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A short course in Isaiah, chapter 14 verse 3-23. A taunt against the king of Babylon.

If you recall, this all started with a video I reposted on Facebook. In that video, the Pope was portrayed as having used this passage about someone. I realize this is very vague, but so is my memory, and I don't feel like looking up the video to be precise. I, as usual, had re-posted that video without fact checking. But, here is the clincher as far as I am concerned. A response came, from an acquaintance who has a Masters degree in Theology, and he attempted to excoriate me,by telling me that the Prophet Isaiah was quoting a mythological tale about a mythological Babylonian king, and therefore has no reference to Lucifer/Satan the enemy of God, Jesus, and the church.
So what did I do? I looked at the 45 commentaries I have collected to see what they say, and many agree with what the acquaintance said. However, they added something he failed to mention; there is no factual, or written evidence to validate their claims, and the boldest, like IVPBBC, will tell you that.
There is another problem with this twisted interpretation that the subject is someone other than Lucifer/Satan. In pitching your case, you are asking me to believe that the Prophet Isaiah would stoop so low as to quote mythology, effectively adapting the worship of the gods of the Gentiles, and pass it off as from the Lord. I don't think so!
Maybe we would have more respect for Isaiah and his words if we knew a little more about him. Much of the following comes from the IVPBBC.
  • Isaiah, the son of Amoz, ministered in and around Jerusalem as a prophet to Judah during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah (called "Azariah" in 2 Kin.), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Isa_1:1), from c. 739-686 B.C.
  • He evidently came from a family of some rank, because he had easy access to the king (Isa_7:3)
  • His writing style has no rival in its versatility of expression, brilliance of imagery, and richness of vocabulary. The early church father Jerome likened him to Demosthenes, the legendary Greek orator. His writing features a range of 2,186 different words, compared to 1,535 in Ezekiel, 1,653 in Jeremiah, and 2,170 in the Psalms.
  • Second Chronicles 2Ch_32:32 records that he wrote a biography of King Hezekiah
  • The prophet lived until at least 681 B.C. when he penned the account of Sennacherib's death (cf. Isa_37:38).
  • Tradition has it that he met his death under King Manasseh (c. 695-642 B.C.) by being cut in two with a wooden saw (cf. Heb_11:37).
  • Isaiah is quoted directly in the NT over sixty-five times, far more than any other OT prophet, and mentioned by name over twenty times.
  • According to Gill's commentary, “it stands first of all the prophets; though the order of the prophets, according to the Jews (a), is, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve. But it is here placed first, not because Isaiah prophesied before the other prophets; for Joel, Jonah, Hosea, and Amos, begun before him, namely, in or before the days of Jeroboam the Second; but because of the excellency of the matter contained in it.”Last
That is quite the resume, and, it could have included much more. There isn't a single thing here that promotes the idea that Isaiah would have pursued such a foolish idea, one that slaps God in the face by using an undefined mythological character.
So, that being said, let's dissect this thoughtfully. Sorry if I repeat things previously covered in posts, but that was several months ago. I will try to be concise (like that is going to happen.)
Isaiah 14:3-23 MKJV
3) And it shall be in the day that Jehovah shall give you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and from the hard bondage which was pressed on you,
      • Jehovah shall give you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and from the hard bondage which was pressed on you,”
Has that day come? Some might say, looking at the narrow view and saying, sure, when Israel was released from Babylonian captivity. Sadly, that was not the end of it, and, as you know, Israel was not a nation again until when, “On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.”
Now, just because they became a nation, did all fear and sorrow end? Hardly. Even though Israel has only grown stronger since their inception, they have been in a continuous state of flux, violence, and threats. One of the most recent has come from Iran.
I am surprised, but I shouldn't be, as Pastor John MacArthur succinctly states, The future earthly kingdom of Messiah is in view. Cf. Act_3:19-21.
and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being, he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be.” Acts 3:20-21 MSG)
4) you shall take up this song against the king of Babylon and say, How the exacter, the gold gatherer has ceased!
If that day is the day that Jesus returns physically to earth, it will be at the end of horrendous tumult and death, not only at God's hands but from the violence of man as well. When Jesus comes, he comes conquering. If we could assume that the enemy is Islam with ISIS as its front man, then it would easy to see Jesus slaughtering all of them, but that is not the case, as He only kills off those who choose to fight against him.
Anyone who watches the less than prime time news, knows that Islam happily trains children as young as age seven to handle an AK47. Fortunately for us, Jesus is the judge, and He judges in a perfect way.
All that being said, there will be peace and those established by God will be the peacekeepers. With the advent of the Messiah, judges set up to rule, and the end of wars for a thousand years, this would be the point at which Israel, at least the remnant thereof, will take up this song against the king of Babylon.
Apply a little logic here. Has there been a king of Babylon lately? NO, unless you want claim Saddam Hussein might have been held this title.
5) Jehovah has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers 6) who struck peoples in wrath, a blow without turning away, ruling the nations in anger, a persecution without restraint.
Jeremiah 25:33 "Those slain by the LORD on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented, gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground.
Jeremiah 39:17 "But I will deliver you on that day," declares the LORD, "and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread.
7) All the earth is at rest and is quiet; they break out into singing.
There is only one point in time in which this can happen. We see an example of that in Revelation 19 where Jesus comes riding back to earth upon a white horse. The land will be ruled by judges that God sets up, and there will be peace for a thousand years.
Verse 8 is where is the passage gets personal.
8) Yea, the fir trees rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you have fallen, no woodcutter will come up against us.
  • "the fir trees rejoice at you,"
    To whom are the fir trees speaking? That will become apparent momentarily, and since we have no known written references to this mythological character we will have to go with what we can ascertain, perceive, and understand by letting scripture interpret scripture.
  • "Since you have fallen,"
    In Luke 10:18 Jesus told the disciples that He beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
    There is another, somewhat cryptic description, in Revelation 9:1, as it describes a star falling from heaven. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” Since we understand that Jesus stripped the keys to death, hell, and the grave, from Satan, then it is possible that Satan and this star are one in the same. Since a star gives light, and verse 12 of Isaiah 45 also speaks of the "shining star of the morning," then we are probably on the right track.
9) Hell from below is moved for you, to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the dead for you, all the he-goats of the earth. It has raised from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
The statements I made concerning verse 8 can also apply here.
10) All of them shall speak and say to you, Are you also as weak as we? Are you like us?
  • "all the kings of the nations."
    These are the ones doing the talking here. They do not make these comments until Jesus returns to earth as the Messiah and shows Satan for who he is. (As a side note; the angels are enormous and powerful, so I do not think we are talking about size here. Consider how we love to portray Satan as a red horned monster when he is probably just the opposite.)
  • "Are you also as weak as we? Are you like us?"
    Since they - "the kings of the the nations," are allowed to see what happens to Satan and how he is taken captive and made a prisoner, then perhaps this speaks to their fate.
11) Your pride is brought down to the grave, and the noise of your harps. The maggot is spread under you, and the worms cover you.
  • Pride – runs the gamut of expression: exaltation: - arrogance (3), eminence (1), excellence (1), glory (1), majestic (1), majesty.
How could it be that Satan could be both arrogant and filled with an excellence and majesty? It can't, unless at one time he held a position of supremacy once, but no longer.
12) How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
We gained a little more clarity when we use another translation. Isaiah 14:12 KJV “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!”
      • O Lucifer, son of the morning!”
        Lucifer is from the Hebrew word helel and means a shining one: - star of the morning. Based on this alone I can understand verse 11 better. However, the word helel is a derivative of the word, hâlal / pronounced haw-lal', meaning to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color)
        • hâlal is where we get our word hallelujah.
        • So, Lucifer was not only the shining one but the angel of praise.
13) For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.
If you were to have doubts as to what caused Satan's fall, here it is.
14) I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
It was Satan's intent to assert himself above God. How would you do that without first stripping God of his authority? You don't, however, this is what you see in the fall of man, deception with the intent of stripping the man of his dominion over the earth, as well as the rights to the earth. If this sounds far-fetched, then consider the how and why of Satan offering Jesus all the power, riches, and kingdoms of the earth. Satan seized control of them all through deception, for God had given it all over to the man and told him so.
15 ) "Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the Pit."
I believe we have established that this is Lucifer, thrown down from heaven, but we have some problems that may affect our understanding.
  • Does what Jesus said in Luke's gospel, indicate that Satan was thrown into the pit, where he is incapable of moving about or causing us any trouble?
    At this point, NO! I believe that what Jesus expressed either represents Satan being removed from his place, or it is speaking of a time to come.
    Because Satan was trying to offer Jesus the kingdoms of this world, then it proves that Satan had control over them. Was there a time when Satan was stripped of his authority? YES, and that happened during the time Jesus body was in the tomb. We see God, in Hebrews chapter 1, restoring all power to the Son, and more. Since Jesus stripped Satan of the keys to death, hell, and the grave, then we can safely conclude that ALL power has been restored.
  • The other point of contention arises when we see Satan, before the seat of God, mixed in among the other sons of God.
    This is only a problem because we have improperly taught that Satan was exposed of immediately. His day will come soon, but not yet.
16) "Those who see you shall stare and closely watch you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth to tremble; who shook kingdoms; 17) who made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities; who did not open the house for his prisoners?"
Again, tradition and expectation, cause us to think that Satan looks like this.our-idea-of-what-satan-looks-like
In reality, he stills retains his original form and quite probably his beauty. Considering that the damage (our propensity to miss the mark that we love to call sin,) seems to be built into us likes to center itself upon lustful, selfish desires. And, how the majority of those wants are extremely attractive, wouldn't it make sense if Satan, formerly Lucifer, the bearer of light and the song leader of heaven, was beautiful also?
Another reason we might be surprised is the overwhelming destruction he has caused.
Isaiah 14:16-17 MSG People will stare and muse: "Can this be the one Who terrorized earth and its kingdoms, 17) turned earth to a moonscape, Wasted its cities, shut up his prisoners to a living death?"
  1. All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, everyone in his own house. 19) But you are cast out of your grave like a hateful branch, and like the clothing of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trampled under foot. 20) You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you ruined your land and killed your people; the seed of evildoers shall never be famous.
    Eugene Peterson's, "The Message" translates this segment in this manner: "Other kings get a decent burial, honored with eulogies and placed in a tomb. But you're dumped in a ditch unburied, like a stray dog or cat, Covered with rotting bodies, murdered and indigent corpses. Your dead body desecrated, mutilated-- no state funeral for you! You've left your land in ruins, left a legacy of massacre. The progeny of your evil life will never be named. Oblivion!”
At this point it appears that Christ has forcefully taken Satan captive and apparently held him up for all to see.
21) Prepare slaughter for his sons, because of the iniquity of their fathers, so that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
  • Prepare slaughter for his sons,"
    Why are we the children of God? Because we engrafted ourselves through acceptance of Jesus Christ, the Son. In contrast to our being accepted into the kingdom and life with the Father, Satan's followers have a slaughter prepared for them. In a strange way, this can be equated to the Walking Dead, and these are the zombies that cannot die. Humans are all created/born with an eternal spirit. One can attach that spirit to God, or to Satan. God, on the one hand, says He will never leave you nor forsake, while Satan, it seems, could care less. I suppose some would choose not to believe that, but there is nothing he will do to save you or protect you from what is to come. Since you will not die, then you will spend eternity following the leader of your choosing.
22) For I will rise up against them, says Jehovah of Hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and son, and grandson, says Jehovah. 23) I will also make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the broom of ruin, says Jehovah of Hosts.
  • "For I will rise up against them, says Jehovah of Hosts,"
    • Whom will Christ rise up against?
      The sons of iniquity, otherwise known as followers of Satan.
  • " and cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and son, and grandson, says Jehovah."
    • What does that mean?
      Perhaps another translation will help.
Isaiah 14:22-23 MSG "I will confront them"--Decree of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies-- "and strip Babylon of name and survivors, children and grandchildren. 23) " GOD's Decree. "I'll make it a worthless swamp and give it as a prize to the hedgehog. And then I'll bulldoze it out of existence." Decree of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.
  • I will also make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the broom of ruin, says Jehovah of Hosts."
    Again, another translation and another passage bring clarity.
Jeremiah 51:37 NET. Babylon will become a heap of ruins. Jackals will make their home there. It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn, a place where no one lives.
Let's end this here. We are not talking about a mythological person who has no written evidence to validate using him as an argument, but a fallen angel who had his name changed. It is evident that Lucifer/Satan has had an adverse impact on the world. Something that caught my attention, and I have never heard a teaching that includes this detail, is that this descriptive of Satan transitions into BabylonIsaiah 14:21 tells us that God considers the followers of Satan to be his sons and they will be punished along with Satan. While Babylon carries a number of meanings, the one that impacts us, the church, is the “spiritual” one that overshadows all the ruling bodies of the world. In the book of Daniel, it is referred to as a fourth kingdom, different from all the rest. See Daniel 7:23. As my girlfriend stated, there must be a shadow government that runs our government, that, and all the other governments of the world.
As my girlfriend stated, there must be a shadow government that runs our government, that, and all the other governments of the world. Theory/assumption was proven today 10/21/2016, as WikiLeaks published President Obama's personal email, which talked about former President Bush speaking to now President Obama, establishing that he would become the current President. This has nothing to do with a single man, but an organized, upper echelon group of people who actually are trying to run the world. Scripture describes these people and their modes of operation as Babylon and the Harlot that rides the beast, in the book of Revelation. 
It is time to wake, but it may be to late for many.

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