The “high ones … and the kings of the earth … shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall … be visited.” The picture changes here. Earlier verses show how the Time of Trouble will affect all society with disarray and harsh experiences. The condemnation will be particularly on the “high ones” of the earth. When earth is viewed throughout its history, there have been cycles of conditions leading up to a climax requiring judgment: guilt and sin, then judgment; guilt and sin, then judgment; etc. But many have died without receiving judgment, punishment, or retribution. Now the wicked flourish “like a green bay tree” (Psa. 37:35), and those who tempt God seem to prosper. Verses 21 and 22 are summarizing that down through history, those who have failed in their stewardship of responsibility will not escape retribution.