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Confused by Isaiah 14

Discussion in 'Exposition & Bible Study' started by PoetStorm, May 16, 2021.

  1. PoetStorm

    PoetStorm Wanderer in the wilderness

    United States
    Hi there,

    Hope I posted in the right spot. I'm working through a Bible reading plan but find the beginning of this chapter confusing. Hoping you all can set me straight.

    So when I first start reading this passage I thought it was an allusion to the future gentile believers:

    "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 14:1"

    But then it talks about these strangers being held captive as servants. Now I am not so sure anymore about my theory...

    "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 14:2 KJV"

    So then who are these people?

    I'm also a bit confused by all the talk of the dead rising up.

    "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.
    Isaiah 14:9"

    I'm just having trouble figuring out what is going on here. Looked at a few commentaries but they seem to be all over the place. Would love some thoughts.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. disciple Clint

    disciple Clint Well-Known Member

    United States
    Isaiah Chapter 14 Explained
    Study Guide for Isaiah 14 by David Guzik
  3. Friedrich Rubinstein

    Friedrich Rubinstein Well-Known Member

    From my understanding the verses 1-8 describe Israel as a nation since 1948, when they got their own state.
    "Nations will take them and bring them to their own place." (verse 2) - On November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted for establishing a separate state for the Jews.

    "Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob." (verse 1) - Israeli and Arabs live together in Israel, and many Arabs don't want to leave the state of Israel because the conditions there are a lot better than in the muslim countries around them.

    "...and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land..." (verse 2) - More often than not the Arab people in Israel work for Israeli companies. They are not slaves, but servants.

    Then verse 9 and the following are a little difficult. I can see different oppressive regimes in it. You can fit the passage to Russia (Stalin/Lenin), Germany (Hitler) or Iran for example. I don't think that verse 9 talks about literally rising of the dead. It rather describes the fear that is caused by these regimes. You probably know the expression "to turn over in one's grave". Some metaphors express the intensity of something by saying "even the dead are affected by it".

    Hope this helps a bit :)
  4. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The OT Books of the prophets have moveable timelines. It takes some study for a while in all of God's Word to rightly divide the prophecies in them that are mixed within history. Some of the histories even are examples as types for the future also ("Babylon is fallen, is fallen" in Isaiah 21 repeated word for word in Rev.14).

    The Isaiah 14 timeline is for the future time of Christ's Millennium reign, a la Revelation 20 and latter part of Zechariah 14. In that future time Satan is locked in his pit prison, along with the kings of the earth who served him (a la Isaiah 24:22). This is why it is said in Isaiah 14:16 that those who look upon him (the devil) will say, "Is this the man that...?"

    The "oppressors" are these that will be made to bow at the feet of Christ's elect in that future 1,000 years reign. Those represent the "synagogue of Satan" who worked against Christ for this present world:

    Rev 3:9
    9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
  5. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    United Kingdom
    Please remember the chapter and verse divisions are not from God.
    So Ch 14 does not break off from Ch 13 but is a continuation.
    Re read 13 and 14, it makes more sense as a continuation of the prophecy against Babylon.
  6. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Did you learn that from someone preaching it, or is that just something you came up with, because in God's Word the subject flow can change 'within' a Bible Chapter, and even sometimes within a couple of verses?

    In Isaiah 14, starting at verse 4, God begins giving a "proverb" USING the historical king of Babylon. A proverb is the same idea as a parable, or allegory. In Ezekiel 28 God used the flesh prince and king of Tyrus to give a parable or allegory about Satan himself. By the time we arrive at Isaiah 14:12, we know this Scripture is of the same type example as Ezekiel 28 about Satan.

    Isa 14:4-21
    4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, "How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    5 The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
    6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
    7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.

    Think about those above events, when will the whole earth be at rest from wickedness, with those on earth singing in joy? That is the idea there. That will only occur with Christ's future return, and with the wicked finally destroyed, including Satan and the abode of hell. So already with those verses, the timeline is pointing to the future after Christ's return. At verse 6 God is speaking specifically about the king of Babylon. So far, we can only surmise He is speaking of a flesh king.

    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.'

    If you haven't done your homework in Ezekiel 31, you won't understand that above verse. The subject of the fir trees and cedars of Lebanon are about the symbolic rulers under Satan in the old world, PRIOR to his rebellion against God. That is what the first parts of the Ezekiel 31 chapter is about; it's an allegory back to that time when Satan was exalted in God's Garden. The cedars of Lebanon is symbolic of royalty, and the fir trees surrounding as subjects under him back then. At this point here, those fir trees that he had power over are now remarking about his being made weak and subdued with, "Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us."

    9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
    10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, 'Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?"
    11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

    At Christ's return, the chief ones of the earth that served Satan will be locked with Satan in his pit prison for Christ's "thousand years" future reign (Isaiah 24:22). When they see how Satan is then weak, they will say that about him, "Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?"

    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!

    No mistaking who God is talking about there. In the OT Hebrew, the word for "Lucifer" is actually 'heylel' meaning 'morning star'. The KJV translators put the name "Lucifer" there, but in the side margin of their 1st edition KJV they put 'O Day Starre', for an alternate reading. It's obvious the KJV translators wanted us to be sure we knew who God was pointing to there, i.e., Satan himself.

    Some have asked me how Satan could be called the 'morning star' if Lord Jesus is The Morning Star per Revelation 22? It's very simple. The way Satan first rebelled in the beginning against God was in coveting God's Throne in Heaven. Satan wants... to be The Morning Star. He wants... to be The Christ. And that is the very point our Heavenly Father brings up here...

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

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

    Those words underlined above is what Satan had said he will do. God is merely repeating what Satan had said. Basically, Satan said he will be like GOD, and even sit in GOD's Place.

    But God says...

    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
    16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
    17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?"

    Satan will be brought down to hell, in his pit prison (Revelation 20). And those with him there will look upon him and say, "Is this the man that...". (Yes! Satan has the image of man!).

    Therefore, it is no mistake that Revelation 14 repeats the Isaiah 21 saying that "Babylon is fallen, is fallen" regarding the end of the Antichrist's future one world kingdom when Jesus returns. The historical king of Babylon serves as blueprint for the last days one-world kingdom the Antichrist is going to be setup over at the very end of this world in the generation that will see Lord Jesus' return.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021