Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

Part XXII. Anticipating God's Sure Judgment Of Wicked Babylon, Isaiah 13:1-14:23

B. Anticipating God's Sure Judgment Of Babylon's Wicked King

(Isaiah 14:1-23)


I.              Introduction

A.    Isaiah 13:1-14:23 offers multiple predictions that address on the one hand God's judgment on local Babylon and its king in Isaiah's era and on the other hand His future judgment on a world system of evil under Satan.

B.    The reason for this interplay of predictions of near and distant judgments, as we learned in Revelation, is that the evil that began in the local city of Babylon which is now destroyed continues to expand in a worldwide system under Satan, and that system must be judged in the future Great Tribulation Period, Revelation 17-18!

C.    Thus, following the Isaiah 13:1-22 prophecies, Isaiah 14:1-23 predicts God's judgment on the local city of Babylon's evil human king as well as His judgment on Satan who was behind that human king of Babylon.

D.    We thus view the passage for encouragement that as God judged the human king, He will judge Satan:

II.            Anticipating God's Sure Judgment Of Babylon's Wicked King, Isaiah 14:1-23.

A.    In Isaiah 14:1-3, God promised Israel that though she would be taken captive by Babylon, He will yet restore her to the land of Israel, with her people being helped by Gentiles to return to the land where they will in turn function as servants of Israel, that Israel's people will rule over those who once were their captors.

B.    When God will have given Israel this rest after her captivity, she will take up a taunt against the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4a), a taunt that is recorded in Isaiah 14:4b-21 (as follows):

1.     Isaiah 14:4b-11 describes the fall of the human king of the local city of Babylon (as follows):

                        a.        Isaiah 14:4b-8 describes the relief of the world's nations over the destruction of Babylon's evil, cruel king who had ruled them "with unrelenting persecution," Isaiah 14:6b.

                        b.        The whole earth is at rest and quiet, with even the cypresses rejoicing along with the cedars of Lebanon since no woodcutter comes up against them to chop them down, Isaiah 14:7-8.

                        c.        Sheol beneath, the place where the souls of the departed dead go, will be roused to greet the king of Babylon as he descends to dwell among them, and these dead kings will taunt the king of Babylon, declaring that he has become as weak as they are in death, Isaiah 14:9-10. 

                        d.        In place of his former pomp that was accompanied with the sound of harps, the dead king will be brought down and laid on a bed that is covered with worms that devour his decaying body, Isaiah 14:11!

2.     However, in Isaiah 14:12-20, the king is abruptly called "Lucifer" (helel, "the bright one" that soon disappears with the light of the rising sun), and since the words he speaks in Isaiah 14:13-14 "are out of place on any lips but Satan's" (The Wycliffe Bible Com., 1971, p. 622), we hold this section refers to Satan "as the power behind the king's throne" in Babylon, Ibid.; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isa. 14:12.

3.     Accordingly, Satan's great pride was expressed in wanting to supplant God in trying (a) to usurp His heavenly throne (Isaiah 14:13a), (b) to usurp God's rule over the other angels (Isaiah 14:13b), (c) to administrate His universe (Isaiah 14:13c), (d) to make God's glory his own (Isaiah 14:14a) and (e) to imitate the Lord in every way (Isaiah 14:14b), which sin is met with divine judgment in the end times as he is brought down, Isaiah 14:15-17.  "The ignominous downfall of the tyrant of Babylon, prophetically pictured here, whose corpse lies unburied and dishonorred, reflects upon Satan, his lord," Ibid.; Isaiah 14:18-21; J. Dwight Pentecost, Your Adversary The Devil 1973, p. 20-29.

C.    Returning briefly to the theme of the fall of the city of Babylon, God predicted in Isaiah 14:22-23 ESV that He would cut off its reputation in its name, its remnant, its descendants and its posterity, making it a possession of the "hedgehog" and pools of water, the Lord having figuratively swept the city with the broom of destruction!


Lesson: As the earthly king of the local city of Babylon would be brought down from great pride and pomp to the grave in dishonor and God's people of Israel would instead be liberated from Babylonian bondage and rule over their former captors, so God's people will be exalted in victory as Satan is brought down in the end time.


Application: (1) Taking encouragement from noting the reality of the now past fall of the human tyrant of the city of Babylon, may we realize God will one day similarly judge Satan who was behind Babylon and is now behind the world's wicked, ever developing and expanding world system, and God will give us the ultimate victory over Satan and the evil world.  (2) Thus encouraged, may we stay faithful to the Lord in performing His assigned will for us!