The streams [of Edom] will be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone,
And its land will become burning pitch.
The burning will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will lie in ruins;
No one will ever again pass through it.
But the pelican and the porcupine will take possession of it;
The owl and the raven will dwell in it.
And He will stretch over it (Edom) the measuring line of desolation
And the plumb line of emptiness.
Its nobles—there is no one there
Whom they may proclaim king—
And all its princes will be nothing.
Thorns will come up in its fortified palaces,
Nettles and brambles in its fortified cities;
It will be a haunt for jackals,
An abode for ostriches.
The creatures of the desert will encounter jackals
And the [b]hairy goat will call to its kind;
Indeed, [c]Lilith (night demon) will settle there
And find herself a place of rest.
There the arrow snake will make her nest and lay her eggs,
And hatch them and gather her young under her protection;
Indeed, the birds of prey will be gathered there [to breed],
Every one with its own kind.
Seek from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these [creatures] will be missing;
None will lack its mate.
For His mouth has commanded,
And His Spirit has gathered them. – Isaiah 34:9-16
From all this two sound and important conclusions follow:—
1. We may put equal confidence in its declarations concerning God. Nothing but Divine knowledge and insight can so disclose the future and the hidden; and if we have found the Bible reliable when it tells us of earthly things, may we not believe it when it tells us of heavenly things?
2. We may be sure that its prophecies concerning the future of Christ’s kingdom and the destiny of the human race will in like manner be fulfilled to the letter (Psa ; Psa 72:17; Rom 8:19; Rom 8:23). So many of the prophecies of God’s Word have already been accomplished, that we should feel confident that those not yet fulfilled are surely marching on to their fulfilment. The prospects of success in the mission-field are brighter in our day than ever they were. The Church is taking an interest in the enterprise quite unknown to former generations, and openings have been made into lands before closed alike against commerce and Christianity. But even if our hopes of success were less cheering, we would not despair. With so many Bible predictions behind us in the past now become history, we cannot but be encouraged to look for the fulfilment of those glowing promises concerning the future coming of the Redeemer’s kingdom which stand on the inspired page. Let us never lose sight of those grand predictions; let us cherish a hopeful and expectant spirit, and in the confidence of success descend to the spiritual harvest of the world (H. E. I. 1166-1168).—William Guthrie
Those who aim to ruin the church, can never do that, but will ruin themselves. What dismal changes sin can make! It turns a fruitful land into barrenness, a crowded city into a wilderness. Let us compare all we discover in the book of the Lord, with the dealings of providence around us, that we may be more diligent in seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What the mouth of the Lord has commanded, his Spirit will perform. And let us observe how the evidences of the truth continually increase, as one prophecy after another is fulfilled, until these awful scenes bring in more happy days. As Israel was a figure of the Christian church, so the Edomites, their bitter enemies, represent the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. God’s Jerusalem may be laid in ruins for a time, but the enemies of the church shall be desolate for ever. – Matthew Henry