The covering that is wrapped tightly around all the tribes (all of humanity) is the root of sin and it’s fruit of death. And the veil is the lie of disbelief and self-worship which has been woven by the father of lies. These have bound humanity to the fear of death from the first sin of Adam and Eve.
Chapters 24-27 are referred to by some as the Apocalypse of Isaiah, and for good reason. Those familiar with the wider canon of Scripture see many correlations between Isaiah 24-27 and other apocalyptic writings in both the Tanakh (OT) and the Brit Ha-Chadashah (NT).
Chapter 24 deals with the final judgement of all humanity and creation. It is the beginning of the culmination of the prophetic destiny of each of the nations who surround Israel, to whom Isaiah has prophesied in chapters 13-23. Ultimately, Israel’s enemies fall that Israel might rise.
The present chapter is therefore, a hymn/song of praise to HaShem for His deliverance, not only from physical oppression but also from the fear of death, which has bound, even suffocated Israel and all of humanity.
This chapter, like those before it, addresses both temporal maters and eternal realities.
The following are both the prophetic words of Isaiah and the yet future words of redeemed Israel.
Isa 25:1 HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), You are Elohay my God (Judge); I will exalt You, I will odeh cast, throw confession, and praise, Your name; for You have asiyta fashioned pele wonderful things, advice, eitzot counsel from distant ones, in emunah faithfulness, trust, omen support, agreement, faithfulness, truth.
Having seen the wonders (peliym) of God’s deliverance, redeemed Israel offers praise to HaShem (Mercy) her Elohiym God-Judge, from the foundation of confession.
The one who acknowledges that HaShem is his Judge (God) is free to throw both confession and praise toward God.
The distant ones through whom God affirmed His counsel to Israel are acknowledged and His faithfulness, fidelity, support and trust are named as both attributes and experienced realities. Redeemed Israel gratefully recognizes the perfect character of her God.
Isa 25:2 For You have samta appointed, placed meiyr anguish (a city) lagal as a wave (heap), kiryah a fortified city to be a ruin, a palace of zariym strangers, foreigners, meiyr anguished (a city); leolam perpetually never rebuilt.
The city that is the subject of this verse may be Rome (which saw its ruin) or Babylon, however, these words will be visited on any and all cities that resist God’s people and His Messiah. In a figurative sense, the city in question is ultimately representative of the seat of Satan’s power on earth. Just as death entered through humanities accepting of Satan’s wicked counsel, so death will exit forever through the utter annihilation of Satan and his seat of temporal authority.
Isa 25:3 Therefore shall a people of strength glorify You; a city of goyim nations be terrified and in awe of You.
This verse speaks of the repentance of strong people who have been brought low by the judgements of God and as a result, the collected nations making up this greater people are in awe of the God of Israel.
Isa 25:4 For You have been a maoz stronghold, refuge ladal to the poor, weak, a maoz stronghold, refuge to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, when ruach a wind, spirit of the terrible ones was as a storm against the wall.
The poor, weak, needy, distressed and vulnerable among God’s people acknowledge that He has been their refuge and fortress, even when a terrible spirit came like a storm against them. The faithfulness of God is a strong theme in this chapter.
Isa 25:5 Cechorev As cutting heat betzayon in the parched land You will bring down, humble the shaon noise, roar, din of zariym strangers, foreigners; as the Cechorev cutting heat betzeil in the shadow of av a thick darkness (cloud), a song of ariytziym terrible ones will ya’aneh testify.
The Hebrew phrase “betzayon” shares its root (tziyah) with the name “Tziyon” (Zion), which means “parched land”. Thus, given the context of this passage and the pursuant clause regarding the mountain of HaShem in verse 6, we understand that the land of Israel is being referred to here.
This verse seems to be speaking specifically of those foreign enemies of Israel who have lived as a thorn in Israel’s side, within the land of Israel. The cutting heat is in the “parched land”, an allusion to the Land of Zion (Parched land). This is a poetic play on words that illuminates a remez (hint) at the location of these events. The cutting heat of the dark clouds may be a description of literal lightening that will strike down with precision the enemies of Israel.
Ironically the song of the terrible ones will testify against them. They will be cut down in the heat that emanates from the thick darkness that overshadows them.
Isa 25:6 Ve-asah And HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot Who goes out warring (of hosts) will fashion all ha-amiym the peoples, tribes, ba’har hazeh on this mountain, a feast of shemaniym oils (fat), mishteih wines on the shemariym lees, dregs, and both shemaniym oils (fat) and wines, will be wiped clean of dregs, well refined.
“This mountain” refers to the Temple Mount, Mount Zion.
God will war against evil and those among the nations who repent will be fashioned anew in His Holy Mountain (Tziyon, the Temple Mount). He will take the sin (dregs) affected oil and wine and remove the sin (dregs) from them so that both blood (wine) and spirit (oil) will be made pure through the saving work of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). Thus the nations will feast with the chosen people of God (ethno-religious Israel) on the Holy Mountain according to Isaiah’s previous prophecy (Isa. 2:2-4).
Isa 25:7 U-vila And He will swallow up Ba-har in this mountain the face of the covering that is wrapped tightly upon col all ha-amiym the peoples, tribes, ve’hamaseichah and the veil (cast image) that hansuchah is woven al over col-ha-goyim all the nations.
The covering which HaShem will swallow up is illuminated in the following verse. This is a Hebrew literary device that acts to both cement the readers understanding and firmly establish the action being described.
The covering that is wrapped tightly around all the tribes (all of humanity) is the root of sin and it’s fruit of death. And the veil is the lie of disbelief and self-worship which has been woven by the father of lies. These have bound humanity to the fear of death from the first sin of Adam and Eve.
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.” -Hebrews 2:14-16 (NASB)
Hashem will swallow up all this death and disbelief in His Holy Mountain. Silencing them forever.
Isa 25:8 Bila He has swallowed up ha-mavet the death la-netzach for perpetuity; and the Adonay Lord HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) will machah will blot out, wipe away tears from upon all faces; and the reproach of amu His people will be turned aside from upon all ha-aretz the land/earth: for HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) dibeir speaks, declares.
This text was written down some 700 years before the birth of Messiah. How then is it possible that HaShem had already swallowed up death? It is possible because the resurrected Messiah transcends time and space. Once again, through the prophet Isaiah, HaShem speaks into time and space that which has already occurred outside of the limitations of time and space.
The Hebrew says “ha-mavet” the death, because it refers to the root of all death and not just the temporal nature of death. Rav shaul quotes the opening clause of this verse in reference to the eternal nature of the future resurrected and imperishable bodies of believers.
“For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” - 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 (NASB)
“Wipe away tears from all faces” is a figurative way of saying that there will be no more tears resulting from sin and death. This does not negate tears of joy.
“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” -Revelation 7:16-17
‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”’ -Revelation 21:3-5
It’s important to note that the sign that will accompany these things will be the removal of all reproach (bad mouthing, criticism, political bias, abuse, persecution, hatred) from Israel (ethno-religious), and her land. Thus “ha-aretz”, in all the land, in all the earth.
The Messianic Jewish commentator Victor Buksbazen puts it beautifully:
“An integral part of the vision of God’s triumph over sin is the vindication of God’s people Israel, whose reproach will be removed forever. As long as the forces of evil are triumphant in this world, God’s people (ethno-religious Israel) will always be despised and put to shame.”
Today we see the nations of the earth criticizing, demonizing, attacking, sanctioning, persecuting and abusing the Jewish people and the modern Jewish State. This will come to an end. May it come about speedily and soon bezerat HaShem!
The Hebrew “DiVeiR” shares its root with “DaVaR” (Word, Essence, Speech). In fact, devoid of the nikudot (Masoretic vowel markings), it is spelled exactly the same way DVR. Davar is of course the Hebrew word used to describe Yeshua in Yochanan (John) 1:1.
Isa 25:9 And it will be spoken beyom in the day, ha-hu that one, hinei behold, now, Eloheiynu our God (Judge), the one we looked for, waited for, hoped in: veyoshieiynu and save, redeem us, this HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) kiveinu our hope, waiting, expectation negilah glad, exultation venishmeiachah and great rejoicing beyeshuato is in His salvation/redemption.
“In that day” refers to the day of Israel’s redemption.
“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
‘The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’
‘This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.’” -Romans 11:25-27 (NASB)
This verse speaks of the faithful waiting of the righteous remnant within ethno-religious Israel and the faithfulness of God Who both seeded their hope and filled it with His Son, their salvation.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure persecution with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.” -Hebrews 11:24-26
The Hebrew root “yeshuah” is the basis for both “our salvation” and “His salvation”. It is because Messiah is God with us and is the Salvation of God, that He has also become our Salvation. Salvation is a redemptive action born of the Redeemer.
Isa 25:10 Ki-tanuach For rest, comfort from yad the hand of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) will be ba-har on the mountain, this one; and Moav (of his father) shall be trodden down in his place, even as straw is trodden down in the water of the dung-hill.
Again, in unison with the prophecy of Isaiah 2, the mountain of the Lord is identified as the place where HaShem will pour out rest and comfort. The follower of Messiah sees in this a reference to that eternal Jerusalem that will descend from the heavens to rest on the very location of Zion, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“Moav” here is figurative of the children of Satan. Moab was the first people group following Israel’s escape from Egypt, to seek to attack and annihilate Israel. Israel were weak from slavery, vulnerable and small, and Moab sought to take advantage of Israel’s frailty and destroy her. This would subsequently have removed all possibility of a Messiah coming forth from her: thus, this attempt by Moab was an affront, not only to the physical people of Israel but also to the redemptive plan of the God of creation. Therefore, Moab has been a figure for the B’nai Adam (Children of men, rejecters of God), sons and daughters of the Adversary, Satan. This is why Moav alone is mentioned here.
Notice that Moav will not be trodden down on the Mountain of the Lord but “in his place”, which means, “where Moav dwells”. This is most likely to refer to Babylon and her final destruction, as spoken of in the Revelation.
Isa 25:11 And he shall spread forth his hands bekirbo in the inner part, the midst of it, he will spread out like a swimmer spreading forth his hands to swim; but his pride will be laid low together with the arbot deceit of his hands.
In this verse “He “ refers to Moab, who is the nearest subject for the actions described. Moav is said (Figuratively) to spread out his hands in the midst of watery dung and vainly attempt to swim. So full of pride, are the children of Satan, that even when their rightful end is upon them, they still reject God and prefer to swim in their own filth. However, in spite of these foolish attempts at renewed autonomy, Moav will be laid lower still and the deceitful actions of his hands will never resurface again.
Isa 25:12 And the high place of your fortress walls heishach he brought down to strike the soil, ground, land until it turned to dust.
The “High place” is a reference both to the practical elevation of a well-built fortress and the high place of pagan worship. Thus, Moav (Satan’s kingdom) will be brought down and turned to dust, both physically and spiritually.
Copyright 2018 Yaakov Brown
Babylon falls so that Israel can rise
Following destruction of Babylon, God will show mercy to His chosen people ethno-religious Israel and return her to her land, prospering her in peace and subduing her oppressors so that Israel will rule over those who had taken her captive.
This chapter contains prophecies of the restoration of the Jews, of the fall of the king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Assyrian empire, and the ruin of the Pilishtiym (immigrants). Proselytes will join the dispersed Jews and even aid their return to the land of Israel. Subsequently those who join themselves to Israel will serve her in the land and in many cases they will be the descendants of her oppressors. Thus Israel will rule over her captors. Israel will find rest in God and freedom from the fear and suffering she experienced under bondage.
As a result of her redemption and security in God, Israel will take up a song, share a parable, make a proclamation; concerning the fall of the king of Babylon. Israel’s song will echo throughout the nations and others will rejoice at hearing it. For the tyrant that once oppressed Israel and the nations will be brought down to Sheol, the holding place of the departed.
Following the parable spoken against the king of Babylon, prophecies of destruction are issued against Assyria and the Pilishtiym (immigrants) who have come against the people of Israel and their land. It is as if, with the seat of confusion (Babylon) destroyed, the progeny of her wickedness (Assyria and Philistia) are without sustenance from the root of confusion and therefore, perish.
Finally, those who ask how all this has come about are given the answer, “HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has founded Tziyon (Zion: parched land), and the humble of His people will seek refuge in it.”
Isa 14:1 For yeracheim mercy born of love HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) will show to Yaakov (Follower), u-vachar and will decide for, elect, choose od (perpetually going round) be’Yisrael on Israel (Overcomes in God), ve-hiniycham and rest them upon their own ad’matah soil: and join to them ha-geir (foreigners in Israel) the sojourners, and they shall cleave (attach themselves) to the house of Yaakov (Follower).
Mercy will show loving mercy to the follower and will choose him perpetually, living in the one who overcomes through God: the follower will rest securely in his own land and people from other tribes will join themselves to his tribe because of what Mercy has done.
The Holy Name denotes mercy. Therefore, it is Mercy Himself Who shows mercy to Yaakov the follower. The text doesn’t just say that God will “choose Yaakov” but that He will “perpetually choose Yaakov”. Rather than replace or supersede Yaakov, God will continually choose him throughout time and if other nations wish to be delivered by being chosen, they must attach themselves to Yaakov. It is attachment to and not replacement of Israel, that is the essence of the writings of Rav Shaul in his letter to the Roman believers of the first century CE.
Numerous English translations render the Hebrew “od” as “again”, which conveys only a derivative attribute of the word. In fact the Hebrew “od” literally means to go round continually. In short, it is best represented in English by the word “perpetually”. Therefore, while it is true that God chooses Israel again, the greater illumination of that truth is that He consistently and perpetually chooses her.
The Hebrew “geir” refers specifically to resident aliens. Meaning those who choose to live peacefully in the land among the community of Israel. Many of the instructions of the Torah make allowances for those who are not ethnically Jewish but live among the Jewish people. There is an important distinction to be made here between those who favour Israel from afar and those who live in the land as aliens who love and support her. The present text is referring to the latter.
Jewish commentators such as Kimchi and Ben Melech apply these verses to the times of the Messiah; and Yarchi to the Olam Haba (world to come), when Israel is to be redeemed with a perfect redemption.
Isa 14:2 And the amiym peoples shall take hold of them, ve-heviyum and enter together to mekomam their place: and the house of Yisrael (Overcomes in God) will possess them in adamat the land of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) for servants and handmaids: and it comes to pass that the captives will capture their captors; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
In this verse Isaiah further illuminates his former prophecy regarding the Messianic age when people from the nations will flock to the mountain of the Lord in order to learn to walk in His ways (Isa. 2:2-4).
Note that it is “amiym” rather than “goyim” that take hold of Yaakov and help him return to enter into the land of Israel and go up to “mekomam” their place. It is tribal groups from within the nations rather than the nation, who will cleave to Yaakov. More specifically, given the present context of the prophecy, these peoples are residents of Babylon who will help Jews escape and return to the land of Israel. A comparative edict from Cyrus of Persia was later made in fulfilment of what Jeremiah had spoken:
“And whosoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” -Ezra 1:4
“Mekomam” their place, is a reference to the Temple mount “Makoom”.
This aspect of the prophecy has never been fully realized politically speaking. However, it is intrinsically linked to the Messianic theme of Isaiah and the other prophets of the Tanakh (Isa. 2:2-4; 52:10; 54:2-5; 55:5; Mic. 4:1-4; Zech. 8:2-23).
In the present chapter we see a concise revelation of what is prophesied in chapters 46-66. That is, “Babylon falls, that Israel may rise!” -Delitzsch
Isa 14:3 And it comes to pass beyom in that day, ha-niyach the rest (comfort) of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) lecha will come to you meiatz’becha from your sorrow (pain, idol), and from ha-avdah your labour and hard bondage under which you were made to work.
The hard bondage of the Babylonian exile is likened to that of the bondage Israel suffered in Egypt. Once again the deliverance and rest of Israel rests on Hashem.
Notice that the comfort of Hashem will come to Israel both in compensation for and as a result of her bondage and suffering. The text says that the rest and mercy of Hashem will come to Israel “From” her suffering.
“…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” -Romans 5:3
Our rest is born of Messiah’s suffering.
Isa 14:4 And all of you will nasa take up, carry, bear ha-mashal the parable, proverb, poem against the king of Bavel (Babylon: confusion), and say, “How has the oppressor ceased? Ceasing Madheivah his boisterous rage!
The Hebrew “nasa” carry or take up, is related to “neis” banner, miraculous sign. Thus, Israel is to take up and publically display this parable (mashal) of God’s goodness and redemption in His destruction of Babylon (figuratively, the seat of Satan’s power).
Though the text may refer to a specific Babylonian king (possibly Belshazzar), it none the less speaks against any and all satanic rulers of empire in history past, present and future. It is the seat of satanic power that is ultimately being spoken against.
We note that in a remez (hint) concerning the name of Bavel, that we read “And all of Israel will take up and proclaim this parable against the king of confusion.”
The rhetorical question, “How has the oppressor ceased?” is answered in the power and majesty of God Himself.
Isa 14:5 HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has broken in pieces mateih the staff, branch, tribe of the wicked ones, and sheivet the root, sceptre, tribe, rod of the rulers.
God will break the staff of the wicked and their oppressive rule (Specifically Babylon), the branch of their direct progeny and the entire tribe associated to them. He will also remove kingly authority from the seat of Satan’s power, never to allow rulers to come forth from it again.
Isa 14:6 He who struck the amiym peoples (tribes) in wrath with a continual striking, he that ruled the goyim nations in anger, is persecuted, and no one prevents it.
This verse describes the wicked actions of the king of Babylon and his open hatred for all the tribes (peoples) of the earth. He struck down tribes within nations and continued to strike nations in his unfounded anger. He persecuted many and few had the courage to stop him, nor were the courageous able to. This, though specific to the king of Babylon, is a description of every evil tyrant the world has or will know. It is ultimately a figure for Satan.
Isa 14:7 Nachah restful (comforting) shaktah tranquillity (quietness) is over all ha-aretz the land/earth: he breaks out with a ringing cry.
“Ha-aretz” can be translated either “Land” or “earth” here.” Land is acceptable because in the context of Israel’s parable against the king of Babylon it makes sense that they are thoughtful of their own land. On the other hand, tribes and nations are mentioned and the reign of the Babylonian Empire engulfed the entire middle east, therefore, it might just as well be translated “earth”.
Ultimately, the rest, peace, comfort, tranquillity and quietness over the earth, is the direct result of God’s destruction of the king of Babylon and his empire, both literally and figuratively.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” -revelation 19:20
Thus, the land/earth breaks out in song. This personification denotes the redemption and reconciliation of all things.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” -Romans 8:19
Isa 14:8 Also , the fir trees rejoice at you, the cedars of Le’vanon (witness) saying, “Since you are asleep (have been laid down), no one has ascended to cut us down to the ground.”
Since the destruction of Babylon and its allies, no armies have entered the land of Israel to besiege its cities. Therefore, the trees of Lebanon to the north have not been cut down for use as siege towers and battering rams etc.
Figuratively the towering trees unfelled represent abundance and health in the land. They prosper in times of peace and in personified form they rejoice at the coming redemption of all things. Isaiah is very fond of personifying trees and seems to have had a special love for creation (Isa. 1:29, 30; 2:13; 6:13; 9:10; 10:18; 17:7; 32:15; 41:19; 55:13).
The euphemism “laid down” refers to temporal death. Yeshua used this same euphemism to refer to death of the body.
“Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” -Yochanan (John) 11:11
Isa 14:9 Sheol (Holding place of the departed) from beneath quakes for you to meet you as you enter: it stirs up for you the raphaiym spirits, all the he goats (chief ones) of the aretz earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the goyim nations. Isa 14:10 All of them will speak and say to you, “Have you also become as weak as we are? Have you become like us?
The next three verses are an excellent example for distinguishing between the holding place of the departed and the grave, which in Hebrew are two entirely different things. Sheol, the holding place of the departed is far beneath, and is a spiritual place that is cut off from all ties to this world. Ha-kever, the grave, on the other hand is the physical resting place of the body, devoid of but intrinsically linked to, the spirit/soul. Ancient Jews, and in fact many Jewish communities still to this day, inter the bodies of their dead in above ground mausoleums and or box like stone or concrete coverings. There are many examples of this in Scripture, including the interment of Avraham in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 50:13) and the interment of the bones of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21).
In ancient times kings were met by the royalty of the cities they entered, usually with celebration of alliance in the case of allies and with humility and subservience in the case of the conquered. Here however, the king of Babylon will be met in Sheol by the spirits of departed kings who he once ruled over as a tyrant. They will greet him with taunting and mock his mortal frailty.
The phrase “He goats” is a metaphor for a chief or tribal ruler, in the sense that the strongest male is usually head of the flock.
“Raphayim”, means “feeble ones” or “spirits” as in departed spirits who are no longer inhabiting their earthly bodies. These spirits are bound to the realm of Sheol. Thus, “raised up” is written in the context of Sheol. They are raised up within Sheol from their fallen thrones.
Isa 14:11 Descending to Sheol (not the grave [Kever] but the place of the dead) is your majesty, the noise of your nevaleycha skin bag, pitcher, instrument: beneath you is a bed of maggots, and covering you are scarlet female worms.
“For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.” -Tehillim (Psalm) 49:17
Isa 14:12 How have you fallen from the heavens, heiyleil Shinning one, self-praising one, ben shachar son of the dawn? Cut down la’aretz to the ground, earth, land: choleish prostrated in weakness al-goyim upon the nations!
In a literary sense this verse refers to the king of Babylon. The text is figurative and alludes to his pompous pride and arrogant claims. The Babylonians worshipped numerous gods, chief among them being in the heavens. The morning star, that is the brightest star in the morning sky (Venus) was an enviable position for the king of Babylon and in his pride he likened himself to it. However, in the figurative language of the text he is said to be brought down from his high horse and laid prostrate in weakness before the nations he had once ruled over.
There are some who see a remez (hint) in this text and make a comparison to Satan being like an angel of light. While this is not the p’shat (plain meaning), it does have some weight to it. Yeshua may be alluding to this text when He says:
“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” -Luke 10:18
Isa 14:13 For you have said vile’vavecha in your inner being, heart, “Into the heavens I will ascend, I will exalt my throne above the stars of El (God: Judge): I will sit also upon the mount of the moeid appointed place (place of convocation and gathering), in the sides of the north:
Once again with dramatic hyperbole the proud ranting of the king of Babylon sees him exalting himself even above the stars (symbolic of angels) of the Supreme God El-Elyon, the God of all things. The Har-moeid mount of appointed gatherings, is a reference to the Temple mount in Jerusalem. Thus the king of Babylon boasts with the vilest of blasphemes, that he is greater than the God of Israel, Creator of the heavens and the earth.
Pride is the fruit of self-deification. Idolatry is the root of all sin. The boast of the king of Babylon is a satanic one. It is the very definition of anti-Messiah. Thus, figuratively speaking this text is alluding to the man of perdition, the anti-Messiah who will come in the latter days.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:5
In the Targum of Yonatan the last part of the verse reads:
"over the people of God I will put the throne of my kingdom;''
Isa 14:14 I will ascend upon the high place of the av dark clouds; I will be like le’Elyon the most High.
“I will ascend above all people… I will be higher than them all.” -Targum Yonatan
Isa 14:15 Surely to Sheol you will descend, to the extremity of the pit.
The plain meaning again refers to the king of Babylon and his literal death. The figure continues to show the demise of satanic power. In which case Sheol becomes a precursor to the second death.
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” -Revelation 19:20
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” -Revelation 20:10
Isa 14:16 They that see you will gaze sharply at you, and with discernment say, “Is this ha-iysh the man that made ha-aretz the land, earth to tremble, that shook kingdoms?
The man is literally the king of Babylon and figuratively the anti-Messiah (man of perdition).
Isa 14:17 Who made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities within; refusing to open the house of his prisoners?”
This describes the horrific nature of the destruction that the king of Babylon brought to the cities of the earth. Those he imprisoned suffered a fate worse than death, never to see the light of day again.
Isa 14:18 All the kings of the goyim nations, all of them together, lie in glory, each one in his own house.
This means that the kings of these nations remained interred in their original burial places within their homelands awaiting the resurrection. “Glory” refers to their memory and their graves being honoured.
Isa 14:19 But you are cast out of your kever grave like a weed, and like the clothing of the slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
We notice that the king of Babylon is cast out of his grave (kever), not out of Sheol (Holding place of the departed). This means that his enemies will dig up his grave and desecrate his remains, treading him under foot. This is the ultimate act of desecration over the dead.
Isa 14:20 You will not be teichad joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, slain your people: do not recite the seed of evildoers.
The king of Babylon will not join the kings of the earth in honourable burial because unlike them he did not honour his own people. Thus his subjects took part in desecrating his body. One is reminded of modern history and the mockery and torture of Gadhafi when he was captured and subsequently killed and his body desecrated, all caught on film for the world to see.
The phrase, “Do not recite the seed of the evildoers” means, “Don’t recount the lineage of the wicked”.
Isa 14:21 Firmly established is the children’s matbeiach slaughtering place because of the iniquity of their fathers; they will not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
This is an instruction to the Medes and Persians to prepare themselves for the slaughter of the whole royal family, Belshazzar and all his children.
In a figurative sense it means the slaughter of all wickedness born of the seat of Satan’s temporal earthly power.
Isa 14:22 “For I will rise up against them”, says HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Who goes to war, of hosts), “and cut off from Bavel (Babylon: confusion) the name, and remnant, and offspring, and posterity”, says HaShem (YHVH: Mercy). Isa 14:23 “I will also appoint it a possession for the porcupine, ve-agmei mayim and troubled pools of water: and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction”, says HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Who goes to war, of hosts).
Here it is not the Medes who rise against Babylon but God Himself. This strengthens the figurative message that HaShem Tzevaot will go to war against evil and annihilate it, removing it forever from the eternal world of the righteous.
Isa 14:24 HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Who goes to war, of hosts) has sworn, saying, “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand”:
What God has firmly established cannot be thwarted.
Isa 14:25 “I will break Ashur (a step) the Assyrian in be’artziy 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”.
Now, having destroyed the root, Hashem turns to the fruit of the seat of evil, the other nations who have come against Israel and her God. The Assyrians who have invaded Israel and sought her destruction will be stamped out on the very mountains they presumed to occupy and as a result the burden of oppression suffered by the Jewish people will be removed.
The “yoke” can also refer to false teaching or the yoke of the teaching of foreign religions and spirituality. Thus, false gods and beliefs will be removed from Israel when Assyria is destroyed.
Isa 14:26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon col-ha-aretz the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all ha-goyim the nations.
All nations who act as Assyria has against Israel and against God will perish in like manner.
Isa 14:27 For HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Who goes to war, of hosts) has purposed, and who shall frustrate it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
HaShem has perpetually purposed the redemption of Israel and the destruction of her enemies. No one can prevent what He has firmly established outside of time and space.
Isa 14:28 In the year that king Achaz (He has grasped) died was ha-masa this burden.
Achaz died approximately 715 BCE. The burden is the word against Philistia (immigrants) who dwell in the land of Israel.
Isa 14:29 Do not rejoice, you whole Peleshet (Land of immigrants), because the rod of him that struck you is broken: for out of the root of the nachash serpent shall come forth tzepa an adder, and his fruit saraph a fiery flying serpent.
The Pilishtiym, according to Genesis 10:14 (1 Chronicles 1:12) were a Hamitic people. Sometime during the second millennium BCE they came into Canaan from Caphtor (Crete) and settled along the southwestern coast of Israel below the territory of Judah.
Both historically and because this follows directly after the prophecy against Assyria, it is possible that the “rod of him that struck you” refers to the Assyrians. Another possibility is that it refers to Babylon, which makes more sense in light of the figurative language used regarding the serpent.
Whomever the enemy of the Pilishtiym may have been, the point is that from the remnant of that enemy an even deadlier foe will come against them and finally the deadliest of foes, as the progression of snake types shows.
Isa 14:30 And the firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety: and I will kill your root with famine, and he will slay your remnant.
The poor among the Jews who Philistia persecuted will receive food and Israel will lie down in peace while HaShem brings famine on the Pilishtiym and will wipe them out through the fiery serpent of the previous verse.
Isa 14:31 Heiliyliy Howl, O gate; cry, O city; you, whole Peleshet (Land of immigrants), dissolved: for there will come from the north a smoke, and there will be no straggler in his appointed times.
The confederacy of Philistia was made up of Ekron, Gath, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gaza. Thus “the whole of Philistia” will be dissolved. The enemy coming from the north is unknown, but the description is similar to that of the Assyrian army as it approached to invade Israel (Isa. 5:26-27).
The Pilishtiym are mentioned for the last time by Zechariah (9:6). Thus Isaiah’s prophecy of their disappearance from history without a trace became a reality.
Isa 14:32 What answer will be given to malachiy-goy the messengers of the nation? That HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has founded Tziyon (Zion: parched land), and the humble of His people will seek refuge in it.
Nations will seek answers for the miraculous deliverance and prosperity of Israel. One answer will be given:
“HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has yesad founded Tziyon (Zion: parched land), and the humble of His people will seek refuge in it.”
The Hebrew “yesad” is from the root “yasad”, meaning founded, fixed, established, foundation. It is used in numerous scriptures in reference to the establishing/founding of the earth itself (Psalm 78:69; 119:90; Proverbs 3:19; Isaiah 45:18; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15).
“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;” -Proverbs 3:19
The founding of Zion (The Holy mountain, Land and people of Israel) rests in YHVH the LORD. The answer is, that the least of peoples (Israel) have been established and find refuge due to the pre-ordained and sacred choice of God. We are who we are because He has loved us with an everlasting love. The answer is that we always have a place of shelter and refuge to return to, He is the Rock of our refuge, the fierce warrior of our protection, the humble King of sacrifice and the resurrection of the dead.
But be warned, only “the humble among his people seek refuge in mount Zion”.
Without humility, no one can come to God.
Copyright 2018 Yaakov Brown
Those united in hatred seek only the death of their enemies. In them the lesser lusts of the material world submit to the goal of their hatred, death. Once sated, all that remains is for them to consider their own fragile mortality and turn on one another.
This section of Isaiah from chapter 13 through 23, is a series of divine judgements against the nations: punishments for the sin they have committed against God and the nation of Israel. These judgements are called “Burdens” and deal with Israel’s neighbors.
There are a similar group of judgements in Jeremiah (Chapters 46-51), and in Ezekiel (Chapters 25-32). A careful reading of the Hebrew text suggests that Jeremiah was acquainted with Isaiah 13.
The first to be judged (keeping in mind that God has already judged Israel through the prophet’s previous proclamations) is Bavel, that is Babylon, the capital of the Chaldean Empire, situated in modern day Iraq. Babylon is used symbolically throughout Scripture as the center of the proud God defying pagan world. It is a figure denoting the seat of Satan’s power on earth and is seen as being part of an empire that resists both God and His chosen people ethno-religious Israel, the Jews.
This prophecy against Babylon, was fulfilled approximately 240 years after it was recorded. The Medes and Persians under Cyrus the Great (Isa. 45:8) of Persia conquered the Babylonian empire in 539 BCE. Cyrus was of Median descent and thus he was the perfect candidate for leading the combined armies of the Medes and Persians.
As is the case with all Hebrew prophecy, the cyclical nature of the prophecy allows for multiple fulfillments. Therefore, given that the literal location of Babylon (85km south of Baghdad) is now the subject of modern restoration projects, one must conclude that in order for this prophecy to made perfect it must be fully filled at the end of days. Thus, the prophecy of Revelation, as it pertains to Babylon and the Serpent (Satan) is intrinsically linked to the present text.
“And a mighty messenger took up a stone, it was a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon, the great city, be cast down, and shall be found no more at all.” -Revelation 18:21
Isa 13:1 Masa Burden of Bavel (Babylon: Confusion), which chazah is perceived, seen, foreseen, by Yeshayahu (Isaiah: The Salvation of YHVH [Mercy] is his) the son of Amotz (Strong).
A burden of confusion foreseen by the one for whom Salvation is from Mercy, he is a son born of strength.
The Targum Yonatan (1 Century BCE) reads:
"the burden of the cup of cursing to give Babylon to drink:''
It’s important to note that the entire chapter is qualified by the fact that this is a prophecy concerning Babylon, which is, from the prophet’s perspective, in far off Chaldea. Therefore, the locations, the land (ha-aretz) etc. are all geographically linked to that eastern region and do not relate to the land of Israel. This is one of the exceptions to the use of ha-aretz as it is explained in my previous commentary on Isaiah.
The Hebrew “Masa” translated “Burden”, is derived from the root nasah, which means “to lift up, carry, bear”. In the present text it denotes the fact that the prophet is lifting up his voice against the enemies of Israel and is unable to keep silent because the weight of the prophecy given to him is too much to contain.
“And the rage of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) fills me, I am weary, impatient, grieved and offended, I cannot contain the measure of it.” -Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 6:11
Given the use of the Hebrew “chazah”, it is possible that Isaiah saw these things in a vision.
Isa 13:2 Upon a mountain swept bare, seu lift up, carry, take neis a sign, miracle, banner, lift up your kol voice to them: they waved a hand and they enter into the doorways, openings, gates of nediyviym nobles, generous, princes, willing hearted.
The phrasing here is typical of Isaiah’s imagery throughout the scroll, and makes the arguments of those who say this was written by someone else and or redacted, untenable (5:26; 11:10; 18:3).
A cleared hill or mountain top was typically used to summon tribes and armies from distant places to gather for war. As warriors approached hand gestures were used and they would be called to from the hill top, “Enter into the gates of the nobles!”
This mountain or hill top is situated in the region of the Chaldean empire in modern day Iraq. Some claim that there was actually a gate to Babylon called “The Gate of the Nobles”.
“Vitringa thinks there may be an allusion to the mountain Zagrius, which divides Media and Persia from Assyria, mentioned by Strabo.” - Geograph. l. 11. p. 359
Babylon itself is spoken of as a mountain in the book of Jeremiah:
“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, says Hashem (YHVH), which destroys all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand upon you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain.” -Yermiyahu (Jeremiah 51:25
The Hebrew “Neis”, meaning sign, miraculous sign, banner etc. is used in Talmudic literature to refer to a proclamation of war:
"to gather against the mountain that is quiet, and trusts in its tranquillity, lift up a banner to the nations.''-Yarchi
We need not choose between the various meanings given for neis: it denotes something miraculous that God is doing as well as being a practical sign for the accumulation of the armed forces who are to fight against Babylon.
“Lift up your kol voice to them” refers to those being called to war against the city of Babylon, that is the Medes (13:17).
Isa 13:3 Ani I have tziveitiy given My orders lim’kudashay to My consecrated, sanctified, set apart ones, also, I have called My mighty men for my flaring nostril (anger), even My proudly exulting ones.
It is difficult for the modern reader to understand why HaShem would call otherwise pagan nations “My consecrated” and “My mighty men”, and “My proudly exulting ones”. This is where an understanding of the Hebrew concept of holiness kadosh is necessary.
“Lim’kudashay”, translates as “My consecrated ones” but is best understood as “My set apart ones”, meaning that the pagan nations of Mede and Persia have been set apart for a divine task. This does not mean that they are worshippers of the God of Israel, it simply means that God is in control of all things and calls nations to do His will for the sake of the redemption of Israel and the nations.
Isa 13:4 A kol voice, sound, noise of a multitude behariym in the mountains, in the likeness of a great am people! A kol voice, sound, noise of sheon a din, crash, uproar, tumult of the kingdoms of goyim nations gathered together! HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Who goes forth to war, of heavens armies) is mustering tzeva those who go forth to battle.
The poetry, word play and turn of phrase in the Hebrew text is delightful. Tzevaot the God “Who goes out to war” is mustering tzeva those “who go out to battle”.
The noise of this great army was probably heard in the mountains of Media or on the mountains that bordered Chaldea, as the troops gathered to do battle against Babylon under the leadership of Cyrus the Great.
We know from Jeremiah that the army of Cyrus consisted not only of Medians and Persians but also of a number of smaller nations from the region.
“Set up a standard in the land, blow the horn among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough canker- worm.” -Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 51:28
Isa 13:5 They come from meieretz a land in a distant place, from the extremity of the heavens, HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy all Ha-aretz the land.
The phrase Ha-aretz usually refers to the land of Israel. However, in the context of the present judgement it is qualified by the fact that the entire portion of Isaiah 13 refers to God’s wrath against Babylon and the empire of the Chaldeans. Therefore, ha-aretz here refers to the Land of what is now known as modern Iraq.
“They” refers to the Medes, Persians, and the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz.
Isa 13:6 Heiylilu Wail, howl, because near is yom a day of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy); keshod violence, havoc, destruction, devastation and ruin miShaday from the Almighty shall it come.
The Babylonians are instructed to howl in terror at the coming wrath of God. “Keshod meShaddai” destruction from the One Who is the All Sufficient Protector.
Isa 13:7 Upon, therefore col yadayim all hands a disheartening, and every levav inner being (heart) of a person will yimas dissolve, melt:
Complete and utter hopelessness will descend upon the people of Babylon and Chaldea, both civilian and soldier alike. Not only will their physical strength grow weak with hands hanging down but also their inner being and spiritual assurance will be dissolved like worthless chaff dissolved in sulphur pools.
Isa 13:8 and they will be terrified, hurried, dismayed; tziyriym envoys (pangs) vachavaliym and attached companies (sorrows) will grasp, seize, possess and take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in the travail of labour: they will look to one another in amazement; peneiy their faces lehaviym like flaming blade faces.
“The king of Babylon has heard the fame of them, and his hands wax feeble; anguish has taken hold of him, and pain, as of a woman in travail.” -Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 50:43
The Hebrew phrase “Peneiy lehaviym peneiyhem”, their faces like flaming blade faces, denotes both red faced terror and the act of turning and striking a companion. Thus, in their terror at the wrath coming against them the Babylonians turned on each other. God has used similar circumstances to save Israel on other occasions.
“HaShem confused the enemy camp, so that the Ammonite and Moabite troops attacked and completely destroyed those from Edom. Then they turned against each other and fought until the entire camp was wiped out!” -2 Chronicles 20:22-23
“When the three hundred trumpets sounded, HaShem caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.” -Judges 7:22
Isa 13:9 Hinei, Now, behold, yom a day of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) is coming, cruel, with an outpouring of wrath, fury, and fierce nostril flaring anger; to appoint Ha-aretz the land a desolation, and to destroy the sinners removing them from it.
Here the Hebrew text speaks of “a day of the Lord” rather than “the day of the Lord”. However, verse 13 speaks of “the day of His anger”. It seems that wrath will be poured out upon Babylon on a specific day during a figurative day, which can be understood to be the day of the Lord (A figurative day spanning many literal days).
Isa 13:10 For the stars (fig. brothers) of ha-shamayim the heavens and the constellations will not yaheilu give (fig. boast of) their oram light; choshakh darkened will be ha-shemesh the sun in its going forth, and the moon will not shine his (its) light.
This portion of the text employees personification as a figurative example of the all-encompassing distress that will be poured out upon Babylon and her empire.
The distress of the constellations and luminaries is of special significance to the Babylonians because they worshipped various deities associated to the heavenly host. Their gods would be in as much distress as they would. Thus, the complete devastation of the physical and spiritual nature of Babylon and the Chaldean empire and all that it represents. That is, the seat of Satan’s work on earth.
Isa 13:11 Upakad’tiy And I will punish, number, reckon al-tevel upon the world ra’ah evil, distress, misery and upon the wicked for their avonam perversity, iniquity: and I will put an end to the prideful presumption, and the haughty ones will be laid low with awful terror.
The phrase “upon the world” refers specifically to the world of Babylon. After all, the Medes and Persians who were to attack her were not at that time suffering punishment.
Isa 13:12 Esteemed of great value will be enosh a human being like fine gold, veadam and humanity will be like gold from Ophiyr (Reduced to ashes).
This is a figurative way of saying that there will be few Babylonians left to tell the tale. It is ironic that the gold of Ophiyr is referenced, as Ophiyr literally means “Reduced to ashes”.
Interestingly, the Targum Yonatan ( 1st Century BCE) gives figurative paraphrase of this verse and suggests that the survivors mentioned are actually righteous Israelites who lived within Babylon when she was overthrown:
"I will love them that fear me more than gold, of which men glory; and those that keep the law more than the fine gold of Ophir;'' -Targum Yonatan
Isa 13:13 Accordingly therefore, shamayim heavens will tremble and shaken will be Ha-aretz the land from its place, in the wrath of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Who goes forth to war, of heavens armies), uveyom and in the day of his nostril flaring anger.
This can be taken both literally and figuratively relative to the worship of the celestial bodies.
The land referred to is the region including and surrounding modern day Iraq.
This language is also reminiscent of the description of wrath following the seventh bowl of Revelation:
“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” – Revelation 16:17
Isa 13:14 Vehayah And it comes to pass, that as kitzviy the roebuck (beauty) mudakh is driven away, and as sheep that no man gathers, they will turn every man amo to his own people, and will flee every man artzo to his own land.
It comes to pass that like beauty driven away and sheep without anyone to gather them, each one will turn to his own people, each one fleeing to his own land.
Literally this verse describes those living in Babylon who have originated from other nations either by choice or by conquest. They will flee in terror to the nations and tribes of their birth.
Figuratively, the beauty of Babylon is driven away.
“Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land.” – Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 50:16
Isa 13:15 All that is found will be pierced through; and all who are hanispeh caught up, swept away, taken, shall fall by the sword. Isa 13:16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted, and their wives raped.
Simply put, everyone who is found in the city when it is taken will be put to death in callus ways.
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” -Revelation 18:4
Isa 13:17 Hineniy Now, behold, I am ready, I will incite upon them the Maday (Medes: middle land), who will not regard silver, and as for gold, they will not delight in it.
The Medes and Persians suffered under the Chaldean empire and its capital Babylon. Thus, they came against her with vengeance in mind rather than for the purpose of gaining wealth. Therefore, they had no intention of showing mercy in battle. Those united in hatred seek only the death of their enemies. In them the lesser lusts of the material world submit to the goal of their hatred, death. Once sated, all that remains is for them to consider their own fragile mortality and turn on one another.
Isa 13:18 And bows will dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
The Medes were renowned for their prowess with the bow. The historian Xenophon suggests that Cyrus came to Babylon with a great number of archers and slingers (Cyropaedia, l. 2. sect. 1.).
The national vengeance of the Medes and Persians would be such that they would wantonly slay even mothers and babies.
The Medes were notorious for their cruelty, which eventually resulted in the ruin of their empire (Ammian. Marcellin. l. 23. c. 6. Diodor. Sicul. l. 13. p. 342.).
Isa 13:19 And it comes to pass that Bavel (Babylon: confusion, mixing), the beauty of kingdoms, the splendour and majesty of the Kasdiym (Chaldeans' clod breakers) their pride, will be destroyed by Elohiym (God: Judge) like Sedom (Sodom: Burning) and Amorah (Gomorrah: submersion).
The first and most ancient of kingdoms was Bavel, confusion, Babylon the Great (Gen. 10:10). In the dream of Nebuchadnezzar recorded in Daniel Babylon is represented as the head of gold (Daniel 2:31), she is also later called “lady of kingdoms” by Isaiah (Isa. 47:5).
Babylon is the ultimate symbol of human pride, it first divided the peoples when at the tower of Bavel (Gen. 11) the nations unified under her banner sought to be gods. Later Nebuchadnezzar would make a proud claim:
“The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).
Like the very symbols of prideful and ancient debauchery Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon would not be allowed to continue indefinitely.
Isa 13:20 Never to be inhabited in perpetuity, neither will it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither will the Araviy (Arabian: mixed) pitch tent there; neither will shepherds allow their flocks to lie down there.
Babylon was destroyed and left desolate in 539 BCE, however, as the centuries have gone on restoration projects have been working toward its rebuilding. Thus, the first fulfilment of the prophecy is only partly qualified by the present text. Therefore, we await the perfection of this prophecy in the future. The Revelation affirms this by describing the ultimate and lasting destruction of Babylon, which is a figure for Satan’s seat of power on earth.
Isa 13:21 But wild beasts of the desert will lie there; and their houses will be full of howling animals; and benot yaanah a daughter bird (ostriches) will dwell there, usheiyriym and hairy demonic goats shall dance there.
There are a number of folk allusions in this verse. “Daughter of a bird” is literal but is also seen as a figurative description of sirens or bird women, which were demonic beings in ancient folk lore. The Hairy goats are seen by ancient commentators (Targum etc.) as demonic goats, satyrs (man goat hybrids) possessed goats (like the pigs Yeshua allowed a legion of demons to go into [Matt. 8:31-33; Mark 5:11-13; Luke 8:31-33]).
“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” -Revelation 18:2
Isa 13:22 Veanah And testifying, answering, howling will be the jackals in the widow houses (deserted structures), vetaniym and the serpent beheiychleiy in the temples of delight: and near to come is her time, and her days shall not be prolonged.
We notice here the intrinsic connection to the final destruction of the satanic agenda and the seat of Satan’s power on earth. The Serpent may well have his temple of delight, but one day soon it will be left eternally desolate.
“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” -Revelation 20:2
Copyright Yaakov Brown 2018
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.