Isaiah 47

Daughter Babylon dethroned

1 Go down and sit in the dust, virgin Daughter Babylon! Sit on the ground without a throne, Daughter Chaldea, because they will no longer call you tender and pampered.
2 Take the millstones and grind flour! Remove your veil, strip off your robe, expose your thighs, wade through the rivers!
3 Your nakedness will be exposed, and your disgrace will be seen. I will take vengeance; no one will intervene.
4 Our redeemer has spoken; the LORD of heavenly forces is his name, the holy one of Israel.
5 Sit silent and go into darkness, Daughter Chaldea, because they will no longer call you Queen of Kingdoms.
6 I was enraged with my people; I made my inheritance impure and put them under your power. You took no pity on them. You made your yoke heavy even on the elderly.
7 You said, "I'm forever; I'm the eternal mistress." You didn't stop and think; you didn't consider the outcome.
8 So listen to this, luxuriant one who sits secure, who says in her heart, I'm utterly unique; I'll never sit as a widow; I'll never know childlessness:
9 Both of these will happen to you at once, on a single day: childlessness and widowhood will envelop you in full measure, despite your many sorceries, despite your very powerful spells.
10 You felt secure in your evil; you said, "No one sees me." Your wisdom and knowledge spun you around. You thought to yourself, I and no one else.
11 Now evil will come against you, something you won't anticipate. A curse will fall upon you, something you won't be able to dispel. Destruction will come upon you suddenly, something you won't foresee.
12 Continue with your enchantments, and with your many spells, which you have practiced since childhood. Maybe you will be able to succeed. Maybe you will inspire terror.
13 You are weary from all your consultations; let the astrologers stand up and save you, those who gaze at the stars, and predict what will happen to you at each new moon.
14 They are just like stubble; the fire burns them. They won't save themselves from the powerful flames. This is no warming ember or fire to sit beside.
15 Those with whom you have wearied yourself are like this, those with whom you were in business from your youth: each has wandered off on their own way; none will save you.

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Isaiah 47 Commentary

Chapter 47

God's judgments on Babylon. (1-6) Carelessness and confidence shall not prevent the evil. (7-15)

Verses 1-6 Babylon is represented under the emblem of a female in deep distress. She was to be degraded and endure sufferings; and is represented sitting on the ground, grinding at the handmill, the lowest and most laborious service. God was righteous in his vengeance, and none should interpose. The prophet exults in the Lord of hosts, as the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel. God often permits wicked men to prevail against his people; but those who cruelly oppress them will be punished.

Verses 7-15 Let us beware of acting and speaking as Babylon did; of trusting in tyranny and oppression; of boasting as to our abilities, relying on ourselves, and ascribing success to our own prudence and wisdom; lest we partake of her plagues. Those in the height of prosperity, are apt to fancy themselves out of the reach of adversity. It is also common for sinners to think they shall be safe, because they think to be secret in wicked ways. But their security shall be their ruin. Let us draw from such passages as the foregoing, those lessons of humility and trust in God which they convey. If we believe the word of God, we may know how it will be with the righteous and the wicked to all eternity. We may learn how to escape the wrath to come, to glorify God, to have peace through life, hope in death, and everlasting happiness. Let us then stand aloof from all delusions.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Syr, cf Vulg; MT I won’t meet a man

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a prophecy of the destruction of Babylon, and of the Chaldeans, and declares the causes of it. The mean, low, ignominious, and miserable condition Babylon and the Chaldeans should be brought into by the Lord, the Redeemer of his people, is described, Isa 47:1-5, the causes of it are their cruelty to the Jews, Isa 47:6, their pride, voluptuousness, and carnal security, Isa 47:7,8 their sorceries and enchantments, and trust in their own wisdom, Isa 47:9,10, wherefore their destruction should come suddenly upon them, and they should not be able to put it off, Isa 47:11, their magic art, and judiciary astrology, which they boasted of, by them they could neither foresee nor withstand their ruin, which would be of no avail unto them, Isa 47:12-14, nor their merchants either, Isa 47:15.

Isaiah 47 Commentaries

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