Isaiah 14:23-32

Isa 14:23

I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.


The bittern was a solitary marsh bird which would stay close to the pools of water.  No longer would humans inhabit the place but wild creatures.  The word “besom” appears only here in the entire Bible.  It is an English word which means a “broom” for sweeping.  It is not designed to clean or purify something but to just sweep something out of the way.  God is going to destroy Babylon so completely that all that will be needed to remove the materials left would be a besom as nothing would be left.


Isa 14:24

The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:


The LORD is giving a double assurance that Assyria will become as he has determined it.  First, he thought which means he planned the way it was to be destroyed and secondly, he purposed it which means he will accomplish it according to the purposes of his will and counsel.  Therefore, based upon both of those, what has been decreed will stand and will be accomplished in the time the LORD has decreed.


Isa 14:25

That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.


God determined that the yoke of Assyria would be broken in the land of Judah where they had attempted to destroy the southern kingdom along with the northern kingdom.  This prophecy was fulfilled in 688 B.C.  Isaiah saw this in 10:12.  Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. (Isaiah 10:12)  Isaiah prophesied this destruction.  Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. (Isaiah 37:36)  After this loss of 185,000, Sennacherib did not make any more military campaigns during the rest of his reign.  He reigned from 705-681 B.C.


Isa 14:26

This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.


In light of the destruction of the Assyrian empire, the same purpose or counsel will apply to all the nations of the earth.  Every nation on earth will be judged with the same standards Assyria was judged.  The hand that judged Assyria will be the same hand that will judge the world at the last day.  This same purpose is determined for the destruction of Babylon.  The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. (Isaiah 9:12)  Just like the Syrians and the Philistines, the judging hand of God is still outstretched until the last one is judged on Judgment Day.


Isa 14:27

For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?


The LORD has already purposed the destruction of Assyria and the entire world in the appointed time.  No one can withhold the hand of the LORD.  The word “disannul” carries with it the meaning of “cause to cease or make of non-effect.”  The LORD has decreed it and he is already beginning the judgment and no can turn it back or reverse the course that the LORD has already set.


Isa 14:28

In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.


The year that Ahaz died was about 716 B.C.  Sometimes the dates may differ depending upon what commentator you are looking at.  Hezekiah succeeded Ahaz on the throne.  Hezekiah was a good and Godly king.


Isa 14:29

Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.


The name “Palestina” is the English word for Philistine.  These verses point to the destruction of the Philistines which were long a nemesis of Judah.  The Philistines had rejoiced at the death of Uzziah and now at the death of Ahaz.  Hezekiah was a young prince when he ascended the throne.  And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. (2 Chronicles 26:6)  Uzziah had made war against the Philistines and had good success against them.  This is why they were rejoicing at his death and Ahaz.  They thought they would now have a king of Judah who would be friendly to them.  Uzziah was compared to a serpent because of his victories over the Philistines but now Hezekiah will be compared to a cockatrice which is an adder and was one of the most poisonous snakes in the Middle east.  Hezekiah will be likened to a fiery serpent which does not mean they fly but that their attack is so swift when they bite a person that it seems like they are flying.  This is how Hezekiah will deal with the Philistines.


Isa 14:30

And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.


The firstborn of the poor refers to the people of Israel.  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (Exodus 4:22)  Remember the gospel was to the Jews first and then the Gentiles who would be later born.  The needy shall lie down in safety will be speaking of Judah that will be at rest once the LORD deals with the Philistines.  The LORD will send a serious famine on the Philistines and when they are weakened for lack of food, then Hezekiah will come and slay those that are remaining after the famine.


Isa 14:31

Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.


The gates will be opened to the enemies which means the cities will be susceptible to attack and destruction.  The cities shall be dissolved or melt with fear when the enemies come upon them and destroy their cities.  The army which comes from the north will be that of the army of Hezekiah as some parts of Judah were north of the land of the Philistines on the west coast of Palestine.  But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. (Isaiah 11:14) 

The none that shall be alone will be those of the defenders who will not be allowed to rest since they will be under attack when the LORD brings the destruction in his timing.  It also applies to the fact that Hezekiah will get many volunteers for the army in their attack on the Philistines and none of Judah will stay behind.


Isa 14:32

What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.


The messengers in view are those from surrounding nations that will come to Hezekiah and congratulate him on his victory over the Philistines.  When they inquire of the victory, then how should they be answered?  They are to give all glory to God since it was he who founded Zion and not Hezekiah and his people had trusted in him to lead them to victory over the Philistines.  That trust had gone back hundreds of years when they were freed from the bondage in Egypt.  Now Hezekiah would be able to once again lead Judah in the keeping of the feasts, especially Passover.  This could not be done as long as Ahaz was alive since he had closed the temple because he was a wicked king.