near, ye nations to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and
all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.”
This is a command, not
just an invitation, and it relates, not just to this section of Scripture,
but to all the Word of God. It is to be to our souls what food and drink
are to our bodies, and it is to be absorbed (read and meditated upon) with
the same regularity.
The world however,
flagrantly disobeys God’s command, and busies itself with the pursuit of
wealth and pleasure, the people being heedless of the fact that their
disobedience will result in their forfeiture of heaven, and inheritance of
eternal torment in the lake of fire.
What God was going to do
to Edom is a preview of what He will do to the whole world in the Great
34:2. “For the
indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their
armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the
wrath, vengeance, and its being spoken of as a fact already
accomplished, declares the certainty of the execution of His threat. The
reference is generally understood to refer to the battle of Armageddon.
His casting of every
unbeliever into the lake of fire is equally sure.
slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their
carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.”
The casting out of the
slain signifies that the bodies would be flung into the streets, and be left
there to rot unburied; and while the melting of the mountains with their
blood, may indicate that the hills would stream with the blood of the slain,
it is understood by others to refer to the great geographic changes that
will occur during the Great Tribulation.
34:4. “And all
the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled
together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf
falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.”
This leaps over the
centuries to the end of the Millennium when the present heavens and earth
will be replaced with new ones, as declared in 2 Peter 3:10-13, “But the day
of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent
heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons
ought ye to be in all holy conversation (devout, dedicated lives) and
godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall
melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for
a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (“The day
of God” is the continuation of the eternal state after the destruction of
the present heavens and earth mentioned here).
The ease with which God
will accomplish that great work of destruction is indicated in its being
likened to the falling of a leaf or the dropping of a ripe fig.
34:5. “For my
sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea
(Edom), and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.”
Taylor translates this
verse, “And when My sword has finished its work in the heavens ....”
The bathing of God’s sword
in heaven is generally recognized as being His expulsion from heaven of
Satan and his fellow rebel angels referred to in Isaiah 24:21 “And it shall
come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high
ones that are on high; and the kings of the earth upon the earth.” See also
Revelation 12:12, “... Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea!
For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth
that he hath but a short time,” the “short time” being the last
three-and-a-half years of the seven-year Tribulation era.
“The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness,
and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams:
for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah (capital of Edom), and a great
slaughter in the land of Idumea (Edom).”
34:7. “And the
unicorns (wild bulls) shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the
bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat
Relative to unicorns, the
JFB Commentary makes the following instructive comment, “... it was the oryx
(the leucoryx, antelope, bold and pugnacious); but when accident or
artifice deprived it of one horn, the notion of the unicorn arose.”
Most commentators take
these smaller animals to represent the common people; and the larger ones,
the rulers, “unicorn” being another name for a wild bull or powerful human
leader. What is described here is God’s slaughter of multitudes of rebels
during the Great Tribulation. The dust “made fat with fatness” means that
the soil will be saturated with the blood of the slain.
Edom, lying directly south
of the Dead Sea, means red, and is similar to Adam which means
man, red earth, and to whom God said, “In the sweat of thy face shalt
thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou
taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” Genesis 3:19.
34:8. “For it
is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the
controversy of Zion.”
“controversy” means to
grapple or wrangle with: chide: contend with: rebuke.
The day described is the
Battle of Armageddon. “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory
hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you
toucheth the apple of his eye.”
34:9. “And the
streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into
brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.”
“Brimstone” is believed to
be the same as sulphur which is flammable, so that the description is
of the land of Edom transformed into the equivalent of a bed of sulphur, and
therefore incapable of producing even a blade of grass.
shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever:
from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it
for ever and ever.”
The desolation of Edom
would be permanent.
the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven
shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch upon it the line of confusion, and
the stones of emptiness.”
The cormorant is
considered to be the equivalent of the vomiting pelican, hawk, jackdaw,
desert owl, or horned owl, all creatures of solitary waste places; and the
bittern is another name for the hedgehog or porcupine. “...confusion” is
also translated desolation, chaos, empty void.
“... line ... stones” are
generally understood to mean the architect’s measuring instruments, line and
shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and
all her princes shall be nothing.”
The once great men of Edom
will die and be forgotten as though they had never been; and so will it be
with earth’s famous men. Their brief day of earthly glory is fleeting, and
will be followed by obscurity as though they had never existed.
thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses
thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.”
Her magnificent buildings
will become deserted ruins overgrown with nettles, thistles, and briars.
“... dragons” is also
translated wild dogs, jackals, wolves, while owls is rendered
A scene of greater
desolation is difficult to imagine.
wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the
island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall
rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.”
“Island” means habitable
spot; and “satyr,” which is translated shaggy creature: he-goat, devil,
was one of a class of ancient Greek woodland gods, part man and part
horse or goat, notorious for their riotousness and lasciviousness.
shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her
shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.”
This emphasizes the
proliferation of these evil creatures, which are themselves types of the
evil spirits which obey Satan.
“every one with her mate”
is explained by JFB as “No prediction shall want a fulfilment as its
companion.” Every word of God will be fulfilled.
ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none
want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath
Another translation of
this verse reads, “Turn back, when the time comes, to this record of divine
prophecy, and read it afresh; you shall learn, then, that none of these
signs are lacking, none waited for the coming of the next .... The Lord it
was entrusted me with the prophecies I utter; by his Spirit that strange
company was called together,” Knox.
34:17. “And he
hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line:
they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they
The Amplified Bible
renders this verse, “And he has cast the lot for them, and His hand has
portioned Edom to the wild beasts by measuring line ....” and Taylor
translates it, “He has surveyed and subdivided the land and deeded it to
those doleful creatures.”