Isaiah Chapter 14 Continued
Verses 16-21. The final section of the dirge elaborates on the disgrace of the king, on display before all as an unburied corpse.
Verse 16 from our last lesson is shown again here.
Isaiah 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
“Is this the man”? The complete role reversal from the most powerful to utter humiliation will provoke universal amazement.
Isaiah 14:17 “[That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners?”
Most expositors believe this to be speaking again, of the Babylonian captivity and the fallen king of Babylon, literally.
The evil people’s hero has fallen. The devastation caused by Satan through all the evil rulers of the earth is caught up in this one statement. You see, it might be the evil king of Babylon who carried out the evil on the earth, but it was Satan, himself, who directed the evil.
We mentioned Hitler in the previous lesson. He struck fear in many a heart, and left devastation everywhere he went, but there came a day when God said, it is enough. Hitler, the Babylonian king, and all other wicked rulers come to the same fate as Lucifer.
They are thrown down to the pit. They may have struck fear in the hearts of many when they were in power, but now they have no power at all, and we wonder why we ever feared them. In defeat, they are no more than any other man. They will suffer great punishment for the cruelty they inflicted on others on the earth. Hitler and the Babylonian king were under the influence of the devil himself.
Isaiah 14:18 “All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.”
Kings, such as king David, are buried and remembered for their greatness. An evil king is not remembered. It is good to forget their evil life as soon as possible.
“All the kings … lie in glory”: The king of Babylon is the sole exception. The rest of the kings received honorable burials.
Isaiah 14:19 “But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet.”
“Carcass trodden under feet”: Among the ancients, this was the deepest degradation. Not having a burial, as in the case of king Jehoiakim (Jer. 22:18-19), indicated complete disrespect and disregard for one’s life. To die without mourners or honors was considered worse than being born dead, even if one had many children and a full life.
The Babylonian, or Hitler, was not buried with honor and pomp. They did not receive a heroes’ grave. Their branch is cut off and thrown away. No one wants to be their offspring. A branch, such as the verse above mentions, is burned or completely destroyed.
They have been dressed in fine garments, but they are blood stained and torn now, of no use to anyone. Bodies of the fallen in battle in the time of the Babylonians, many times, were just left to decay and be forgotten. The main reason is no one claims the body of someone this evil.
Isaiah 14:20 “Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.”
Evil rulers’ monuments are torn down; they are not remembered with fondness. God would not let an evil race continue on. Just as He killed all in Sodom and Gomorrah, so the evil of the city would not spread, God will not allow evil to continue from generation to generation. He will stop their line of inheritance.
Because the king of Babylon was an evildoer, he had no monument or posterity to keep his memory alive.
Isaiah 14:21 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.”
The thing this is saying to me, is that God does not want evil to live on in the children of the evil one. He will not allow evil to prosper and fill the cities with evil.
Isaiah 14:22 “For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.”
Israel will have a remnant, but not Babylon, according to the Lord’s promise (in verses 22-23; Rev. 18:2 and 21).
Isaiah 14:23 “I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.”
The city of Babylon was thought to be indestructible. The hanging gardens of Babylon, also, were thought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We find that world renowned seldom remains. Babylon fell and has never been rebuilt. It is in total destruction, as are many of the evil kings who had reigned here.
It fell to Cyrus of Persia, but really God destroyed Babylon, as He will destroy any city, or people, with the spirit of Babylon today. The spirit of Babylon is the spirit of Satan, himself.
In 1983, Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city on top of the old ruins (because of this, artifacts and other finds may well be under the city by now), investing in both restoration and new construction. He inscribed his name on many of the bricks in imitation of Nebuchadnezzar. One frequent inscription reads: “This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq”. Saddam Hussein, another evil leader and we all know what happened to him. An article published in April 2006 states that UN officials and Iraqi leaders have plans for restoring Babylon, making it into a cultural center. As of May 2009, the provincial government of Babil has reopened the site to tourism.
Verses 24-32. As a part of the same burden (begun in 13:1), the prophet turns his attention to the Assyrian. He promises that God will break the Assyrian upon my mountains (the Judean hills). This promise was later fulfilled during the prophet’s own lifetime when the Assyrian army was struck by the Angel of the Lord (37:36). The year that king Ahaz died (was approximately 727 B.C.). Palestina refers to Philistia. Here the prophet warns Israel’s perennial enemies not to rejoice in their plight because they too shall be invaded from the north, i.e. Babylon.
Isaiah 14:24-25 “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand:” “That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.”
The Lord is not a man that He should lie, God is Truth. Every thing He has said would happen will happen. It may not happen in the time frame that we wish it to, but it will happen.
Isaiah has stopped looking to the far future here, and is dealing with the more immediate problem of the Assyrians. This breaking of the Assyrian is a direct intervention by God. They will not be burdened by the Assyrian. Their rule will cease shortly.
Isaiah 14:26 “This [is] the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this [is] the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.”
God is not just God of one little people, but is God of all nations. They may be rebellious and serve other gods, but God is their Creator and their God. When God stretches His hand forth, no one can remove it, but Himself.
The scope of this judgment against the whole earth represents His final wrath against the ungodly in Israel (5:25; 9:17), and the nations (23:11).
Isaiah 14:27 “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul [it]? and his hand [is] stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
This just puts greater emphasis on what was said (in verse 26). Man may desire something contrary to the will of God, but once God has set the plan, there is no turning back. There is none greater than the LORD, so no one can turn Him back.
Isaiah 14:28 “In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.”
We learned earlier in these lessons, that the word translated “burden” means prophecy. Ahaz died approximately 725 B.C.
Isaiah 14:29 “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit [shall be] a fiery flying serpent.”
Israel need not think an alliance with the Philistines would save them from the Assyrians, since Assyria would conquer this neighbor of Israel too. “Rod … broken”: The prophet pictured the Assyrian weakness, their conquest of Philistia notwithstanding.
Isaiah is saying, that because one enemy is overturned, it does not mean their troubles are over. Another more wicked will come forth seemingly from the same root. Palestina is thought to be a region of Syria. It could be Syria of the Philistines.
Isaiah 14:30 “And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.”
The poor of Judah who depend on the Lord are to find Him to be a refuge, but the Philistine oppressors are to meet their doom. God protects the poor and the needy. They shall have food. God will bring famine to the Philistines. Another army will come to destroy them, but they will be killed by the famine.
Isaiah 14:31 “Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, [art] dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none [shall be] alone in his appointed times.”
This is speaking to all of the cities of Philistia. They shall all be destroyed. The smoke is the army of Assyria who overwhelms them and destroys them.
Isaiah 14:32 “What shall [one] then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.”
The messengers were the Philistine envoys who sought an alliance with Israel. Isaiah’s answer saw the Lord as Zion’s only security. They may come for help, but the only help they will get will be safety in Zion. Those in the world who are wretched and poor of spirit, as well as physically, shall find help in the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and you shall be saved.
Isaiah Chapter 14 Continued Questions
- What will the people say, when they see the man who caused the earth to tremble?
- What other things does verse 17 say he did?
- Who does the author believe this is speaking of?
- Regardless of who does the evil on the earth, it originates with _______.
- What fate do these evil rulers have awaiting them?
- _________ was a good king who is remembered and highly regarded.
- What kind of branch is this evil one?
- What is done with this kind of branch?
- At the time of the literal Babylonians, what happened to those fallen in battle?
- Why will they not be joined with them in burial?
- What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah?
- What happens to the children for the iniquity of their father?
- What is verse 22 saying?
- The _________ __________ of Babylon was thought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Who did Babylon fall to?
- What is the spirit of Babylon?
- The Lord of hosts is not a ______ that He should lie.
- What time change is there in verse 25?
- Who can remove God’s hand, when He stretches it out?
- Verse 28 says, the burden was when?
- What will come from the root of the serpent?
- Where is Palestina?
- How will God defeat the Philistines?
- What is in Zion in verse 32?
- Who shall find help in the Lord?