Isaiah – Chapter 24

What Goes Down Sometimes Comes Back Up

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d will empty out the land of Israel and scatter the residents. They will all share the same fate: slaves and masters, buyers and sellers, borrowers and lenders, etc. The land will be plundered and it will mourn. The land will not produce food because of the sins of the inhabitants. Swearing falsely in G-d’s name was one of the severest sins leading to the exile.

The joy of wine and instruments has ceased. The city is broken and the houses are boarded up. Joy is gone. The people of Israel are scattered among the nations.

Eventually, they will sing with joy when they witness G-d’s might, as He has promised. All over the world they will hear the songs saying that the righteous have been lifted and the wicked have been dealt with. The people who have been occupying the land during the exile will fall, either before the Moshiach ben Yosef, the Moshiach ben Dovid or the war of Gog and Magog. (Further exploration of this topic is beyond the scope of this synopsis. We will address them in Ezekiel and elsewhere, as appropriate.) They will metaphorically fall into a pit, since the earth has cracked and sways like a drunken person, the weight of their sins pressing down until it falls.

On the day that G-d punishes the nations (and their “guardian angels” along with them), they will be cast into Hell like prisoners thrown into jail together. Their many sins will be counted against them. The sun and moon (or, according to Rashi, those who worship them) will be shamed when G-d reveals His glory.

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