Isaiah 34 and 35


Chapter 34 and 35 serve as a summary of the first half of the book of Isaiah.

These chapters sum up the previous chapters before the historical narrative of chapters 36, 37, 38, and 39 begin.



Contrast between:

a)      fruitful land turned into a desert (man’s kingdom, nations)

b)      desert turned into a fruitful land (God’s kingdom, those who wait on God)


God will share his glory and his blessing with those who trust in him.
The self-willed are going to be destroyed by God.


Some of the language of chapter 34 may be offensive to the reader, but the point is that sin is as offensive to God.

A sacrifice for sin is required.  Here the nations are seen as being the sacrifice for their   sins that God accepts.


The judgment is not just upon man and the earth.

The judgment extends to the universe



The nations are called together in Isaiah 1:2 to serve as witnesses for God against his people Israel.


Here the nations are called to again, but this time it is for judgment.


Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”


1 Corinthians 10:25,26, “Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’”



“Totally destroy” is “herem” in Hebrew and is the word used for totally dedicating something to God by destroying it.

a)      this was the word used for the destruction of Jericho where the total destruction indicated that God alone was the victory.  No one else got to take any of the spoils.  Why?  Because only God won this battle.

b)      This was also used in reference to the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15:3, 8, 9, 15, 18, 20,  They were the people who tried to stop God’s movement of Israel into the promised land where Israel could be a blessing to the world.  Those who oppose God’s plan to bless the world become “herem”



Exposed “slain”, “dead bodies”, “stench”, “blood soaked mountains” are all a picture of disgust and disrespect.  The exact way God feels towards the nations in rebellion to him.


There is no dignity apart from God.  Any honor we gain without God ends up as contempt.


This is an image similar to Armageddon.




a)      stars dissolve

b)      sky rolled up


Matthew 24:29

Revelation 6:13-14

Ezekiel 32:7-8


Edom: An Example to all the Other Nations

This is not speaking only to Edom otherwise it would have been included in the previous chapters when God individually addressed the nations in chapters 13-23


Edom is an antithesis to Israel

Genesis 25:23

Numbers 20:14-21 – Edom tried to block what God was doing for the world by revealing himself to Israel.

Obadiah 11-14  -  Edom helped Babylon destroy Jerusalem in 587 BC

Joel 3:19  -  “But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done   to the people of Judah, in whose land they she innocent blood.” 

Amos 1:11-12

Malachi 1:2-3

2 Chronicles 21:8-10-

2 Chronicles 25:11

2 Chronicles 28:17


Esau’s character is described in Hebrews 12:15, 16, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.”

See Genesis 36:1-9


The point:  You can choose God’s way or Edom’s way.



God has fought in the heavens and descends on Edom

After God has attacked the powers in the heavens he descends to finish his work on the earth.   The powers in the heavens that control the earthly powers of the nations.


“totally destroyed” is used again in reference to the people dedicated to God for destruction (“herem”


The destruction of the nations is seen as a sacrifice.  A sacrifice for their own rebellion.

All sin must end in a sacrifice either of the sinner or of one in place of the sinner.

Isaiah 53 anticipates this.   Salvation of the people of God is only possible because of Isaiah 53.


Isaiah 2:1-4 sees a day when the nations will learn the ways of God. 

But if they do not learn his ways (such as the sacrifice of Christ) then they will be slaughter as their own sacrifice.



“wild oxen. . .bull calves. ..great bulls” may refer to animals or to the political leaders of Edom.


Some translations read this as “men as strong as wild oxen . . .young men. . .veterans”


Bozrah is 25 miles southeast of the Dead Sea.

The Lord is seen coming from Edom in Isaiah 63.

This is the picture of the trampling of the winepress of Revelation 14:17-20



The nations have rebelled against God.

And in their rebellion they have attacked God’s people.




“Chaos” and “desolation” is “tohu” and “bohu” of Genesis 1:2



“wild goats” is “sa’ir” in Hebrew and can refer to demons.  The Septuagint translates this as demons.


“night creatures” is “lilith” and may refer to a mythical demon of the night.


But, since all the other animals listed are truly wild animals and the context continues about animals these two also should be considered animals.


“scroll of the Lord”  is a reference to the book in heaven of the earthly destiny

a)      Psalm 40:7, “It is written about me in the scroll”

b)      Psalm 139:16, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

c)      Malachi 3:16, “A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.”

d)      Daniel 7:10, “The court was seated and books where opened.”

e)      Daniel 10:20, “First I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth”

f)        Revelation 20:12, “. . .books where opened.”




God has decreed that Edom be a home for the wild animals in the future and so it will be.


The future destiny of people, nations, and the earth is decided by what we do in time.

If you trust the nations you, your nation and your land will parish.


The Desert is Turned to Productivity



Introduces the promise of a blooming desert.  The crocus refers to a small flower that    instantly turns the desert into a flower garden after a rain

All of a sudden the dark imagery of Edom’s wasteland is interrupted by fruitfulness.

The reason for the change is in verse 2 – the glory of the Lord and splendor of God.


God wants to share his glory  but rejects anyone else’s.



The feeble hands, shaking knees, fearful hearts refer to those waiting on God as they face the rebellious nations.

They are to be encouraged and continue to hope and produce.

This is quoted in Hebrews 12:12



This will be the time of complete and realized salvation for mankind


Streams in the desert recall the first Exodus.

This theme is carried into chapters 40-55



The highway for the people of the world to come to God in Zion

Highway mentioned in 11:12, 16

a)      the exiles returning will use this highway

b)      the pilgrims coming to celebrate will use this highway



“Way of Holiness” because those who walk it are holy


This discussion continues in chapter 40