We next look at Isaiah 14:22-32
v22: Babylon: In the book of Revelation (see Revelation 17 and 18), Babylon is the name used symbolically for the antichrist empire – the final world empire. The first Babylon wanted to take control of Israel for its own purposes. That first Babylon was eventually punished and destroyed. In the same way that the first Babylon did not achieve its purposes and was destroyed, so too will the second (and final) Babylon suffer the same fate and will be destroyed eternally.
- Offspring and posterity: In Hebrew it is literally worded ‘Great grandchildren and grandchildren’. In English we would say ‘grandchildren and great grandchildren’, but in this verse the order has been flipped.
v23: Porcupine: Some Bibles translate this word as ‘owl’. Modern Hebrew would call it a porcupine. Either way, it is an animal that serves no great purpose. The place of the antichrist will serve no purpose from G-d’s point of view. It will not be a place of substance.
- Marshes of muddy water: Biblically, water is also a form of judgment.
- L-rd of hosts: L-rd of the armies. This name of G-d speaks about G-d in a judgmental context.
v24: Note: Before Babylon came into being, the enemy of (especially) the Northern Kingdom of Israel was Assyria. Assyria also threatened Judah (the southern kingdom), but it was hindered in carrying out its plan regarding Judah. Assyria’s lack of successfulness should remind us that neither will the antichrist empire be successful.
- As I have purposed, so it shall stand: From our vantage point in history, we are able to look back and see (and tell others) that G-d was perfectly correct with His prophecies. Things have come about (and are coming about) exactly as He said that they would.
v25: Tread them under foot: They are going to be defeated.
- Them…their: Those whom Assyria oppressed. He was not going to be successful over the ones that he wanted to enslave.
- His burden removed from their shoulders: Although at the height of the Assyrian empire’s rule, it appeared to be seriously successful, in the longer term it did not accomplish its goals and it was ultimately defeated.
v26: This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth: This message is for everyone so that no one should be deceived. Satan is defeated.
- Hand: Authority or power. G-d is moving. His power and authority will bring this all about and it will affect all of His creation – all the earth, all the nations.
v27: Annul: Thwart. Make void
- Who will turn it back: Once G-d has determined that He is going to do something there is no going back. We cannot change the purposes of G-d. We cannot change the activity of G-d. Once G-d says ‘yes’ to something it is only a matter of time until it is fulfilled. Was G-d right about Assyria? Yes, He was! Is He right concerning the defeat of the great enemy, satan? Yes, He is!
v28: Burden: It was a burden because it was a prophecy of much destruction (even though, in the end, G-d was going to be victorious).
- King Ahaz: He was the king (as we saw in Isaiah 7) who refused the opportunity to receive counsel and confirmation from G-d. He did not trust G-d, and therefore he did not open himself up to receiving revelation from G-d. Ahaz died in disbelief.
v29: Philistia: The Philistines. This is also the same root word in Hebrew for the term ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’. This word is used for an ancient people, but also for a future people – signifying a judgment that was, and a judgment that will be.
- Do not rejoice… because the rod that struck you is broken: G-d is commanding them to not be joyful about the fact that Assyria (the rod that also struck them) was defeated. Assyria’s defeat was not going to bring them permanent relief, as G-d was also going to judge them.
- Serpent: G-d is referring to Assyria.
- Viper: Something more deadly was going to take Assyria’s place.
- Offspring: Seed or fruit. The viper’s descendant or offspring will be even more deadly. There is a worsening progression of enemies against Philistia.
- Flying: Usually implies something supernatural. This is a fiery, supernatural enemy.
v30: The poor will feed…the needy will lie down in safety: When this fiery serpent is defeated, the poor (those who have been impoverished by the enemy) and the destitute (needy) are going to be cared for.
- Lie down in safety: The same root word is used in Psalm 23:2
- I will kill your roots with famine, and it will slay your remnant: Referring to the Philistines/Palestinians and their remnant (those who display the same spirit of the Philistines – those who want to kill the children of G-d, and who want to try to thwart G-d’s purposes).
v31: Wail: Cry out
- All you of Philistia: In the last days, all those who are descended from this people group/those who have the same spirit as those ancient Philistines are going to melt/dissolve.
- Smoke: Depicts judgment
- North: In the Bible the ‘North’ is frequently spoken of as the place where judgment comes from (Jer 1:13 -16, Jer 50:3).
- No one will be alone (missing) in his appointed times: G-d has an appointed time for meting out His judgment. Noone will be missing from this appointed time. All will be accounted for.
v32: Note: This verse carries with it a great promise. The kings of the earth are going to afflict, but then the kings of the earth are going to be afflicted.
- Has founded : Will establish. The L-rd will make/set a foundation.
- Zion: This is a Kingdom word. G-d is going to establish His Kingdom on this current earth (for a certain period of time), before there is a final transition from this earth into the age to come (the new heavens and the new earth – Rev 20:6, Rev 21:1).