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The Gospel To Israel
Book 1

Isaiah 12:1-14:32


Isaiah 12:1,2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(1)  In that day, you shall say:
“I give thanks to You, O Lord!
Although You were wroth with me,   Because I had sinned before thee, thine anger was upon me
Your wrath has turned back and You comfort me,   Let thine anger turn from me, and have pity upon me.
(2)  Behold the God who gives me triumph! Behold, my God is my Savior; Behold, in the Memra of the God of my salvation do I trust
I am confident, unafraid;   And shall not be dismayed;
For Yah the Lord is my strength and might, The Lord is my glory and my praise Because my strength and my glory is the Terrible One, the Lord: he has spoken by his Memra,
And He has been my deliverance.” And is become my salvation. Has become my Savior.

From the NKJV

(1)  And in that day you will say:  "O LORD, I will praise You;  though You were angry with me,  Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
(2)  Behold, God is my salvation,  I will trust and not be afraid;  'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'"

As Israel,  when redeemed from Egypt beyond the Red Sea,  sang songs of  praise,  so also will the Israel of  the second redemption,  when brought,  in a no less miraculous manner,  across the Red Sea and the Euphrates.

Exodus 15:2
The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father's God, and I will exalt Him.     (NKJV)

The words are addressed to the people of  the future in the people of  the prophet's own time.  They give thanks for the wrath experienced,  inasmuch as it was followed by all the richer consolation.  One thing peculiar to this echo of  Exodus 15:2 is the doubling of  the Jah in Jâh Jehoovâh, which answers to the surpassing of the type by the antitype.

Yaah Yahweh Jehovah Jehovah  
The Yaah stands for Jehovah and this is one of  the four passages where Jehovah is transliterated instead of being translated in the King James Version.
Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of  God Almighty (El Shadaay), but by my name JEHOVAH (Yahweh) was I not known to them.
Psalm 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH (Yahweh), art the most high over all the earth.
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH (Yaah Yahweh) is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD  (Yahweh)  for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH (Yaah Yahweh) is everlasting strength.

Isaiah 12:3-6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(3)  Joyfully shall you draw water   And ye shall receive new instruction with joy
From the fountains of triumph, The wells of salvation. The chosen of righteousness.
(4)  And you shall say on that day:
“Praise the Lord, proclaim His name.
Make His deeds known among the peoples;
Declare that His name is exalted.
Hymn the Lord, Sing praise to the name of the Lord Sing praises before the Lord;
For He has done gloriously; For he doeth mighty works;
Let this be made known In all the world!    
(6)  Oh, shout for joy,
You who dwell in Zion!
And sing praises,
For great in your midst The Great One hath promised to set his Shekinah in thy midst,
Is the Holy One of Israel.” Even the Holy One of Israel

From the NKJV

(3)  Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
(4)  And in that day you will say:  "Praise the LORD, call upon His name;  declare His deeds among the peoples,  make mention that His name is exalted.
(5)  Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
(6)  Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"

Verse 3,  again,  contains a prophetic promise,  which points back to the commencement of  verse 1.
Just as Israel was miraculously supplied with water in the desert,  so will the God of  salvation,  who has become your salvation,  open many and manifold sources of salvation for you.

This water of salvation,  then,  forms both the material for, and instigation to,  new songs of praise.
Verses 4-6 therefore continue in the strain of a psalm.  The first song of six lines is here followed by a second of seven lines:  a prophetic word of promise,  inserted between them,  separates the one from the other.

This second also commences with the well-known tones of a psalm.
The phrase:  "Call upon the name of Jehovah,"  signifies: Make the name of Jehovah the medium of  invocation,  i.e.,  invoke it,  or,  as here,  call it out.

Excellent things Gee'uuth is high, towering dignity
here it is used of God with 'âsâh (He hath done) to prove it practically

According to the preceding appeals,  the words are to be understood as expressing a desire that the glorious self-attestation of  the God of  salvation might be brought to the consciousness of  the whole of  the inhabitants of  the earth, i.e., of  all mankind.
When God redeems His people,  He has the salvation of  all the nations in view.

It is the knowledge of  the Holy One of Israel,  made known through the word of  proclamation that brings salvation to them all.

How well may the church on Zion rejoice,  to have such a God dwelling in the midst of  it!  He is

Great as the Giver of  Promises
Great in Fulfilling Promises
Great in Grace
Great in Judgment
Great in all His Saving Acts that spread from Israel to all mankind

Thus does this second psalm of the redeemed nation close, and with it the book of Immanuel.


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Isaiah Chapters 13 - 27   Burdens, And Israel's Blessings
This begins the fourth great division of the book

13:1-22 Burden - Babylon (People, Land.)  
14:1-3 Israel's Blessing   Jehovah’s mercy
14:4-23 Burden - Babylon (King.)  
14:24-32 Israel's Blessing   Jehovah’s deliverance
15:1-16:14 Burden - Moab    
17:1-14 Burden - Damascus    
18:1-7 Burden - Ethiopia    
19:1-20:6 Burden - Egypt    
21:110 Burden - Desert of Sea    
21:11,12 Burden - Dumah    
21:13-17 Burden - Arabia    
22:1-14 Burden - Valley of Vision    
22:15-25 Israel's Blessing   Judgment and Mercy
23:1-18 Burden - Tyre    
24:1-27:13 Israel's Blessing   Judgment and Mercy

Collection Or Oracles Concerning The Heathen
Chapters 13-23

Chapters 13:1-14:27  - Oracle concerning the Chaldaeans, the Heirs of the Assyrians

Isaiah 13:1
From the Tanakh From the Targum
(1)  The “Babylon” Pronouncement, a prophecy of Isaiah son of Amoz. The oracle of the cup of cursing to give to Babylon to drink, which Isaiah the son of Amoz prophesied.

From the NKJV

(1) The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

Burden = a prophetic oracle or warning.
Massaâ (from naasaa' (OT:5375), efferre, then effari)
Signifies the verdict or oracle,  more especially the  verdict of God,  and generally,  perhaps always,  the judicial sentence of  God.
It has been translated both burden and oracle.
The Amplified Bible translates it: The mournful, inspired prediction

Isaiah records a massaâ against 10 cities or regions:

(13:1-22) Masaa'  Baabel The burden against Babylon
(14:28-32) Masaa'  PŞleshet The burden against Palestine
(15:1-16:14) Masaa'  Mow'aab The burden against Moab
(17:1-3) Masaa'  Damaaseq The burden against Damascus (Syria)
(19:1-17) Masaa'  Mitsraayim The burden against Egypt
(21:1-10) Masaa'  midbar-yaam The burden against the Wilderness of the Sea (Negev)
(21:11-12) Masaa'  Duwmaah The burden against Dumah (Edom)
(21:13-17) Masaa'  ba-`Araab The burden against Arabia
(22:1-14) Masaa'  Geey' Chizaayown The burden against the Valley of Vision (Jerusalem)
(23:1-18) Masaa'  Tsor The burden against Tyre

The Oracle concerning Babylon
Isaiah 13:1-22

Chaldea generally.  It reached its height about 100 years later,  under Nabopolassar and his son Nebuchadnezzar.  A generation later Cyrus and Darius the Mede captured it.
Babylon was of little importance at this time.

Just as in Jeremiah (chapters 46-51) and Ezekiel (chapters 25-32),  so also in Isaiah,  the oracles concerning the heathen are all placed together.  In this respect the arrangement of  the three great books of  prophecy is perfectly homogeneous (similar):

In Jeremiah

these oracles, apart from the prelude in chapter 25,
form the concluding portion of the book

In Ezekiel

these oracles fill up that space of time,  when Jerusalem at home was lying at her last gasp and the prophet was sitting speechless by the Chaboras

In Isaiah

they compensate us for the interruption which the oral labors of  the prophet appears to have sustained in the closing years of the reign of Ahaz

Moreover,  this was their most suitable position,  at the end of  the cycle of  Messianic prophecies in
chapters 7-12;   for the great consolatory thought of  the prophecy of  Immanuel,

that all kingdoms are to become the kingdoms of  God and His Christ,
is here expanded.

And as the prophecy of  Immanuel was delivered on the threshold of  the times of  the great empires,  so as to cover the whole of  that period with its consolation,  the oracles concerning the heathen nations and kingdoms are inseparably connected with that prophecy,  which forms the ground and end,  the unity and substance,  of them all.

The heading in Isa 13:1  shows that chapter 13 forms the commencement of  another part of  the whole book.

In a book that could throughout be traced to Isaiah,  there could be no necessity for it to be particularly stated,  that it was to Isaiah that the oracle was revealed,  of  which Babel was the object.
We may therefore see from this,  that the prophecy relating to Babylon was originally complete in itself,  and was intended to be issued in that form.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

No doubt all prophecy rested upon an existing historical basis.  But we must not expect to be able to point this out in the case of  every single prophecy.  In the time of  Hezekiah Isaiah had become spiritually certain of  this,  that the power by which the final judgment would be inflicted upon Judah would not be Asshur,  but Babel,  i.e.,  an empire which would have for its center that Babylon,  which was already the second capital of the Assyrian empire and the seat of kings who,  though dependent then,  were striving hard for independence;  in other words,  a Chaldean empire.

Towards the end of  his course Isaiah was full of  this prophetic thought;  and from it he rose higher and higher to the consoling discovery that Jehovah would avenge His people upon Babel,  and redeem them from Babel,  just as surely as from Asshur.

The fact that so far-reaching an insight was granted to him into the counsels of  God,  was not merely founded on his own personality,  but rested chiefly on the position that he occupied in the midst of  the first beginnings of  the age of  great empires.  For more information on this subject, see the study on Prophecy.

Consequently,  according to the law of the creative intensity of  all divinely effected beginnings,  he surveyed the whole of  this long period as a universal prophet outstripped all his successors down to the time of  Daniel,  and left to succeeding ages not only such prophecies as those we have already read,  which had their basis in the history of  his own times and the historical fulfillment of  which was not sealed up,  but such far distant and sealed prophecies as those which immediately follow.  For since Isaiah did not appear in public again after the fifteenth year of  Hezekiah,  the future,  as his book clearly shows,  was from that time forth his true home.  Just as the apostle says of  the New Testament believer,  that he must separate himself from the world,  and walk in heavenly places,  so the Old Testament prophet separated himself from the present of  his own nation,  and lived and moved in its future alone.

Isaiah 13:2
From the Tanakh From the Targum
(2)  “Raise a standard upon a bare hill, Against (or, upon) the city which dwelleth in security lift up a sign;
Cry aloud to them; wave a hand, and let
them enter the gates of the nobles!

From the NKJV

(2)  "Lift up a banner on the high mountain,  raise your voice to them; wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles.

The prophet hears a call to war.  The summons is urgent:  hence a threefold signal

The Banner-staff planted on a mountain  "made bald"
The Voice raised high
The Shaking of  the Hand denoting a violent beckoning

The destination of  this army is to enter into a city of  princes (nediibiim - freemen, nobles, princes),  namely,  to enter as conquerors;  for it is not the princes who invite them,  but Jehovah.

Isaiah 13:3
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(3)  I have summoned My purified guests I give command, and I bring them: My appointed ones,
To execute My wrath; Giants are coming to fulfill my wrath My glorious warriors shall avenge
Behold, I have called My stalwarts,
My proudly exultant ones.”
Rejoicing at the same time and insulting.  

From the NKJV

(3)  I have commanded My sanctified ones;  I have also called My mighty ones for My anger — Those who rejoice in My exaltation."

"For my anger" is to be explained in accordance with Isaiah 10:5.
To execute His wrath He had summoned His "sanctified ones" (mekuddâshim),

those who had already been solemnly consecrated by Him to go into the battle,
and had called the heroes whom He had taken into His service,  and who were His instruments in this respect,  that they rejoiced with the pride of  men intoxicated with victory.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 13:4,5
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(4)  Hark! A tumult on the mountains - A voice of many nations The noise of a multitude
As of a mighty force; Even like to that of many nations;  
Hark! An uproar of kingdoms,
Nations assembling!
The Lord of Hosts is mustering The Lord of hosts has given command  
A host for war.
(5)  They come from a distant land,
To a war-like nation,  
From the end of the sky - From the utmost foundation of heaven;  
The Lord with the weapons of His wrath - The Lord and his warriors are coming The cup of cursing before him,
To ravage all the earth! To destroy all the world.  

From the NKJV

(4)  The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people!  A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together!  The LORD of hosts musters the army for battle.
(5)  They come from a far country,  from the end of heaven — the LORD and His weapons of indignation,  to destroy the whole land.

The command of  Jehovah is quickly executed.
The great army is already coming down from the mountains.

Qowl (the noise) commences an interjectional sentence,  and thus becomes almost an interjection itself.
There is rumbling on the mountains (Isa 17:12-13), for there are the peoples of  Eran,  and in front the Medes inhabiting the mountainous north-western portion of  Eran, who come across the lofty Shahu (Zagros),  and the ranges that lie behind it towards the Tigris,  and descend upon the lowlands of  Babylon;  and not only the peoples of Eran,  but the peoples of  the mountainous north of Asia generally (Jer 51:27 - Jer 51:27 ... summon against her these kingdoms:  Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz) - an army under the guidance of  Jehovah,  the God of hosts of  spirits and stars,  whose wrath it will execute over the whole earth,  i.e.,  upon the world-empire;  for the fall of  Babel is a judgment,  and accompanied with judgments upon all the tribes under Babylonian rule.

Isaiah 13:6-8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(6)  Howl!  For the day of the Lord is near;  
It shall come like havoc from Shaddai. Destruction from God shall arrive.
(7)  Therefore all hands shall grow limp, Powerless
And all men’s hearts shall sink; Every soul of man shall be dismayed.
(8)  And, overcome by terror, The elders shall be troubled
They shall be seized by pangs and throes,
Writhe like a woman in travail.
They shall gaze at each other in horror, They shall mourn one to another, and shall be amazed,
Their faces livid with fright. Shall change their countenance as a flame.

From the NKJV

(6)  Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand!  It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
(7)  Therefore all hands will be limp, every man's heart will melt,  (8)  And they will be afraid.  Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them;  they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth;  they will be amazed at one another;  their faces will be like flames.

The day of the Lord
The day of His vengeance on Babylon (Isa 2:12).
Type of the future "great day of His wrath."

Then all sink into anxious and fearful trembling.
The command heeyliyluw (OT:3213) (wail)  is followed by the reason for such a command, viz., "the day of Jehovah is near,"  the watchword of  prophecy from the time of  Joel downwards.

In this play upon the words,  Isaiah also repeats certain words of Joel (Joel 1:15).

Joel 1:15
Alas for that day!
For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.   (NIV)

Then the heads hang down from despondency and helplessness, and the heart, the seat of lift, melts (Isa 19:1) in the heat of anguish. Universal consternation ensues. This is expressed by the word venibhâlu (they will be afraid), which stands in half pause.

Their faces are faces of  flames.
Just as a flame alternates between light and darkness,  so their faces become alternately flushed and pale,  as the blood ebbs and flows,  as it were,  being at one time driven with force into their faces,  and then again driven back to the heart, in consequence of their anguish and terror.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 13:9,10
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(9)  Lo! The day of the Lord is coming For behold!
With pitiless fury and wrath, Which cannot be escaped (healed), a day of wrath and anger,
To make the earth a desolation,
To wipe out the sinners upon it.
(10)  The stars and constellations of heaven And Orion, and all the host of heaven,
Shall not give off their light;
The sun shall be dark when it rises,
And the moon shall diffuse no glow. Not give her light.

From the NKJV

(9)  Behold, the day of the LORD comes,  cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate;  and He will destroy its sinners from it.
(10)  For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light;  the sun will be darkened in its going forth,  and the moon will not cause its light to shine.

Shall not give their light - this is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 24:29:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."    (NKJV)

The day of  Jehovah's wrath is coming - a starless night - a night like sunless day.
The day of Jehovah comes as one cruelly severe,  as purely an overflowing of  inward excitement,  and as burning anger.  It is not indeed the general judgment that the prophet is depicting here,  but a certain historical catastrophe falling upon Babylon,  which draws the whole world into sympathetic suffering.
The land, therefore (inasmuch as the notions of  land generally,  and some particular land or portion of the earth,  are blended together - a very elastic term,  with vanishing boundaries),  is not merely the land of  Babylon here,  but expands to the whole earth.

Verse 10 shows in what way the day of  Jehovah is a day of  wrath.
Even nature clothes itself in the color of wrath, which is the very opposite to light.

The heavenly lights above the earth go out
The moon does not shine
The sun, which is about to rise, alters its mind

The Septuagint has "Orion" - the Orions are Orion itself and other constellations like it;  just as the morning stars in Job 38:7 are Hesperus and other similar stars.  It is more probable that the term cesiil is used for Orion in the sense of  "the fool" (= foolhardy).

When R. Samuel of Nehardea, the astronomer, says in his b. Berachoth 58 b, "If it were not for the heat of the cesil, the world would perish from the cold of the Scorpion, and vice versa," - he means by the cesil Orion; and the true meaning of the passage is, that the constellations of Orion and the Scorpion, one of which appears in the hot season, and the other in the cold, preserve the temperature in equilibrium.  According to the older translators (LXX ho Oori'oon, Targum nephilehon from nephila', Syrian gaboro, Arab gebbâr, the giant.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 13:11,12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(11)  ”And I will requite to the world
its evil,
And I will command evils for the whole world,  
And to the wicked their iniquity; And will visit their sins on the ungodly:  
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant Transgressors  
And humble the haughtiness of
Will bring low the pride of the haughty.  
(12)  I will make people scarcer than
fine gold,
And they that are left shall be more precious than gold I will hold them that fear me more precious than gold
And men than gold of Ophir.” A man shall be more precious than
the stone that is in Suphir.
Them that observe the law more than the refined gold of Ophir.

From the NKJV

(11)  "I will punish the world for its evil,  and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,  and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
(12)  I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,  a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.

The prophet now hears again the voice of  Jehovah revealing to him what His purpose is - a visitation

punishing the wicked
humbling the proud
depopulating the countries

The verb pâkad  (punish)  is construed with the accusative of the thing punished, and with `al (OT:5921) of the person punished.

Instead of 'Eretz we have here teebel (world),  which is always used like a proper name (never with the article),  to denote the earth in its entire circumference.
We have also 'âriitziim  (wicked - men naturally cruel, or tyrants)  instead of nediibiim (signifies merely princes,  and it is only occasionally that it has the subordinate sense of despots).

Everything here breathes the spirit of  the prophecy given to Isaiah both in thought and form.

"The lofty is thrown down"  is one of the leading themes of  Isaiah's proclamation
The fact that the judgment will only leave a remnant is a fundamental thought,  which also runs through the oracles concerning the heathen (Isa 16:14; 21:17; 24:6), and is depicted by the prophet in various ways (Isa 10:16-19; 17:4-6; 24:13; 30:17).

It is expressed under the figure that men become as scarce as the finest kinds of gold.
'Ophir,  which resembles 'okir  (precious)  in sound,  was the gold country of India,  that lay nearest to the Phoenicians,  the coast-land of  Abhira on the northern shore of  the Runn (Irina) - the salt lake to the east of  the mouths of  the Indus

Isaiah 13:13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(13) Therefore e-shall heaven be shaken, For the heaven shall be enraged,
And earth leap out of its place, Shall be shaken from her foundation,
At the fury of the Lord of Hosts on the day of His burning wrath.  

From the NKJV

(13)  Therefore I will shake the heavens,  and the earth will move out of her place,  in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.

Thus does the wrath of  God prevail among men, casting down and destroying; and the natural world above and below cannot fail to take part in it.

Because the wrath of  God falls upon men,  every creature which is not the direct object of the judgment  must become a medium in the infliction of it.  We have here the thought of verse 9a repeated as a kind of  refrain (in a similar manner to Isa 5:25).

Then follow the several disasters

verse 14 Flight And everyone will flee to his own land
verse 15 Violent Death And everyone who is captured will fall by the sword
verse 16 Plunder Their houses will be plundered
verse 16 Ravage And their wives ravished

Isaiah 13:14
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(14)  Then like gazelles that are chased, And they that are left shall be as a fleeing fawn Chased roe.
And like sheep that no man gathers,
Each man shall turn back to his people,
They shall flee every one to his land.

From the NKJV

(14)  It shall be as the hunted gazelle,  and as a sheep that no man takes up;  every man will turn to his own people,
and everyone will flee to his own land.

The neuter v'hâyâh (It shall be) affirms that it will then be as described in the simile and the interpretation that follows.  Babylon was the market for the world in central Asia,  and therefore a rendezvous for the most diverse nations  - This great and motley mass of foreigners would now be scattered in the wildest flight, on the fall of the imperial city.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Revelation 14:8
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.    (KJV)

Revelation 17:5
And upon her forehead was a name written,


Isaiah 13:15,16
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(15)  All who remain shall be pierced through, For whosoever shall be taken shall be overcome;  
All who are caught shall fall by the sword. And they that are gathered together And everyone that entereth into the besieged cities shall be slain by the sword.
(16)  And their babes shall be dashed to pieces in their sight,
Their homes shall be plundered,
And their wives shall be raped.

From the NKJV

(15)  Everyone who is found will be thrust through,  and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
(16) Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;  their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

By  "every one who is found,"  we understand those that are taken in the city by the invading conquerors;  and by  "every one who is captured,"  those that are overtaken in their flight.
All are put to the sword.

Isaiah 13:17
From the Tanakh
(17)  “Behold,  I stir up the Medes against them,
Who do not value silver
Or delight in gold.

From the NKJV

(17)  "Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them,  who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it.

Note the chronological order:

Isaiah 13:17 mentions the Medes
Isaiah 21:2 the “Persians and Medes.”
Isaiah 45:1 Cyrus is named.

With verse 17 the prophecy takes a fresh turn,  in which the veil that has hitherto obscured it is completely broken through. We now learn the name of the conquerors.

It was the Medes
who put an end to the Babylonian kingdom
in combination with the Persians.
(Darius Medus = Cyaxares II)

Ezekiel and Daniel mentions the Persians for the first time in the Old Testament.
Consequently Mâdai  (Media - by the side of which Elam is mentioned in Isa 21:2)  appears to have been a general term applied to the Arian populations of  Eran from the most important ruling tribe.

Until nearly the end of  Hezekiah's reign,  the Medes lived scattered about over different districts,  and in hamlets (or villages) united together by a constitutional organization.  After they had broken away from the Assyrians (714 BC) they placed themselves  (in 709 BC - 8 BC)  under one common king,  namely Deyoces,  probably for the purpose of  upholding their national independence;  or,  to speak more correctly,  under a common monarch,  for even the chiefs of  the villages were called kings.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The kings of  Media are mentioned in Jeremiah 25:25 among those who will have to drink the intoxicating cup which Jehovah is about to give to the nations through Nebuchadnezzar.  So that their expedition against Babylon is an act of  revenge for the disgrace of  bondage that has been inflicted upon them.

Jeremiah 25:17-26
Then I took the cup from the LORD's hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom the LORD had sent me: ... all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes.      (NKJV)

Their disregarding silver and gold is not intended to describe them as a rude,  uncultivated people:   the prophet simply means that they are impelled by a spirit of  revenge,  and do not come for the purpose of  gathering booty.  Revenge drives them on to forgetfulness of  all morality, and humanity also.

Isaiah 13:18
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(18)  Their bows shall shatter the young; They shall break the bows of the young men;
They shall show no pity to infants,
They shall not spare the children.”

From the NKJV

(18)  Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces,  and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb;  their eye will not spare children.

The bows do not stand for the bowmen, but the bows of  the latter dash the young men to the ground by means of  the arrows shot from them.  They did not spare the fruit of  the womb,  since they ripped up the bodies of  those that were with child (2 Kings 8:12).

2 Kings 8:12
And Hazael said, "Why is my lord weeping?"
He answered,  "Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child."      (NKJV)

Even towards children they felt no emotion of compassionate regard, such as would express itself in the eye: chuusto feel,  more especially to feel with another, i.e., to sympathize;
here is ascribed to the eye as the mirror of  the soul
(compare the Arabic  chasyet el-'ain ala fulânincarefulness of eye for a person: Hariri, Comment. p. 140).
With such inhuman conduct on the part of  the foe,  the capital of  the empire becomes the scene of  a terrible conflagration.

Isaiah 13:19
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(19)  And Babylon, glory of kingdoms, proud splendor of the Chaldaeans, Is called glorious by the king of the Chaldaeans,
Shall become like Sodom and Gomorrah overturned by God.  

From the NKJV

(19)  And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,  the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride,  will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

The ornament of  kingdoms (mamlâcoth),  because it was the center of  many conquered kingdoms,  which now avenged themselves upon it  (v. 4);  because it was the primitive dwelling-place of  the Chaldaeans of  the lowlands,  that ancient cultivated people,  who were related to the Chaldean tribes of  the Carduchisan mountains in the north-east of  Mesopotamia,  though not of  the same origin,  and of  totally different manners.

Their present catastrophe resembled that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
That is,  shall

be completely and entirely overthrown
cease to be inhabited
be perfectly desolate

It does not mean that it shall be overthrown in the same manner as Sodom was,  but that it should be as completely and entirely ruined.

Isaiah 13:20-22
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(20)  Nevermore shall it be settled    
Nor dwelt in through all the ages. For many generations  
No Arab shall pitch his tent there,
No shepherds make flocks lie down there.
(21)  But beast’s shall lie down there,   But fearsome beasts (or, wild beasts of the desert) shall dwell there
And the houses be filled with owls; With howling With doleful creatures
There shall ostriches make their
And monsters (Job 30:29) shall rest there  
And there shall satyrs dance. And devils shall dance their And demons shall play there
(22)  And jackal’s shall abide in its castles   And wild cats shall cry in their castles,
And dragon’s in the palaces of pleasure. And hedge hogs shall make their
nests in their houses
And jackals in their pleasant dwelling places
Her hour is close at hand; It will come soon Time of the destruction of Babylon is near to come
Her days will not be long. Her days will not be long. Shall not be put far off.

From the NKJV

(20)  It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
(21)  But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of owls;  ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will caper there.
(22)  The hyenas will howl in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged."

Babel,  like the cities of  the Pentapolis,  had now become a perpetual desert.
The conclusion is similar to that of  the prophecy against Edom,  in Isa 34:16-17.  There the certainty of  the prediction,  even in its most minute particulars,  is firmly declared;  here the nearness of  the time of  fulfillment.  But the fulfillment did not take place so soon as the words of  the prophecy might make it appear. According to Herodotus,  Cyrus,  the leader of the Medo-Persian army,  left the city still standing,  with its double ring of walls.

Isaiah 34:16-17
(16)  Search from the book of the LORD, and read: not one of these shall fail; not one shall lack her mate.
For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.
(17)  He has cast the lot for them, and His hand has divided it among them with a measuring line.
They shall possess it forever; from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.     (NKJV)

Darius Hystaspis,  who had to conquer Babylon a second time in 518 BC,  had the walls entirely destroyed,  with the exception of  fifty cubits.  Xerxes gave the last thrust to the glory of the temple of  Belus.  Having been conquered by Seleucus Nicator (312 BC),  it declined just in proportion as Seleucia rose.  At the time of  Strabo (born 60 BC) Babylon was a perfect desert. 

All that it foretells has been literally fulfilled. The curse that Babylon would never come to be settled in and inhabited again,  proved itself an effectual one,  when Alexander once thought of  making Babylon the metropolis of  his empire.


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Isaiah 14:1,2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(1)  But the Lord will pardon Jacob, and will again choose Israel, and will settle them on their own soil. And strangers shall join them and shall   Proselytes shall be added
Cleave to the House of Jacob.  (2)  For peoples shall take them a and bring Shall inherit them.  
Them to their homeland; and the House of Israel shall possess them as
Slaves and handmaids on the soil of the Lord. They shall be captors of
Their captors and masters to their taskmasters.

From the NKJV

(1)  For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob.  (2)  Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the LORD; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.

But it is love to His own people that impels the God of  Israel to suspend such a judgment of eternal destruction over Babylon.
We have here in nuance the comforting substance of chapters 46-66.
Babylon falls that Israel may rise.
This is affected by the compassion of  God.  He chooses Israel once more (as in Job 14:7 for example),  and therefore makes a new covenant with it.  Then follows their return to Canaan,  their own land,  Jehovah's land (as in Hos 9:3).

Job 14:7
For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease.

Hosea 9:3
They shall not dwell in the LORD's land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria.     (NKJV)

Proselytes from among the heathen,  who have acknowledged the God of  the exiles,  go along with them,  as Ruth did with Naomi.  Heathen accompany the exiles to their own place.  And now their relative positions are reversed.  Those who accompany Israel are now taken possession of  by the latter,  as servants and maidservants;  and they (the Israelites) become leaders into captivity of  those who led them into captivity and they will oppress their oppressors.

At the same time,  the form in which the promise is expressed is certainly not that of the New Testament; and it would not possibly have been so, for the simple reason that in Old Testament times, and from an Old Testament point of view, there was no other visible manifestation of the church (ecclesia) than in the form of a nation. This national form of the church has been broken up under the New Testament, and will never be restored. Israel, indeed, will be restored as a nation; but the true essence of the church, which is raised above all national distinctions, will never return to those worldly limits which it has broken through. And the fact that the prophecy moves within those limits here may be easily explained, on the ground that it is primarily the deliverance from the Babylonian captivity to which the promise refers. And the prophet himself was unconscious that this captivity would be followed by another.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Strangers = sojourners,  foreign proselytes.

I believe the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Babylon,  is twofold.

1. The Scriptures deal with the near future of the captivity of Israel by Babylon.
2. But the Scriptures can also deal with another Babylon as stated in the Book of Revelation.
Sometimes Prophecy can have a twofold meaning.
Paul the Learner.

Isaiah 14:3,4a
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(3)  And when the Lord has given you rest from your sorrow and trouble,
and from the hard service that you were made to serve,
(4)  you shall recite this song of scorn over the king of Babylon: This lamentation This parable against the king

From the NKJV

(3)  It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve,  (4)  that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon,

The song of  the redeemed is a song concerning the fall of  the king of Babel
Instead of the hiphil hinniach  (to let down)  of  verse 1,  we have here,  as in the original passage,  Deuteronomy 25:19,  the form  heeniach,  which is commonly used in the sense of  quieting,  or procuring rest.

A Three-fold Rest

From Sorrow `otseb (OT:6090) trouble which plagues
Relates to physical pain as well as to emotional sorrow
From Fear rogez (OT:7267) fear,  noise,  rage,  trouble
The fear especially of  future evil
From Bondage `abodah (OT:5656) enslave, reduce to servitude
The lifetime of severe and galling servitude

Deuteronomy 25:19
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.     (NKJV)

King of Babylon
Figure of Speech - which is one of the names for the Antichrist.
Note the other titles:

(Isaiah 14:25) “the Assyrian”
(Isaiah 14:12) “Lucifer, son of the morning,”
(Daniel 9:26)  “the Prince that shall come”
(Daniel 8:23) “the king of fierce countenance”
(Daniel 11:21) “the vile person”
(Daniel 11:36) “the willful king”
(2  Thessalonians 2:3) “the son of perdition”
(2 Thessalonians. 2:8) “that wicked (or lawless) one”
(Revelations 13:1) “the beast with ten horns”


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Isaiah 14:4b-6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(4)  How is the taskmaster vanished, The extortioner ceased,
How is oppression ended! The taskmaster ceased!
(5)  The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of tyrants,  
(6)  That smote peoples in wrath Having smitten a nation in wrath,
With stroke unceasing, that belabored nations in fury Smiting a nation with a wrathful plague,
In relentless pursuit. Which spared them not, he rested in quiet.

From the NKJV

(4) ...and say: "How the oppressor has ceased,  the golden city ceased!
(5)  The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers;   (6)  he who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he who ruled the nations in anger,  is persecuted and no one hinders.

The words are addressed to the Israel of  the future in the Israel of  the present, as in Isa 12:1.

The oppressor - Babylon as the house of servitude where Israel had been wearied to death.
The tyrant's scepter, mentioned in verse 5,  is the Chaldean world power regarded as concentrated in the king of  Babel.

This tyrant's scepter smote nations with incessant blows and hunting,  did not restrain itself,  did not stop,  and therefore did not spare.

Nor is it only Israel and other subjugated nations that now breathe again.

Isaiah 14:7,8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(7)  All the earth is calm, untroubled;
Loudly it cheers.
All the earth cries aloud with joy:  
(8)  Even pines rejoice at your fate, The trees also of Libanus rejoice against thee, Yea, the rulers
And cedars of Lebanon:
“Now that you have lain down,
The cedar of Libanus, Who are rich in possessions say,
None shall come up to fell us.” No one has come up to cut us down. The destroyer cometh not up

From the NKJV

(7)  The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.
(8)  Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon,  saying, 'Since you were cut down, no woodsman has come up against us.'

It refers to Nebuchadnezzar and Esarhaddon.

Cypresses and cedars rejoice because of  the treatment which they received from the Chaldean,  who made use of  the almost imperishable wood of  both of  them for ornamental buildings,  for his siege apparatus,  and for his fleets,  and even for ordinary ships - as Alexander,  for example,  built himself a fleet of cypress-wood, and the Syrian vessels had masts of  cedar.

Of the old cedars of  Lebanon,  there are hardly thirty left in the principle spot where they formerly grew. Gardner Wilkinson (1843) and Hooker the botanist (1860) estimated the whole number at about four hundred;  and according to the conclusion which the latter drew from the number of  concentric rings and other signs,  not one of  them is more than about five hundred years old.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frags. 8-10 1 [The interpretation of the word] concerns the king of Babylon, [since…as it is written: Isa. 14:8 <The very cypresses] 2 [laugh] at you, and the cedars of Lebanon. Since [you lie down, the hewer] 3 [does not come up] against them> The cypresses and the cedars [of Lebanon are…] 4 […] the Lebanon.

Isaiah 14:9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(9)  Sheol below was astir
To greet your coming –
Rousing for you the shades All the great ones that have ruled
over the earth
Rich in possessions;
Of all earth’s chieftains
Raising from their thrones
Have risen up together against thee.  
All the kings of nations.    

From the NKJV

(9)  "Hell from beneath is excited about you,  to meet you at your coming;  it stirs up the dead for you,
all the chief ones of the earth;  it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

But while it has become so quiet on earth,  there is the most violent agitation in the regions below.

The notion of  Hades,  notwithstanding the mythological character which it had assumed,  was based upon the double truth,  that

1. what a man has been,  and the manner in which he has lived on this side the grave,  are not obliterated on the other side,  but are then really brought to light,
2. and that there is an immaterial self-formation of  the soul,  in which all that a man has become under certain divinely appointed circumstances,  by his own self-determination,  is,  as it were,  reflected in a mirror,  and that in a permanent form.

This is the deep root of what the prophet has here expressed in a poetical form;  for it is really a mâshâl that he has interwoven with his prophecy here.  All Hades is overwhelmed with excitement and wonder,  now that the king of Babel,  that invincible ruler of  the world,  who,  if not unexpected altogether,  was not expected so soon,  as actually approaching.

From `owreer (OT:5782) onwards,  Sheol,  although a feminine tense,  might be the subject;  in which case the verb would simply have reverted from the feminine to the radical masculine form.
But it is better to regard the subject as neuter;  a nescio quid,  a nameless power.
The shades are suddenly seized with astonishment,  more especially the former leaders  (leading goats or
bell-wethers)  of  the herds of  nations,  so that,  from sheer amazement,  they spring up from their seats.

Isaiah 14:10
From the Tanakh From the Targum
(10)  All speak up and say to you,  
“So you have been stricken as we were, Become sick as we:
You have become like us!  

From the NKJV

(10)  They all shall speak and say to you:
'Have you also become as weak as we?   Have you become like us?

This is all that the shades say;  what follows does not belong to them.
The pual chullâh,  "to be made sickly, or powerless,"  signifies to be transposed into the condition of the latter, viz., the Repahim (a word which also occurs in the Phoenician inscriptions,
from raapaa' (OT:7495) = raapaah (OT:7503),  to be relaxed or weary),  since the life of  the shades is only a shadow of  life.
And in Hades we could not expect anything more than this expression of  extreme amazement.  For why should they receive their new comrade with contempt or scorn?

From verse 11 onwards,  the singers of  the mashal take up the song again.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Maybe to help put all of this into proper perspective,  let us turn to the New Testament.
Luke 16:22-31
(22)  So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.  (23)  And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
(24)  "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'  (25)  But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.  (26)  And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'
(27)  "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,  (28)  for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'  (29)  Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'  (30)  And he said,  'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'  (31)  But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'"     (NKJV)

Note:  Jesus did not say that this was the grave,  but a place of torment.
Paul the Learner.

Isaiah 14:11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(11)  Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,    
And the strains of your lutes! And thy great mirth: And the songs of thy viols;
Worms are to be your bed, Under thee they shall spread corruption, Beneath thee the maggot,
Maggots your blanket!” The worm shall be thy covering. Above thee the worm.

From the NKJV

(11)  Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,  and the sound of your stringed instruments;  the maggot is spread under you,  and worms cover you.'

From the book of  Daniel we learn the character of  the Babylonian music;  it abounded in instruments,  some of  which were foreign.

Maggots and worms (a bitter sarcasm) now take the place of the costly artistic Babylonian rugs,  which once formed the pillow and counterpane of  the distinguished corpse;  but here,  is a collective name for small worms,  in any mass of  which the individual is lost in the swarm.

This shows the meaning to be given to the Hebrew word “Sheol”;  as worms are material,  and not spirit. Compare Isa. 66:24, Mark 9:44,46,48

Isaiah 66:24
"And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.  They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Mark 9: 43-48
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched -- where
'Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.'
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched -- where
'Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.'
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire -- where
'Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.'       (NKJV)

Note:   This again is a statement from the creator of  the Universe,  Heaven,  Earth,  as well as Hell.
This is not the grave,  but a place of punishment reserved for those who reject God’s plan of salvation.


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Isaiah 14:12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(12)  How are you fallen from heaven, How has Lucifer, Hast thou been cast down from the height,
O shining One, son of Dawn! That rose in the morning, Who wast resplendent among the sons of men as the bright star (Venus) among the stars!
How are you felled to earth, Fallen from heaven!  
O vanquisher of nations! He that sent orders to all the nations is crushed to the earth. Slayer

From the NKJV

(12)  "How you are fallen from heaven,  O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!

Lucifer - heeyleel (OT:1966)  is here the morning star (from hâlalto shine).
It derives its name in other ancient languages also from its striking brilliancy,  and is here called ben-shachar (sun of the dawn),  just as in the classical mythology it is called son of  Eos,  from the fact that it rises before the sun,  and swims in the morning light as if  that were the source of its birth.

The appellation is a perfectly appropriate one for the king of  Babel,  on account of  the early date of  the Babylonian culture,  which reached back as far as the gray twilight of  primeval times,  and also because of  its predominant astrological character.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The Vulgate renders it:  'Lucifer, the morning star.'
The Syriac renders it: 'How art thou fallen from high, who wert splendid among the sons of men.'
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

This title is addressed to the king of  Babylon, not so much as a specific human individual  (like Belshazzar,  for example),  but as a representative or embodiment of  Satan, who is regarded as the power behind the king's throne.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

Isaiah 14:13-15
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(13)  Once you thought in your heart,    
“I will climb to the sky; I will go up to heaven, To the height will I ascend,
Higher than the stars of God   High above the people of God
I will set my throne.   Will I set the throne of my kingdom;
I will sit in the mount of assembly, I will sit on a lofty mount,  
On the summit of Zaphon: On the lofty mountains toward the north:  
(14)  I will mount the back of a cloud - I will go up above the clouds; I will ascend above all the people; I will be higher than all of them.
I will match the Most High.”
(15)  Instead, you are brought down to Sheol,
I will be like the Most High.  
To the bottom of the Pit. Even to the foundations of the earth. The pit of destruction.

From the NKJV

(13)  For you have said in your heart:
'I will ascend into heaven,   I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;  I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
(14)  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,  I will be like the Most High.'
(15)  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.

I will ascend into heaven
Nothing could more strikingly show the arrogance of  the monarch of  Babylon than this impious design.
The meaning is, that he intended to set himself up as supreme;  he designed that all should pay homage to him;  be did not intend to acknowledge the authority of  God.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Sides of the north
Zion was neither a northern point of the earth,  nor was it situated on the north of  Jerusalem.
The prophet makes the king of  Babylon speak according to the general notion of  his people,  who had not the seat of  the Deity in the midst of them,  as the Israelites had,  but who placed it on the summit of  the northern mountains,  which were lost in the clouds  (Lassen, i. 34 ff.).

Lowest depths of the pit
The word 'pit,'  here,  is evidently synonymous with  "hell"  or "hades,"  represented as a deep,  dark region under ground.  The dead were often buried in caves , and the descent was often dark and dreary,  to the vaults where they reposed.  Hence,  it is always represented as going down;  or,  as the  "inferior"  regions.  The  'sides of the pit'  here stand opposed to the   'sides of the north.'

He had sought to "ascend" to the one;
he should be "brought down" to the other.
The reference here is,  doubtless,  to the land of  shades;  to the dark and dismal regions where the departed dead are supposed to dwell - to  "sheol."
The image or figure is taken from the custom of  burying,  where,  in a deep natural cavern,  or a sepulchre excavated from a rock,  the dead were ranged around the  "sides"  of  the cavern in niches or recesses excavated for that purpose
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Isaiah 14:16,17
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(16)  They who behold you stare;
They peer at you closely:
They that see thee shall wonder at thee,  
“Is this the man This is the man Did this man
Who shook the earth, Troubled the earth,  
Who made realms tremble, That made kings to shake;  
(17)  Who made the world like a waste Desolate,  
And wrecked its towns, Destroyed its cities;  
Who never released his prisoners to their homes?” He loosed not those who were in captivity.  

From the NKJV

(16)   "Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying:  'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,   (17)  who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?'

The prophet then continues in the language of prediction
The scene is no longer in Hades.  Those who are speaking thus have no longer the Chaldean before them as a mere shade,  but as an unburied corpse that has fallen into corruption.

The “prisoners” principally intend the Jewish exiles;  and it was their release that had never entered the mind of  the king of Babylon.

This is a description of  his oppression and cruelty.  Of course many prisoners would be taken in war.
Instead of giving them liberty,  he threw them into prison and kept them there.
This may be rendered,  'his prisoners he did not release that they might return home'.
The idea is, that he was cruel and oppressive.  He threw his captives into dungeons,  and found pleasure in retaining them there.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Isaiah 14:18,19
From the Tanakh From the Targum
(18)  All the kings of nations Were laid, every one, in honor Each in his tomb;  
(19)  While you were left lying unburied, Like loathsome carrion, As a carcass trodden under foot.
Like a trampled corpse [in] the clothing of slain gashed by the sword who
sink to the very stones of the Pit.

From the NKJV

(18)  "All the kings of the nations,  all of them, sleep in glory,  everyone in his own house;  (19)  but you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot.

The prophet,  whose own words now follow the words of  the spectators, proceeds to describe the state in which the tyrant lies,  and which calls for such serious reflections.

Every other king was laid out after his death "in his house" (b'beethoo), i.e. within the limits of his own palace;  but the Chaldean lay far away from the sepulchre that was apparently intended for him.  Like a branch torn off  from the tree,  that has withered and become offensive,  or rather (as neetzer does not mean a branch,  but a shoot)  like a side-shoot that has been cut off  the tree and thrown away with disgust as ugly,  useless,  and only a hindrance to the regular growth of  the tree.

Cast out - nith'âb - is a pregnant expression, signifying  "cast away with disgust."

The scene that passes before the mind of  the prophet is the field of  battle.
To clear this they made a hole and throw stones  (abnee-bor, stones of the pit)  on the top,  without taking the trouble to shovel in the earth;  but the king of  Babylon is left lying there,  like a carcass that is trampled under foot,  and deserves nothing better than to be trampled under foot.
They do not even think him worth throwing into a hole along with the rest of the corpses.

Isaiah 14:20
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(20)  You shall not have a burial like them; As a garment defiled with blood shall not be pure,
Because you destroyed j-your country, So neither shalt thou be pure; because thou hast destroyed my land
Murdered your people. And hast slain my people: thou shalt not endure for ever, - thou an
evil seed.
Let the breed of evildoers nevermore be named!  

From the NKJV

(20)  You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and slain your people.  The brood of evildoers shall never be named.

In this way is vengeance taken for the tyrannical manner in which he has oppressed and exhausted his land,  making his peoples the involuntary instruments of  his thirst for conquest,  and sacrificing them as victims to that thirst.  For this reason he does not meet with the same compassion as those who have been compelled to sacrifice their lives in his service.

And it is not only all over forever with him,  but it is so with his dynasty also.  The prophet,  the messenger of  the penal justice of God,  and the mouthpiece of  that Omnipotence which regulates the course of  history,  commands this.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 14:21
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(21)  Prepare a slaughtering block for his sons Prepare thy children to be slain for the sins of their father;  
Because of the guilt of their father.
Let them not arise to possess the earth!
Then the world’s face shall be
covered with towns.
Nor fill the earth with wars. With enemies.

From the NKJV

(21)  Prepare slaughter for his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, lest they rise up and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities."

The exhortation is addressed to the Medes.
After the nocturnal storming of  Babylon by the Medes,  the new Babylonian kingdom and royal house,  which had been established by Nabopolassar,  vanished entirely from history.  The last shoot of  the royal family of  Nabopolassar was slain as a child of  conspirators.

The second Nebuchadnezzar deceived the people (as Darius says in the great inscription of  Behistan), declaring, "I am Nabukudrac ara the son of  Nabunita."
(OT:1077) (used poetically for 'al (OT:408),  like bŞliy (OT:1097)  in Isa 14:6  for lo' (OT:3808))  expresses a negative wish  (as pen does a negative intention):

Let no Babylonian kingdom ever arise again!.
But there is no necessity for this at all.
Nimrod,  the first founder of  a Babylonia-Assyrian kingdom,  built cities to strengthen his monarchy.
The king of Asshur built cities for the Medes,  for the purpose of keeping them better in check.
And it is to this building of  cities,  as a support to despotism,  that the prophet here refers.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)


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Isaiah 14:22,23
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(22)  I will rise up against them – declares the Lord of Hosts – and will    
wipe out from Babylon name and remnant, kith and kin –   Son and son’s son
declares the Lord –  (23)  and I will
make it a home of bitterns, pools of water. I will
And I will make the region of Babylon desert, so that hedgehogs shall dwell there, and it shall come to nothing: and I will make it a pit of clay  
Sweep it with a broom of extermination – declares the Lord of Hosts. For destruction.  

From the NKJV

(22)  "For I will rise up against them," says the LORD of hosts, "And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and offspring and posterity," says the LORD.
(23)  "I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says the LORD of hosts.

Jehovah rises against the descendants of  the king of  Babylon,  and exterminates Babylon utterly,  root and branch.  The destructive forces,  which Babylon has hitherto been able to control by raising artificial defenses,  are now let loose;  and the Euphrates,  left without a dam,  lays the whole region under water.

Everyone of  the family who could claim to be an heir of  the throne - the dynasty shall cease; and the proud and haughty family shall become wholly extinct.  This is the solemn purpose in regard to the "family" of  the monarch of Babylon.

The circumstances which it was said would exist in regard to the king of  Babylon here spoken of,  are the following:

Isaiah 14:17 That he would be a proud, haughty, and oppressive prince.
Isaiah 14:18-20 That when he died he would be east out with the common dead,  and denied the common honors of  the sepulchre - especially the honors which all other monarchs have in their burial.
Isaiah 14:21-22 That his posterity would be cut off,  and that he would have no one to succeed him on his throne;  or that the dynasty and the kingdom would terminate in him.

In regard to the application and the fulfillment of  this prophecy there have been three opinions.

I That it refers to the kings of  Babylon in general, not  to an  "individual"  sovereign
To this, the objections are obvious --
(1) The whole aspect and course seems to have reference to an "individual" in
Isaiah 14:9
He descends to "sheol"
He is proud
He is ambitious
He is oppressive
He is cast out
all of which circumstances refer naturally to an individual, and not to a "succession" or dynasty.
(2) The main circumstance mentioned in the prophecy is that he should be "unburied."
This was not true of  all the kings of  Babylon that they were unburied.
  All the circumstances, therefore, lead us to suppose that the prophet refers to an individual.
II That it refers to Nebuchadnezzar
The objections to this are --
(1) It was not true that Nebuchadnezzar had no one to succeed him on the throne;
or that his family was totally cut off,  as it was foretold of  this king of  Babylon that his would be (verses 21-22).
(2) It was not true that Nebuchadnezzar was denied the privileges of  a burial which kings commonly enjoy.
III That it refers to Belshazzar (Dan 5) in whose reign the city of Babylon was taken.
He was son of  Evil-Merodach,  and the grandson of  Nebuchadnezzar.
His name,  as it occurs in pagan writers,  was "Nabonadius."
In him the circumstances of the prophecy agree --
(1) He was an impious prince  (Xen. Cyr. vii. Dan 5).
(2) In his reign the city and the kingdom came to an end, as it was foretold.
(3) Every circumstance of  the taking of  Babylon would lead us to suppose that he was denied the privilege of  a magnificent sepulchre.
(a) He was slain in the night (Dan 5:30).
(b) It was in the confusion of  the capture of  the city - amidst the tumult caused by the sudden and unexpected invasion of  Cyrus.
It is therefore altogether improbable that he had a regular and an honored burial.  Like the common dead,  he would lie in the palace where he fell,  or in the street.
(c) There is no evidence that Cyrus gave him an honorable sepulchre.
(4) None of his posterity occupied the throne to give honor to the memory of their father.
(5) In Belshazzar the dynasty and the kingdom ended.
Immediately the kingdom on his death was given to the Medes and Persians
(Dan 5:28-31).
(5) None of the names of his posterity, if he had any, are known.
  God cut off  from him  'the name and remnant, the son and nephew,' as was predicted.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)


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Isaiah 14:24-27
From the Tanakh From the  LXX
(24)  The Lord of Hosts have sworn this oath:
“As I have designed, so shall it happen;
What I have planned, that shall come to pass: So the matter shall remain;
(25)  To break Assyria in My land, to crush him on My mountain.”  And his yoke shall drop off them,  
And his burden shall drop from their n backs. Their glory shall be taken away from their shoulders.
(26)  That is the plan that is planned for all the earth;  that is why an arm is poised over all the nations.
(27)  For the Lord of Hosts has planned, who then can foil it?
It is His arm that is poised, and who can stay it?

From the NKJV

(24)  The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:  (25)  that I will break the Assyrian in My land, and on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulders.
(26)  This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
(27)  For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?"

Only when this had taken place did a fitting occasion present itself for a prophecy against Babel,  the heiress of  the ruined Assyrian power.
Consequently the two prophecies against Babel and Asshur form a hysteron-proteron as they stand here.
The thought which occasioned this arrangement,  and which it is intended to set forth,  is expressed by Jeremiah in Jer 50:18-19,  "Behold, I will punish the king of  Babylon and his land,  as I have punished the king of Assyria."
The one event was a pledge of  the other. At a time when the prophecy against Assyria had actually been fulfilled,  the prophet attached it to the still unfulfilled prophecy against Babylon,  to give a pledge of  the fulfillment of  the latter.  This was the pedestal upon which the Massâh Bâbel was raised.  And it was doubly suited for this,  on account of its purely epilogical tone from v. 26 onwards.

The LORD of hosts has sworn
Yahweh is often represented as making use of  an oath to denote the strong confirmation,   the absolute certainty of what he utters.  The oath here was designed to comfort the Jews,  when they should be in Babylon,  with the assurance that what he had thus solemnly promised would assuredly come to pass.

As I have purposed
As I have designed, or intended.
God's promises never fail;  his purposes shall all be accomplished (compare Isa 46:10-11). This passage is full proof that God does not "change:"  that whatever his purposes are, they are inflexible.

Isaiah 46:11
...Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it; I will also do it.      (NKJV)

The Assyrian
Sennacherib (see Isa 10.)

On My mountains
That is, upon the mountains of  Palestine.
The army of Sennacherib was destroyed on the mountains that were near to Jerusalem.

Who will turn it back?
Who has power to defeat God's purposes?
Difficult as they may be in appearance,  and incredible as their fulfillment may seem,  yet his purposes are formed in full view of all the circumstances;  and there is no power to resist his arm,  or to turn him aside from the execution of  his designs.
By this assurance God designed to comfort his people when they should be in Babylon in a long and dreary captivity.  And by the same consideration his people may be comforted at all times.

His plans shall stand.
None can disannul them.
No arm has power to resist Him.
None of the schemes formed against Him shall ever prosper.
Whatever ills,  therefore,  may befall His people;  however thick,  and gloomy, and sad their calamities may be;  and however dark His dispensations may appear,  yet they may bare the assurance that
all His plans are wise,  and that
all His plans shall stand

No matter how many,  or how mighty may be the foes of the church;

no matter how strong their cities,
or their ramparts;
no matter how numerous their armies,
or how self-confident may be their leaders,
they have no power to resist God.
If their plans are in His way they will be thrown down 
If revolutions are necessary among human beings to accomplish His purposes,  they will be brought about
If cities and armies need to be destroyed in order that His plans may succeed, and his church be safe, they will be demolished
Just as the army of  Sennacherib was laid pale in death,  and as Babylon - the haughtiest of cities - was overthrown.
Who can stand against God?  And who can resist the execution of his will?
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)


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The Oracle concerning Philistia
Isaiah 14:28-32

Among the punishments enumerated in 2 Chron 28:5-21 as falling upon king Ahaz,  we find the following - that the Philistines invaded the low country  (shephelah)  and the south land  (Negev),  took several cities,  six of  which are mentioned by name,  and settled there.
This offensive movement of  the Philistines against the government of  Judaea was probably occasioned either by the oppression of  Judah on the part of  Syria and Ephraim,  or by the permanent crippling of  Judah through the Syro-Ephraimitish war.
In either case,  the fact itself is quite sufficient to throw light upon the threatening prophecy that follows.

Isaiah 14:28
From the Tanakh
(28)  This pronouncement was made in the year that King Ahaz died:

From the NKJV

(28)  This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.

This is one of  the prophecies the date of  which is fixed

"The year of  the death of  king Ahaz" was (as in Isa 6:1)  the year in which the death of  Ahaz was to take place.  In that year the Philistines still remained in those possessions,  their hold of  which was so shameful to Judah,  and had not yet met with any humiliating retribution.  But this year was the turning point;  for Hezekiah,  the successor of  Ahaz,  not only recovered the cities that they had taken,  but thoroughly defeated them in their own land (2 Kings 18:8).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

2 Kings 18:1-8
Now it came to pass in the third year of  Hoshea the son of Elah,  king of Israel,  that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz,  king of Judah, began to reign ...   And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD ... The LORD was with him ... He subdued the Philistines,  as far as Gaza and its territory,  from watchtower to fortified city.

Isaiah 14:29
From the Tanakh From the Targum
(29)  Rejoice not, all Philistia, because the staff of
him that beat you is broken.
The ruler who caused you to serve is destroyed (broken)
For from the stock of a snake there sprouts an asp. From the sons of the sons of Jesse shall the Anointed One (or, Messiah) come forth and his deeds shall be among you as a deadly serpent.
A flying seraph branches out from it.  

From the NKJV

(29)  "Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent's roots will come forth a viper, and its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.

The rod that struck you
Sheebet macceek -  is the Davidic sceptre,  which had formerly kept the Philistines in subjection under David and Solomon,  and again in more recent times since the reign of  Uzziah.
This sceptre was now broken to pieces,  for the Davidic kingdom had been brought down by the Syro-Ephraimitish war,  and had not been able to recover itself;  and so far as its power over the surrounding nations was concerned,  it had completely fallen to pieces.
Philistia was thoroughly filled with joy in consequence, but this joy was all over now.

From the serpent ... will come forth a viper ... fiery flying serpent
The power from which Philistia had escaped was a common snake (nâchâsh),  which had been either cut to pieces,  or had died out down to the very roots.
But out of  this root, i.e., out of  the house of David,  which had been reduced to the humble condition of  its tribal house,  there was coming forth a zepha', a basilisk  (regulus,  as Jerome and other early translators render it);  and this basilisk,  which is dangerous and even fatal in itself,  as soon as it had reached maturity,  would bring forth a winged dragon as its fruit.

The serpent is Hezekiah, and the flying dragon is the Messiah  (this is the explanation given by the Targum);  or,  what is the same thing,  the former is the Davidic government of  the immediate future,  the latter the Davidic government of  the ultimate future.

Isaiah 14:30
From the Tanakh
(30)  The first-born of the poor shall graze and the destitute lie down secure.
I will kill your stock by famine, and it shall slay the very last of you.

From the NKJV

(30)  The firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety;
I will kill your roots with famine, and it will slay your remnant.

The coming Davidic king is peace for Israel,  but for Philistia death.

First-born of the poor
"The poorest of the poor:"  becooree dallim - It  signifies such as hold the foremost rank in such a family - a description of  Israel,  which,  although at present deeply,  very deeply,  repressed and threatened on every side,  would then enjoy its land in quietness and peace (Zeph 3:12-13).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Zephaniah 3:12-13
I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid."     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frags 4-6 col. II continued.
11 [Isa. 14:28-30] In the year of the deat]h of king Achaz [this oracle was uttered: Do not] rejoice, 12 al[l Philistia,] that the rod [which injured you] is shattered, [because from the root of the] snake shall [come] 13 [a viper and its fruit will be a] flying [asp. The most destitute] will be fed [and the poor] 14 [will become safe. I will make your root die of hunger and he will kill] your remnant. […]

Isaiah 14:31
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(31)  Howl, O gate; cry out, O city;
Quake, all Philistia!
  Ye are destroyed, O Philistines, all of you:
For a stout one is coming from the north For smoke is coming from the north,  
And there is no straggler in his ranks. There is no possibility (of being) of living.  

From the NKJV

(31)  Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!  All you of Philistia are dissolved; for smoke will come from the north, and no one will be alone in his appointed times."

The strong gates of  the Philistian cities (Ashdod and Gaza),  of world-wide renown,  and the cities themselves,  shall lift up a cry of  anguish;  and Philistia,  which has hitherto been full of joy,  shall melt away in the heat of  alarm:  for from the north there comes a singing and burning fire,  which proclaims its coming afar off  by the smoke which it produces;  in other words,  an all-destroying army,  out of whose ranks not one falls away from weariness or self-will (cf., Isa 5:27),  that is to say,  an army without a gap,  animated throughout with one common desire.

No one will be alone
The Chaldee renders it: 'And there shall be none who shall retard him in his times.'
The Arabic renders it: 'Neither is there anyone who can stand in his footsteps.'
The Vulgate renders it: 'Neither is there anyone who can escape his army.'
Aben Ezra renders it: 'No one of the Philistines shall dare to remain in their palaces, as when a smoke comes into a house all are driven out.'
Lowth says:

No one of the invading army of Hezekiah shall come by himself
No one shall be weary or be a straggler
The army shall advance in close military array, and in dense columns
This is represented as the cause of  the cloud or smoke that the prophet saw rising,  the cloud of  dust that was made by the close ranks of the invading host.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Isaiah 14:32
From the Tanakh
(32)  And what will he answer the messengers of any nation?
That Zion has been established by the Lord:  in it, the needy of His people shall find shelter.

From the NKJV

(32)  What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the LORD has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.

To understand verse 32,  which follows here,  nothing more is needed than a few simple parenthetical thoughts,  which naturally suggest themselves.
This one desire was the thirst for conquest,  and such a desire could not possibly have only the small strip of  Philistian coast for its object;  but the conquest of  this was intended as the means of  securing possession of  other countries on the right hand and on the left.  The question arose,  therefore,

How would Judah fare with the fire that was rolling towards it from the north?
For the very fact that the prophet of  Judah was threatening Philistia with this fire,  presupposed that Judah itself would not be consumed by it.

The messengers of  the nations"
The messengers are to be regarded either as

individuals who have escaped from the Assyrian army, which was formed of contingents from many nations,
or else messengers from the neighboring nations, who were sent to Jerusalem after the Assyrian army had perished in front of the city, to ascertain how the latter had fared
And they all reply as if with one mouth (yaaneh):  Zion has stood unshaken,  protected by its God;  and the people of this God,  the poor and despised congregation of  Jehovah,  are,  and know that they are,  concealed in Zion.

The prophecy is intentionally oracular.
Prophecy does not adopt the same tone to the nations as to Israel.
Its language to the former is dictatorially brief, elevated with strong self-consciousness, expressed in lofty poetic strains, and variously colored, according to the peculiarity of the nation to which the oracle refers.

The following prophecy relating to Moab shows us very clearly,  that in the prophet's view the judgment executed by Asshur upon Philistia would prepare the way for the subjugation of  Philistia by the sceptre of David.  By the wreck of  the Assyrian world power upon Jerusalem,  the house of  David would recover its old supremacy over the nations round about.

And this really was the case.  But the fulfillment was not exhaustive.
Jeremiah therefore took up the prophecy of  his predecessor again at the time of  the Chaldean judgment upon the nations (Jeremiah 47).
The Messianic element was continued by Zechariah (Zech 9).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)


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Isaiah 12:1-14:32 - from the Amplified Version

12:1 AND IN that day you will say, I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for though You were angry with me, Your anger has turned away, and You comfort me.
(2)   Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.
(3)   Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.
(4)   And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!
(5)   Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.
(6)   Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy one of Israel.

13:1 THE MOURNFUL, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up) concerning Babylon which Isaiah son of Amoz saw [with prophetic insight]:
(2)   Raise up a signal banner upon the high and bare mountain, summon them [the Medes and Persians] with loud voice and beckoning hand that they may enter the gates of the [Babylonian] nobles.
(3)   I Myself [says the Lord] have commanded My designated ones and have summoned My mighty men to execute My anger, even My proudly exulting ones [the Medes and Persians]--those who are made to triumph for My honor.
(4)   Hark, the uproar of a multitude in the mountains, like that of a great people! The noise of the tumult of the kingdoms of the nations gathering together! The Lord of hosts is mustering the host for the battle.
(5)   They come from a distant country, from the uttermost part of the heavens [the far east]--even the Lord and the weapons of His indignation--to seize and destroy the whole land. [Ps 19:4-6; Isa 5:26.]
(6)   Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand; as destruction from the Almighty and Sufficient one [Shaddai] will it come! [Gen 17:1.]
(7)   Therefore will all hands be feeble, and every man's heart will melt.
(8)   And they [of Babylon] shall be dismayed and terrified, pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman in childbirth. They will gaze stupefied and aghast at one another, their faces will be aflame [from the effects of the unprecedented warfare].
(9)   Behold, the day of the Lord is coming!--fierce, with wrath and raging anger--to make the land and the [whole] earth a desolation and to destroy out of it its sinners. [Isa 2:10-22; Rev 19:11-21.]
(10)  For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened at its rising and the moon will not shed its light.
(11)  And I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their guilt and iniquity; I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible and the boasting of the violent and ruthless.
(12)  I will make a man more rare than fine gold, and mankind scarcer than the pure gold of Ophir.
(13)  Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth shall be shaken out of its place at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of His fierce anger.
(14)  And like the chased roe or gazelle, and like sheep that no man gathers, each [foreign resident] will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land.
(15)  Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is connected with the slain and is caught will fall by the sword.
(16)  Their infants also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
(17)  Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold [and thus cannot be bribed].
(18)  Their bows will cut down the young men [of Babylon]; and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb, their eyes will not spare children.
(19)  And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, shall be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.
(20) [Babylon] shall never be inhabited or dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arab pitch his tent there, nor shall the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
(21)  But wild beasts of the desert will lie down there, and the people's houses will be full of dolefully howling creatures; and ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats [like demons] will dance there.
(22)  And wolves and howling creatures will cry and answer in the deserted castles, and jackals in the pleasant palaces. And [Babylon's] time has nearly come, and her days will not be prolonged.

14:1 FOR THE Lord will have mercy on Jacob [the captive Jews in Babylon] and will again choose Israel and set them in their own land; and foreigners [who are proselytes] will join them and will cleave to the house of Jacob (Israel). [Est 8:17.]
(2)   And the peoples [of Babylonia] shall take them and bring them to their own country [of Judea] and help restore them. And the house of Israel will possess [the foreigners who prefer to stay with] them in the land of the Lord as male and female servants; and they will take captive [not by physical but by moral might] those whose captives they have been, and they will rule over their [former] oppressors. [Ezra 1.]
(3)   When the Lord has given you rest from your sorrow and pain and from your trouble and unrest and from the hard service with which you were made to serve,
(4)   You shall take up this [taunting] parable against the king of Babylon and say, How the oppressor has stilled [the restless insolence]! The golden and exacting city has ceased!
(5)   The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the [tyrant] rulers,
(6)  Who smote the peoples in anger with incessant blows and trod down the nations in wrath with unrelenting persecution--[until] he who smote is persecuted and no one hinders any more.
(7)   The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they break forth into singing.
(8)   Yes, the fir trees and cypresses rejoice at you [O kings of Babylon], even the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you have been laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.
(9)   Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead) below is stirred up to meet you at your coming [O tyrant Babylonian rulers]; it stirs up the shades of the dead to greet you--even all the chief ones of the earth; it raises from their thrones [in astonishment at your humbled condition] all the kings of the nations.
(10)  All of them will [tauntingly] say to you, Have you also become weak as we are? Have you become like us?
(11)  Your pomp and magnificence are brought down to Sheol (the underworld), along with the sound of your harps; the maggots [which prey upon dead bodies] are spread out under you and worms cover you [O Babylonian rulers].
(12)  How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]
(13)  And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.
(14)  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
(15)  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).
(16)  Those who see you will gaze at you and consider 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 would not permit his prisoners to return home?
(18)  All the kings of the nations, all of them lie sleeping in glorious array, each one in his own sepulcher.
(19)  But you are cast away from your tomb like a loathed growth or premature birth or an abominable branch [of the family] and like the raiment of the slain; and you are clothed with the slain, those thrust through with the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit [into which carcasses are thrown], like a dead body trodden underfoot.
(20)  You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and have slain your people. May the descendants of evildoers nevermore be named!
(21)  Prepare a slaughtering place for his sons because of the guilt and iniquity of their fathers, so that they may not rise, possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities.
(22)  And I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son's son, says the Lord.
(23)  I will also make it a possession of the hedgehog and porcupine, and of marshes and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the Lord of hosts.
(24)  The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought and planned, 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 I will tread him underfoot. Then shall the [Assyrian's] yoke depart from [the people of Judah], and his burden depart from their shoulders.
(26)  This is the [Lord's] purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth [regarded as conquered and put under tribute by Assyria]; and this is [His omnipotent] hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
(27)  For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who can annul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
(28)  In the year that King Ahaz [of Judah] died there came this mournful, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up):
(29)  Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod [of Judah] that smote you is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth an adder [King Hezekiah of Judah], and its [the serpent's] offspring will be a fiery, flying serpent. [2 Kings 18:1,3,8.]
(30)  And the firstborn of the poor and the poorest of the poor [of Judah] shall feed on My meadows, and the needy will lie down in safety; but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant shall be slain.
(31)  Howl, O gate! Cry, O city! Melt away, O Philistia, all of you! For there is coming a smoke out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks and none stands aloof [in Hezekiah's battalions].
(32)  What then shall one answer the messengers of the [Philistine] nation? That the Lord has founded Zion, and in her shall the poor and afflicted of His people trust and find refuge.


(End of  Lesson 7)




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