In that day Yahweh will punish
the army of the heavens in the heavens,
and the kings of the earth on the earth. Bible see other translations

“the army of the heavens in the heavens, and the kings of the earth on the earth.” When Jesus comes and fights the Battle of Armageddon the human armies of the earth will be killed (Rev. 19:19-21) but the demonic army that has served Satan for millennia and wreaked havoc on the earth will be captured and thrown into Tartarus, the “god-prison,” where they will be imprisoned for the 1,000-year duration of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan and his demons will be loosed and they will gather people together to fight against God’s people. But they will be defeated in battle and thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:7-10).

There are already demons in Tartarus for their sin against God (1 Pet. 3:18-20; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6), and the demons of the “army of the heavens” of Isaiah 24:21 and who exercise control on the earth will be put there too. God has a prison for the Devil and demons, and it is called by different names in the Bible: the “pit” in Isaiah 24:22, “Tartarus” in 2 Peter. 2:4, the “Abyss” in Revelation 20:1, and “prison” in 1 Peter. 3:19. Isaiah 24:21-22 helps clarify Revelation 20:1, which only mentions Satan being chained in the Abyss for 1,000 years but says nothing about Satan’s demons. We know by logical deduction that not just Satan, but Satan and his demons, will be imprisoned at the end of the Battle of Armageddon because Christ’s 1,000-year kingdom on earth could not be “Paradise” (2 Cor. 12:4) if people were constantly being afflicted by demons like they are now. Verses such as Isaiah 24:21-22 and Daniel 7:12 are scriptural support that the demons are also imprisoned during the Millennial Kingdom, and furthermore, it is common in the Bible to mention something happening to a king or ruler when it will happen to his followers as well. For example, when the Bible makes a statement such as, “David went out and fought with the Philistines” (1 Sam. 19:8), the text only mentions David but it means David and his army. Similarly, when “Satan” is thrown in the Abyss (Rev. 20:1), or “the Devil” is thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10), it means Satan and his demon army.

In the Battle of Armageddon, both human kings and also demon spirits who are called “kings of the earth” will be punished. The human kings will be killed and the demon “kings” will be imprisoned. Here in Isaiah 24:21-22 however, the primary meaning of “the kings of the earth” is the demon “kings” that rule the earth behind the scenes, for example, the powerful demon in Daniel who is called the “prince” of Persia (Dan. 10:13, 20). After Armageddon, the demonic heavenly army and the demonic “kings” who influence what happens on earth will be rounded up and punished by being put into the “pit,” just as Isaiah 24:22 says. Furthermore, they will be “visited” after many days. The word “visited” can mean either visited for good or visited for evil, and here it primarily and ultimately means “visited for evil”—they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:7-10). Actually, from the whole scope of Scripture we know that Satan and his demons will be “visited” in the sense that they will be let loose out of their prison at which point they will return to earth and deceive the people into going to war against God’s people (Rev. 20:7-8) but then God “visits” them by a war from heaven and they are cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:9-10).

[For more on the use of the word “Paradise” to describe the Millennial Kingdom, see commentary on 2 Cor. 12:4. For more on Christ’s future kingdom on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth.”]

Commentary for: Isaiah 24:21