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Impending Judgment on the Earth


Now the L ord is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate,

and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.


And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;

as with the slave, 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 creditor, so with the debtor.


The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled;

for the L ord has spoken this word.



The earth dries up and withers,

the world languishes and withers;

the heavens languish together with the earth.


The earth lies polluted

under its inhabitants;

for they have transgressed laws,

violated the statutes,

broken the everlasting covenant.


Therefore a curse devours the earth,

and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;

therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,

and few people are left.


The wine dries up,

the vine languishes,

all the merry-hearted sigh.


The mirth of the timbrels is stilled,

the noise of the jubilant has ceased,

the mirth of the lyre is stilled.


No longer do they drink wine with singing;

strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.


The city of chaos is broken down,

every house is shut up so that no one can enter.


There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;

all joy has reached its eventide;

the gladness of the earth is banished.


Desolation is left in the city,

the gates are battered into ruins.


For thus it shall be on the earth

and among the nations,

as when an olive tree is beaten,

as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.



They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;

they shout from the west over the majesty of the L ord.


Therefore in the east give glory to the L ord;

in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the L ord, the God of Israel.


From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,

of glory to the Righteous One.

But I say, I pine away,

I pine away. Woe is me!

For the treacherous deal treacherously,

the treacherous deal very treacherously.



Terror, and the pit, and the snare

are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!


Whoever flees at the sound of the terror

shall fall into the pit;

and whoever climbs out of the pit

shall be caught in the snare.

For the windows of heaven are opened,

and the foundations of the earth tremble.


The earth is utterly broken,

the earth is torn asunder,

the earth is violently shaken.


The earth staggers like a drunkard,

it sways like a hut;

its transgression lies heavy upon it,

and it falls, and will not rise again.



On that day the L ord will punish

the host of heaven in heaven,

and on earth the kings of the earth.


They will be gathered together

like prisoners in a pit;

they will be shut up in a prison,

and after many days they will be punished.


Then the moon will be abashed,

and the sun ashamed;

for the L ord of hosts will reign

on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,

and before his elders he will manifest his glory.


21. And it shall come to pass. This passage has tortured the minds of many commentators, and various interpretations have been offered by various writers. Some think that this relates to the sun and the stars, and others, that it relates to the devils, who will be punished along with the wicked. Others refer it to the Jews, on whom God had bestowed a remarkable privilege. But I cannot adopt any of those interpretations. 132132    {Bogus footnote} The simple and genuine meaning, therefore, appears to me to be, that no power will be so high as to be exempted from those scourges of God; and though they raise themselves above the clouds, yet the hand of God will reach them; as it is said in the Psalm,

“Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? and whither shall I flee from thy face? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there; if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, there also shall thy hand pursue me.” Psalm 139:7-10.

Jehovah will visit upon the army on high. 133133    {Bogus footnote} This is a metaphor by which he denotes kings and princes, who shine and sparkle in the world like stars; and he afterwards explains this metaphor in direct language, by adding upon the kings of the earth; for I do not think that they ought to be separated, as if he were speaking of different subjects, but that there is a repetition of the same statement, so that the latter clause explains the former. But perhaps it will be thought preferable to explain it thus: “he will visit on the kingdoms of the earth,” even on those things which appear to surpass the rank of men; for some things rise so much above others, that they appear as if they did not belong to the ordinary rank. The word visit must relate to punishment, as even the context shews plainly enough.

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