of providing parnassah, a livelihood, for all His creatures. The various tools, appurtenances of the table are reminders that we must not sit with our hands folded waiting to be provided for, but must do our share. We omit much of the commentary at this point, since it revolves around the premise of a universe with seven major planets, an outdated concept. The author also illustrates how different parts of the tabernacle legislation tie in with the seven day creation cycle.
Akeidat Yitzchak writes that when God had ceased creating, He turned His attention to providing parnassah “a livelihood or maintenance” as in “At the beginning of each month, we pray that HaShem will assist us in our ‘Parnassah,’ that is, in our ability to make a living.” This is derived from Devarim / Deuteronomy 8:18 in God giving us the power / ability to earn wealth so that he can confirm the covenant that he swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The idea here of earning a living, working to provide for family, is rooted in the covenant of God. Akeidat Yitzchak points out that we are not to sit with our hands folded expecting something to be given to us or provided for us, we must do our share of work to earn a living. Note also that this applies to matters of faith as well. We must step out in our faith before we see the power of God move in our lives. This is true even for our salvation, we must confess before others out faith in God our Father in heaven and in Yeshua His Messiah!
Isaiah continues saying the following according to the TgJ, טז מִבֵית מַקדְשָא דְמִיתַמָן עְתִיד לְמִיפַק חַדוָא לְכָל יָתְבֵי אַרעָא תוּשבְחָא שְמַענָא לְצַדִיקַיָא אְמַר נְבִיָא רָז אְגַר לְצַדִיקַיָא אִיתַחזִי לִי רָז פֹורעָנוּ לְרָשִיעַיָא אִתגְלִי לִי וָי לְאָנֹוסַיָא דְמִתאַנסִין וְלִבזֹוז בָזֹוזִין דְהָא מִתבְזֵיז׃ 24:16 From the house of the sanctuary, yea, from thence joy shall go forth to all the inhabitants of the earth, for we have heard the praise of the righteous! The prophet said, a secret! A reward to the righteous is shown to me, a secret! A punishment for the wicked is revealed to me. Woe to the oppressors, for they shall be oppressed; and to those who spoil, for, behold, they shall be spoiled. (TgJ) Here we see this basic concept of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (See Matthew 7:12) God had shown the prophet a vision of punishment for the wicked. This illustrates the importance and wisdom of the path of righteousness. Based upon the Torah, the path of righteousness carries with it reward from God, and the path of the wicked carries with it the reward of punishment. These are both present and future expectations, which are due to the eternality of God and His Holy Word!
What is the application of these scriptures for us today? In summary, Isaiah 24:9-16 speaks to song, celebration, and strong drink (alcoholic beverages). The Lord God is bringing an end to gladness, joy, and celebration because of the sin and lack of Teshuvah (unrepentance). The destruction is paralleled to the desolation of the city and the destruction of the gates, where the rabbis connect this to the outcome of demonic attack. These things are meant to draw man back to his senses and realize it is the Lord who has brought these things. Regardless of one’s state, he will give praise to God in heaven recognizing God’s sovereignty over all the earth. Ultimately, the outcome of unrepentant sin will lead to death. All of these things reveal to us the outcome of those who rely upon alcohol to bring joy to their hearts as opposed to relying upon the Lord God in heaven for one’s source of joy. There is a reason we are told in the Torah to be careful concerning one’s consumption of alcohol (See Nadav and Avihu in Vayikra / Leviticus 10:1-5) We note the Torah centric principle of God dwelling in our midst illustrates having God close provides blessing and security. Living in unrepentant sin and pride leads to destruction at the hand of demons. These things illustrate how this world is both physical and spiritual, and Isaiah 24:9-18 demonstrates for us that this is true for all of the world. Demonic influences are greatest in the nations, which is the reason for the commands to steer clear of the ways of the nations. When one lives in unrepentant sin, he or she invites the gates of hell to not just themselves, but to their family as well. The evil one uses sin and the gates of hell to imprison and keep people in bondage to sin. Yeshua however overcame the grave, He overcame death and hell, and has the power to give us eternal life! Our faith in Yeshua causes the power of God to dwell in us, enabling us to live for the Lord in faith and faithfulness! Isaiah 24:13-15, the rabbis draw out the concept of parnassah and our ability to earn a living. The idea here is to the blessedness of God who gives us health and strength so that we can work. We note how this happens both in the physical realm, and the spiritual realm. These worlds meet within us in our faith and faithfulness before God, from the Torah perspective that God is in our midst empowering us so that we may bring glory to God in heaven. The Lord God Almighty is how empowers us to turn from sin by His indwelling Holy Spirit! Even to have faith and the desire to live faithfully before God, these things are a function of God dwelling in our midst. For this reason, we should give God praise and glory as the TgJ writes in Isaiah 24:16 “From the house of the sanctuary, yea, from thence joy shall go forth to all the inhabitants of the earth, for we have heard the praise of the righteous! …” The vision of the prophet in Isaiah 2:1-5, is demonstrated in God’s people, showing forth the praise of God, of His glory, and His holy Word to all the world in our testimony in the Messiah Yeshua! All things draw us back to these Torah based concepts, and to the power of God in the Messiah Yeshua, in us who believe and trust in Him!