When we place our trust in the implementation of immoral legislation and seek entertainment in the den of witchcraft, we are no better than that wicked ancient nation Babylon (confusion).
At the time it was first spoken (By Isaiah) and recorded (by Isaiah’s scribe) Isaiah 47 was prophetic of the near future. It is now also a description of history, because the events of Babylon’s demise alluded to in this portion of the scroll of Isaiah literally came to pass (Twice in close succession ref. Cyrus and Darius). Finally, it remains prophetically future, because Revelation 17 & 18 describe a similar destruction that is yet to come upon a revived Babylonian empire in the latter days. Thus, the reality of the nature of Biblical Hebrew prophecy is illuminated yet again. Biblical Hebrew prophecy is God speaking into time and space that which He has already seen complete outside of time and space. Therefore, within time and space Hebrew prophecy appears to take on a cyclical nature. From our purview it is rarely fulfilled once, to the contrary, almost every Biblical Hebrew prophecy has and will have multiple fulfillments within the time and space bound journey of human history.
Isa 47:1 Rediy Come down, sink down, descend usheviy and sit, dwell, remain al in, upon afar ashes, rubbish, dust, betulat virgin bat daughter Bavel (Babylon, confusion); sheviy sit, dwell, remain la-aretz on the land eiyn-kisei without a throne, Bat-kasdiym daughter Chaldea (increasing)! Kiy For, because lo no more tosifiy will you increase (be added to), yikreu lach you will be called rakah weak, tender va-anugah and delicate.
“Descend and remain in garbage virgin daughter confusion; remain sitting on the ground without any power, daughter of those who increase their wealth at the expense of others. For you will no longer increase your holdings and power, you will be called weak and delicate, vulnerable.” -Authors paraphrase
“Descend and sit in the dust, kingdom of the congregation of Babylon; sit on the ground, there is no throne of glory, kingdom of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called
tender and delicate.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The poetic allusions to virginity and youth are meant to convey the idea that Babylon as a super power, had stood for some time unchallenged and therefore, figuratively speaking had not been deflowered, that is, had its power taken from it.
In order to build a platform for avoiding the miraculous virgin birth of the Messiah, many modern Jewish commentators translate the Hebrew Betulat as “fair maiden, young woman etc.” However, with regard to the scroll of Isaiah, our ancient rabbis have always understood Betulah to refer to a virgin (a young woman “that has not been deflowered”-Iben Ezra) in the context of Isaiah. In referencing the current verse, Iben Ezra writes:
“Babylon is like a virgin…”
Additionally, the rabbis who translated the Hebrew text of Isaiah into Greek as part of the Greek version of the Tanakh (OT), the Septuagint, chose the Greek word “Parthenos”, meaning, a marriageable maiden, one who has never had intercourse, a virgin etc.
Babylon would lose her throne to Cyrus and Darius, kings of Persia. Thus she would remain in the dust (close to the earth) and no longer dwell at the height of her power on her throne (elevated, close to the sky). This stark contrast in poetic imagery conveys the prominent Biblical truth, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(Yaakov 4:6)
The Hebrew Kasdiym (Chaldeans) is a plural that comes from the root kesed (increase) and literally means “increasing, increasers”. Thus, the poetic irony of the latter part of verse 1. The daughter of increasers will no longer increase.
Revelation 18 details the fall of the yet future Babylon, head of the beast (empire) that opposes God and His tsaddikim (righteous ones, saints). The future Babylon, like the ancient one, will be both literal and spiritual, a world leader in opposition to God and his people Israel (ethnic, religious), and like its ancient seed, it too will be destroyed, this time, never to rise again.
Isa 47:2 Take rechayim millstones and grind kamach meal flour, galiy put off your veil, chespiy-shovel strip off your robe, galiy uncover shok your thigh, ivriy pass through neharot rivers.
“Receive this calamity and go into servitude; put away the glory of thy kingdom, thy princes are overthrown, the people of thy armies are scattered, they have vanished away like waters of the river.” - Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
To work with millstones was the job of the servants and handmaids, thus the mighty will fall and become servants and slaves.
The uncovering of the thigh and exposing of the private parts is both a literal description of the raping of women by invaders and a figurative allusion to the deflowering of the kingdom which had been so proud of it’s political virginity.
The Targum rightly understands the stripping of the veil to be a figurative allusion to the removal of the crown of Babylon. Likewise, the stripping of the robe is seen as the removal of the princes and the revealing of the thigh, a figure for the removal of the armies of Babylon, leaving the femoral artery of the people (thigh) exposed.
The uncovering of the thigh may also be an allusion to the fact that in order to traverse the rivers as they flee, the Babylonians will have to hitch up their clothes exposing their thighs. The rivers in question being the Tigris and Euphrates.
Isa 47:3 Your ervatech nakedness will be uncovered, gam also cherpatech your disgrace, reproach, scorn will be seen. I will take vengeance, ve’lo and not efga make intercession for adam a man.
The rhyming Hebrew couplet “ervatech” (nakedness) and “cherpatech” (disgrace) emphasise the full extent of Babylon’s shame.
It is HaShem Who will take vengeance and will refuse to make intercession for those who have violated, abused, enslaved and murdered His chosen people Israel (ethnic, religious).
“Your disgrace will be seen” means that all of the known world will be made aware of Babylon’s demise.
The “Whore Babylon” of Revelation 17 will also be left naked and her flesh dined on by the ten rulers of the anti-Messiah empire. HaShem will take vengeance on that future Babylon, which is, and has always been the seat of Satanic power on earth (Rev. 18:20).
Isa 47:4 Goaleinu Our Kinsman Redeemer YHVH (HaShem: Mercy) the LORD Tzevaot Who goes warring (of hosts) shemo is His name--Kadosh Yisrael Holy One of Israel (Overcomes in God).
Both the prophet and all Israel interject with the words, “Our Kinsman Redeemer, Mercy Who goes warring is His Name, the Holy One of Israel.”
God is described as the Kadosh Yisrael, Holy One of Israel. He is the One Who kidush, sanctifies Israel.
Isa 47:5 Sheviy sit, dwell, remain dumam in silence, u’voiy and go va-choshekh into darkness, Bat-kasdiym daughter Chaldea (increasing); for you will lo no longer be called ge’veret mistress of mamlachot kingdoms.
“Remain in silence” means that Babylon will be defeated and remain a non-entity on the world stage for a very long period of time. This of course will come to a head in the latter days when Babylon will arise once more and meet her final destruction (Rev. 18).
“Go into darkness” is figurative of the literal imprisonment of the fleeing Babylonians, as well as a picture of Babylon’s ultimate spiritual destiny.
“No longer called mistress of kingdoms” This shows how far Babylon has fallen. We note that Babylon is referred to in the feminine and her punishment correlates to the Whore of Babylon, described in Revelation 17-18.
From a Jewish cultural perspective, sitting silently in darkness is associated with mourning. Thus, figuratively speaking, Babylon will go into deep mourning and will remain there.
Isa 47:6 I was angry with amiy My people; chilaltiy I profaned, made common nachalatiy My inheritance, heritage, possession; I gave them into your hand; you showed them no rachamiym mercies; upon the zakein ancient (old, aged) you placed your exceedingly heavy ulech yoke (teaching), burden.
“Amiy” Notice that HaShem continues to take ownership of Israel (ethnic, religious), even when she disobeys Him and He becomes angry with her. Thus, He uses the Hebrew “amiy”, people belonging to Me.
God had allowed Israel to be taken into captivity in order to discipline her, as a father disciplines the son whom He loves. Part of being a talmid (disciple) is discipline. Israel had sinned against God through idolatrous practices and hatred of His covenant with her, and by her refusal to keep the Torah He had given her. However, this did not mean that He saw Babylon as a righteous nation, to the contrary, the actions of the Babylonians had proved true to their character, born of the seat of Satanic power on earth.
“Chilaltiy I have polluted, profaned, defiled…” This is the counterpoint to the idolatrous and defiling, polluting, profanity of Israel. The chosen people had desecrated and compromised the cities of Israel by their actions and their rejection of God. Therefore, “I have polluted and made common My possession”. Notice yet again the ownership God takes of Israel, even in the midst of her hatred toward Him. He calls her “common” who was uncommonly chosen to be a light to the nations. This emphasises the depths of her sin and the need for her to repent and return to her true position as the chosen people of God reflecting His glory.
“I gave them into your hand…” God now addresses the Babylonians.
“You showed them no mercies…” God is by nature merciful, and requires those He employs to discipline His children to show due mercy in their dealings with Israel. Babylon, according to her Satanic root, showed no mercy, for she was and is the daughter of confusion (Bavel), the daughter of increasing darkness (Chaldea).
“You placed an exceedingly heavy burden, even on the elderly” The plain meaning revealing the depths of the Babylonian cruelty.
The Hebrew zakein can also be understood to refer to the entire nation of Israel, whose origin in God is ancient. Thus, we might read, “You placed an exceedingly (unjust) burden on the ancient people of God”.
“Ulech”, your yoke, can be understood literally but is also commonly understood to be a metaphor for a teaching: spiritual, philosophical etc. Thus, we can read, “You placed your own unbearable philosophy, religious belief, ideology on My ancient people”. In other words, the very Satanic ideology that had place Babylon under spiritual bondage, she sought to put onto God’s chosen people Israel. The irony being that Israel had sought out this bondage in spite of the love God had shown her.
Isa 47:7 You said, “Le-olam Forever (to worlds) I will be gevaret mistress,” so that you did not lay these things upon libech your heart (inner person), lo nor remember their end.
The Babylonian rulers considered themselves gods. They went by the title “King of kings”, a blasphemous claim equitable to El elyon “God over all other gods”. Note that the Hebrew text uses the feminine and exposes this arrogant claim according to ancient cultural norms by calling Babylon “gevaret” mistress rather than “Adon or Ba’al” lord, master. This is an intentional illumination of her subordinate status: exposing her delusional claims. Therefore, due to her self induced delusion, she is unable to lay the truth to heart, nor can she perceive the logical conclusion to her actions. Her power is temporary, her end is destruction.
The correlation between the present verse and Revelation 18:7 is incredible to say the least:
“As she has exalted herself and indulged herself in luxury,
so give her the same measure of torment and grief!
For in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen--
I am no widow;
I shall never see grief.’” -Revelation 18:7 (TLV) ref. Zephaniah 2:15
Isa 47:8 Ve’atah And you shimiy hear this, zot you adiynah lover of pleasures, hayoshevet who sit, dwell, remain la-vetach securely, who say bilvavah in your inner (collective) heart (inner being), “Ani I am, and there is no one besides me; I will not eshev sit, dwell, remain as an almanah widow or know the loss of children”:
The warning continues… Babylon’s arrogant claims and wicked actions provide evidence for the indictment being brought against her.
“Lover of pleasures” is an allusion to the practice of sexual immorality and other sensual sin (Rev. 18:4).
Describing of Babylon Curtius writes:
"no city was more corrupt in its manners, or furnished to irritate or allure to immoderate pleasures. Parents and husbands suffered their children and wives to prostitute themselves to strangers, so that they had but a price.'' -Curtius Hist. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 1.
Additionally, both Herodotus and Strabo describe a Babylonian practice that required women (by law) to prostitute themselves publicly (in the temple of Venus) at least once in their lifetime (Clio, sive l. 1. c. 199; Geograph. l. 16. p. 513.).
“Dwell securely” emphasises the fact that in her deluded sinful state Babylon truly believes herself to be “Mistress over all”. She is certain in her own eyes that she is invulnerable, never to suffer widowhood or lose her progeny to death. “After all” she thinks, “It is I who make the women of other nations widows and it is I who put their children to death”. Ref. Rev. 18:7.
Isa 47:9 These two things shall come to you in an instant, beyom echad in one day; the loss of children ve’almon and widowhood, ketumam fulness, completion will come upon you, in your many sorceries, and beatzemat in the great strength chavarayich meod of your exceedingly binding magic.
“But these two things shall come to thee, in an appointed time, in one day, loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection: notwithstanding the multitude of thy sorceries, notwithstanding the great strength of thine enchantments.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The two things mentioned in verse 8 will come upon Babylon by surprise and in an instant. She will suffer as a widow, and she will lose her children to death.
Babylon was quite literally bereaved of her king and all her royal household when Cyrus took the city in 539 BCE (Xenophon Cyropaedia, 1. 7. sect. 23.) Additionally, when Darius besieged Babylon (522), the occupants of the city “slew all their own women, wives, sisters, daughters, and all their children, reserving only one wife and maidservant to a man” (Dr. Prideaux Connexion, &c. part 1. B. 3. p. 188, 189.) Darius is said to have ordered three thousand of the principal inhabitants to be crucified.
The Hebrew text warns Babylon that, “The completion of your many sorceries (evils) will come upon you…” There is a direct correlation made between sorcery, witchcraft, and the death of husbands and children. The mishleiym (Proverbs) remind us that “An undeserved curse cannot land”, however, in the case of Babylon, the curse is deserved many times over. The curses she has prayed on others will come back upon her. The Chaldeans were famous for their witchcraft, sorcery etc. (Daniel 2:2).
Isa 47:10 Vativtechi You trusted ve-ra’atech in your evil; you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge hiy she (they f.) shovatech has turned on you (perverted you, led you astray), and you said ve’libech in your inner being (heart), “Ani I am, and there is no one besides me.”
“You trusted in your evil” Babylon had trusted in her own sinful actions and the fruit thereof. Today within our western democracies we do the same: trusting in laws that give sexual sin pre-eminence and allow euthanasia (the murder of the elderly, infirm, the intellectually and the physically disabled). We trust in the right of a woman to choose to murder her child, and advocate for criminals at the expense of their victims. We are enamoured by witchcraft and sorcery, and have allowed occult spirituality to usurp the sound doctrine of the King Messiah.
When we place our trust in the implementation of immoral legislation and seek entertainment in the den of witchcraft, we are no better than that wicked ancient nation Babylon (confusion). Thus, we have entered confusion: depression and mental illnesses varied and debilitating have risen exponentially, our criminals are seen as victims and our victims as criminals, our children cannot decide what sex they are, because we have convinced them they are genderless spirits in human husks, and our modern families are nothing more than club houses for the wickedly like-minded. All who oppose the status quo of Liberalism are kicked out of the tribe-less Universal social engine of world consciousness. In short, we are about to succeed in destroying ourselves, and in the meantime, the armies of the East are rallying in order to wipe us from the face of the earth. On Yom Ha Din (The Day of Judgement), we will not be able to hide behind our democratic system, nor will we be able to justify ourselves by our inaction. When we fail to act against evil we become culpable.
“No one sees me” Babylon had convinced itself that its hidden witchcraft and secret political plans could not be seen by any other nation or people. While this may have been true, Babylon had neglected to understand that the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient Creator of the Universe and God of Israel could see and was well aware of her secrets and the ineffectiveness of them.
“Your wisdom and your knowledge has turned on you, perverted you.” Neither human wisdom or knowledge are synonymous with truth. Thus, the accumulation of knowledge is no guarantee of a truthful reality. Babylon had gained great knowledge and had acted wisely in her wickedness but that same knowledge, wisdom and wickedness was about to come back on her. She had worked tirelessly only to bring about her own demise. All the while, like a numb navel gazer, she claimed “I am, and there is none besides me!”
Isa 47:11 Uva And coming alayich upon you, ra’a evil, you will not know when it will dawn; hovah a ruin will fall upon you, which you will not be able to endure or kaperah atone for; and coming upon you suddenly, a shoah desolation unknown to you.
We note that the previous verse says “You have trusted in your own evil (the root being ra’a)”. Now we read, “ra’a (evil) will come upon you”. Like the wicked of the latter days, the Babylonians did not know the day or the hour of their demise.
“A ruin will fall upon you, which you will not be able to endure or atone for”. This ruin, while clearly historical, is also a spiritual reality. We note that the Hebrew kaperah (atoning sacrifice) is used. Thus, there is a ruin that will come upon the wilfully unrepentant, a ruin for which there is no further atonement. In other words, “It is appointed unto human beings to die once and then the judgement…” (Hebrews 9:27-28). Therefore, any human being who has not received the atoning sacrifice (Kaperah) of the King Messiah Yeshua before passing into sheol, is left without the necessary atonement to deliver them from eternal punishment. This comes down to the human being exercising his or her free will. God does not send people to eternal punishment, to the contrary, those who end up there will have chosen to go there: their hatred for God being such that they refuse His sacrificial love and reconciliatory offer of redemption.
“For if we keep on sinning wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there is no further sacrifice for sins…” -Hebrews 10:26
Isa 47:12 Stand now vachavarayich in your magic (company) uvero and your great keshafayich witchcraft, with which you have laboured from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed; perhaps you may inspire fear.
“Vachavarayich in your magic (company)” We note that the Hebrew can be understood to mean both magic arts and or a company or club of practitioners of the aforementioned arts. Thus, the prophet calls out that which has been hidden and demands that the occultists stand in the light of God’s judgement. The witchcraft of the Babylonians had been “great, prolific”, it had been a way of life, a religion. Not unlike the many philosophies and practices of our own time, many of which claim to be non-religious but are in fact religious in the worst possible sense, born of the deceiver himself (Satan).
“with which you have laboured from your youth;” This is evidence of the sin of the fathers upon the children. Indoctrination from youth had meant the demise of an entire society.
“Perhaps you may be able to succeed; perhaps you may inspire fear.” This is not mockery, to the contrary, it is a challenge to the self-deluded and arrogant Babylonians. “Do you really believe that your magic is undefeatable, that your work cannot be torn down, that you can inspire fear in the One Who has swallowed up fear with victory? It is of course a rhetorical question and the answer is “You will not, you cannot!”
Isa 47:13 Nileit You are wearied, grieved, impatient, offended bero in your many counsels; let them stand up now veyoshiuch and save (deliver) you, hovereiy those who divide shamayim the heavens, hachozim visioners, seers bakochavim who gaze at the stars, modiyim predictors (knowers) who make known lechodashim at the new moons (months) what will come upon you.
“Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let them now rise up, and save thee, who are familiar with the Zodiac of the heavens, who look at the stars, who make known appointed seasons: deceiving thee, saying, Thus it shall happen unto thee each month.” - Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The Targum correctly understands this as an indictment against the magicians, astrologers, false prophets and sooth Sayers of Babylon. We note that the Babylonians had become wearied and grieved by the predictions of their magicians and sooth Sayers. Daniel 2 describes events in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, where the astrologers, magicians and sorcerers were unable to divine the king’s dream. This was the kind of unreliability the Babylonians had come to expect from their spiritual advisors, those who practiced various forms of demonic witchcraft.
“let them stand up now and save you” This is similar to the taunt of Elijah when challenging the worshippers of the Ba’aliym to call on their gods to save them.
“Who make known at the new moons (months), what will come upon you.” This is a taunt which exposes the inaccuracy of the predictions made by the star gazers (astrologers), particularly in reference to the new moons, the beginning of months. It is frightening to note how closely this describes the teaching of so many eschatological Christian preachers and so called Prophets in the present day. The evidence of their inaccurate predictions has been seen on mass recently when following the arrival and departure of a number of blood moons, none of the things they predicted had come to pass. I have yet to see them held accountable for their false testimony. God will not be mocked.
Isa 47:14 Hineih Behold, pay attention, now they have become stubble; eish fire serafatam will burn them; they cannot deliver et-nafsham their souls miyad from the hand (fig. power) lehavah of flame. Eiyn-gachelet No coal to warm nor ur fire (fire emanation, fire light) lashevet to sit, dwell, remain before!
“Behold, they shall be weak as stubble. The nations which are as strong as fire shall consume them, they shall not deliver themselves from the hand of the slayers: there shall be no remnant nor escaped of them, yea, not a place, in which one might deliver himself.” - Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
Iben Ezra, in agreement with the Targum, reads the Hebrew eish (fire) as a figure for the invading armies. As support for this reading he references Num. 21:28.
“Hineih” Now, pay attention, look upon this. A final call to sobriety. The people of Babylon will become as stubble burned up by the invading armies. The prophet writes in the past tense because God has already seen these things complete.
“They cannot deliver their souls from the hand (fig. power) of flame.” This is once more both literal and figurative as well as spiritual. The Babylonians will not be able to overcome the flame of those who come to destroy them. In fact, that is exactly what happened on at least two occasions in history. Nor can they deliver their own souls from the flame which emanates from God’s Spirit and judgement.
“Nor ur fire (fire emanation, fire light) lashevet to sit, dwell, remain before” This final clause is of great significance and is drenched with irony. Avram (Who became Avraham), the father of Isaac and Jacob, came from Ur of the Chaldees. Our text says that there will no longer be ur (light emanating from fire) for the Babylonians to warm themselves by. They will no longer be privileged to sit by the true ur light emanation that proceeds from God. Their connection to Avram will be snuffed out. Why? Because the seed of Avram (the Jews) are about to be taken from them, and via Darius, returned to the Land that Avraham was promised on oath by God, the land covenanted by God to Avraham and his ancestors (Isaac & Jacob [Israel]) while he slept.
Isa 47:15 Kein so (yes) you have become as those who laboured for you, your merchants with you from your youth; ish each man le’evro will go beyond, tau erring, wandering, astray, staggering, none moshiyeich will save you.
Babylon became like those she had used, abused and traded with from her infancy. She had been a mistress, now she would be a slave.
She had spared no one, now there would be no one to save her. The Hebrew moshiyeich is related to Mashiyach (Saviour, Anointed One). Thus, because she had not known the Mashiyach, she “erred, wandered, went astray, with none moshiyeich to save her”.
“The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning;” -Revelation 18:15 (ASV)
Copyright Yaakov Brown 2019
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.