The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 14 Part 1

Isaiah 14:1-11

The Bible makes it very clear that G-d keeps covenant with His people. He is faithful to His promises. This should give us great comfort. 

In this chapter we are encouraged to see the bigger picture. The defeat of satan is mentioned, and this lets us know that this prophecy did not only have implications in Isaiah’s days, but it also has a last day/end time application.

v1: L-rd: YHWH

  • The L-rd will have mercy on Jacob: G-d affirmed, through Isaiah, that He plans on being merciful, in the future, to Jacob – the Jewish people. 

Note: This verse is poetic and displays parallelism. G-d’s mercy is parallel to G-d’s choosing. Jacob is parallel to Israel. G-d’s choice is not rooted in Israel’s merit. Israel cannot demand that G-d be merciful to them. Israel cannot demand that G-d chooses them again. G-d is merciful to them based on His covenantal promises and commitment to Abraham – Roms 11:28-29. If G-d reneged on His Old Covenant promises, what assurance would we have that He wouldn’t renege on His New Covenant ones? 

  • Settle them in their own land: Israel, based on merit, does not deserve her own land. She is back in her own land because of G-d’s mercy and faithfulness. 
  • Strangers/Proselytes: Those who are not of the household of Jacob (i.e. they are not Jewish).
  • The strangers will be joined with them: The Gentiles will play a role in restoring the Jewish people back to the land of Israel. 
  • They (these Gentiles) will cling (literally: be annexed) to the house of Jacob: When G-d is merciful to the Jewish people there is an outcome for the Gentiles. The Gentiles, in this case, are incorporated into the house of Jacob (Roms 11:17-18)

v2: People: Referring to the Gentiles or the nations. 

  • Them: The people of Israel
  • Their place: In Isaiah 14:1 we were told that the land of Israel is their own land. Here it is emphasised that this land is theirs. And why theirs? Because G-d, time and time again, promised this land to the patriarchs (Gen 12:7, Gen 13:14-15)
  • The house of Israel will possess them…in the land of the L-rd: There is a change. The land of Israel is now called the ‘land of the L-rd’. The whole earth is the L-rds (Ps 24:1), but He chose, through covenant, to give a portion of His land to the descendants of Jacob. 
  • Possess (literally:Settle) them (these prosyletes/Gentiles) for servants and maids: These Gentiles are going to recognize G-d’s call, purpose and plan with Israel, and they are going to support this, helping to bring G-d’s plans and purposes to fruition. 
  • Take captive whose captives they were: A change happens. Israel is going to take captive the nations that had held her captive. 
  • Rule over their oppressors: Israel is going to rule over the nations who had taken her captive and who had oppressed her. She is not going to repay evil for evil and exploit these nations, but she is going to execute G-dly righteousness and justice over them. 
  • Oppressors: Cruel and barbaric taskmasters (for example: the slavedrivers in Egypt).

v3: Note: G-d is going to bring about a redemptive change in their lives – they are going to have a Kingdom experience. 

  • The L-rd gives you rest: G-d positions them or places them in this place. 
  • The hard bondage in which you were made to serve: They had been forced to do this work. This verse is reminiscent of the change that happened in the book of Exodus. The people had been in bondage in Egypt, but G-d brought about redemption in their lives, and He led them out of bondage. 

v4: You will take (lift) up: When this change occurs, they will speak a proverb. 

  • Proverb: A short statement of wisdom that reveals important truth or principles to live by.
  • The king of Babylon: Referring to Nebuchadnezzar, but also a foreshadowing of the final antichrist empire. 
  • Ceased: This is the same word used for Shabbat. Shabbat means to stop. It implies that there is a change – a G-dly change, one that brings about intimacy between G-d and His people. 
  • Golden city: Literally the word for ‘arrogant’. This is a word that refers to one who is full of pride. It refers to those who delight in the pain and suffering of others. 

v5: The L-rd has broken the staff (rod) of the wicked: Written in the plural. This is referring to all the nations who are under the unrighteous king – possibly a reference to the antichrist kingdom. 

  • Rulers: Governors. Those who have a degree of authority, but who, in this context, misappropriate that authority. 

v6: He who struck the people in wrath: It is initially difficult to determine who is doing this striking. Within the context though (G-d breaking the staff in Isaiah 14:5, and see Isaiah 14:7) we see that it is referring to G-d striking the people with His wrath. 

  • A continual stroke: This is referring to a striking that does not cease…it keeps on going. There are eternal implications to this judgment.

v7: Note: In this verse we are told the outcome of what happens after the wrath mentioned in Isaiah 14:6 comes…the outcome is peace and tranquillity. 

  • Is at rest and quiet: Implies tranquillity 
  • Singing: They are going to be excited. They are going to be victorious. 

v8: Cypress trees will rejoice: These trees rejoice because of what is going to happen to this one. After G-d’s wrath, creation is jubilant (Roms 8:18-22).

  • You: Second person singular. This is referring to the king of Babylon (but also foreshadowing the defeat/bringing down of the final antichrist and his empire).

v9: Hell: The place of the dead. 

  • Excited: This is a word that means upset or perturbed. Hell/Sheol is upset because it was loyal to satan, and the one in whom it put its trust is being cast down. 
  • Stirs up the dead: In modern Hebrew this is a word for ghosts. 
  • The kings of the nations: Those who got their power from satan. 

v10: Note: Those in Hell are upset because satan (as we shall see in the context) has been placed in an adverse condition – like they have been. 

  • Weak: Sick. Being put in an adverse condition. The nations are going to be upset because the one that they trusted in (the antichrist and even satan himself) is going to meet the same fate as they did.

v11: Pomp: The one who is full of pride (Dan 7:11,25, Rev 13:5) was brought down to Hell – together with his stringed instruments – the worship of him came to nothing. 

  • Maggot … worms: This is a place of decay. 

Note: This is imagery that is speaking of satan’s defeat and being bound in hell. Those who are already in hell are going to be remorseful because their leader was defeated and is suffering their same fate (Rev 20:1-3, Rev 20:7-10). 

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