The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred.
The city of chaos is broken down; Every house is shut up so that none may enter.
The city writhes in chaos; every home is locked to keep out looters.
The chaotic cities are unlivable. Anarchy reigns. Every house is boarded up, condemned.
The town is waste and broken down: every house is shut up, so that no man may come in.
The city of chaos is broken down, every house is shut up so that no one can enter.
The city of confusion is broken down; Every house is shut up, so that none may go in.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “the city of chaos” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). Isaiah uses the term תֹּהוּ (tohu) rather frequently of things (like idols) that are empty and worthless (see BDB 1062 s.v.), so the word might characterize the city as rebellious or morally worthless. However, in this context, which focuses on the effects of divine judgment, it probably refers to the ruined or worthless condition in which the city is left (note the use of the word in Isa 34:11). For a discussion of the identity of this city, see R. Chisholm, “The ‘Everlasting Covenant’ and the ‘City of Chaos’: Intentional Ambiguity and Irony in Isaiah 24,” CTR 6 (1993): 237-53. In the context of universal judgment depicted in Isa 24, this city represents all the nations and cities of the world which, like Babylon of old and the powers/cities mentioned in chapters 13-23, rebel against God’s authority. Behind the stereotypical language one can detect various specific manifestations of this symbolic and paradigmatic city, including Babylon, Moab, and Jerusalem, all of which are alluded or referred to in chapters 24-27.
2 tn Heb “every house is closed up from entering.”