Isaiah 14

Israel's Taunt

1 When the LORD will 1have compassion on Jacob and again 2choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then 3strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
2 The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the 4house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD 5as male servants and female servants *; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors.
3 And it will be in the day when the LORD gives you 6rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved,
4 that you will 7take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, "How 8the oppressor has ceased, And how fury has ceased!
5 "The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of rulers
6 9Which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing * strokes, Which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained * persecution.
7 "The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; They 10break forth into shouts of joy.
8 "Even the 11cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.'
9 "12Sheol from beneath * is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones.
10 "13They will all respond and say to you, 'Even you have been made weak as we, You have become like us.
11 'Your 14pomp and the music of your harps Have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you And worms are your covering.'
12 "How you have 15fallen from heaven, O 16star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!
13 "But you said in your heart, 'I will 17ascend to heaven; I will 18raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.
14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; 19I will make myself like the Most High.'
15 "Nevertheless you 20will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.
16 "Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world like a 21wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who 22did not allow his prisoners to go home?'
18 "All the kings of the nations lie in glory, Each in his own tomb.
19 "But you have been 23cast out of your tomb Like a rejected branch, Clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the 24pit Like a 25trampled corpse.
20 "You will not be united with them in burial, Because you have ruined your country, You have slain your people. May the 26offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.
21 "Prepare for his sons a place of slaughter Because of the 27iniquity of their fathers. They must not arise and take possession of 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 28name and survivors, 29offspring and posterity," declares the LORD.
23 "I will also make it a possession for the 30hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of 31destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

Judgment on Assyria

24 The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely *, 32just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,
25 to 33break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains. Then his 34yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulder.
26 "This is the 35plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the 36hand that is stretched out against all the nations.
27 "For 37the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"
28 In the 38year that King Ahaz died this 39oracle came:

Judgment on Philistia

29 "Do not rejoice, O 40Philistia, all of you, Because the rod that 41struck you is broken; For from the serpent's root a 42viper will come out, And its fruit will be a 43flying serpent.
30 "Those who are most 44helpless will eat, And the needy will lie down in security; I will destroy your root with 45famine, And it will kill off your survivors.
31 "Wail, O 46gate; cry, O city; Melt away, O 47Philistia, all of you; For smoke comes from the 48north, And 49there is no straggler in his ranks.
32 "How then will one answer the 50messengers of the nation? That 51the LORD has founded Zion, And 52the afflicted of His people will seek refuge in it."

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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 52

  • 1. Psalms 102:13; Isaiah 49:13, 15; Isaiah 54:7, 8
  • 2. Isaiah 41:8, 9; Isaiah 44:1; Isaiah 49:7; Zechariah 1:17; Zechariah 2:12
  • 3. Isaiah 56:3, 6; Ephesians 2:12-19
  • 4. Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 54:3
  • 5. Isaiah 60:10; Isaiah 61:5; Daniel 7:18, 27
  • 6. Ezra 9:8, 9; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 30:10; Jeremiah 46:27
  • 7. Habakkuk 2:6
  • 8. Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 54:14
  • 9. Isaiah 10:14; Isaiah 47:6
  • 10. Psalms 47:1-3; Psalms 98:1-9; Psalms 126:1-3
  • 11. Isaiah 55:12; Ezekiel 31:16
  • 12. Isaiah 5:14
  • 13. Ezekiel 32:21
  • 14. Isaiah 5:14
  • 15. Isaiah 34:4; Luke 10:18; Revelation 8:10; Revelation 9:1
  • 16. 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 2:28; Revelation 22:16
  • 17. Ezekiel 28:2
  • 18. Daniel 5:22, 23; Daniel 8:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:4
  • 19. Isaiah 47:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:4
  • 20. Ezekiel 28:8; Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15
  • 21. Joel 2:3
  • 22. Isaiah 45:13
  • 23. Isaiah 22:16-18
  • 24. Jeremiah 41:7, 9
  • 25. Isaiah 5:25
  • 26. Job 18:16, 19; Psalms 21:10; Psalms 37:28; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 31:2
  • 27. Exodus 20:5; Leviticus 26:39; Isaiah 13:16; Matthew 23:35
  • 28. Proverbs 10:7
  • 29. Job 18:19; Isaiah 47:9
  • 30. Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14
  • 31. 1 Kings 14:10; Isaiah 13:6
  • 32. Job 23:13; Isaiah 46:11; Isaiah 55:8, 9; Acts 4:28
  • 33. Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 30:31; Isaiah 31:8
  • 34. Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:27; Nahum 1:13
  • 35. Isaiah 23:9; Zephaniah 3:6, 8
  • 36. Exodus 15:12
  • 37. 2 Chronicles 20:6; Isaiah 43:13; Daniel 4:31, 35
  • 38. 2 Kings 16:20; 2 Chronicles 28:27
  • 39. Isaiah 13:1
  • 40. Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 47:1-7; Ezekiel 25:15-17; Joel 3:4-8; Amos 1:6-8; Zephaniah 2:4-7; Zechariah 9:5-7
  • 41. 2 Chronicles 26:6
  • 42. Isaiah 11:8
  • 43. Isaiah 30:6
  • 44. Isaiah 3:14, 15; Isaiah 7:21, 22; Isaiah 11:4
  • 45. Isaiah 8:21; Isaiah 9:20; Isaiah 51:19
  • 46. Isaiah 3:26; Isaiah 24:12; Isaiah 45:2
  • 47. Isaiah 14:29
  • 48. Jeremiah 1:14
  • 49. Isaiah 34:16
  • 50. Isaiah 37:9
  • 51. Psalms 87:1, 5; Psalms 102:16; Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 54:11
  • 52. Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 57:13; Zephaniah 3:12; Hebrews 11:10; James 2:5

Footnotes 17

  • [a]. Lit "the captors will become their captives"
  • [b]. Or "proverb"
  • [c]. Amended from the meaningless "medhebah" to "marhebah"
  • [d]. Or "ruled"
  • [e]. Or "shades" (Heb "Repha'im")
  • [f]. Lit "male goats"
  • [g]. Heb "Helel;" i.e. shining one
  • [h]. Lit "show themselves attentive to"
  • [i]. Lit "open"
  • [j]. Lit "house"
  • [k]. Lit "an abhorred branch"
  • [l]. Or "As the clothing of those who are slain"
  • [m]. Lit "planned"
  • [n]. Or "burden"
  • [o]. Lit "the firstborn of the helpless"
  • [p]. Lit "put to death"
  • [q]. Or "Become demoralized"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 14

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