Isaiah 14:1-11

Isa 14:1

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.


The LORD is going to have mercy on Jacob and we must remember that the Messianic line came through the lineage of Jacob.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  (Romans 9:13)  God’s love is qualified in that he loves his children, that is, only those who are in Christ.  This is why God loved Jacob because it was the believing line which came through the lineage of Jacob.  Then God states that he is going to choose Israel.  The Israel that God chose is the body of believers and not the physical descendants.  The ones in Israel that God chose were the saved within the ancient nation of Israel.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  (Galatians 6:16)  The Israel of God according to Galatians 6:16 is the body of believers.  The name Israel means “prince with God” and no unbeliever can be a prince with God.  To be a prince or child of God, one must be saved.  It is salvation by grace and not by race.  When a person becomes saved does God transplant them to the land of Israel?  The answer is no, when a person becomes saved they normally remain in the country of their birth till the last day.  A person who becomes saved now has dual citizenship.  They are citizens of their earthly country and now citizens of Heaven which is the land which God gives the true believer for an everlasting covenant.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  (Ephesians 2:19)


{8} He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.  {9} Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;  {10} And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:  {11} Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:  (Psalm 105:8-11)


Notice what is in view in verse 10.  God confirmed an everlasting covenant he made with Abraham and his oath unto Isaac.  Then he confirmed the same covenant which he made an irrevocable law and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.  Which covenant did God make that is everlasting?  It is the covenant of grace which extends into eternity.  The covenant of Sinai which is the covenant of works will extend into eternity in only one fashion and that is through eternal damnation because no one would have been able to keep the law perfectly and those who tried to keep the law have failed meaning they broke the law of God and thus were sentenced to eternal damnation because they had no Savior, in other words, the penalty associated with the first covenant will go into eternity. Then it speaks of the land of Canaan which must be everlasting because the covenant associated with it is everlasting.  The land of Canaan is a synonym for Heaven. 


Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  (Psalm 33:12)


{3} Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  (1 Peter 1:3-4)


Psalm 33:12 states that God chose a people for his own inheritance and the ones he has chosen are those in Christ.  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  (Ephesians 1:4) What did Jesus say to the rebellious Jews who faced him?  It is found in Matthew 21:43 that the kingdom of God will be taken away from rebellious Israel and given to another nation that will bring forth fruits.  That nation is the body of believers which is being built until all the elect in the world are saved. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  (Matthew 21:43)  Then once all the believers in the world are saved which includes both Jews and Gentiles, then all Israel will be saved.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  (Romans 11:26)  Remember what Isaiah 14:1 states that “strangers will be joined to them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.”  The strangers were the Gentiles in the world.  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  (Ephesians 2:12)  The covenants of promise was the everlasting covenant made by God to Abraham.


1 Peter 1:3-4 confirms the teaching of both Psalm 33:12 and Isaiah 14:1.  Remember that Isaiah 14:1 states that the LORD will have mercy on the house of Jacob.  1 Peter 1:3 speaks about the abundant mercy on those he saved.  The house of Jacob is a synonym for the body of believers because it was through Jacob and then Judah and through his descendants that the Lord Jesus Christ came and those who have become saved are called “spiritual Jews.”  {28} For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  {29} But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  (Romans 2:28-29)


Isa 14:2

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 now returns to the present day when God still declares that even in the light of the destruction of Babylon, God’s plan for Israel has not changed.  We saw in verse 1 that the Gentiles will become part of the nation of Israel, that is, the Israel of God which is the body of believers that will be worldwide.  Then this looks forward to the time when Babylon would be destroyed by the Medes and Persians and when Cyrus will begin to allow the Jews to return to build the temple.  They will return to the land of the LORD which in this case would be Judah as they once again begin to reinstate the Mosaic law after the 70 years of captivity.  Then the Babylonians who are left would become the servants and handmaids of the Jews who were initially taken by them to Babylon.  When Babylon was strong, they ruled over their captives but now they are the captives of both Cyrus and the Jews of Judah.


Isa 14:3

And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,


Then when the Jews are safely returned to their land, they will have rest from the sorrows and fears they experienced while in Assyria as they were put to hard bondage reminiscent of being in Egypt.  This will be fulfilled spiritually when the Lord Jesus Christ brings the gospel of grace to them and those in Christ will no longer have to keep the law and the feasts and ceremonies for atonement of their sins.  There will be no more work for salvation and atonement.


Isa 14:4

That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!


Babylon had long been the enemy of God’s people but now because of their destruction, a proverb has been made about them.  This would be aimed at the king of Babylon because he is the one who had the most pride out of all of them.  The oppressor has ceased to oppress the people as they did when they conquered other countries.  The city of Babylon was called a golden city because when they had conquered other countries and cities, they took all the wealth of the conquered and brought it to Babylon and there was so much gold and silver, it earned the name of “golden city.”  The proverb taken up was one of a mocking song which spoke of the destruction of Babylon.


Isa 14:5

The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.


The Israelites must never forget that it was the LORD who was the one who orchestrated the destruction of Babylon.  He broke the power of the wicked kings of Babylon and he also brought down their authority as rulers which is symbolized by the scepter which the kings had.  The staff and scepter represent power and authority, both which God had destroyed.


Isa 14:6

He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.


The king of Babylon made continual war with the different nations of the world.  He did not rule those conquered nations with any justice and compassion instead ruled with the iron hand of tyranny.  Now the way he treated others is the way that he was going to be treated.  Now he will be the persecuted one instead of the persecutor and there will be none who will be able to stop his impending doom.


Isa 14:7

The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.


Now that Babylon has been taken down and is no longer a threat to the nations which surround them, the entire area where their tentacles of power reached are now at peace and the fear of invasion is no more.  The word “rest” means to “settle down.”  In fact, since Babylon was now captured, the people would be able to rejoice, even to the point of singing which represents joy and peace.


Isa 14:8

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.


Here Isaiah uses something called a “prosopopoeia.”  Pronounced “pro-soap-oh-pee-ah.”  It is when a person speaks in the form of something else.  Here he is using the fir trees and the cedars of Lebanon.  He states that the trees do not have to worry about being taken down since the lumberjacks have been taken down.  No feller, which would be the lumberjack, has come against the trees to cut them down.  This symbolizes the Babylonians who have conquered other nations but now the remaining nations do not have to worry about the Babylonians taking them down as trees since Babylon has been destroyed.


Isa 14:9

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.


Now the scene shifts to hell where the king of Babylon has been sent.  Now those in hell who were sent there by the king of Babylon as he killed and conquered were now coming to meet him and greet him to his eternal home.  Then there was the leaders and commanders of the nations which Babylon conquered.  In a mocking manner all the kings in hell now take their thrones and raise them as a welcome to the king of Babylon.  In life they may have had great and beautiful places of living but in hell the only throne of beauty is damnation.  The king of Babylon is no better than those he sent there as conqueror.


Isa 14:10

All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?


Then as the mocking continues, they ask him if he has become as weak as they have?  When he was on earth the king had a mighty army which kept him in power and he was able to exalt himself as king of a mighty empire.  Now he faces the equality of hell along with all the other kings whom he conquered and thought he was mightier than them.  They ask him if he has become like unto them?  Of course, he did become as one of them.  There are no exalted thrones in hell as there is only equality under the wrath of God.


Isa 14:11

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.


His pomp which is his magnificence and splendor is no longer a thing of beauty for the whole world to behold but now lies dormant in the grave which means it is covered by death.  The viols which would be musical instruments like harps are no longer playing a joyful sound but carry only the sound of death.  The worms are the maggots which attack a dead body once it is lowered into the ground.  As the king of Babylon, he forgot that he was also a human being and was susceptible to the same things every other human was when they died.  Many ancient kings had a deity complex.