Judgment on the Earth, Examining Isaiah chapter 24

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Patrick

Judgment on the Earth, Examining Isaiah chapter 24

#1 Post by Patrick » Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:35 am

Greetings Y.O.R.W.W. Congregation, :D

A few days ago, I read an interesting chapter during the scheduled Bible reading in the book of Isaiah. It is the twenty forth chapter of Isaiah. The NASB Key study Bible puts the heading, "Judgment on the Earth" on this Apocalyptic chapter which seems to be an appropriate name for it. Similarly, the NIV Ryrie study bible have the words, "The Judgments of the Tribulation Period" in its heading with a footnote that states, "The coming judgment will be on the entire earth." In comparison, the NWT large print reference Bible has no heading for this most interesting chapter that may have a yet future fulfillment.

Isaiah chapter 24 begins with the following words of warning, "See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants" NIV. In caparison, the NWT reads, "Look! Jehovah is emptying the Land* and laying it waste, and he has twisted the face of it and scattered its inhabitants." Interesting, a footnote at the bottom of the NWT reference Bible states that the word Land* also means earth.

Does Isaiah chapter 24 really have a yet grander future fulfillment in our days :?:

If so, then who really are the people of the earth [land] that Jehovah is referring to :?:

Another interesting verse in this chapter is verse 6 which talks about few people being left on the earth. The NIV quotes it as, "Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left." The NWT seems to be similar which ends with the words, "...the inhabitants of the land have decreased in number, and very few mortal men have remained over."

If the words "very few are left" NIV or "very few mortal men have remained over" NWT are taken literally, then a horrific event is yet to be fulfilled for the people dwelling on the earth [land] providing that there is yet future prophecy fulfillment.

There are places in the Bible that talks about large reductions of human populations such as Zechariah 13:8, Revelation 6:8, and Revelation 9:15 that may be referring to this horrific event.

Is there a place in the Bible besides Isaiah 24:6 that really speaks of theses horrific events :?:

Thanks very much for your time.

Philia,

Patrick

bejay
YORWW BIBLE ACADEMY GRADUATE (ALUMNI)
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: 2001 YORWW Bible Academy Graduate

#2 Post by bejay » Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:44 pm

Hi Patrick,

This is a very timely and interesting question. The Bible's use of the word "earth" is not very easily understood as verses sometimes refer to the literal planet and at other times they refer to the people living on this planet and sometimes they refer to a specific group of people. In other words, the Bible uses this word in both a literal sense and a figurative one.

As we read this particular chapter of Isaiah, we encounter certain wordings that help us to understand who or what is being discussed. For example, verses 4 and 5 reads this way: "The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant."

Clearly this verse is dealing with a particular people because the entire population of the earth are not and never have been party to a covenant with Jehovah. Only the ancient nation of Israel has this distinction as does the modern day spiritual nation of Israel, Jehovah' Witnesses.

You quoted verse 6 in your post where it speaks of "a people who must bear their guilt." The guilt in this case is in connection with the covenant mentioned above. If we look at verse 1 we see that 'Jehovah will scatter its (or earth's) inhabitant.' Jehovah would not be scattering all of earth's inhabitants as they would have no place to scatter to as the surface of the earth is already filled with 6 billion people. Where would they scatter to?

Notice how verse 12 reads. "The city is left in ruins, its gate is bettered to pieces." This verse rather narrows it down to a particular land or people, not everyone in the world, not the entire globe.

Lastly, verse 20 reads: "The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls - never to rise again." Again we stress the point that the words 'guilt' and 'rebellion' indicate someone who has a covenant relationship with Jehovah.

This chapter is therefore speaking prophetically about a group of people, a nation even who are scattered throughout the entire earth, who will be severly punished for breaking the covenant that they have agreed to keep, to the point that they will be decimated or 'few left' in comparison to the number that they began with.

The complete fulfillment of this prophecy is for a future time although there was a minor fulfillment upon the natural nation of Israel in 70 C.E. Modern day Israel, Jehovah's Witnesses, will see the complete fulfillment of this prophecy. The horrific events that you spoke of in your post are to come upon the nation of people who are carrying God's personal name and have 'acted wickedly against the covenant.'

You mentioned Revelation 6:8 as a cataclysmic event and it is. This will be the result of nations waging a literal war among themselves. So yes literally a fourth of the earth's population will suffer as a result. But Revelation 9:15 is not a literal event. It's language is highly figurative. The statement to 'release the four angels who are bound at the Euphrates' would indicate that four literal angels are tied at a river in Iraq and untieing them will cause a third of mankind to be killed. Can literal angels be tied at a river, and if they could be, what relationship is there between their being untied and a third of mankind being killed?

It can be very confusing trying to decipher the prophetic language of the Bible on our own. We need help from Jehovah in understanding what he is conveying to us.

Agape

bejay

Patrick

#3 Post by Patrick » Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:31 am

bejay wrote:Hi Patrick,

The Bible's use of the word "earth" is not very easily understood as verses sometimes refer to the literal planet and at other times they refer to the people living on this planet and sometimes they refer to a specific group of people. In other words, the Bible uses this word in both a literal sense and a figurative one.


Hi Bejay, :D

Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, I agree whole heartly that their are many words in the Bible that are not very easily understood.

Sometimes when I read livingwaters scheduled daily Bible reading I get confused on what I am reading because of certain words. Words such as earth are confusing at times. Literal meaning of words can change the meaning of a specific Bible story such as Isaiah chapter 24.
bejay wrote:It can be very confusing trying to decipher the prohetic language of the Bible on our own. We need help from Jehovah in understanding what he is conveying to us.

Agape

bejay


Yes, we surely need Jehovah's help to understand what he is conveying to us. I place my trust in the Y.O.R.W.W. congregation to help us understand what Jehovah is telling us in difficult stories such as Isaiah chapter 24.

Again, thanks much for your time and effort in Biblical insight.

Agape,

Patrick

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