When People are Delivered Over to the Slaughter, ישעיהו לד:א-ו / Isaiah 34:1-6

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Isaiah 34:1-6

Isaiah chapter 34 continues with the narrative of the productive land becoming dry (Isaiah 34) and the dry desert land becoming productive (Isaiah 35). The point is that when one turns from the Lord one’s life becomes empty and dry, whereas the one who turns to the Lord goes from dry and empty to productive and filled with fruit. The proud and the arrogant are unable to stand before God. We are called to trust in the Lord and not in self. We are called to abandon the ways of the world with its temptations and choose the way of God and to wait upon Him. When we do this we essentially give of ourselves and our lives to the Lord. The idea that is being drawn out from Isaiah 34-35 is that when we trust in the Lord we become a fruitful people, whereas if we do not trust in the Lord, we become a dry and unfruitful people. John Oswalt states the following in his commentary:

“At least since the time of Ewald, some have said that ch. 34 was dependent upon Jeremiah (see esp. Jer. 46:10; 49:7–16; 50:35–38; 51:43). Furthermore, a scholar as essentially conservative as Delitzsch recognized that the language of the two chapters showed more affinity with chs. 40–66 than with 1–39. Finally, C. C. Torrey proposed that the two chapters had originally formed the introduction to chs. 40–66. While this view has not gained absolute acceptance, it still has currency (cf. Wildberger). Others suggest even later dates.6 The fact that 1QIsa shows a gap between chs. 33 and 34 has occasioned the suggestion that the final redaction of Isaiah appeared in two volumes, roughly parallel in structure, and that chs. 34 and 35 form the introduction to the second volume in a way similar to the way chs. 1–5 introduce the first volume. However, as E. J. Young pointed out, a case may be made for the dependence of Jeremiah upon Isaiah. If this were to be correct, then the demonstrations of affinity between the language of chs. 34 and 35 and that of 40–66 would have far-reaching effects, indeed.”

The interesting thing is that the commentaries tend to consistently cast doubt on the inspiration of Isaiah. Scholars continue to cast doubt on the authorship and time in which Isaiah was written because of the great accuracy of Isaiah’s prophecy. When one casts doubt, isn’t this the same thing that Isaiah is speaking of, not trusting in the power of God to give Isaiah the prophetic word? The people in Isaiah’s day also doubted and trusted in their own intellect as opposed to trusting in the Word of God. The concept that Isaiah is making here in Isaiah 34 is regarding sacrifice, reminding us of the importance of sacrifice, and without sacrifice the sinner himself becomes the sacrifice to bear the consequences of his or her own sins. This is what Paul wrote in Romans 1:18–19 saying, 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (KJV) These words draw us back to the Torah according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 28 and the Lord God doing something in one’s life to point out the error of one’s ways. Here Paul is writing about the same thing that Isaiah is saying, if we are unrepentant and do not seek the God of Israel through faith in Yeshua the Messiah, we become the demonstration of God’s word in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28. Sacrifice is a necessary component for the forgiveness of sins. Notice how we sacrifice our will to submit our lives to God and His Word. All of these concepts are what Paul wrote in Romans 5:5-10.

Romans 5:5–10  
5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV 5 ἡ δὲ ἐλπὶς οὐ καταισχύνει, ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐκκέχυται ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου τοῦ δοθέντος ἡμῖν*. 6 ⸂Ἔτι γὰρ⸃ Χριστὸς ὄντων ἡμῶν ἀσθενῶν °ἔτι κατὰ καιρὸν ὑπὲρ ἀσεβῶν ἀπέθανεν*. 7 ⸀μόλις γὰρ ὑπὲρ δικαίου τις ἀποθανεῖται· ὑπὲρ γὰρ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ τάχα τις καὶ τολμᾷ ἀποθανεῖν·* 8 συνίστησιν δὲ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀγάπην ⸂εἰς ἡμᾶς ὁ θεός⸃*, ὅτι ⸆ ἔτι ἁμαρτωλῶν ὄντων ἡμῶν Χριστὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀπέθανεν*. 9 πολλῷ °οὖν μᾶλλον δικαιωθέντες νῦν ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ σωθησόμεθα διʼ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς*. 10 εἰ γὰρ ἐχθροὶ* ὄντες κατηλλάγημεν τῷ θεῷ διὰ τοῦ θανάτου τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ*, πολλῷ μᾶλλον καταλλαγέντες σωθησόμεθα ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ·*)

Paul speaks to the love and mercy of God, which led to the Messiah being given and laying down His life on our behalf so that by His blood we will be saved from the wrath of God. Paul’s argument is that even while we were enemies of God, the Lord God loved us and reconciled us to Himself through the Messiah. The purpose was to demonstrate that the mercy and grace of God leads to our recognizing these things (the error of our ways) which led to repentance and obedience. We note Isaiah states, if one remains unrepentant, then the land and its inhabitants will be nothing but a dry wasteland. The outcome of pride and arrogance is death and destruction! Unrepentance is as rebellion to God, and not trusting in the Lord according to His Word is as living in a desert wasteland always starving and always thirsting. This is the depiction of utter desolation, uninhabitable, no life, and only death and destruction.

Isaiah begins saying the following according to Isaiah 34:1-2. 

ספר ישעיה פרק לד
 א   קִרְבוּ גוֹיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ וּלְאֻמִּים הַקְשִׁיבוּ תִּשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ וּמְלֹאָהּ תֵּבֵל וְכָל-צֶאֱצָאֶיהָ: ב   כִּי קֶצֶף לַיהֹוָה עַל-כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם וְחֵמָה עַל-כָּל-צְבָאָם הֶחֱרִימָם נְתָנָם לַטָּבַח: 

Isaiah 34:1 states, “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people, let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. (קִרְבוּ גוֹיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ וּלְאֻמִּים הַקְשִׁיבוּ תִּשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ וּמְלֹאָהּ תֵּבֵל וְכָל-צֶאֱצָאֶיהָ)” Isaiah 34:2 “For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies, he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. (כִּי קֶצֶף לַיהֹוָה עַל-כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם וְחֵמָה עַל-כָּל-צְבָאָם הֶחֱרִימָם נְתָנָם לַטָּבַח)” Here Isaiah calls to the nations קִרְבוּ גוֹיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ “come near to hear” the judgment of God due to their sins. This draws us back to the Torah context when Adam chose to eat of the tree that God had forbidden him to eat from.

ספר בראשית פרק ג
יז   וּלְאָדָם אָמַר כִּי שָׁמַעְתָּ לְקוֹל אִשְׁתֶּךָ וַתֹּאכַל מִן-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ אֲרוּרָה הָאֲדָמָה בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ בְּעִצָּבוֹן תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ: יח   וְקוֹץ וְדַרְדַּר תַּצְמִיחַ לָךְ וְאָכַלְתָּ אֶת-עֵשֶֹב הַשָּׂדֶה: יט   בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל-הָאֲדָמָה כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ כִּי-עָפָר אַתָּה וְאֶל-עָפָר תָּשׁוּב: 

Bereshit / Genesis 3:17–19  
3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (KJV)

We note the outcome of disobeying God, that the land, the earth was cursed, and how from this point on in life everything comes by much effort. Here is the pronouncement that from dust were we made and to dust we will return, the Lord God stating how sin leads to death and disorder. From a chemistry and biological perspective, the base elements are arranged and organized in such a way to facilitate life. Sin leads to disorder and return to the unorganized base elements which is described as וְאֶל-עָפָר תָּשׁוּב “and to dust you will return.” The reason this happens is because God is the author of life, and failure to trust in Him leads to life itself descending into chaos! The reason being everything is under a curse according to the Torah. This is where servanthood enters into the picture, as an abandonment of self, pride, and arrogance, and realizing that in the Lord God alone we are to place our trust and hope! The text comparison of Isaiah 34:1-2 shows the following:

The LXX translates saying, 1 Προσαγάγετε, ἔθνη, καὶ ἀκούσατε, ἄρχοντες, ἀκουσάτω ἡ γῆ καὶ οἱ ἐν αὐτῇ, ἡ οἰκουμένη καὶ ὁ λαὸς ὁ ἐν αὐτῇ. 2 διότι θυμὸς κυρίου ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη καὶ ὀργὴ ἐπὶ τὸν ἀριθμὸν αὐτῶν τοῦ ἀπολέσαι αὐτοὺς καὶ παραδοῦναι αὐτοὺς εἰς σφαγήν. 1 Draw near, nations, and listen, rulers! The land and those in it should hear, the inhabited world and the people in it. 2 Because the Lord’s wrath is against all the nations, and his anger against their number, to destroy them and to give them over for slaughter. (LES) The TgJ writes, אִתקָרַבוּ עַמְמַיָא לְמִשמַע וּמַלכְוָתָא אַצִיתָא תִשמַע אַרעָא וּמלָאַה תֵבֵל וְכָל דְדָיְרִין בַה׃ אְרֵי רְגַז מִן ק׳ יוי עַל כָל עַמְמַיָא וְקַטלָא עַל כָל מַשרְיָתְהֹון חַיֵיבִנוּן מְסַרִנוּן לְקַטלָא׃ 1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye kingdoms: let the earth hear, and the world’s fullness, and all that dwell in her. 2 For the wrath from before the presence of the Lord is upon all the nations, and slaughter upon all their hosts: He hath condemned them and delivered them over to the slaughter. (TgJ) Here it is clear the call to the nations to listen is to hear the pronouncement of divine wrath due to sin. The people are delivered over to the slaughter because they have rejected the truth. This reminds us of when Israel entered into the Promised Land, to utterly destroy the people and their forms of worship. The reason is that the Land belongs to the Lord, and the Land would be forfeited if the people turn to worship God the way the nations serve their gods. This announcement to the nations is prophetic, that has both past, present, and future implications, warning of the wrath that will come due to unrepentant sin. We belong to God, all of creation belongs to God, and we are called to surrender our lives to Him and walk in His ways! If we choose to not do this, then the outcome is to drink of the wrath of God against those who refuse to accept His Lordship!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 34:3-4.

ספר ישעיה פרק לד
ג   וְחַלְלֵיהֶם יֻשְׁלָכוּ וּפִגְרֵיהֶם יַעֲלֶה בָאְשָׁם וְנָמַסּוּ הָרִים מִדָּמָם: ד   וְנָמַקּוּ כָּל-צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנָגֹלּוּ כַסֵּפֶר הַשָּׁמָיִם וְכָל-צְבָאָם יִבּוֹל כִּנְבֹל עָלֶה מִגֶּפֶן וּכְנֹבֶלֶת מִתְּאֵנָה: 

Isaiah 34:3 states, “Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. (וְחַלְלֵיהֶם יֻשְׁלָכוּ וּפִגְרֵיהֶם יַעֲלֶה בָאְשָׁם וְנָמַסּוּ הָרִים מִדָּמָם)” Isaiah 34:4 “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. (וְנָמַקּוּ כָּל-צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנָגֹלּוּ כַסֵּפֶר הַשָּׁמָיִם וְכָל-צְבָאָם יִבּוֹל כִּנְבֹל עָלֶה מִגֶּפֶן וּכְנֹבֶלֶת מִתְּאֵנָה)” The idea of the the slain being cast out, death, carcases, and their blood melting the mountains speaks of defeat, slaughter, and the dead bodies being exposed for a long time (stink, בָאְשָׁם). In the ancient world this was something the people were exposed to during times of war or invasion, the invading armies would crucify people and leave their bodies to hang. For example, the Mongols when they invaded countries would decapitate people and pile their heads outside of the cities. This caused great fear due to a terrible indignity of war and terror which leads to what we see here Isaiah is saying concerning the stink of their bodies. This reminds us of the eschatological prophecy in the book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 39:7–12  
39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 39:10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog. 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. (KJV ז   וְאֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי אוֹדִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ עַמִּי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְלֹא-אַחֵל אֶת-שֵׁם-קָדְשִׁי עוֹד וְיָדְעוּ הַגּוֹיִם כִּי-אֲנִי יְהֹוָה קָדוֹשׁ בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל: ח   הִנֵּה בָאָה וְנִהְיָתָה נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה הוּא הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי: ט   וְיָצְאוּ יֹשְׁבֵי | עָרֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וּבִעֲרוּ וְהִשִּׂיקוּ בְּנֶשֶׁק וּמָגֵן וְצִנָּה בְּקֶשֶׁת וּבְחִצִּים וּבְמַקֵּל יָד וּבְרֹמַח וּבִעֲרוּ בָהֶם אֵשׁ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים: י   וְלֹא-יִשְֹאוּ עֵצִים מִן-הַשָּׂדֶה וְלֹא יַחְטְבוּ מִן-הַיְּעָרִים כִּי בַנֶּשֶׁק יְבַעֲרוּ-אֵשׁ וְשָׁלְלוּ אֶת-שֹׁלְלֵיהֶם וּבָזְזוּ אֶת-בֹּזְזֵיהֶם נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה:       יא   וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶתֵּן לְגוֹג | מְקוֹם-שָׁם קֶבֶר בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל גֵּי הָעֹבְרִים קִדְמַת הַיָּם וְחֹסֶמֶת הִיא אֶת-הָעֹבְרִים וְקָבְרוּ שָׁם אֶת-גּוֹג וְאֶת-כָּל-הֲמוֹנֹה [הֲמוֹנוֹ] וְקָרְאוּ גֵּיא הֲמוֹן גּוֹג: יב   וּקְבָרוּם בֵּית יִשְֹרָאֵל לְמַעַן טַהֵר אֶת-הָאָרֶץ שִׁבְעָה חֳדָשִׁים: )

We note here what it means to pollute the land, LGBTQ ideaologies, openly practicing the abominations of the nations in the land, and being totally given over to confusion in life, gender, and liberal ideologies. The Lord God says that He will make His name known, this is a revelation of God to the people. The revelation of God’s Name leads to putting down the weapons of war, and destroying the way of war indicated by the burning of the weapons. Ezekiel says that there will be such a slaughter, so much dead that it will take seven months to accomplish the burying of the dead, and they do this to cleanse the land. The mountains dissolving (Isaiah 34:3) may be related to the rivers of blood eroding the mountains, figuratively speaking again of the great slaughter. We note the eschatological nature of these verses according to Isaiah 34:4 which states the heaven melting away, being rolled up like a scroll, and the host of heaven falling down. When men try to attain fame and stature in this world outside of God’s leading, there is ultimately the opposite effect, the bringing low and humbling. Here the host of heaven is not a reference to just the physical stars but also to the pantheon of gods which the nations worshiped. So this means that God will judge not just the nations, but their gods as well shall fall! We note what Yeshua said concerning these things and what we read from John in the book of Revelation:

Mark 13:24–27  
13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (KJV 13:24 Ἀλλʼ ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν ἐκείνην ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς, 13:25 καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες ἔσονται ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντες, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς σαλευθήσονται. 13:26 καὶ τότε ὄψονται τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλαις μετὰ δυνάμεως πολλῆς καὶ δόξης. 13:27 καὶ τότε ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους καὶ ἐπισυνάξει τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς [αὐτοῦ] ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων ἀπʼ ἄκρου γῆς ἕως ἄκρου οὐρανοῦ.)

Matthew 24:29–31  
24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (KJV 24:29 Εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται, καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς, καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται. 24:30 καὶ τότε φανήσεται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ τότε κόψονται πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ὄψονται τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ μετὰ δυνάμεως καὶ δόξης πολλῆς· 24:31 καὶ ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ μετὰ σάλπιγγος μεγάλης, καὶ ἐπισυνάξουσιν τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων ἀπʼ ἄκρων οὐρανῶν ἕως [τῶν] ἄκρων αὐτῶν.)

Revelation 6:12–14  
6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (KJV 6:12 Καὶ εἶδον ὅτε ἤνοιξεν τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν ἕκτην, καὶ σεισμὸς μέγας ἐγένετο καὶ ὁ ἥλιος ἐγένετο μέλας ὡς σάκκος τρίχινος καὶ ἡ σελήνη ὅλη ἐγένετο ὡς αἷμα 6:13 καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἔπεσαν εἰς τὴν γῆν, ὡς συκῆ βάλλει τοὺς ὀλύνθους αὐτῆς ὑπὸ ἀνέμου μεγάλου σειομένη, 6:14 καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς ἀπεχωρίσθη ὡς βιβλίον ἑλισσόμενον καὶ πᾶν ὄρος καὶ νῆσος ἐκ τῶν τόπων αὐτῶν ἐκινήθησαν.)

Here Yeshua speaks of the time of His return, and the Rapture of the believers. Notice the same language here, the stars falling, the powers in heaven being shaken, the sign of the son of man (the revelation of God) and the angels being sent to gather His people. Note the parallel to Isaiah 34:3-4. This is consistent with what we read in the book of Revelation 6:12-14 too. This is the timing of the Rapture, it is not a pre-tribulation event. In addition, when we look at these Scriptures specifically examining Revelation 6-7, it reveals that there is a difference between “tribulation” and “wrath.” God never promises to take us out of tribulation. We are preserved from His wrath, there are numerous examples of this, such as Noah and his family, etc. The stars falling is a clear indication of the judgment of God on the heavenly powers, the demon gods that were worshiped by the nations. The point is that the stars are unchanging, they appear to be rigid and perpetual in their positions in heaven, and yet they too are at the mercy of God and are in God’s hands! 

Isaiah continues saying the following according to Isaiah 34:5-6.

ספר ישעיה פרק לד
ה   כִּי-רִוְּתָה בַשָּׁמַיִם חַרְבִּי הִנֵּה עַל-אֱדוֹם תֵּרֵד וְעַל-עַם חֶרְמִי לְמִשְׁפָּט: ו   חֶרֶב לַיהֹוָה מָלְאָה דָם הֻדַּשְׁנָה מֵחֵלֶב מִדַּם כָּרִים וְעַתּוּדִים מֵחֵלֶב כִּלְיוֹת אֵילִים כִּי זֶבַח לַיהֹוָה בְּבָצְרָה וְטֶבַח גָּדוֹל בְּאֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם:

Isaiah 34:5 states, “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven, behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. (כִּי-רִוְּתָה בַשָּׁמַיִם חַרְבִּי הִנֵּה עַל-אֱדוֹם תֵּרֵד וְעַל-עַם חֶרְמִי לְמִשְׁפָּט)” Isaiah 34:6 “The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams, for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. (חֶרֶב לַיהֹוָה מָלְאָה דָם הֻדַּשְׁנָה מֵחֵלֶב מִדַּם כָּרִים וְעַתּוּדִים מֵחֵלֶב כִּלְיוֹת אֵילִים כִּי זֶבַח לַיהֹוָה בְּבָצְרָה וְטֶבַח גָּדוֹל בְּאֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם)” Here the phrase כִּי-רִוְּתָה בַשָּׁמַיִם חַרְבִּי means “for my sword is saturated in heaven” where the word רִוְּתָה means saturated and the kjv translates as “bathed.” Idumea is אֱדוֹם (Edom), why the kjv translates in english “Idumea” is due to the Greek translation. 

IDUMEA (Ἰδουμαια, Idoumaia). Also known as Idumaea. The Greek name for a territory located south of Judaea during the Second Temple period, in the same general area as the ancient land of Edom. Homeland of Herod the Great. Referenced once in the New Testament (Mark 3:8). Played an important role in the military conflicts of the Second Temple period.

Here the Masoretic Text writes אֱדוֹם (Edom) and the geographical location is southern part of Israel and part of the kingdom of Edom. Here the text speaks of the sword being filled or saturated with blood in heaven and this sword coming down upon this regional area Idumea for the sake of saving the people of God. Notice Isaiah 34:6 provides context of what it means that the sword is filled or saturated with blood, this is a reference to the temple sacrifices. This means that the people are acting faithfully to the covenant of God according to the Torah and bringing the sacrifices as a testimony to Moshe and to their faith in the God of Israel. Isaiah 34:6 also speaks of the city Bozrah. 

BOZRAH, IN EDOM (בצרה, btsrh). The capital city of Edom from approximately 800–582 bc. Bozrah was located in the sandstone hills approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of the Dead Sea in the heart of what was once the territory of Edom. Now a tell situated in the modern village of Buseirah in Jordan, ancient Bozrah was a microcosm of the larger Edomite territory—representing the inaccessibility of the area due to rugged sandstone hills, sheer walls, and ravines. Bozrah was protected by steep ravines on three sides, and it was this naturally guarded position that probably contributed to its name, which in Hebrew means “inaccessible” or “enclosed” (from the Hebrew word בצר, btsr). In the introduction to its indictment against Edom, the book of Obadiah notes that the Edomites lived “in the clefts of the rock” and had their dwelling “in the heights,” and thus could say in their hearts, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” (Obad 3 NRSV; compare Jer 49:16). The prophet may have had the city of Bozrah in mind. Bozrah was situated 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) west of the international trade route between Mesopotamia and Egypt—the King’s Highway (Num 20:17; 21:22). This route ran the length of ancient Transjordan.

We note the capital city of Edom is Bozrah, and so this is consistent with how the Masoretic text has written אֱדוֹם (Edom). We note Isaiah says, חֶרֶב לַיהֹוָה מָלְאָה דָם הֻדַּשְׁנָה מֵחֵלֶב מִדַּם כָּרִים וְעַתּוּדִים מֵחֵלֶב כִּלְיוֹת אֵילִים כִּי זֶבַח לַיהֹוָה בְּבָצְרָה וְטֶבַח גָּדוֹל בְּאֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם “The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams, for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.” Here Isaiah says that the battle and slaughter of the land of Idumea is considered a sacrifice in Bozrah. It is interesting that when one does not have a means for making atonement for sin, that a person himself becomes the sacrifice losing his or her life. This is an important concept because it is a testimony to the concept of sin and redemption, the importance of redemption and who the God of Israel is, a holy, righteous, and just God! The text comparison LXX and Targum translations reveal the following:

The LXX translates saying, 5 ἐμεθύσθη ἡ μάχαιρά μου ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ἰδοὺ ἐπὶ τὴν Ιδουμαίαν καταβήσεται καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν λαὸν τῆς ἀπωλείας μετὰ κρίσεως. 6 ἡ μάχαιρα κυρίου ἐνεπλήσθη αἵματος, ἐπαχύνθη ἀπὸ στέατος ἀρνῶν καὶ ἀπὸ στέατος τράγων καὶ κριῶν, ὅτι θυσία κυρίῳ ἐν Βοσορ καὶ σφαγὴ μεγάλη ἐν τῇ Ιδουμαίᾳ. 5 My sword has been made drunk in the heavens. Look, it will come down upon Edom and upon the people of destruction with judgment. 6 The sword of the Lord has been filled with blood; it has been glutted with fat, with the blood of male goats and lambs and the fat of goats and rams, because there is a sacrifice to the Lord in Bezer and a great slaughter in Edom. (LES) The TgJ translates saying, אְרֵי תִתגְלֵי בִשמַיָא חַרבִי הָא עַל אְדֹום תִתגְלֵי וְעַל עַמָא דְחַיֵיבִית לְדִינָא׃ חַרבָא מִן קֳדָם יוי אִתמְלִיאַת דַם אִידְהַנַת מִתְרַב מִדַם מַלכִין וְשִלטֹונִין מִתְרַב כֹוליָת רַברְבִין אְרֵי שִגוּש קַטלָא קֳדָם יוי בְבָצרָה וְנִכסָא סַגִיאָה בְאַרעָא דַאְדֹום׃ 5 Because my sword is revealed in heaven; behold, it shall be uncovered upon Edom, and upon the people which I have condemned to judgment. 6 The sword before the presence of the Lord is filled with blood, it is fattened, it is fattened with the blood of kings and rulers, it is fattened with the kidneys of princes; because there is a slaughter before the Lord in Bozrah, and a great sacrifice in the land of Edom. (TgJ) Here the LXX and the Targum translations say essentially the same thing as the Masoretic text.  The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016) in Idumea has the following to say: 

Geography and Demographics
Idumea was a territory south of Judaea during the Second Temple period. After the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon in 586 BC, Edomites increasingly migrated into the area that had formerly been part of southern Judah. Over time it became home to various people groups, including Edomites (Strabo, Geography 16.2.34), Jews (Mark 3:8; Josephus, Jewish War 2.43), Sidonians, and Nabateans (Strabo, Geography 16.2.2). These inhabitants were mainly farmers and tradesmen (Strabo, Geography 16.2.34; 16.2.2).

Idumea extended from the southern part of the Judaean hill country to the north part of the Negev. Its northern border went between Beth-Zur and Alouros, and its southern border reached up to the Arad-Malatha-Beersheba-Aroer line (Gichon, Idumaea, 27–42). It was bordered by the Judaean desert and the Dead Sea to the east and the provinces of various port cities (Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod) to the west.

Political Affiliations
Idumea was incorporated into various administrative systems during its existence, including those of the Hasmoneans and the Romans. It was considered a toparchy during the Roman period (Jewish War 3.54–55). A governor was appointed as the region’s administrative head during the Seleucid, Hasmonean, and Roman periods (2 Macc 12:32; Josephus, Antiquities 15.254; Jewish War 2.566). After Herodian governorship ceased, Idumea was split into smaller administrative units consisting of Upper (or Greater) Idumea and East Idumea (Jewish War 4.511, 552).

Political History
Idumea played an important role during the Second Temple period both as a military power and as the homeland of important historical and biblical figures. During the first military dispute with the Seleucid Empire (165 BC), Judas Maccabeus defeated Gorgias in battle and drove parts of his army to the borders of Idumea (1 Macc 4:15; 2 Macc 10:15–17; Antiquities 12.308). After Gorgias’ defeat, Lysias attacked the Hasmoneans from Idumea, but Judas defeated him at Beth-Zur (1 Macc 4:29; 2 Macc 11:5–12; Antiquities 12.313). Shortly after Lysias’ defeat, Judas continued attacking the Idumeans (1 Macc 5:3; Antiquities 12.328) and took Hebron, Marisa, and Azotus—plundering their goods (1 Macc 5:65; Antiquities 12.353). The Seleucids continued attacking the Hasmoneans from Idumea under Lysias (1 Macc 6:31, 50; Antiquities 12.367) and later Tryphon (1 Macc 13:20; Antiquities 13.207). After John Hyrcanus conquered Idumea in 129 BC, he forced all non-Jewish inhabitants to be circumcised (1 Macc 4:36–59; 2 Macc 10:1–8; Antiquities 13.257).

The Hasmonean Dynasty
Eventually, the Hasmonean dynasty gained control over Idumea (Antiquities 13.395). Alexander Jannaeus appointed Antipater as governor; his son, also Antipater, governed after him (Antiquities 14.8). Antipater supported Hyrcanus II against his brother Aristobulus II for control of the greater Judaean area. According to Josephus, this conflict led to the Roman general Pompey’s reorganization of the Jewish state (Antiquities 14.77–79), which placed Idumea (except the city of Marisa) in the Roman province of Syria, under the dominion of a Roman governor (Antiquities 14.74–76; Jewish War 1.156).

Herod the Great
In 39 BC, the Roman senate appointed Herod the Great (the son of Antipater) as king of Judaea (Jewish War 1.282). As Herod the Great’s homeland, Idumea formed the foundation for his power base (Schalit, König Herodes, 87–91, 142–45, 200–19). Shortly after becoming king, Herod secured Idumea by dismissing Roman troops to their winter quarters (which were in Idumea) and by stationing his brother, Joseph, in Idumea along with 2,400 soldiers (Antiquities 14.411–413; Jewish War 1.302–303). Herod appointed Costobarus as governor of Idumea and gave his sister, Salome, in marriage to him (Antiquities 15.253–255). He also stationed 3,000 Idumean troops in Trachonitis in response to an uprising in the area (Antiquities 16.285, 292). When Herod’s kingdom was divided, Idumea was placed under the control of the ethnarch Archelaus (Antiquities 17.319; Jewish War 2.93–98). The city belonged to the kingdom of Agrippa I from AD 41–44 (Antiquities 19.275; Jewish War 2.215), but from AD 6–41 and after AD 44, Idumea was in the Roman administrative system as a toparchy of Judaea (Jewish War 3.55).

First Jewish Revolt
Idumea did not fare well during the first Jewish revolt against Rome. Early on, the rebels in the area appointed their own commanders over Idumea (Jewish War 2.566). John of Gischala attempted to use Idumean troops to gain an advantage over other rebel factions during the revolt (Jewish War 4.224). Vespasian, while subjugating the uprising, stationed his army in Idumea and devastated it—killing, imprisoning, or expelling its inhabitants (Jewish War 4.447–48). Simon Bar Giora’s group also went into Idumea, plundered it, and forced some of its inhabitants to flee to Jerusalem (Jewish War 4.511–37, 556, 557; 5.248–49). During the siege of Jerusalem, the Idumeans sent five delegates to Titus to defect to the Roman side. Titus offered them protection from Roman forces, but Simon Bar Giora, discovering their actions, had the delegates either executed or imprisoned (Jewish War 6.378–81). Idumea ceases to appear in contemporary records shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem.

Rabbinic Commentary

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:א-ו
א  אִתקָרַבוּ עַמְמַיָא לְמִשמַע וּמַלכְוָתָא אַצִיתָא תִשמַע אַרעָא וּמלָאַה תֵבֵל וְכָל דְדָיְרִין בַה׃ ב   אְרֵי רְגַז מִן ק׳ יוי עַל כָל עַמְמַיָא וְקַטלָא עַל כָל מַשרְיָתְהֹון חַיֵיבִנוּן מְסַרִנוּן לְקַטלָא׃ ג   וּקטִילֵיהֹון יִתרְמֹון וּפִגרֵיהֹון יִסַק תַננְהֹון וְיִתמְסֹון טוּרַיָא מִדַמהֹון׃ ד   וְיִתמְסֹון מְשַחבֵיב כָל חֵילֵי שְמַיָא וְיִתמְחֹון מִתְחֹות שְמַיָא כְמָא דַאְמִיר עְלֵיהֹון בְסִפרָא וְכָל מַשרְיָתְהֹון יְסוּפָן כְמִיתַר טְרַף מִיגְפַן וּכנָבְלָא מִיתֵינָא׃ ה   אְרֵי תִתגְלֵי בִשמַיָא חַרבִי הָא עַל אְדֹום תִתגְלֵי וְעַל עַמָא דְחַיֵיבִית לְדִינָא׃ ו   חַרבָא מִן קֳדָם יוי אִתמְלִיאַת דַם אִידְהַנַת מִתְרַב מִדַם מַלכִין וְשִלטֹונִין מִתְרַב כֹוליָת רַברְבִין אְרֵי שִגוּש קַטלָא קֳדָם יוי בְבָצרָה וְנִכסָא סַגִיאָה בְאַרעָא דַאְדֹום׃

Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 34:1-6
34:1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye kingdoms: let the earth hear, and the world’s fullness, and all that dwell in her. 34:2 For the wrath from before the presence of the Lord is upon all the nations, and slaughter upon all their hosts: He hath condemned them and delivered them over to the slaughter. 34:3 And their slain shall be cast out; and their stink shall ascend from their carcasses; and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. 34:4 And all the pleasant host of heaven shall be dissolved, and they shall be blotted out from beneath the heavens, as it is said concerning them in this book; and all their armies shall come to an end, as the fading leaf from the vine, and as the withering fig from the fig-tree. 34:5 Because my sword is revealed in heaven; behold, it shall be uncovered upon Edom, and upon the people which I have condemned to judgment. 34:6 The sword before the presence of the Lord is filled with blood, it is fattened, it is fattened with the blood of kings and rulers, it is fattened with the kidneys of princes; because there is a slaughter before the Lord in Bozrah, and a great sacrifice in the land of Edom. (TgJ)

The Targum opens saying, א  אִתקָרַבוּ עַמְמַיָא לְמִשמַע וּמַלכְוָתָא אַצִיתָא תִשמַע אַרעָא וּמלָאַה תֵבֵל וְכָל דְדָיְרִין בַה׃ 34:1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye kingdoms: let the earth hear, and the world’s fullness, and all that dwell in her. (TgJ) We read in the Jewish commentary Radak on Isaiah 34:1 Part 1,  הנה כשתחרב ארץ אדום יצאו ישראל מגלות זה שלא יוסיפו עוד לגלות, ואמר בנבואה זו גוים ולאמים תבל וכל צאצאיה ואמר על כל הגוים כגון מלכות ישמעאל תחרב בזמן הזה: “Behold, when the land of Edom was destroyed, Israel came out of this exile that they would no longer continue to exile, and he said in this prophecy the Gentiles and the nations of the world and all its descendants, and said of all the nations, such as the kingdom of Ishmael, it would be destroyed at this time.” We note that the blessing of God was coupled with the people seeking the Lord God of Israel and remaining in the Land of Israel. When the people lived in unrepentant sin, the Torah says they will be cast out from the Land. This is the concept of exile. Here Radak states that Israel was exiled in Edom, and when Edom is destroyed Israel will come out of this exile. The nation of Edom was a wicked nation, and the Edomite god was Kos (קוס) a fertility god. If Kos is anything like the Canaanite fertility gods, human sacrifice was involved in its rituals which is an abomination to God. Josephus states that Costobarus, appointed by Herod to be governor of Idumea and Gaza, was descended from the priests of “the Kos, whom the Idumeans had formerly served as a god.” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 15, chapter 7, section 9) The wrath of God fell upon Edom because of her wickedness (Malachi 1:1-4). Here the Lord God is speaking to the nations to listen up, to observe the destruction that is coming upon Edom and all that dwell in her because of her wickedness. Ezekiel prophecies saying, “O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate. I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 35:3-4) saying that blood would pursue them (Ezekiel 35:6). “Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passes out and him that returns. And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword” (Ezekiel 35:7-8) and “I will make thee desolate” (Ezekiel 35:14). These things speak to the destruction of Edom as being a testimony to the Word of God, to truth, and righteousness, since it was due to unrighteousness that God’s Wrath came upon these people. This is how Paul concluded concerning the wrath of God saying according to Romans 1:18-19, 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (KJV) The destruction that came upon Edom was meant to show us something concerning sin, that we are to seek the God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua for forgiveness and see the righteousness of God in our lives! This is a must in our lives since sin leads to destruction, and we are called to live in righteousness and holiness and not sin. 

Isaiah goes on according to the Targum saying, ב   אְרֵי רְגַז מִן ק׳ יוי עַל כָל עַמְמַיָא וְקַטלָא עַל כָל מַשרְיָתְהֹון חַיֵיבִנוּן מְסַרִנוּן לְקַטלָא׃ 34:2 For the wrath from before the presence of the Lord is upon all the nations, and slaughter upon all their hosts: He hath condemned them and delivered them over to the slaughter. ג   וּקטִילֵיהֹון יִתרְמֹון וּפִגרֵיהֹון יִסַק תַננְהֹון וְיִתמְסֹון טוּרַיָא מִדַמהֹון׃ 34:3 And their slain shall be cast out; and their stink shall ascend from their carcasses; and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. ד   וְיִתמְסֹון מְשַחבֵיב כָל חֵילֵי שְמַיָא וְיִתמְחֹון מִתְחֹות שְמַיָא כְמָא דַאְמִיר עְלֵיהֹון בְסִפרָא וְכָל מַשרְיָתְהֹון יְסוּפָן כְמִיתַר טְרַף מִיגְפַן וּכנָבְלָא מִיתֵינָא׃ 34:4 And all the pleasant host of heaven shall be dissolved, and they shall be blotted out from beneath the heavens, as it is said concerning them in this book; and all their armies shall come to an end, as the fading leaf from the vine, and as the withering fig from the fig-tree. (TgJ) The aggadic-midrashic literature describes these verses in the context of the Olam Haba, the world to come, the new Heavens and the new Earth. 

Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer 51:1
THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH
RABBAN GAMALIEL said: Just as the New Moons are renewed and sanctified in this world, so will Israel be sanctified and renewed in the future world just like the New Moons, as it is said, “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2). The sages say: The heavens and the earth are destined to pass away and to be renewed. What is written concerning them? “And all the host of the heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” (Isa. 34:4). Just as when a man reads in a scroll of the Torah and he rolls it, and again he opens it to read therein and he rolls it (together), likewise in the future will the Holy One, blessed be He, roll together the heavens like a scroll, as it is said, “And the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” (ibid.); “And the earth shall wax old like a garment” (Isa. 51:6); just as a man spreads out his garment and folds it up, and again he unfolds it || and puts it on and renews it (thereby), likewise the Holy One, blessed be He, in the future will fold up the earth and again will He spread it out and put it in its place like a garment, as it is said. “And the earth shall wax old like a garment” (ibid.).

We note how the midrash Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer 51 part 1 connects the holiness of God from Vayikra / Leviticus 19:2 to the reason that God rolls up the heavens like a scroll. Here we are told that the Lord God will renew the heavens and the earth. The midrash goes on in part 3 to say the following:

Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer 51:3
Rabbi Eliezer said: All the host of heaven in the future will pass away and will be renewed. What is written concerning them? “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved” (Isa. 34:4). Just as the leaves fade from off the vine and the fig tree, and the latter remain standing as a dry tree, and again they blossom afresh and bear buds and produce new leaves and fresh leaves. Likewise in the future will all the host of heaven fade away like a vine and a fig tree, and they will again be renewed before Him to make known that there is passing away (which) does not (really) pass away. No more shall there be evil, and no more shall there be plague, and (there shall) not be the former misfortunes, as it is said, “For, behold, I create new heavens” (Isa. 65:17).

Note that there are a number of verses throughout the Tanakh and the NT text that speak of the heavens and the earth passing away, Genesis 8:21 , Deuteronomy 32:1, 32:22, Psalm 102:25-28, Isaiah 34:4-5, Isaiah 51:6, Isaiah 65:1-25, Isaiah 66:22, Daniel 8:10, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 24:1-51, Mark 13:1-37, Luke 21:1-38, Hebrews 1:10-12, 8:13, 2 Peter 3:1-18, Revelation 6:13, 20:11, 21:1-27, 22:3, 22:20. In addition to this, note the eternality of God in Yeshua’s statements, Matthew 24:35 saying, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” This is similar to Isaiah 40:8 which states, 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: But the word of our God shall stand for ever. (KJV) The midrash connects the passing away of heaven and earth to there no longer being any evil or plague, sickness or illness, stating the former misfortunes will be no more, etc. Isaiah states here in our text, “All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.” (Isaiah 34:4) What the Lord God is telling us is that, even as the heaven and earth are passing away, His salvation is secure, i.e. “The heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.” (Isaiah 51:6) The point of the Lord telling us these things is that knowing heaven and earth will pass away gives us perspective on life. This world is not our home! Peter wrote saying, “We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13) Yeshua also tells us to have the proper priorities when he said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” (Matthew 6:19–20) Peter also reminded us saying that this world is temporary, “Dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Peter 3:14) Remember how the NT text always draws us back to the Torah context, that in Noah’s day the world was destroyed with water (see Bereshit / Genesis 6-9) when Peter said the day of the Lord will the universe be destroyed with fire! (2 Peter 3:10-12) All of these things draw in the context of this word, how God and His Word is eternal, and how we should be living our lives reaching out for righteousness, truth, holiness, and justice. 

Rashi goes on saying the following concerning these verses: 

Rashi on Isaiah 34:4 Parts 1-4
ונמקו כל צבא השמים. יפחדו כשאשליך את שרי אשור ובבל:
And all the host of heaven shall melt They shall be frightened when I cast down the princes of the heathens.([Mss. yield:] the princes of the nations.) ([Warsaw edition:] of Assyria and Babylon.)
ונגולו. ל’ גולל ונגלו כספר השמים ת”י ויתמחון מתחות שמיא כמא דאמר עליהן בסיפרא ואני מפרשו לפי הענין מפני שעכשיו הטובה והאורה לרשעים לכשיתמחו ויחרבו יהיה דומם העולם חשך עליהם כאילו נגלל השמש והאור כגלילת ספר:
shall be rolled (וְנָגֹלּוּ) an expression of rolling. And the heavens shall be rolled like a scroll. Jonathan renders: And they shall be erased from beneath the heavens, as it is stated about them in the Book. But I explain it according to the context, for now, the kingdoms of the Ishmaelites (the nations [ms.]) (the wicked [Warsaw ed.]) have fortune and light. When they are erased and destroyed, it will be as though the world has darkened for them, as though the sun and the light are rolled up like the rolling of a scroll.
יבול. יכמוש:
withers (יִבּוֹל) withers.
וכנובלת מתאנה. כמושה באילן קרויה נובלת וזהו שפירשו רבותינו (ברכות מ) מאי נובלות בושלי כומרא שנתבשלו בכומר לאחר לקיטתן צוברן ומתחממות ומתבשלות:
and as a withered [fig] from a fig tree The withered fruit of a tree is called נוֹבְלוֹת. This is what our Rabbis (Ber. 40b) explained: What are ‘noveloth’? Fruit ripened in the heater, that become ripe in the heater. After they are picked, he gathers them and they become heated and ripen. 

Rashi takes a more temporal approach to the interpretation of these Scriptures, where the host of heaven and like a scroll being rolled up is a reference to the nations, the proud and arrogant leaders, princes of Assyria and Babylon, etc, and how their kingdoms will be removed. Rashi cites the Targum Jonathan, and this maybe why his references are to these kingdoms as Isaiah continues according to the Targum to say the following, ה   אְרֵי תִתגְלֵי בִשמַיָא חַרבִי הָא עַל אְדֹום תִתגְלֵי וְעַל עַמָא דְחַיֵיבִית לְדִינָא׃ 34:5 Because my sword is revealed in heaven; behold, it shall be uncovered upon Edom, and upon the people which I have condemned to judgment. (TgJ) The context here references the sword and consuming those who have been judged guilty of a crime (violating the commands of God). The Midrash Tehillim 119 Part 8 considers this verse from Isaiah 34:5 in the following way. 

Midrash Tehillim 119:8
“Reward Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.” This is what Isaiah said (Isaiah 59:18), “According to their deeds, so will He repay wrath to His adversaries.” The Lord pays the wicked according to their deeds, and to the righteous, He pays them according to their works. He pays the wicked (Isaiah 34:5), “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; behold it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of My curse, to judgment.” And He rewards the righteous, as it says in Psalm 73:1, “Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.” And it says in Isaiah 63:7, “I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His loving-kindnesses.” The Lord does not pay anything for free, neither to the wicked nor to the righteous. The evil that comes upon the wicked is not brought upon them by the Lord. As it says in Lamentations 3:38, “Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good.” But they bring it upon themselves. And it says in Isaiah 3:9, “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them.” What does He reward the righteous with? Life, without any charge. And it says in Psalm 103:2-4, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction.” And not only this, but He does many righteous deeds, as it says in Psalm 146:7, “The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.” And it says in Psalm 116:7, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” And David said to the Lord, “Reward Your servant with life, that I may keep Your word.” And why does He reward me with life? Because I keep Your word. Life is the Torah. And it says in Proverbs 4:13, “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” Therefore it is said, “Recompense on Your servant, I will live.” David said to him, “Master of the universe, it is Your will that I keep Your word. Unveil my eyes that I may perceive wonders from Your Torah. And if You do not unveil my eyes, how can I know? Therefore it is said, ‘Unveil my eyes and I will perceive wonders.’ Even though my eyes are open, I know nothing. Come and see, even though Samuel was a prophet, he knew nothing until the Holy One, blessed be He, unveiled his ear, as it is said (I Samuel 9:15), ‘And the Lord had revealed to Samuel.’ Likewise, Nebuchadnezzar said (Daniel 2:47), ‘Truly your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries.’ And so did Daniel say (Daniel 2:30), ‘But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living man, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king.’ And he said (Daniel 2:22), ‘And He reveals the deep and secret things.’ So did David say, ‘Unveil my eyes that I may perceive wonders from Your Torah.’ And why does he say (Psalms 119:129), ‘Your testimonies are wonderful?’ ‘Wonderful’ refers to the Torah. And so the Scripture says, ‘Wonderful are Your testimonies.’ Therefore it is said, ‘Wonders from Your Torah are treasures.’ And so the Scripture says (Proverbs 21:20), ‘A desirable treasure.’ It is a hidden treasure, as the Scripture says (Deuteronomy 33:19), ‘And of the hidden treasures of the sand.’ There are many doors and many entrances in it, as it says (Psalms 24:7-8), ‘Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!’ And so David said, ‘The Torah is full of wonders.’ Moses said, ‘It is not a wonder from you, as it says (Deuteronomy 30:11), ‘For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not too hard for you.’ It is not too hard for you, but it is a wonder from you, because you did not toil in it. Therefore it is said, ‘Wonders from Your Torah.’…

Here the midrash states that the Lord repays the wicked for their evil deeds (Isaiah 34:5) and the righteous for their righteous works (Tehillim / Psalms 73:1) We note how oppression is one of the major issues of unrighteousness. We can see this phenomenon today in the wicked leaders of this country oppressing the righteous through their forcing liberal woke ideologies down the throats of the people! The Oppression here in the Scriptures is more physical as opposed to ideological. The point is that the Lord God will vindicate and bring justice to the righteous and judgment to the wicked. The midrash concludes with the righteous looking to the instruction of God (Torah) for treasures, for wonders, for truth and righteousness. The righteous look to the Word of God for the hidden treasures that bring joy, hope, and life to those who seek such things! Again, we are to be a people who search out such things because of our love for the Lord! 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the Targum, ו   חַרבָא מִן קֳדָם יוי אִתמְלִיאַת דַם אִידְהַנַת מִתְרַב מִדַם מַלכִין וְשִלטֹונִין מִתְרַב כֹוליָת רַברְבִין אְרֵי שִגוּש קַטלָא קֳדָם יוי בְבָצרָה וְנִכסָא סַגִיאָה בְאַרעָא דַאְדֹום׃34:6 The sword before the presence of the Lord is filled with blood, it is fattened, it is fattened with the blood of kings and rulers, it is fattened with the kidneys of princes; because there is a slaughter before the Lord in Bozrah, and a great sacrifice in the land of Edom. (TgJ) Here the rabbis translate Isaiah’s words to say that the sword that is before the Lord and it is filled with blood and fattened with the blood of kings and rulers. In the Scriptures, the sword symbolizes the Word of God (see Hebrews 4), and the sword appears to represent punishment from God from the sense of the Lord God lifting a sword against Israel’s enemies. Midrash Rabbah states the following concerning these things. Jeremiah speaks of these things according to Jeremiah 12:11-13.

ספר ירמיה פרק יב
יא   שָֹמָהּ לִשְׁמָמָה אָבְלָה עָלַי שְׁמֵמָה נָשַׁמָּה כָּל-הָאָרֶץ כִּי אֵין אִישׁ שָֹם עַל-לֵב: יב   עַל-כָּל-שְׁפָיִם בַּמִּדְבָּר בָּאוּ שֹׁדְדִים כִּי חֶרֶב לַיהֹוָה אֹכְלָה מִקְצֵה-אֶרֶץ וְעַד-קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ אֵין שָׁלוֹם לְכָל-בָּשָֹר:       יג   זָרְעוּ חִטִּים וְקֹצִים קָצָרוּ נֶחְלוּ לֹא יוֹעִלוּ וּבֹשׁוּ מִתְּבוּאֹתֵיכֶם מֵחֲרוֹן אַף-יְהֹוָה:

Jeremiah 12:11–13  
12:11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. 12:12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace. 12:13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD. (KJ)

Here the wrath of God is described by Jeremiah saying, עַל-כָּל-שְׁפָיִם בַּמִּדְבָּר בָּאוּ שֹׁדְדִים כִּי חֶרֶב לַיהֹוָה אֹכְלָה מִקְצֵה-אֶרֶץ וְעַד-קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ אֵין שָׁלוֹם לְכָל-בָּשָֹר “The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.” Here it is because of unrepentant sin that the sword of the Lord goes from one end of the land to the other (אֹכְלָה מִקְצֵה-אֶרֶץ וְעַד-קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ) devouring the unfaithful. This draws us back to the Torah context, according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 9:3.

ספר דברים פרק ט
ג   וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּוֹם כִּי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא-הָעֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ אֵשׁ אֹכְלָה הוּא יַשְׁמִידֵם וְהוּא יַכְנִיעֵם לְפָנֶיךָ וְהוֹרַשְׁתָּם וְהַאֲבַדְתָּם מַהֵר כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָֹה לָךְ:

Devarim / Deuteronomy 9:3 
9:3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. (KJV)

Notice how based upon this verse the earth was made for the righteous, and how the wicked pollute the land and so the wicked must be rooted out and removed. Here in the Torah Moshe writes that the Lord God Almighty is going before us as a consuming fire to destroy the wicked. This is a very important concept, as we are reading Isaiah, the sword of the Lord going forth to consume the wicked, those who turn from God and seek their own ways etc. We note the Hebrew bible writes וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּוֹם “and you know this day” is a reminder of why these things are happening, to generate faith in God and His Word. This is a warning concerning unrighteousness to the people who were about to enter into the Promised Land, that it is the Lord God who goes before them to overcome these nations who are superior in size and strength. Note the people in Canaan were a people of great stature, they were tall such as the nation of the Enakites (Devarim / Deuteronomy 1:28), before which, as was well known, no one could stand (התיצּב, as in Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:24). The Lord God was going before them to humble these nations, and to humble the Israelites so they would understand that it was the Lord who did these things on their behalf. The destruction comes in a public and visible manner so that it would produce faith in the people, and as a testimony for us today to read and have faith in the Word of God! The point is that the Lord is standing before us, He is going before us to make straight the path for us to walk upon, and He has done this in His word, giving us His word so that we can know how to live for Him. Isaiah provides us testimony of these truths, that God has made us for righteousness and not for sin. The power of God in the Messiah is to overcome sin, and to be victorious in our lives for the Lord.