Isaiah 14

Isaiah 14

The Restoration of Jacob

14 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Israel’s Remnant Taunts Babylon

When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

  “How the oppressor has ceased,
    the insolent fury ceased!
  The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
    the scepter of rulers,
  that struck the peoples in wrath
    with unceasing blows,
  that ruled the nations in anger
    with unrelenting persecution.
  The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
    they break forth into singing.
  The cypresses rejoice at you,
    the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
  ‘Since you were laid low,
    no woodcutter comes up against us.’
  Sheol beneath is stirred up
    to meet you when you come;
  it rouses the shades to greet you,
    all who were leaders of the earth;
  it raises from their thrones
    all who were kings of the nations.
  All of them will answer
    and say to you:
  ‘You too have become as weak as we!
    You have become like us!’
  Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
    the sound of your harps;
  maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
    and worms are your covers.
  “How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Day Star, son of Dawn!
  How you are cut down to the ground,
    you who laid the nations low!
  You said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
  above the stars of God
    I will set my throne on high;
  I will sit on the mount of assembly
    in the far reaches of the north;
  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’
  But you are brought down to Sheol,
    to the far reaches of the pit.
  Those who see you will stare at you
    and ponder over you:
  ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
    who shook kingdoms,
  who made the world like a desert
    and overthrew its cities,
    who did not let his prisoners go home?’
  All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    each in his own tomb;
  but you are cast out, away from your grave,
    like a loathed branch,
  clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
    who go down to the stones of the pit,
    like a dead body trampled underfoot.
  You will not be joined with them in burial,
    because you have destroyed your land,
    you have slain your people.
  “May the offspring of evildoers
    nevermore be named!
  Prepare slaughter for his sons
    because of the guilt of their fathers,
  lest they rise and possess the earth,
    and fill the face of the world with cities.”

“I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the LORD. “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Assyria

  The LORD of hosts has sworn:
  “As I have planned,
    so shall it be,
  and as I have purposed,
    so shall it stand,
  that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
    and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
  and his yoke shall depart from them,
    and his burden from their shoulder.”
  This is the purpose that is purposed
    concerning the whole earth,
  and this is the hand that is stretched out
    over all the nations.
  For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
    and who will annul it?
  His hand is stretched out,
    and who will turn it back?

An Oracle Concerning Philistia

In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:

  Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
    that the rod that struck you is broken,
  for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder,
    and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
  And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
    and the needy lie down in safety;
  but I will kill your root with famine,
    and your remnant it will slay.
  Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
    melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
  For smoke comes out of the north,
    and there is no straggler in his ranks.
  What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
  “The LORD has founded Zion,
    and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”


Isaiah 14 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

There are some deep theological principles at work in this chapter. There is also some controversy as to the correct translation of the phrase, “Oh Lucifer, Son of the morning” in verse 12. Many scholars translate the text to be Lucifer, or, Satan, though that translation has been challenged. The context is a bit sketchy because some scholars are unsure why Satan would be referenced within a passage that is clearly describing the fall of King Nebuchadnezzar. It could certainly be said that the King followed Satan’s path of rebellion against God.

Commentator Adam Clarke actually says it has been improperly translated and the proper phrase should read, “Howl, Son of the morning.” He argues that it doesn’t make sense to call Lucifer the bringer of morning light, (Son of the morning) but rather, that should be a description reserved for Christ. All that to say, the overall context of the passage is not significantly affected one way or another, in my opinion.

The theme is very clear. The proud and arrogant world leaders who rise to power and dominate God’s people will one day face their ultimate fate. From King Nebuchadnezzar to Adolf Hitler, to the final Antichrist, and yes, Satan himself – all will be subject to Jesus Christ and His ultimate authority. Though it may seem they are untouchable, the hidden kingdom of our Lord and Savior will judge them with an iron fist. Outside of a repentant heart towards Jesus, there is no chance for them.

We must remember this. As John Piper says, “When Jesus speaks with absolute authority, the devil does what he is told. Period!” As a pastor friend of mine always rhetorically asks, “Is Jesus on throne? Is He nervous?” We know the answer, so let us live like it!

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