Isaiah 14:12-15

12 "How you have 1fallen from heaven, O 2star 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 3ascend to heaven; I will 4raise 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; 5I will make myself like the Most High.'
15 "Nevertheless you 6will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.

Isaiah 14:12-15 Meaning and Commentary

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 14:12-15 In-Context

10 "They will all respond and say to you, 'Even you have been made weak as we, You have become like us.
11 'Your pomp 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 fallen from heaven, O star 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 ascend to heaven; I will raise 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; I will make myself like the Most High.'
15 "Nevertheless you will 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 wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not allow his prisoners to go home?'

Cross References 6

  • 1. Isaiah 34:4; Luke 10:18; Revelation 8:10; Revelation 9:1
  • 2. 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 2:28; Revelation 22:16
  • 3. Ezekiel 28:2
  • 4. Daniel 5:22, 23; Daniel 8:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:4
  • 5. Isaiah 47:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:4
  • 6. Ezekiel 28:8; Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Heb "Helel;" i.e. shining one