Isaiah 14:17

17 the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”

Read Isaiah 14:17 Using Other Translations

That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?'
Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’

What does Isaiah 14:17 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 14:17

[That] made the world as a wilderness
Both by destroying the inhabitants of it, and by laying waste cities, towns, villages, fields, vineyards, gardens, and all places improved and cultivated, wherever he came, as it follows: and destroyed the cities thereof;
as the Assyrian kings had done, some of which are mentioned in ( Isaiah 10:9 ) ( Isaiah 37:11-13 Isaiah 37:18 ) : [that] opened not the house of his prisoners;
the prison house, in, which they were held; or,

``the gate to his prisoners,''
as the Targum; or rather the words may be rendered, "that opened not to his prisoners", that they might go "home"; or as De Dieu, in short, yet fully, expresses it, "that did not dismiss his prisoners home"; he not only cruelly and inhumanly put many to the sword, but such as surrendered, and were taken captives, he detained them in prison, and would not loose their bonds, but let them die there; which was an instance of great cruelty and inhumanity.
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