As Isaiah continues, he generalizes the issue of the sinful nations and the fate of their wicked ways. We note how in the Torah, God had revealed himself to Israel, and he delivered a mixed multitude (Shemot / Exodus 12:38) revealing how the Lord God has a plan for all people. The Torah states in Bereshit / Genesis 25:23 that there were two nations in Rebecca’s womb and in Malachi 1:2-3 we are told that God loved Jacob and hated Esau because Esau despised the covenant of God. Jacob on the other hand loved the covenant of God. So what we find here is a picture of opposites. Esau (Edom) is representative of the nations, whereas Jacob (Israel) is the representative of God’s people. Edom refused the way of God and blocked what God was doing in Israel according to the Torah in Bamidbar / Numbers 20:14-21.
ספר במדבר פרק כ
יד וַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה מַלְאָכִים מִקָּדֵשׁ אֶל-מֶלֶךְ אֱדוֹם כֹּה אָמַר אָחִיךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת כָּל-הַתְּלָאָה אֲשֶׁר מְצָאָתְנוּ: טו וַיֵּרְדוּ אֲבֹתֵינוּ מִצְרַיְמָה וַנֵּשֶׁב בְּמִצְרַיִם יָמִים רַבִּים וַיָּרֵעוּ לָנוּ מִצְרַיִם וְלַאֲבֹתֵינוּ: טז וַנִּצְעַק אֶל-יְהוָֹה וַיִּשְׁמַע קֹלֵנוּ וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָךְ וַיֹּצִאֵנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ בְקָדֵשׁ עִיר קְצֵה גְבוּלֶךָ: יז נַעְבְּרָה-נָּא בְאַרְצֶךָ לֹא נַעֲבֹר בְּשָֹדֶה וּבְכֶרֶם וְלֹא נִשְׁתֶּה מֵי בְאֵר דֶּרֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ נֵלֵךְ לֹא נִטֶּה יָמִין וּשְֹמֹאול עַד אֲשֶׁר-נַעֲבֹר גְּבֻלֶךָ: יח וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֱדוֹם לֹא תַעֲבֹר בִּי פֶּן-בַּחֶרֶב אֵצֵא לִקְרָאתֶךָ: יט וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו בְּנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל בַּמְסִלָּה נַעֲלֶה וְאִם-מֵימֶיךָ נִשְׁתֶּה אֲנִי וּמִקְנַי וְנָתַתִּי מִכְרָם רַק אֵין-דָּבָר בְּרַגְלַי אֶעֱבֹרָה: כ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא תַעֲבֹר וַיֵּצֵא אֱדוֹם לִקְרָאתוֹ בְּעַם כָּבֵד וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה: כא וַיְמָאֵן | אֱדוֹם נְתֹן אֶת-יִשְֹרָאֵל עֲבֹר בִּגְבֻלוֹ וַיֵּט יִשְֹרָאֵל מֵעָלָיו:
Bamidbar / Numbers 20:14–21
20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: 20:16 And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border: 20:17 Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders. 20:18 And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. 20:19 And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing any thing else, go through on my feet. 20:20 And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. 20:21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him. (KJV)
Here we see how Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through their land on the kings highway. Edom is typical of the nations in their opposition to the ways of God and so this is why Isaiah speaks about making a choice in our lives, choose the way of the nations (Edom) or choose the way of God. We note historically, Edom stood against Israel and aided her enemies, such as in the case of the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. We read how Edom aided the nations according to Obadiah 1:11-14 and Ezekiel 35:1-15. It is because of these things that Isaiah wrote what he did in 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. (KJV) Edom, the nation itself, will become a sacrifice to the Lord God of Israel. We note that the way of life is found in the God of Israel and His Messiah, and the way of death is found in the nations. This is the concept that Paul drew out in his letter to the Romans according to Romans 6:15-23.
6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV 15 Τί οὖν; ⸀ἁμαρτήσωμεν, ὅτι οὐκ ἐσμὲν ὑπὸ νόμον ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ χάριν; μὴ γένοιτο*. 16 ⸆οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ᾧ παριστάνετε ἑαυτοὺς δούλους εἰς ὑπακοήν, δοῦλοί ἐστε ᾧ ὑπακούετε*, ἤτοι ἁμαρτίας ⸋εἰς θάνατον⸌ ἢ ὑπακοῆς εἰς δικαιοσύνην*; 17 χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ ὅτι ἦτε δοῦλοι τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὑπηκούσατε δὲ ἐκ ⸆ καρδίας εἰς ὃν παρεδόθητε τύπον διδαχῆς*, 18 ἐλευθερωθέντες ⸀δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἐδουλώθητε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ*. 19 Ἀνθρώπινον λέγω διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν*. ὥσπερ γὰρ παρεστήσατε τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν ⸀δοῦλα τῇ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ καὶ τῇ ἀνομίᾳ ⸋εἰς τὴν ἀνομίαν⸌, οὕτως νῦν παραστήσατε τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν ⸁δοῦλα τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ εἰς ἁγιασμόν*. 20 ὅτε γὰρ δοῦλοι ἦτε τῆς ἁμαρτίας, ἐλεύθεροι ἦτε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ*. 21 τίνα οὖν καρπὸν εἴχετε τότε; ἐφʼ οἷς νῦν ἐπαισχύνεσθε, τὸ ⸆ γὰρ τέλος ἐκείνων θάνατος*. 22 νυνὶ δὲ ἐλευθερωθέντες ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας δουλωθέντες δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἔχετε τὸν καρπὸν ὑμῶν εἰς ἁγιασμόν*, τὸ δὲ τέλος ζωὴν αἰώνιον*. 23 τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν*.)
We note how Paul describes sin and righteousness, he says according to Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death and the free gift of God is eternal life in the Messiah. This is the illustration that Isaiah is providing for us, the antithesis of Edom (sinful ways and rejection of the covenant) to the God of Israel (righteousness, holiness, and love for the covenant). Paul writes that we were formerly choosing sin and yielding our memebers as servants to uncleanness in inquiry, where the end of this is death. (Romans 6:19) This language states that now in the Messiah of God we are not to yield our members to righteousness, we are set free from sin, and are to give ourselves to holiness and the end of this is everlasting life. So the conclusion is based upon these scriptures, we see how Edom aided sin and destruction. This is synonymous to those who aid and support the LGBTQ woke liberal ideological confusion that is going on today! Those who do so are aiding sinful behavior and encouraging / supporting the ways of the nations doing the very thing that Isaiah is warning us about! The outcome of these things is total destruction, all we have to do is look historically at the nations and see how these things have worked out for them! If one chooses to live in a sinful way, the outcome will be as we are reading here in Isaiah 34:5-8, one will become a sacrifice to God, because one chooses to reject the covenant of God which incorporates the sacrifice of the King Messiah (Yeshua). The thing to keep in mind is that if we say we are in the Messiah and that we are a part of the family of God, then the fruit of this statement will produce righteousness and holiness in our lives and not support for the sinful ways of the nations! If one mingles the ways of the nations into his or her faith, this is what Esau did, refusing the covenant of righteousness and holiness, and joining with the nations (marrying Canaanite women) and making their ways a part of his life. These things in the Scriptures are an eternal testimony for us, in how we are to live our lives as the people of God! We must reject the ideologies of the world that lead to sin and unrighteousness!
Isaiah continues saying the following according to Isaiah 34:7-8.
ספר ישעיה פרק לד
ז וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם וּפָרִים עִם-אַבִּירִים וְרִוְּתָה אַרְצָם מִדָּם וַעֲפָרָם מֵחֵלֶב יְדֻשָּׁן: ח כִּי יוֹם נָקָם לַיהֹוָה שְׁנַת שִׁלּוּמִים לְרִיב צִיּוֹן:
Isaiah 34:7 states, “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. (וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם וּפָרִים עִם-אַבִּירִים וְרִוְּתָה אַרְצָם מִדָּם וַעֲפָרָם מֵחֵלֶב יְדֻשָּׁן)” Isaiah 34:8 “For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. (כִּי יוֹם נָקָם לַיהֹוָה שְׁנַת שִׁלּוּמִים לְרִיב צִיּוֹן)” Here is an interesting observation about the KJV and its use of old English particularly in the translation of the Masoretic Text. The phrase here וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם translates “and the young ox will descend with them.” The KJV however chose to translate this word רְאֵמִים as “unicorns.” It is important to note that there are many anti-missionaries, atheists, and unbelievers who in years past have used this text as a way to shake the faith of believers because of the KJV usage of this word “unicorn.” Looking up the definition of a unicorn, the unicorn is a mythical creature that has been described since antiquity as a beast with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. In European literature and art, the unicorn has for the last thousand years or so been depicted as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long straight horn with spiraling grooves, cloven hooves, and sometimes a goat’s beard. The anti-missionaries (unbelievers) have tried to use the fact that this animal is a mythical creature to discredit the Word of God. The issue is that when we look at the Hebrew bible the text states something different. The word רְאֵמִים translates as “young ox” and Ludwig Koehler “The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament” (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994–2000), 1163 writes often this word is equivalent to רְאֵם meaning “white antelope.” It is interesting what Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 34:7 Part 1 states saying, “With them, with the lambs and goats; by the unicorns and bullocks the kings of Edom are meant.” Here the unicorns referring to kings, this provides us with what pride and arrogance does in one’s life, where one sets up a mythical imagination (mental / emotional reality in their minds of how they want things to be, but in reality they are not, i.e. the woke ideologies, gender confusion, etc.) as being superior to others, or lording over others. The point is that these creatures that are described according to the Hebrew bible are the horned ox or the horned antelope. A picture of a horned ox is shown below:
This illustrates why it is important to look at the original languages, because sometimes there is translator bias that enters into the text, and here this bias is on the translation of a word to a mythical beast in which antimissionaries try to discredit the bible. Note that in the KJV there are nine other places the word unicorn is used in the translation. (Bamidbar / Numbers 23:22, 24:8, Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:17, Job 39:9, 39:10, Tehillim / Psalms 22:21, 29:6, 92:10, Isaiah 34:7)
This is a reminder that we should always check whenever something is in question regarding the Word of God, and how not to believe those who have vehement anger and hatred towards God’s Word. We also note the Targum and Septuagint translations of these verses.
The LXX translates saying, 7 καὶ συμπεσοῦνται οἱ ἁδροὶ μετʼ αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ κριοὶ καὶ οἱ ταῦροι, καὶ μεθυσθήσεται ἡ γῆ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἵματος καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ στέατος αὐτῶν ἐμπλησθήσεται. 8 ἡμέρα γὰρ κρίσεως κυρίου καὶ ἐνιαυτὸς ἀνταποδόσεως κρίσεως Σιων. 7 And the well grown will fall with them, both the rams and the bulls. And the land will be drunk with the blood, and it will be filled with their fat. 8 For it is a day of the Lord’s judgment and a year of the repayment of Zion’s judgment. (LES) Here the LXX translates this word into Greek as οἱ ἁδροὶ “ox or domesticated animal,” and the LES translates as “rams.” The TgJ translates saying, וְיִתקַטלוּן גִיבָרִין עִמְהֹון וְשִלטֹונִין עִם טוּרנִין וְתִרוֵי אְרַעהֹון מִדַמהֹון וְעַפרְהֹון מִתַרבְהֹון יִדְהַן׃ אְרֵי יֹום פֹורעָנוּתָא קֳדָם יוי שְנַת תוּשלְמָא לְמַעְבַד פֹורעָנוּת דִין עוּלבָנַה דְצִיֹון׃ 7 And the mighty men shall be slain with them, and the rulers, and the princes; and their land shall be drunken with their own blood; and their dust made fat with their own fat. 8 For it is the day of vengeance before the presence of the Lord; the year of recompense, to take vengeance of judgment on account of the ignominy of Zion. (TgJ) Here the Targum recognizes that the ox is an analogy to the mighty man, and how it does not matter how skilled one is in war and battle, that the Lord will bring destruction to the unrighteous. Here the destruction of the nations is illustrated to be a sacrifice to God due to their sins. We note that the Torah states that all sin must be atoned for, even the sin that one is unaware of or ignorant of. (Vayikra / Leviticus 4:1-12, 5:17, 17:11, Ezekiel 33:10-16) We note that according to the Scriptures, all sin must end in sacrifice, either of the sinner or the one who is given in the place of the sinner. This is the truth that is described according to Isaiah 53:1-12. The tragedy of Edom is their refusal to listen to the Word of God and their eventual utter destruction. If the nations would listen and obey the Word of God (see Isaiah 2:1-4) there would be peace, and their sins would be forgiven. The wild oxen and horned beasts are an obvious reference to the leaders of the nations who will fall along with those among the people who reject the ways of God. The land itself will be the altar soaking up the blood of the slain as an atoning sacrifice. These things describe how the earth, the land, was made for righteousness sake, and not for unrepentant sin! All of these things illustrate how pride and arrogance set themselves up against God and His holy and righteous ways. Pride and arrogance does not lead to well being, peace, and life, but to destruction and death. We note Isaiah 34:8 states, כִּי יוֹם נָקָם לַיהֹוָה שְׁנַת שִׁלּוּמִים לְרִיב צִיּוֹן “For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion” illustrating that the wrath of God comes also due to the nations attacks on the His people. The consensus is that the enemies attack and the Lord God will move to destroy them, but it is not always on our timetable but on His timetable to bring justice to those who are persecuted and are killed. (Isaiah 12:1-6, 40:27-31, 62:1-5)
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 34:9-10.
ספר ישעיה פרק לד
ט וְנֶהֶפְכוּ נְחָלֶיהָ לְזֶפֶת וַעֲפָרָהּ לְגָפְרִית וְהָיְתָה אַרְצָהּ לְזֶפֶת בֹּעֵרָה: י לַיְלָה וְיוֹמָם לֹא תִכְבֶּה לְעוֹלָם יַעֲלֶה עֲשָׁנָהּ מִדּוֹר לָדוֹר תֶּחֱרָב לְנֵצַח נְצָחִים אֵין עֹבֵר בָּהּ:
Isaiah 34:9 states, “And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. (וְנֶהֶפְכוּ נְחָלֶיהָ לְזֶפֶת וַעֲפָרָהּ לְגָפְרִית וְהָיְתָה אַרְצָהּ לְזֶפֶת בֹּעֵרָה)” 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. (לַיְלָה וְיוֹמָם לֹא תִכְבֶּה לְעוֹלָם יַעֲלֶה עֲשָׁנָהּ מִדּוֹר לָדוֹר תֶּחֱרָב לְנֵצַח נְצָחִים אֵין עֹבֵר בָּהּ)” What is interesting is here Isaiah speaks of a land that will be turned into pitch, dust, brimstone, and burning pitch, and says the smoke thereof will go up forever, laying wast from generation to generation. This is an interesting description and does not sound like any place or location that is found here on Earth. This sounds like a description of hell. The description of Edom that Isaiah provides here, the people become a sacrifice (Isaiah 34:5-8) and the land becomes a volcanic wasteland. There are quite a few movies which are available to see imagery of a nuclear wasteland and destruction of cities. We note that in this case, man has been so arrogant and prideful and hateful to each other that he has destroyed the gift of God, the land, and the inheritance. The biblical example of this kind of destruction is that of Sodom and Gomorrah in Bereshit / Genesis 19:24-28.
ספר בראשית פרק יט
כד וַיהֹוָה הִמְטִיר עַל-סְדֹם וְעַל-עֲמֹרָה גָּפְרִית וָאֵשׁ מֵאֵת יְהוָֹה מִן-הַשָּׁמָיִם: כה וַיַּהֲפֹךְ אֶת-הֶעָרִים הָאֵל וְאֵת כָּל-הַכִּכָּר וְאֵת כָּל-ישְׁבֵי הֶעָרִים וְצֶמַח הָאֲדָמָה: כו וַתַּבֵּט אִשְׁתּוֹ מֵאַחֲרָיו וַתְּהִי נְצִיב מֶלַח: כז וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-עָמַד שָׁם אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָֹה: כח וַיַּשְׁקֵף עַל-פְּנֵי סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה וְעַל כָּל-פְּנֵי אֶרֶץ הַכִּכָּר וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה עָלָה קִיטֹר הָאָרֶץ כְּקִיטֹר הַכִּבְשָׁן:
Bereshit / Genesis 19:24–28
19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 19:28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. (KJV)
Here because of the great wickedness of this region, God Himself rained down brimstone and fire from heaven and utterly destroyed this place. Note that today we can go to this region in Israel and find the sulfur that was rained down, there are various documentaries on this topic. The scientific analysis of the sulfur has been determined to be 98% pure sulfur, and this is a miracle of God because there is no earthly source for this level of purity of sulfur! (Other bible source texts Bereshit / Genesis 19:24-28, Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:23, Tehillim / Psalms 11:6, Jeremiah 49:18, Revelation 14:10-11) We note how Isaiah is describing Edom however Edom is not specifically mentioned here in these verses, this may be a reference to something else. We note the emphasis upon the perpetuity of the destruction saying לֹ֣א תִכְבֶּ֔ה לְעֹולָ֖ם יַעֲלֶ֣ה עֲשָׁנָ֑הּ מִדֹּ֤ור לָדֹור֙ “will not be extinguished forever the smoke, from generation to generation.” This reminds us of Daniel 12:1-5
12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 12:5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. (KJV, א וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יַעֲמֹד מִיכָאֵל הַשַּׂר הַגָּדוֹל הָעֹמֵד עַל-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ וְהָיְתָה עֵת צָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִהְיְתָה מִהְיוֹת גּוֹי עַד הָעֵת הַהִיא וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יִמָּלֵט עַמְּךָ כָּל-הַנִּמְצָא כָּתוּב בַּסֵּפֶר: ב וְרַבִּים מִיְּשֵׁנֵי אַדְמַת-עָפָר יָקִיצוּ אֵלֶּה לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם וְאֵלֶּה לַחֲרָפוֹת לְדִרְאוֹן עוֹלָם: ג וְהַמַּשְֹכִּלִים יַזְהִרוּ כְּזֹהַר הָרָקִיעַ וּמַצְדִּיקֵי הָרַבִּים כַּכּוֹכָבִים לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד: ד וְאַתָּה דָנִיֵּאל סְתֹם הַדְּבָרִים וַחֲתֹם הַסֵּפֶר עַד-עֵת קֵץ יְשֹׁטְטוּ רַבִּים וְתִרְבֶּה הַדָּעַת: ה וְרָאִיתִי אֲנִי דָנִיֵּאל וְהִנֵּה שְׁנַיִם אֲחֵרִים עֹמְדִים אֶחָד הֵנָּה לִשְֹפַת הַיְאֹר וְאֶחָד הֵנָּה לִשְֹפַת הַיְאֹר:)
Specifically here, וְרַבִּים מִיְּשֵׁנֵי אַדְמַת-עָפָר יָקִיצוּ אֵלֶּה לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם וְאֵלֶּה לַחֲרָפוֹת לְדִרְאוֹן עוֹלָם 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (KJV) Note that Daniel speaks of the resurrection here, that the righteous will rise to life everlasting, and the wicked will rise to everlasting contempt. Note the emphasis upon the perpetuity of the destruction (contempt) and the intensity of the language here parallels what Isaiah is saying. Note Torah parallels in the temple service, how the sacrifice were to be kept burning (Vayikra / Leviticus 6:13) and the light of the menorah was never to go out, etc. This is the imagery that if one is found to die in his sins, then he will suffer the consequences for not having been forgiven and not seeking the mercy of God! The illustrations here parallel the NT text from the sense of who we are to be, not as brute beasts given to their sensualities, but to righteousness and holiness in the Lord. The Isaiah text describes when the land is filled with sinful people, there will be a divine depopulation that will take place, either through war or exile or death and disease. We note that far and near references in Isaiah 33:13 (https://www.matsati.com/index.php/the-presence-of-god-leads-to-holiness-purity-mercy-and-grace-isaiah-33-13-18/), Isaiah chapters 13 and 14 speak of Babylon, the prideful people being a far distance, and here in Isaiah 34 of Edom, a people who are near. The illustration is that regardless of where we are located here on earth, and what people we are from, the Lord God requires righteousness, holiness, justice, and truth, and to seek Him and His Messiah. Note that commentaries describe these verses as poetic literature. I believe these are speaking of the literal fulfillment of what happens to those who refuse to seek the ways of God, who live for themselves in pride and arrogance, and seek the things of the world as opposed to the things of God, the final outcome of which is utter destruction, chaos, and everlasting / eternal suffering. Because of the wickedness, the sinfulness of man, the earth will destroy itself along with its environment which was specifically designed (biosphere) to support and sustain life will fail, due to sin and rebellion of man. This is a hard and difficult warning to all!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 34:11-12.
ספר ישעיה פרק לד
יא וִירֵשׁוּהָ קָאַת וְקִפּוֹד וְיַנְשׁוֹף וְעֹרֵב יִשְׁכְּנוּ-בָהּ וְנָטָה עָלֶיהָ קַו-תֹהוּ וְאַבְנֵי-בֹהוּ: יב חֹרֶיהָ וְאֵין-שָׁם מְלוּכָה יִקְרָאוּ וְכָל-שָֹרֶיהָ יִהְיוּ אָפֶס:
Isaiah 34:11 states, “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. (וִירֵשׁוּהָ קָאַת וְקִפּוֹד וְיַנְשׁוֹף וְעֹרֵב יִשְׁכְּנוּ-בָהּ וְנָטָה עָלֶיהָ קַו-תֹהוּ וְאַבְנֵי-בֹהוּ)” Isaiah 34:12 “They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. (חֹרֶיהָ וְאֵין-שָׁם מְלוּכָה יִקְרָאוּ וְכָל-שָֹרֶיהָ יִהְיוּ אָפֶס)” We note the language here in Isaiah 34:11, in the place of a sinful people, God will stretch out the line of confusion. Notice what we see going on today in our culture with the promotion of mindless ideologies, LGBTQ, gender confusion, woke ideologies, these things are the outcome of sinful lifestyles, and as Isaiah says this is the line of utter confusion! The reason we know this to be true is that those who believe in these things, they are utterly given over to them, and they have this underlying demonic motivation to destroy the lives of children in these ideologies. (Matthew 18:6-14) Note that the Lord God speaks of the owl and the raven in this verse coupling these animals to the confused peoples and stones of emptiness. The text comparison Targum and Septuagint reveal the following:
The LXX translates saying, 11 καὶ κατοικήσουσιν ἐν αὐτῇ ὄρνεα καὶ ἐχῖνοι καὶ ἴβεις καὶ κόρακες, καὶ ἐπιβληθήσεται ἐπʼ αὐτὴν σπαρτίον γεωμετρίας ἐρήμου, καὶ ὀνοκένταυροι οἰκήσουσιν ἐν αὐτῇ. 12 οἱ ἄρχοντες αὐτῆς οὐκ ἔσονται, οἱ γὰρ βασιλεῖς αὐτῆς καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες αὐτῆς καὶ οἱ μεγιστᾶνες αὐτῆς ἔσονται εἰς ἀπώλειαν. 11 Birds and hedgehogs and ibises and ravens will settle in it, and a desolate measuring cord will be cast upon it, and donkey-centaurs will dwell in it. 12 Its rulers will be no more; for its kings and its nobles will be become destruction. The TgJ translates saying, חֹרֶ֥יהָ וְאֵֽין־שָׁ֖ם מְלוּכָ֣ה יִקְרָ֑אוּ וְכָל־שָׂרֶ֖יהָ יִ֥הְיוּ אָֽפֶס׃ דַהְוֹו אָמְרִין בְנֵי חֹורִין אְנַחנָא לָא צָבַן לְקַבָלָא עְלֵיהֹון מַלכוּ וְכָל רַברְבַהָא יְהֹון לְלָמָא׃ 11 The pelican and the porcupine shall inherit her, and the owls and the ravens shall dwell in her: and the line of devastation shall be extended over her, and the plummet of desolation. 12 They said, we are the sons of free men, and they were not willing to accept over them a kingly government; and all her princes shall come to nothing. (TgJ) Note the translation of the animals that inhabit the land, hedgehogs, ibises, ravens, in the LXX, and pelican and porcupine, owls and ravens in the TgJ. It is difficult to ascertain what Isaiah means here by the inclusion of these animals, but the bottom line is that this is a place of confusion / desolation, and he speaks of a measuring line where the people have measured themselves by in their sin, it is crooked, deformed, and does not lead one to truth and righteousness. (Isaiah 1:21-24, 28:17, 2 Kings 21:13, Lamentations 2:8, Amos 7:7–9) The prophet Malachi states that Edom will return to destruction and will remain there forever. (Malachi 1:4-5) The major conclusions that we can make here based upon what Isaiah is saying, is that only in the Lord is wisdom, knowledge, rivers of peace, and everlasting life found! The Lord God is full of mercy, grace, and peace, and seeks to give us truth, and righteousness, and holiness, all of which foster growth, and prosperity! These things are the blessings of knowing God, and remaining in Him and in His Messiah Yeshua! This is who the God of Israel is, and it is a mysterious thing why people would turn from Him and not want to walk in His holy and righteous ways. The tendency is as Isaiah says in Isaiah 34:12 “They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. (חֹרֶיהָ וְאֵין-שָׁם מְלוּכָה יִקְרָאוּ וְכָל-שָֹרֶיהָ יִהְיוּ אָפֶס)” and the conclusion of the Targum דַהְוֹו אָמְרִין בְנֵי חֹורִין אְנַחנָא לָא צָבַן לְקַבָלָא עְלֵיהֹון מַלכוּ וְכָל רַברְבַהָא יְהֹון לְלָמָא׃ 12 They said, we are the sons of free men, and they were not willing to accept over them a kingly government; and all her princes shall come to nothing. (TgJ) The pride of life, the arrogance of men who would lord over others, this leads to their not wanting a kingly government, meaning not wanting God to reign in their lives! This is what we see going on today in our government: destruction of prosperity, elimination of good paying jobs related to fossil energy, destruction of the economy and the unrestrained spending and consequential lowering of the value of the dollar all due to the woke ideologies and beliefs. This is the state of the world today! We are thankful that the Lord God has preserved His word so that we can recognize these truths, the Bible is a guide, a plum line for truth, that helps us to put our lives in order. The Word of God helps us to get the essentials straight in our lives, to seek God, to seek His Messiah Yeshua, to seek for the mercy and grace of God to forgive us of our sins, and to seek God’s help to turn from sin so that we walk in everlasting life and not in everlasting destruction!
The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore is a valuable resource for continuing to study the book of Isaiah!
תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק לד:ז-יב
ז וְיִתקַטלוּן גִיבָרִין עִמְהֹון וְשִלטֹונִין עִם טוּרנִין וְתִרוֵי אְרַעהֹון מִדַמהֹון וְעַפרְהֹון מִתַרבְהֹון יִדְהַן׃ ח אְרֵי יֹום פֹורעָנוּתָא קֳדָם יוי שְנַת תוּשלְמָא לְמַעְבַד פֹורעָנוּת דִין עוּלבָנַה דְצִיֹון׃ ט וְיִתהַפכוּן נַחלַה דְרֹומֵי לִזפָא וְעַפרַה לְגוּפרֵיתָא וּתהֵי אַרעַה לִזפָא בָעְרָא׃ י לֵילֵי וְיִימָם לָא תִטפֵי לְעָלַם יִסַק תַנְנַה מִדָר לְדָר תִחרוּב לְעָלַם עָלְמַיָא לֵית דְעָדֵי בַה׃ יא וְיַחסְנוּנַה קָתִין וְקֻפדִין וְקִפוּפִין וְעֹורְבִין יִשרֹון בַה וְיִתנְגִיד עְלַה חוּט דְחָרבָנָא וּמַשקוּלתָא דְצַדיוּתָא׃ יב דַהְוֹו אָמְרִין בְנֵי חֹורִין אְנַחנָא לָא צָבַן לְקַבָלָא עְלֵיהֹון מַלכוּ וְכָל רַברְבַהָא יְהֹון לְלָמָא׃
Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 34:7-12
34:7 And the mighty men shall be slain with them, and the rulers, and the princes; and their land shall be drunken with their own blood; and their dust made fat with their own fat. 34:8 For it is the day of vengeance before the presence of the Lord; the year of recompense, to take vengeance of judgment on account of the ignominy of Zion. 34:9 And the rivers of Samaria shall be turned into pitch, and her dust into brimstone, and the land shall become burning pitch. 34:10 By night and by day it shall not be extinguished; her smoke shall ascend for ever: from generation to generation she shall lie waste; none shall pass through her to everlasting ages. 34:11 The pelican and the porcupine shall inherit her, and the owls and the ravens shall dwell in her: and the line of devastation shall be extended over her, and the plummet of desolation. 34:12 They said, we are the sons of free men, and they were not willing to accept over them a kingly government; and all her princes shall come to nothing. (TgJ)
The TgJ describes Isaiah 34:7 quite differently the Hebrew bible writes, Isaiah 34:7 states, וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם וּפָרִים עִם-אַבִּירִים וְרִוְּתָה אַרְצָם מִדָּם וַעֲפָרָם מֵחֵלֶב יְדֻשָּׁן and the KJV translates “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 TgJ translates saying, ז וְיִתקַטלוּן גִיבָרִין עִמְהֹון וְשִלטֹונִין עִם טוּרנִין וְתִרוֵי אְרַעהֹון מִדַמהֹון וְעַפרְהֹון מִתַרבְהֹון יִדְהַן׃ 34:7 And the mighty men shall be slain with them, and the rulers, and the princes; and their land shall be drunken with their own blood; and their dust made fat with their own fat. (TgJ) here the unicorns, bullocks, and bulls are a description of the mighty men of the nation (Edom) where the their strong men, the rulers, princes, and people will be slain, and drunk with their own blood meaning that the nation is imploding and consuming itself with destruction. We note that while reading the Bible how many of the nations mentioned are nonexistent today. The reason is they brought the judgment of God upon themselves due to their unrepentant sins. Examples, Edom (Jeremiah 49:17–22), Assyria (Zephaniah 2:13–15), Sodom (Bereshit / Genesis 18:20), and Babylon (Jeremiah 51:1-64) were all wiped out, they don’t exist today! The reason was due to the evil they committed before the Lord. In addition, there are no Hittites (Shemot / Exodus 23:23), Moabites (Zephaniah 2:8–10), or Philistines (Zephaniah 2:5) due to their stubborn rebellion against the Lord. On the other hand, God blesses the nation that honors Him. The Torah reveals to us how the Lord God brought Israel up out of Egypt into the land flowing with milk and honey (Bamidbar / Numbers 14:8). The history of Israel reveals when they listened and obeyed, the Lord God provided for all of their needs and protected them from their enemies (Shemot / Exodus 23:25-26). Peace was also part of a faithful people (1 Kings 4:25, Tehillim / Psalm 29:11, Mishley / Proverbs 19:23). On the other hand, when the people followed wicked kings into idolatry and sexual immorality, the Lord God sent famines and pestilence upon the land (Ezekiel 5:17). These things reveal to us how God delights in causing His people to be prosperous (Tehillim / Psalms 25:12-13, Mishley / Proverbs 13:21) Note also that material wealth is not always proof of God’s blessing, since evil people also prosper, but the Lord God commands us to honor Him by keeping His word, and to live morally and in justice and truth. Remember how the Lord God created the earth for righteousness and truth and for fellowship with Him, which places the constraint for all people of faith to walk in righteousness, holiness, and truth! This means that the Torah has not passed away, and that the Torah is for all peoples! We note from the biblical narrative that when a nation turns away from the Lord God of Israel, it falls into homosexuality, unbridled lust, and idolatry all of which are part of God’s judgment on a nation that has turned away from Him. Look what we are seeing today in cultures around the world! Malachi 3:13-18 writes that God is watching and rewards those who love Him! The Lord will judge righteously, and we who are God’s people, our names are written in His book, the book of life! (Shemot / Exodus 32) We note how Midrash Tanchuma, based upon the Isaiah text, reveals what the Lord does to the nation who rejects Him.
Midrash Tanchuma, Bo 4:7
רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר: וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם (ישעיה לד, ז), וְיָרְדוּ עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה עִמָּם. בְּמִצְרַיִם, פָּרַע מֵאֱלִילֵיהֶם וְאַחַר כָּךְ פָּרַע מֵהֶם. וּבֶאֱדוֹם, פּוֹרֵעַ מִן הַשַּׂר שֶׁלָּהֶם תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד ה’ עַל צְבָא הַמָּרוֹם בַּמָרוֹם וְעַל מַלְכֵי הָאֲדָמָה עַל הָאֲדָמָה (ישעיה כד, כא).
R. Meir said: And the wild oxen descended with them (Isa. 34:7) implies that their idols were cast down with them. In Egypt He exacted retribution from their idols, and He also punished them in Edom. He destroyed their guardian angel, and after that He destroyed them, as it is said: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of the high heaven on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth (ibid. 4:21).
Here Midrash Tanchuma speaks of spiritual victory, the Lord God will cast down a nation along with their idols. Notice how it states that the Lord will destroy their guardian angel, and the proof is from Isaiah 4:21 the Lord will punish the host of heaven and the kings of the earth. We note how these things describe the spiritual forces which are at work in the nations and in the lives of wicked people. The presence of God leads to victory from the spiritual forces that desire to keep us in bondage to sin, pride, and selfishness. This is why the NT text speaks so much about repentance and confessing our sins and seeking the Lord God for the forgiveness of sins. These things cause us to walk in victory through obedience and humility before the Lord. Studying and learning in the Word of God (the Bible) also leads to victory since we learn what God expects of us which is why the Psalmist writes in Tehillim / Psalm 119:105 that God’s word is a lamp to our feet, because God’s word is a guide for us and helps us to know what path to walk upon in truth and righteousness. In addition to this, the Word of God is our defense, just as Yeshua in Matthew 4 sets the example, the Word of God defeats the evil one in the wilderness. Because of what Yeshua did on our behalf, we can walk in victory, because he conquered sin and death, and we have the power of God in us through his indwelling Spirit. This helps us to resist temptation and walk in victory, and the Lord God Almighty helps us to walk triumphantly which means we are able to live our lives according to His word. All of these things are the blessings of remaining in the Lord God Almighty, in His ways, and the nation that does these things will be secure in the Lord. For those who do not, Isaiah goes on according to the TgJ to say, ח אְרֵי יֹום פֹורעָנוּתָא קֳדָם יוי שְנַת תוּשלְמָא לְמַעְבַד פֹורעָנוּת דִין עוּלבָנַה דְצִיֹון׃ 34:8 For it is the day of vengeance before the presence of the Lord; the year of recompense, to take vengeance of judgment on account of the ignominy of Zion. ט וְיִתהַפכוּן נַחלַה דְרֹומֵי לִזפָא וְעַפרַה לְגוּפרֵיתָא וּתהֵי אַרעַה לִזפָא בָעְרָא׃ 34:9 And the rivers of Samaria shall be turned into pitch, and her dust into brimstone, and the land shall become burning pitch. (TgJ)
Midrash Tanchuma, Bo 4:4
וְכָל מַכּוֹת שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל הַמִּצְרִיִּים בְּמִצְרַיִם, הוּא עָתִיד לְהָבִיא עַל אֱדוֹם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כַּאֲשֶׁר שֵׁמַע לְמִצְרַיִם יָחִילוּ כְּשֵׁמַע צוֹר (ישעיה כג, ה). אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר: כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁכָּתוּב צוֹר מָלֵא, בְּצוֹר הַמְּדִינָה הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר. וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁכָּתוּב צֹר חָסֵר, בְּמַלְכוּת אֱדוֹם הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר, שֶׁהִיא מְצֵרָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. מִי שֶׁפָּרַע מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, יִפָּרַע מֵאֱדוֹם. בְּמִצְרַיִם, הִכָּה בְּדָם. בֶּאֱדוֹם, וְנָתַתִּי מוֹפְתִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ דָּם וָאֵשׁ וְגוֹ’, הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ יֵהָפֵךְ לְחֹשֶׁךְ וְהַיָּרֵחַ לְדָם (יואל ג, ג-ד). בְּמִצְרַיִם, צְפַרְדְּעִים, שֶׁהָיָה קוֹלָן קָשֶׁה. וּבֶאֱדוֹם, קוֹל שָׁאוֹן מֵעִיר קוֹל מֵהֵיכָל (ישעיה סו, ו). בְּמִצְרַיִם, כִּנִּים, וְהַךְ אֶת עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ. וּבֶאֱדוֹם, וְנֶהֶפְכוּ נְחָלֶיהָ לְזֶפֶת וַעֲפָרָהּ לְגָפְרִית (ישעיה לד, ט). בְּמִצְרַיִם, עָרוֹב. וּבֶאֱדוֹם וִירֵשׁוּהָ קָאַת וְקִפֹּד וְיַנְשׁוֹף וְעֹרֵב יִשְׁכְּנוּ בָהּ (ישעיה לד, יא). רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא אָמַר: חֹשֶׁךְ וַאֲפֵלָה שִׁמְּשׁוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם. אֲבָל תֹּהוּ וָבֹהוּ לֹא שִׁמְּשׁוּ בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְלֹא עֲתִידִין לְשַׁמֵּשׁ. וְהֵיכָן עֲתִידִין לְשַׁמֵּשׁ. בִּכְרָךְ גָּדוֹל שֶׁבְּקַפּוֹטְקְיָא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְנָטָה עָלֶיהָ קַו תֹּהוּ וְאַבְנֵי בֹהוּ (ישעיה לד, יא).
All the plagues that the Lord brought against the Egyptians in Egypt, He will bring against Edom (Rome), as it is said: When the report cometh to Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report of Tyre (Isa. 23:5). R. Eleazar said: Every time Scripture employs the complete spelling of the word Tyre, it refers to Egypt, but when the word Tyre (i.e., without the vav) is spelled defectively, it refers to Edom, which also oppressed Israel. The punishments visited upon the first nation will also be inflicted upon Edom. In the case of Egypt, He smote it with blood, and with reference to Edom, it is said: I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood (Joel 3:3). In Egypt the voices of frogs were harsh, while in Edom: Hark! an uproar from the city, hark! it cometh from the Temple (Isa. 66:6). Gnats came upon Egypt: And He smote the dust of the earth, and in Edom: And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and dust thereof into brimstone (Isa. 34:9). In Egypt there were swarms, and in Edom: The pelican and the bittern shall possess it, and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein (ibid., v. 11). R. Abba the son of Kahana said: Darkness and thick darkness were used as divine agents in Egypt, but void and waste never were and never will be used. When will they be used? Against a great city in Cappadocia, as it is said: And He shall stretch over it the line of confusion, and the plummet of emptiness (ibid.).
Midrash Tanchuma interprets Isaiah’s words to be that the Lord God will bring against Edom all of the plagues of Egypt. The Midrash mentions blood, frogs, gnats, and swarms in relation to the plagues of Egypt and Edom. The swarms are paralleled to the pelican and the bittern in Isaiah 34:11. These animals are paralleled to the land which is laid waste and barren.
The bittern is a solitary bird and seeks its food in desolate places and so the bird is looked upon as an unlucky bird. The pelican is a kind of bird that occupies the cliffs by the sea, feeds on fish, and is extremely voracious, and is the emblem of a glutton. It is not certain why pelican is used here but the word denotes a water-fowl and to a bird that inhabits desolate places. These things describe the desolation of the land of Edom, the beast of the field and the fowl of the air will inhabit these places due to the people being driven from the land and/or killed due to their sins.
Isaiah goes on saying according to the TgJ, י לֵילֵי וְיִימָם לָא תִטפֵי לְעָלַם יִסַק תַנְנַה מִדָר לְדָר תִחרוּב לְעָלַם עָלְמַיָא לֵית דְעָדֵי בַה׃ 34:10 By night and by day it shall not be extinguished; her smoke shall ascend for ever: from generation to generation she shall lie waste; none shall pass through her to everlasting ages. יא וְיַחסְנוּנַה קָתִין וְקֻפדִין וְקִפוּפִין וְעֹורְבִין יִשרֹון בַה וְיִתנְגִיד עְלַה חוּט דְחָרבָנָא וּמַשקוּלתָא דְצַדיוּתָא׃ 34:11 The pelican and the porcupine shall inherit her, and the owls and the ravens shall dwell in her: and the line of devastation shall be extended over her, and the plummet of desolation. יב דַהְוֹו אָמְרִין בְנֵי חֹורִין אְנַחנָא לָא צָבַן לְקַבָלָא עְלֵיהֹון מַלכוּ וְכָל רַברְבַהָא יְהֹון לְלָמָא׃34:12 They said, we are the sons of free men, and they were not willing to accept over them a kingly government; and all her princes shall come to nothing. (TgJ) Note the language here the everlasting state of destruction that is due to unrepentant sin according to Isaiah 34:10. The inheritance of the pelican and the porcupine, owls and ravens are a reference to the places of desolation where man has been driven from the land. The whole point was due to men not wanting a righteous king, because of lust for power and sin, these things led them to the utter destruction of entire nations. The Talmud Bavli writes the following concerning these things.
Talmud Bavli Moed Katan 25b:2
When they reached Tiberias a certain child opened his eulogy saying as follows: The shoot of an ancient line, i.e., Rabba bar Rav Huna, who was the descendant of great people, has ascended from Babylonia, and with him is the book of wars, i.e., Rav Hamnuna, who was great in Torah, which is referred to as the book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14). The curses of the pelican and the bittern, which are symbols of the destruction of the Temple (Isaiah 34:11), have been doubled, to see the ruin and brokenness that has come from Shinar, i.e., Babylonia. The Lord became angry with His world and seized souls from it, and He rejoices over them when they come to Him like a new bride. God who rides upon the clouds is joyous and happy when an innocent and righteous soul comes to Him.
Here the Talmud describes the pelican and the bittern are symbols of the destruction of the Temple, ruin and brokenness that come from Babylon, and so the rabbis conclude that because of sin in this world the Lord God seizes souls. Notice how the doors to repentance are always open, from the sense that the Lord God rejoices over those who come to him in repentance like a new bride. We note that the rabbis speak of the innocent and righteous soul that comes to Him. In terms of repentance, the one who repents is not innocent or righteous, but he or she is looking for the righteousness of God, seeking the God of Israel and His holy and righteous ways. This is the most significant point of repentance, having the proper kavanah (intention) to recognize and realize the error of one’s ways. Rashi describes these things in the following way according to His c commentary.
Rashi on Isaiah 34:11 Parts 1-3
וקפוד. עוף הפורח בלילה צואיט”א בלע”ז:
owl (קִפֹּד) a bird that flies at night (chouette in French), an owl.
קו תהו. משפט של שממה:
a line of waste A judgment of desolation.
ואבני בהו. משקלות של דין חורבן כמו (דברים כה) אבן שלמה:
and weights of destruction Weights of the judgment of destruction. (אַבְנֵי, lit., stones.) Comp. (Deut. 25:15) “a whole weight (אֶבֶן).” 34:12
חוריה ואין שם מלוכה יקראו. שרים שלה עומדים ואין אחד מהם קורא על עצמו שם שררה ומלוכה:
As for its nobles, there are none who proclaim the kingdom Its princes stand, and none of them calls upon himself the name of ruling and kingdom.
Rashi draws out some interesting points. He connects the owl to a bird that flies at night. We note a few passages John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ” (KJV) and 1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. (KJV) and there are many more verses that speak of light and darkness and how sinners love darkness. The purpose of Isaiah’s including the owl may be related to men who love sin and darkness to hide their sins. The outcome of this kind of lifestyle is a judgment of desolation and the weightiness of destruction. Rashi concludes with the nobles, referencing the leaders, not proclaiming the kingdom. This is a reference to the kingdom of God. We note something about the kingdom of God, as His servants, and being in a relationship with Him, we are called to live in righteousness and holiness. The righteousness of God has always been received by grace through faith (Bereshit / Genesis 15:6, Habakkuk 2:4, Ephesians 2:8-9) and never by works or human efforts (Romans 3:28). We note that the order of these things, grace leads to faith which leads to obedience. There is a specific purpose for this particular order, and that is so that we have the proper kavanah (intention). We live our lives because of God’s mercy, because of His love, and because of our desire to draw near to Him according to His word, and most importantly to bear the testimony of God for the purpose of proclaiming the kingdom! When Yeshua said that the kingdom of God has come near (Mattthew 3:2), he meant that God was coming to rule over all things. We see this in the Lord’s Prayer, for example, when Yeshua taught us to pray he said, “Thy kingdom come. They will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What this suggests to us is that God’s kingdom is God’s will being done, whether in heaven or on earth in our lives. Here Yeshua proclaimed the kingdom of God as something that was coming in the future and as something that was also a present-day reality. This is a bit perplexing, the “already and not yet” language provides us with the present-day power of God in our lives and the future expectation or redemption. So, the idea is that when one has faith and humbles his or herself to obey God’s word, the one who chooses to follow in the footsteps of the Messiah begins to experience God’s reign right away. Yet this experience was incomplete. The fulness of the kingdom of God was yet to come. So this sets us upon the path of righteousness and holiness that is laid down for us according to God’s word. This path of proclaiming the kingdom of God is a lifelong one that follows on through to eternity. When mankind turns away from these things, this is when destruction comes and is what we are seeing Isaiah warning us of with the evidence of these nations today being utterly destroyed and almost forgotten!