While reviewing the verses I’ve gathered in my study of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 I noticed that Isaiah 24 is a chapter that I should spend a little bit of extra time studying. While studying Isaiah 24 I noticed that the chapter concerns a time period late in the End Times and a chapter that may include references to the destruction of Babylon the Great City which is mentioned in Revelation 17 and Revelation 18.
- Today I provide an overview of Isaiah 24 and discuss how Isaiah 24 could potentially be a chapter that adds to our understanding of Babylon the Great City.
The start of Isaiah 24 really stands out because it describes the earth in a state of complete ruin. Verse 6 suggests that the general timeframe of Isaiah 24 is the latter portion of the end times as the world’s population is greatly reduced:
(1) Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. (2) And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. (3) The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. (4) The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. (5) The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (6) Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isa 24:1-6)
Verse 24:7 mentions that there is no longer any playing of musical instruments or drinking strong drink. Although it’s unclear in Isaiah 24:7 how prevalent these conditions are, these conditions parallel what happens as a consequence of Babylon the Great City’s destruction.
“(7) The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. (8) The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. (9) They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.” (Isa 24:7-9)
“And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;” (Rev 18:22)
Verse 24:10-12 mentions that a city has been destroyed. The term “confusion” in Hebrew is tôhû, which means “desolation”, and reinforces the idea that this city has been laid waste.
(10) The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. (11) There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. (12) In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.” (Isa 24:10-12)
I currently believe that the city mentioned in Isaiah 24:10-12 is Babylon the Great City for a few reasons:
- The passage only talks about a single city instead of multiple cities. This suggests that the city in Isaiah 24:10-12 is a distinguished city. Babylon the Great City is a distinguished city in the Book of Revelation.
- The timeframe that the events of Isaiah 24 take place seems to be around the time when Babylon the Great City would be destroyed (a time when Earth’s population is greatly reduced).
- The city in Isaiah 24 and Babylon the Great City both share the same fate: desolation.
- The city also appears to be referenced in Isaiah 25:2-3 and Isaiah 26:5. The details of the city described in those chapters are consistent with the description of Babylon the Great City.
Isaiah 24:11 suggests that the mirth (delight) of the land is gone with destruction of the city (Babylon the Great City). However, it’s unlikely that everyone on Earth is going to be completely devastated over the destruction of Babylon the Great City. Revelation 18 lists just four primary groups of people who will clearly be upset over the destruction of Babylon the Great City. They are:
- The kings of the earth (Rev 18:9)
- Merchants of the earth (Rev 18:11)
- Shipmasters (Rev 18:17)
- Sailors (Rev 18:17)
Therefore, it is possible for some people on Earth to be happy after the city’s destruction like it is suggested in Isaiah 24.
(13) When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. (14) They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea. (15) Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. (16) From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.” (Isa 24:13-16)
Verse 24:17-20 returns to describing the earth in a completely desolated state.
“(17) Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. (18) And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. (19) The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. (20) The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” (Isa 24:17-20)
Isaiah 24 ends with a passage that suggests that the kings of the earth will be gathered together and that the Lord will punish them:
(21) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. (22) And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. (23) Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” (Isa 24:21-23)
Revelation 19 indicates that the kings of the earth will be gathered together and punished at the Battle of Armageddon:
(19) And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. (20) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (21) And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” (Rev 19:19-21)
The final passage in Isaiah 24 along with the other clues provided earlier in the chapter (i.e. there are “few men left” and the “city of confusion is broken down”) suggests that the chapter encapsulates the time period that includes the destruction of Babylon the Great City and the Battle of Armageddon.
What can be gleaned if the city mentioned in Isaiah 24 is Babylon the Great City?
- The city possesses houses which are shut up so that no one can enter (likely from the ruins blocking the entrances) (verse 10)
- The city possesses gates which are destroyed (verse 12)
This may seem a lot of work to find two seemingly “minor” details. However, these details could be used to find other passages that possibly could also describe the city’s destruction and possibly reveal the identity of the city.
If anyone has any thoughts on any of the chapters discussed feel free to share them…