Isaiah 14 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
This chapter continues 'the Burden of Babylon,' which started in Isa 13:1.
1. For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob,
and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land:
and the strangers shall be joined with them,
and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
{cp. Isa 56:6,8}
2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place:
and the house of Israel shall possess them
in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids:
and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were;
and they shall rule over their oppressors.
for the LORD will have mercy on Jacob... and strangers shall be joined with them...-
These verses continue the thought of the previous chapter, explaining the cause, severity, and certainty of the judgment upon Babylon, described there (eg., Isa 13:19-22). The captivities of Israel and Judah were still future, when Isaiah spoke these words. Yet, here, he "foretells Israel's future conversion and the ingathering of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God, in relationship with Israel, and in subjection to her." [in quotes, GWms]
3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest
from thy sorrow, and from thy fear,
and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
4. That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say,
How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
5 The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked
{ie., the wicked one},
[and] the sceptre of the rulers.
6 He
{ie., the wicked one} who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, [and] none hindereth.
7 The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing.
8 Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the cedars of Lebanon, [saying],
Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.
in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow... -
In vs.3,4, the pronouns 'thee, thy, and thou' all refer to Israel, which is spoken of as one undivided nation (cp. v.1,2). The passage does not describe the temporary relief which Israel experienced from oppressors during the partial restoration which followed the Babylonian captivity, for those were 'troublous times' (Dan 9:25). Rather, the application must concern the end of the age, when...
the whole earth is at rest... they break forth into singing.-
Israel and the gentile nations will rejoice together, that the wicked one is deposed, and that peace covers the earth (v.5-7).
the fir trees rejoice... since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.-
Following the judgment of the Antichrist, the people of the nations will rejoice. For with the tyrant's removal, they will no longer be cut down, in the process of waging his wars (cp. Isa 10:17-19).
     Prevailing peace will not characterize the world, until "the LORD shall give thee rest" (v.3), when Christ establishes His Kingdom of peace on earth (eg. Isa 9:7), and puts an end to the oppressor (the Antichrist) and his oppressive empire. (In v.4, 'the golden city' is one HB word, meaning 'the exactor of gold.' The empire enriched itself at the expense of others. Rev 18:1-8)
     The rejoicing of the nations (v.7,8) contrasts sharply with the dirge that follows (in v.9-20). The subject of the dirge is the deposed Antichrist, Satan incarnate.
9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee] at thy coming:
it stirreth up the dead for thee, [even] all the chief ones of the earth;
it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee,
Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols:
the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
[how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
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;
17 [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof;
[that] opened not the house of his prisoners?
hell... is moved to meet thee... the chief ones of the earth... the kings of the nations...-
The great men, of human history, who had a part in building the world system, Babylon the Great, are disquieted in their graves and roused from the sleep of death. They stand respectfully, in the dust of their former glory, to greet their ultimate leader.
     Note: The words 'hell' and 'the grave' are both translations of HB=sheol, the place of the dead. The NT equivalent is GK=hades, the grave, the holding place of the spirits of dead men pending the final judgment. The final judgment for Satan and his followers is the lake of fire (Mat 25:41).
Lucifer {meaning: light bearer, shining one, morning star}, son of the morning {or, of the dawn} -
Although these names may be descriptive of Satan's beauty before his fall (cp. Eze 28:13-17), they are also Messianic titles (eg., 2Pet 1:19; Rev 2:28; 22:16). The Antichrist will usurp these titles, presenting himself as the Christ, the Savior of the world. cp. Mat 24:24; 2Cor 11:13-15; Rev 13:4
thou hast said in thine heart, I will...- Satan's self-exalting pride was the cause of his downfall.
Not willing to be subservient to God, he desired to be like God, to be exalted above the angels (stars) of God, and to reign from the throne of God.
     [For more detailed discussion about the blasphemous self-exaltation of the Antichrist and Satan (as depicted by the prince and king of Tyre), see the Book Notes at Ezekiel 28:1-19.]
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.-
This is Mt. Zion, the city of the Great King (Psa 48:2), where the Antichrist will install himself during the Great Tribulation (2The 2:3,4). But, he will not remain there long.
thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.- cp. Eze 28:8,9; Rev 19:20; 20:10
The realm, which he coveted for himself, is far from the realm of his final end.
Is this the man that caused the earth to tremble...?
The wicked one has bound men in darkness, and terrorized and destroyed the people of earth. The senseless destruction, of lives and cities, is regular fare on the evening news programs. But, like the mass murderer, stripped of his weapons and bravado, as he stands before the bar of justice, Satan himself will soon be brought down to nothing.
18 All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory,
every one in his own house
{ie., tomb, mausoleum}.
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 carcase trodden under feet.
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.
like an abominable branch {HB= netser} - cp. Joh 15:6
not joined with them in burial - but cast alive into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20; 20:10)
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.
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
{ie., progeny, grandchildren}, saith the LORD.
23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern,
{bittern: shy animals, eg., porcupine, hedgehog}
and pools {or, mud holes} of water:
and I will sweep it with the besom
{ie., broom} of destruction,
saith the LORD of hosts.
24. 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:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land,
and upon my mountains
{ie., hills} tread him under foot:
then shall his yoke depart from off them,
and his burden depart from off their shoulders.
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.
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?
I will break the Assyrian in my land...-
Note that Babylon (v.22) and 'the Assyrian' (v.25) are to be destroyed, at the same time. This was not the case in the near view, where Babylon displaced Assyria, and was later displaced by the Medes. Here, the view is toward the future, when the Lord breaks the power of the Antichrist ('the Assyrian,' see Isa 10:5,24 and the Notes at 10:12-14) and his world system, Babylon.
     This system of gentile world dominion is in political opposition to the reign of the true King, and is given to all manner of religious philosophies that oppose the true God and His Word. Originally headed by Babylon, this system permeates all nations of the world. The succession of dominant nations was depicted in the vision which Daniel interpreted for Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:31-45; see the Book Notes there and at Revelation ch.13).
     Although there are and have been many human kings, the ultimate ruler of the world system is Satan, the god of this world (2Cor 4:4), who is represented in various passages as the king of Babylon, the Assyrian, the king of Tyrus (Eze 28:12-19), and the king of Egypt and several associated nations (Eze 32:17-32).
     The place of Satan's final defeat will be at Armageddon, in the land of Israel (Rev 16:16). However, the outcome of the war was previously determined on a little hill near Jerusalem (Joh 12:31-33).
as I have purposed...
...the purpose {ie., counsel} that is purposed {ie., determined} upon the whole earth...-
In v.24-27, the LORD emphatically states His unbreakable purpose.
According to the determinate counsel of God, the dominion, of Satan, the Antichrist and his system, will be permanently broken. Psa 33:10,11; Prov 21:30; cp. Acts 2:22-36; Psalm 2
I.C.2. The Burden of Philistia (14:28-32)
28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.
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.
30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed,
and the needy shall lie down in safety:
{ie., but} I will kill thy root with famine,
and he shall slay thy remnant.
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.
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.
rejoice not... Palestina {ie., Philistia}... because the rod... is broken -
The Philistines had been in subjection to Israel, under king Uzziah, the grandfather of Ahaz (2Chr 26:6). However, the Lord allowed them to trouble Judah, during the reign of Ahaz, because of his wickedness. Therefore, Ahaz had hired Assyria against the invading enemies (including the Philistines). Not only was the rod {sceptre} of Ahaz broken by his death, but also the power of the kingdom in Jerusalem was in decline as Assyria advanced (cp. 2Chr 28:16-20). Yet, the Philistines should not rejoice because...
out of the serpent's root... a cockatrice {a viper}... a fiery flying serpent.-
  • In the near view, the succession of Assyrian kings may be depicted.
    Tilgathpilneser (2Chr 28:20, also called Tiglathpileser), Shalmaneser (2Kin 18:9,10), Sargon (Isa 20) and Sennacherib (Isa 36-37).
    Each would afflict the land of Israel more severely.
    The Philistines, should not rejoice because they also would be 'bitten' by the Assyrians.
  • In the far view, the Palestinians who rejoice at the Antichrist's oppression of Israel,
    will themselves experience the greater poison of the final emanation of 'the Assyrian.'
    The Antichrist who springs forth from the serpent's root, is himself an evil beast, and is the embodiment of Satan, the fiery flying serpent {v.29; lit., the flying 'seraph'}. Rev 12:17 - 13:1-4
the firstborn of the poor shall feed...-
ie., the poorest of Israel's poor, the believing remnant will be sustained.
but I will kill thy root... he shall slay thy remnant...- ie., the Philistines would be slain.
The Lord would exercise judgment through a king of Assyria. Sargon would take Ashdod, the Philistine capital, captive (Isa 20:1). Sennacherib also would overrun the region. But Jerusalem would not fall to any of the Assyrian kings.
from the north a smoke...- The clouds of dust kicked up by the armies of Assyria
(or, of the nations gathering to Armageddon) will be seen while they are still a great way off.
and none shall be alone {ie., separated} in his appointed times {ie., appointed place}...-
Alternate readings:
"...and there shall be no straggler in the ranks." [RV]
"...and there is no straggler in his ranks." [NASB]
(ie., The formidable forces approaching from the north will be well organized, strong and competent.)
howl... thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved...-
The prophecy looks forward to the final conflict. The Palestinians, who hope the nations will finally remove Israel, will not only be disappointed, they will be dissolved {ie., be caused to melt away}.
the messengers of the nation...- Eventually, even the representatives of the Palestinians
will understand a truth, which they vehemently deny to this day...
that the LORD hath founded Zion...- Therefore, His people can safely trust in Him.
Israel will know that it is futile to place confidence in men. Isa 2:22
Their enemies will know the futility of counsel contrary to the LORD's purposes (v.26,27).

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