Isaiah 34 – Far Out
Vs. 1-3 God is angry with all the nations, and particularly with the armies of all the nations. In verse 2 the words totally destroy is the word Herem. It is a reference to something called the Herem Curse which is the total destruction of something. The net result, with that thing gone, is that it can’t come back. The gathered nations, and the gathered armies of all the nations are mentioned in the book of Revelation (Chapter 19). There is a breakdown of the earthly places. In English the word in the NIV is that the mountains will be “soaked” in their blood. In Hebrew the word is Masas. It means melted. There is a physical breakdown or erosion of the mountains due to the blood of the armies that are destroyed. This coincides with a breakdown in the heavens.
Vs. 4-7 Even the heavens are not pure. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 6. There are other references in Job 15 and Hebrews 9. The connection between impurity on earth and impurity in the heavenly places is made here and there is a judgment on both.
When the sword of God strikes it strikes against Edom. It is in Edom that all the nations have gathered. The closest blood tie between Israel and anyone else is Edom through Esau. Remember that Esau despised the birthright. Obadiah 1:17-21 says that Edom won’t have any descendants.
The blood of all of these armies is looked at as a massive sacrifice. This isn’t the only reference. Jeremiah 46:10, Ezekiel 39:17-20, Zephaniah 1:7-8. Revelation 19:17-18.
Also there is a city named. Bozrah is named. The Greek name of the city is Petra. Isaiah 63:1-6 will elaborate.
Vs. 8-15 The land of Edom becomes a continual burning wasteland all the way to the end of human history, until the world becomes again like the garden of Eden. The wasteland will be inhabited by a variety of creatures.
Verse 11 is really important. There is a reference to chaos and emptiness. These are the same words in Genesis 1:2 to describe the earth before creation. In Hebrew Tohu and Bohu. They are formless and void, chaos and emptiness. What does God do with chaos and emptiness? We can have a bigger discussion at some point about how, if God created the heavens and the earth and everything God makes is good, how did the earth become tohu and bohu prior to creation and what did that look like?
Verse 14 mentions creatures again, but the word is demon or monsters. If the land is burning and covered in tar and pitch nothing can live there. So, how do these goats and night creatures live in this chaotic wilderness? They are not natural. In Hebrew they are goat demons and night monsters. Don’t let it surprise you that demons have animal like features. Remember that the descriptions of heavenly beings around the throne, and some seraphim also have animal like features.
By the way, this is where a lot of the misinformation about Lilith comes in. There are old Hebrew myths about it, but nothing scriptural. The reference here is to a night demon.
Vs. 16-17 This is a really cool metaphor. Everything that God has spoken will be like a person who lacks a mate. It will be fulfilled. It will produce. It is a matter of when, not if.
We can always trust that what God has said, is. It may not have happened yet. There may have been prophecies which have happened and will happen again. There are thousands of prophecies which have already been fulfilled. We can trust that everything Jesus Christ has said is true. We can trust that God is with us. His right hand is stretched out for us. He has a plan and a purpose for us. He knew we would be sheltered in place before time began. So, what is God’s plan for us now and how do we accomplish it? We accomplish it fully and completely with the power of the Holy Spirit according to God’s will. His wisdom is His plan for us. Don’t stop asking until you know what it is, at least for this moment.