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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Isaiah Chapter 34

Isaiah 34:2

isa 34:2

All nations - Not only upon the Assyrians, but on all enemies of my people.

Isaiah 34:3

isa 34:3

Cast out - Into the fields.

Isaiah 34:4

isa 34:4

Dissolved - The sun, moon, and stars. So great shall be the confusion and consternation of mankind, as if all the frame of the creation were broken into pieces. It is usual for prophetic writers, both in the Old and New Testament, to represent great and general calamities, in such words and phrases, as properly agree to the day of judgment; as on the contrary, the glorious deliverances of God's people, in such expressions, as properly agree to the resurrection from the dead.

Isaiah 34:5

isa 34:5

Bathed - In the blood of these people. Heaven - Where God dwells; in which this is said to be done, because it was there decreed and appointed. Idumea - Upon the Edomites, who, tho' they were nearly related to the Israelites, yet were their implacable enemies. But these are named for all the enemies of God's church, of whom they were an eminent type. The people - Whom I have cursed, and devoted to utter destruction, as the word properly signifies.

Isaiah 34:6

isa 34:6

The sword - The metaphor is taken from a great glutton, who is almost insatiable. Rams - By lambs, and goats, and rams, he means people of all ranks and conditions, high and low, rich and poor. Bozrah - A chief city of Edom, and a type of those cities which should be most opposite to God's people.

Isaiah 34:7

isa 34:7

The unicorns - It is confessed, this was a beast of great strength and fierceness; and it is used in this place to signify their princes and potentates, who shall be humbled and cast down. Them - With the lambs, and goats, and rams. Fatness - With the fat of the slain sacrifices, mingled with it.

Isaiah 34:8

isa 34:8

For - This is the time which God hath fixed, to avenge the cause of his persecuted people.

Isaiah 34:9

isa 34:9

The land - Idumea shall be dealt with, as Sodom and Gomorrah were.

Isaiah 34:10

isa 34:10

For ever - It shall remain as a spectacle of God's vengeance to all succeeding ages.

Isaiah 34:11

isa 34:11

Dwell - It shall be entirely possessed by those creatures which delight in deserts and waste places. Stretch - He shall use the line, or the stone or plummet joined to it, not to build them, but to mark them out to destruction, as workmen commonly use them to mark what they are to pull down.

Isaiah 34:12

isa 34:12

None - They shall not find any willing to undertake the government. Nothing - Shall have no courage or strength left in them.

Isaiah 34:16

isa 34:16

Seek - When this judgment is executed, if you pursue this prophecy, you will find, that all things exactly come to pass, as I have told you. His - My spirit, (such sudden changes of persons being frequent here) hath brought all these creatures together, as he formerly brought the creatures to Adam, and to Noah, by an instinct which he put into them.

Isaiah 34:17

isa 34:17

Divided - He hath divided the land to them, as it were by lot and line, as Canaan was divided among the Israelites.

Next: Isaiah Chapter 35