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Isaiah Fourteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Isaiah 14:1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

Isaiah 14:2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.

Isaiah 14:3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,

Isaiah 14:4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

king of Babylon. Isaiah 14:4-23—in fact, all of chapters 13 and 14—predict the ultimate fall of Babylon at a time even before the kingdom of Babylon became dominant. In Isaiah's time, the Assyrian empire was the leading nation.

Isaiah 14:5 The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.

Isaiah 14:6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.

Isaiah 14:7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.

at rest. There has never been a year since Isaiah's time that the whole earth was at rest. This prophecy can never be fulfilled until at the return of Christ when Babylon and all it stands for are destroyed.

Isaiah 14:8 Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.

feller. That is, one who cuts down trees.

Isaiah 14:9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

Hell. Hebrew sheol, means the place of departed spirits. The picture here is a graphic description of the slain king of Babylon being welcomed into hell by the already-dead kings of earlier nations.

Isaiah 14:10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?

Isaiah 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

fallen from heaven. Although the prophecy is directed toward the earthly king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4), here it goes far beyond him (he could never fall from heaven!) to the wicked spirit possessing his body and inspiring his actions. Just as Satan possessed and used the serpent's body in Eden, so he does here with Babylon's king.

O Lucifer. “Lucifer” means “shining one” and is rendered “day-star” in some translations. This is the only time it occurs in the Bible, but clearly seems intended as a name of Satan, and has been so used throughout history. Many New Age and other pantheistic cults have adopted Lucifer as their “god.”

Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

above the stars. The “stars” here are evidently angels (compare Job 38:7). Although Lucifer had a throne as God's “anointed cherub” (see on Ezekiel 28:14), he aspired to reign over all God's holy angels, all of whom have been created to serve God and to become ministers to those who would be “heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

like the most high. Lucifer desired not only to rule over the angels but to be like God Himself, no doubt ultimately aspiring to displace God. This absurd ambition on the part of a created being—thinking himself capable of defeating His own Creator—can only be rationally understood if Satan did not really believe God had created him. That is, since his earliest awareness would be in the watery cosmos of the primeval deep (Genesis 1:2), and his only knowledge that he had been created was God's word for it, he could have chosen to doubt God's word and to believe instead that both he and God had somehow “evolved” out of the primeval waters. This, in fact, is exactly what is implied in the cosmogonies of the Sumerians, Egyptians, and other ancient nations. Thus, Satan (or Lucifer) was the first “evolutionist,” and the root of all subsequent sin is in doubting God's revealed word concerning His creation.

Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

hell. Because of his rebellion, Satan was expelled from his exalted position in the angelic host (Isaiah 14:12; also Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 28:17) and will eventually be cast into the bottomless pit of Hades and finally into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:2-3, 10). However, he evidently persuaded a third of the angels to follow him (Revelation 12:3-9). They must also have chosen to believe either in their own evolution, or else that Lucifer had made them. Ever since they have served as his demonic hierarchy, ever seeking to deceive men and lead them away from God.

Isaiah 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

Is this the man. Here Isaiah's vision, which had focussed upon Satan in Isaiah 14:12-15, returns to the human king of Babylon (who had been possessed by Satan) and his reception by the other dead kings as they greet him in hell (that is, sheol, the great pit at the center of the earth).

Isaiah 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

Isaiah 14:18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

Isaiah 14:19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

Isaiah 14:20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Isaiah 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.

Isaiah 14:22 For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 14:23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.

besom. That is, a broom made of twigs.

Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

Isaiah 14:25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.

Assyrian. See Isaiah 10:5; Micah 5:5-6. The Assyrians were even more imminent a danger than the Babylonians. This prophecy also has a near and distant fulfillment, with “the Assyrian” being a title of the future Antichrist.

tread him under foot. This may well be a reference to the primeval promise of Genesis 3:15, with the Antichrist possessed by Satan, like the king of Babylon.

Isaiah 14:26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.

all the nations. The prophecy in its ultimate fulfillment applies not just to Israel, but to “all the nations,” when Christ returns.

Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

Isaiah 14:28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.

Isaiah 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

cockatrice. See note on Isaiah 11:8.

Isaiah 14:30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.

Isaiah 14:31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.

Isaiah 14:32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.