Isaiah 14

Listen to Isaiah 14

The Restoration of Jacob

1 1For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and 2will set them in their own land, and 3sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
2 And 4the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD's land 5as male and female slaves. 6They will take captive those who were their captors, 7and rule over those who oppressed them.

Israel's Remnant Taunts Babylon

3 When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,
4 you will take up this 8taunt against the king of Babylon: "How the oppressor has ceased, 9the insolent fury[a] ceased!
5 The LORD has broken the 10staff of the wicked, the 11scepter of rulers,
6 12that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution.
7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet; 13they break forth into singing.
8 The cypresses rejoice at you, 14the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.'
9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations.
10 15All of them will answer and say to you: 'You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!'
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers.
12 "How 16you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, 17son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
13 You said in your heart, 18'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God 19I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;[b]
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
15 20But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.
16 Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: 'Is this 21the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, 22who did not let his prisoners go home?'
18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb;[c]
19 but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, 23clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people."May 24the offspring of evildoers nevermore be named!
21 Prepare slaughter for his sons 25because of the guilt of their fathers, lest they rise and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities."
22 "I will rise up against them," declares the LORD of hosts, "and will cut off from Babylon name and 26remnant, 27descendants and posterity," declares the LORD.
23 "And I will make it a possession of the 28hedgehog,[d] and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Assyria

24 The LORD of hosts has sworn: 29"As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,
25 that 30I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and 31his yoke shall depart from them, and 32his burden from their shoulder."
26 This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is 33the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
27 34For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? 35His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

An Oracle Concerning Philistia

28 In the year that 36King Ahaz died came this 37oracle:
29 Rejoice not, 38O Philistia, all of you, that 39the rod that struck you is broken, for from the serpent's root will come forth an adder, and its fruit will be a 40flying fiery serpent.
30 And the firstborn of 41the poor will graze, and 42the needy lie down in safety; but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant it will slay.
31 43Wail, O 44gate; cry out, O city; melt in fear, 45O Philistia, all of you! 46For smoke comes out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks.
32 What will one answer the messengers of the nation? 47"The LORD has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge."

Images for Isaiah 14

Isaiah 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

The destruction of Babylon, and the death of its proud monarch. (1-23) Assurance of the destruction of Assyria. (24-27) The destruction of the Philistines. (28-32)

Verses 1-23 The whole plan of Divine Providence is arranged with a view to the good of the people of God. A settlement in the land of promise is of God's mercy. Let the church receive those whom God receives. God's people, wherever their lot is cast, should endeavour to recommend religion by a right and winning conversation. Those that would not be reconciled to them, should be humbled by them. This may be applied to the success of the gospel, when those were brought to obey it who had opposed it. God himself undertakes to work a blessed change. They shall have rest from their sorrow and fear, the sense of their present burdens, and the dread of worse. Babylon abounded in riches. The king of Babylon having the absolute command of so much wealth, by the help of it ruled the nations. This refers especially to the people of the Jews; and it filled up the measure of the king of Babylon's sins. Tyrants sacrifice their true interest to their lusts and passions. It is gracious ambition to covet to be like the Most Holy, for he has said, Be ye holy, for I am holy; but it is sinful ambition to aim to be like the Most High, for he has said, He who exalts himself shall be abased. The devil thus drew our first parents to sin. Utter ruin should be brought upon him. Those that will not cease to sin, God will make to cease. He should be slain, and go down to the grave; this is the common fate of tyrants. True glory, that is, true grace, will go up with the soul to heaven, but vain pomp will go down with the body to the grave; there is an end of it. To be denied burial, if for righteousness' sake, may be rejoiced in, ( Matthew 5:12 ) . But if the just punishment of sin, it denotes that impenitent sinners shall rise to everlasting shame and contempt. Many triumphs should be in his fall. God will reckon with those that disturb the peace of mankind. The receiving the king of Babylon into the regions of the dead, shows there is a world of spirits, to which the souls of men remove at death. And that souls have converse with each other, though we have none with them; and that death and hell will be death and hell indeed, to all who fall unholy, from the height of this world's pomps, and the fulness of its pleasures. Learn from all this, that the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned. The royal city is to be ruined and forsaken. Thus the utter destruction of the New Testament Babylon is illustrated, ( Revelation 18:2 ) . When a people will not be made clean with the besom of reformation, what can they expect but to be swept off the face of the earth with the besom of destruction?

Verses 24-27 Let those that make themselves a yoke and a burden to God's people, see what they are to expect. Let those that are the called according to God's purpose, comfort themselves, that whatever God has purposed, it shall stand. The Lord of hosts has purposed to break the Assyrian's yoke; his hand is stretched out to execute this purpose; who has power to turn it back? By such dispensations of providence, the Almighty shows in the most convincing manner, that sin is hateful in his sight.

Verses 28-32 Assurance is given of the destruction of the Philistines and their power, by famine and war. Hezekiah would be more terrible to them than Uzziah had been. Instead of rejoicing, there would be lamentation, for the whole land would be ruined. Such destruction will come upon the proud and rebellious, but the Lord founded Zion for a refuge to poor sinners, who flee from the wrath to come, and trust in his mercy through Christ Jesus. Let us tell all around of our comforts and security, and exhort them to seek the same refuge and salvation.

Cross References 47

  • 1. Psalms 102:13; Zechariah 1:17
  • 2. 2 Chronicles 36:22, 23
  • 3. Zechariah 8:22, 23; See Ephesians 2:12-14
  • 4. Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 60:9; Isaiah 66:20
  • 5. Isaiah 61:5
  • 6. [Joel 3:8]
  • 7. Isaiah 60:14
  • 8. Micah 2:4; Habakkuk 2:6
  • 9. [Jeremiah 51:13; Revelation 18:16]
  • 10. [Isaiah 9:4]
  • 11. [Isaiah 9:4]
  • 12. [Jeremiah 50:23]
  • 13. Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 55:12
  • 14. See Isaiah 2:13
  • 15. [Jeremiah 51:48]
  • 16. [Isaiah 24:21; Isaiah 34:3]
  • 17. [Job 38:7]
  • 18. Jeremiah 51:53; Amos 9:2; [Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15]
  • 19. Daniel 5:22, 23; [2 Thessalonians 2:4]
  • 20. Ezekiel 32:23; Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15
  • 21. [Jeremiah 50:23]
  • 22. [Jeremiah 50:33]
  • 23. [Ezekiel 32:20]
  • 24. Job 18:19; Psalms 21:10; Psalms 109:13
  • 25. [Exodus 20:5; Matthew 23:35]
  • 26. [Jeremiah 51:50, 62]
  • 27. Job 18:19; [Genesis 21:23]
  • 28. Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14
  • 29. [Proverbs 19:21]
  • 30. Isaiah 37:36
  • 31. Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:27
  • 32. Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:27
  • 33. [Deuteronomy 4:34]
  • 34. 2 Chronicles 20:6; Job 9:12; Psalms 33:11; Proverbs 21:30; Dan. 4:31, 33, 35
  • 35. [See ver. 26 above]
  • 36. 2 Kings 16:20
  • 37. See Isaiah 13:1
  • 38. Exodus 15:14; [Psalms 60:8; Psalms 87:4; Psalms 108:9]
  • 39. [Isaiah 10:24]
  • 40. Isaiah 30:6; Numbers 21:6; [Jeremiah 46:22]
  • 41. [Isaiah 29:19; Zephaniah 3:12]
  • 42. [Isaiah 29:19; Zephaniah 3:12]
  • 43. Isaiah 13:6
  • 44. Isaiah 24:12
  • 45. [See ver. 29 above]
  • 46. [Isaiah 20:1]
  • 47. Psalms 87:1, 5; Psalms 102:16; Psalms 132:13; [Isaiah 28:16]

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Dead Sea Scroll (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain
  • [b]. Or in the remote parts of Zaphon
  • [c]. Hebrew house
  • [d]. Possibly porcupine, or owl

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains prophecies of the restoration of the Jews, of the fall of the king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Assyrian empire, and of the ruin of Palestine. The moving cause of the restoration of the Jews, and their settlement in their own land, is the distinguishing mercy of God towards them; the accomplishment of it, proselytes joined unto them; the means, people of other nations, who should bring them into it, and whom they should possess and rule over; and the consequence of it, rest from sorrow, fear, and hard bondage, Isa 14:1-3 upon which they are introduced as taking up a proverb, or a triumphant song, concerning the king of Babylon, wondering at his fall, and ascribing it to the Lord, Isa 14:4,5 representing the inhabitants of the earth, and great men of it, as at peace, and rest, and rejoicing, who before were continually disturbed, and smitten by him, Isa 14:6-8 introducing the dead, and those in hell, meeting him, and welcoming him into their regions, with taunts and jeers; upbraiding him with his weakness, shame, and disgrace he was come into; putting him in mind of his former pomp and splendour, pride, arrogance, and haughtiness, Isa 14:9-15 spectators are brought in, as amazed at the low, mean, and despicable condition he was brought into, considering what he had done in the world, in kingdoms and cities, but was now denied a burial, when other kings lay in their pompous sepulchres, Isa 14:16-20 and then it is foretold that that whole royal family should be cut off, and Babylon, the metropolis of his kingdom, should be utterly destroyed, Isa 14:21-23 all which was settled and fixed by the purpose of God, which could not be made void, Isa 14:24-27 and next follows a prophecy of the destruction of Palestine; the date of the prophecy is given Isa 14:28 the inhabitants of Palestine are bid not to rejoice at the death of one of the kings of Judah, since another should arise, who would be fatal to them, Isa 14:29 and while the Jews would be in safety, they would be destroyed by famine and war, Isa 14:30,31 from all which it would appear, and it might be told the messengers of the nations, or any inquiring persons, that Zion is of the Lord's founding, and under his care and protection, and that his people have great reason and encouragement to trust in him, Isa 14:32.

Isaiah 14 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.