What does Isaiah 5:24 mean?
ESV: Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
NIV: Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
NASB: Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble, And dry grass collapses in the flame, So their root will become like rot, and their blossom blow away like dust; For they have rejected the Law of the Lord of armies, And discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel.
CSB: Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw and as dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will become like something rotten and their blossoms will blow away like dust, for they have rejected the instruction of the Lord of Armies, and they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
NLT: Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot and their flowers wither. For they have rejected the law of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
KJV: Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
NKJV: Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Verse Commentary:
Isaiah has been describing the outcome for those who blatantly disregard the Lord. He has identified them as people who intentionally carry their sin around with them (Isaiah 5:18). They have mocked God's coming judgment (Isaiah 5:19) and turned good and evil upside down (Isaiah 5:20). Lastly, He has condemned those who are praised for their drinking while taking bribes to set guilty men free (Isaiah 5:23).

These people will be like a plant that is so dried out, it instantly ignites all the way down to the root when it is touched by fire. The plant has become rotten to the core. It is obliterated the moment fire catches it. Those in Israel who have forsaken the Lord and His word should expect to be quickly consumed when the Lord's judgment comes.

That's exactly what the people of Judah had done. They had spat upon God's revelation to them. They had invested in glorifying and satisfying themselves. This had made their existence dangerously temporary.
Verse Context:
Isaiah 5:8–30 contains Isaiah's dire predictions about the upcoming judgment of Israel. The first "woes" are to the greedy and the pleasure-seeking drinkers. They will go into exile and to the grave for refusing to acknowledge God. The Lord then will be exalted for restoring justice and righteousness. The next woes are to those who embrace sin and mock the coming judgment. These are also those people who have mixed evil and good and believe they know better than God. The final listed woes are those who make it a point of pride how much alcohol they can drink, as well as how they can work the system with bribes. The Lord will summon the armies of the nations to bring judgment on His people.
Chapter Summary:
Isaiah 5 begins with a parable about a farmer who builds a vineyard that produces sour grapes. The owner says he will lay waste to the vineyard. Isaiah reveals the owner to be the Lord and the vineyard to be Israel. Israel's bad fruit includes the greed of the wealthy and the hedonism of the people. They will go hungry and thirsty, into exile, and the grave. The Lord will be exalted for His righteousness. Isaiah pronounces woe on the sinners, the mockers, and the unjust rulers. The Lord will summon the nations to judge His people.
Chapter Context:
Early chapters (Isaiah 1—4) established a prophetic message given to the people of Israel. Isaiah 5 begins a new section with a parable about a vineyard that produces wild grapes despite all the work the owner has done. The vineyard is Israel, and the owner is the Lord. He will lay waste to the vineyard for the greed and drunkenness of the people. They will go into exile and the grave. The Lord will be exalted, but woe to those who embrace sin, and mock God's judgment. As well as those who take bribes against the poor. He has summoned the nations. Judgment is coming. The next chapter includes one of the Bible's most famous visions (Isaiah 6).
Book Summary:
Isaiah is among the most important prophetic books in the entire Bible. The first segment details God's impending judgment against ancient peoples for sin and idolatry (Isaiah 1—35). The second part of Isaiah briefly explains a failed assault on Jerusalem during the rule of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—39). The final chapters predict Israel's rescue from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 40—48), the promised Messiah (Isaiah 49—57), and the final glory of Jerusalem and God's people (Isaiah 58—66).
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