Isaiah 51:23

23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Fall prostrate that we may walk on you.’ And you made your back like the ground, like a street to be walked on.”

Read Isaiah 51:23 Using Other Translations

But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, 'Bow down, that we may pass over'; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over."
Instead, I will hand that cup to your tormentors, those who said, ‘We will trample you into the dust and walk on your backs.’”

What does Isaiah 51:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 51:23

And I will put it into the hand of them that afflict me
As the Lord did to literal Babylon, ( Jeremiah 25:15 Jeremiah 25:16 ) , so will he do to mystical Babylon; he will retaliate upon her all the evils she has done to others, and destroy them that destroyed the earth; see ( Revelation 11:18 ) ( 13:10 ) ( 18:6 ) , which have said to thy soul, bow down, that we may go over;
who not only afflicted the bodies, but tyrannized over the souls and consciences of men; obliging them to a compliance with their idolatrous practices, to bow down and worship the beast, and his image; and thereby acknowledge subjection to the see of Rome, and its authority over them: the allusion seems to be the custom of the eastern kings trampling upon the necks of their conquered enemies, ( Joshua 10:24 ) , and the pope of Rome has, in a literal sense, trampled upon the necks even of kings and emperors. And thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them
that went over;
which expresses the low estate of the church of Christ, or holy city, while trodden under foot by the Gentiles during the reign of antichrist, ( Revelation 11:2 ) , and may also denote the sneaking outward compliance of some through the force of persecution, when they did not cordially embrace, nor with conscience, and from their heart, submit to the authority of the church of Rome; but though the people of God are represented in such a low and grovelling condition, yet they shall arise out of it, and come into a very flourishing one, as the next chapter shows.

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