If you looked at Isaiah 13, you’ll notice how it ends:
22 The hyenas will howl in their citadels,
And jackals in their pleasant palaces.
Her time is near to come,
And her days will not be prolonged.”
And, if you understand that separation of the Bible into chapters and verses is artificial, then you’ll understand why Babylon’s days will not be prolonged:
1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 2 Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the Lord; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
Verse one of Isaiah 14 gives the reason for why Babylon must be destroyed quickly in verse 22. And, that word ‘For’ is actually ‘because’, in Hebrew.
Unfortunately, the prophecy of Isaiah 13 is not completely fulfilled. Much more destruction is in Babylon’s (Iraq’s) future. It will be a messy, blood-soaked atrocity that is coming, at the hands of the Iranians.
note: This is NOT the woman who is called Mystery and Babylon in Revelation. Please keep a clear head about this. Isaiah 13 is clearly speaking of a physical city called Babylon. We do not have permission from God to twist His words.
And no, I do not think that Isaiah 12 coincides with Hasmonean period where the Jews threw off their Hellenistic rulers. If anything, the Hasmonean period was just an interlude between times of exile for the people of Israel. And, the Hasmoneans never controlled more than a fraction of the Land of Israel.
Then, to make things possibly more confusing, God shows us this, in verse three:
3 It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve,
What kind of rest is the Lord talking about here?
Is it the rest from the burdens of this world? The rest from work?
Or, is it that rest that only Jesus gives?
I think that it’s the latter, but I completely understand if you disagree. But, let’s look at what Jesus said in Matthew 11.
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Is it a rest of the hands that Jesus offers us?
That’s not the most important rest. No, Jesus gives us a far more important rest – the rest of the soul.
4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say:
“How the oppressor has ceased,
The golden city ceased!
5 The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
The scepter of the rulers;
6 He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
He who ruled the nations in anger,
Is persecuted and no one hinders.
7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
They break forth into singing.
8 Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you,
And the cedars of Lebanon,
Saying, ‘Since you were cut down,
No woodsman has come up against us.’
Up to verse 8, everything seems crystal clear. The city of Babylon is destroyed. And, for some reason the cedars of Lebanon flourish because no one comes around and cuts them down. The world becomes quiet. At peace.
And then, it seems that there’s a change in focus:
9 “Hell from beneath is excited about you,
To meet you at your coming;
It stirs up the dead for you,
All the chief ones of the earth;
It has raised up from their thrones
All the kings of the nations.
10 They all shall speak and say to you:
‘Have you also become as weak as we?
Have you become like us?
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
And the sound of your stringed instruments;
The maggot is spread under you,
And worms cover you.’
12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
I don’t like it that the translators took such license, but the Hebrew word ‘Heylel’ doesn’t seem to be used anywhere else in the Bible. It DOES seem to be a name, and the Hebrew spelling is very close to praise – ‘Halel’. So, the reason why they chose ‘Lucifer’ because this ‘Heylel’ is the one who glorifies – or carries glory.
Luci = light
Fer = carry
ANNNND… the rest of the verse seems to indicate that this is Satan, so we should just leave it at that. But, I will still grumble at the insertion of a LATIN word, into the Old Testament.
Then, the Bible continues to make it clear that this is Satan:
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yup. Satan. THAT is who this is.
Now, I am tempted to analyze the rest of this chapter that deals with the fall of Satan. And, we KNOW that he falls and is placed in a bottomless pit for a thousand years, and I leave it to you to contemplate this.
Furthermore, this passage would seem to indicate that the salvation of Israel seems to connect with the Millennium. And, the discussion of Satan’s fall.
Satan is described as…
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
20a You will not be joined with them in burial,
Because you have destroyed your land
And slain your people…
Satan kills his own people and destroys his own land. And, we see a reason for God’s judgment and wrath upon the earth because…
21 Prepare slaughter for his children
Because of the iniquity of their fathers,
Lest they rise up and possess the land,
And fill the face of the world with cities.”
Then, the Lord switches the discussion back to the destruction of Babylon and then Assyria. Following that, a division is made with this verse:
28 This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.
That’s about 716 BC.
Again, remember that the chapter divisions are NOT inspired by God. So, think of this as the beginning of a new chapter. What follows is a description of the utter destruction of the Philistines:
But, Isaiah isn’t done writing. He has this last bit to say:
29 “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,
Because the rod that struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,
And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
30 The firstborn of the poor will feed,
And the needy will lie down in safety;
I will kill your roots with famine,
And it will slay your remnant.
31 Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!
All you of Philistia are dissolved;
For smoke will come from the north,
And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
I find it interesting that the Lord speaks of the Philistines in this passage.
The Palestinians have taken upon themselves the identity of the Philistines, which is what “Palestinian” means – the people of the Philistines.
But, notice how God ends this discussion of the destruction of the Philistines:
32 What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the Lord has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.
THAT is a GIGANTIC statement. God didn’t say “Israel”. He didn’t say Land of Israel. He said ZION.
Notice what the Palestinians are fighting over:
Iran gave the name ‘Jerusalem Force’ to the special operations branch of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). They use the Arabic name for Jerusalem:
In fact, it seems that a lot of people are intent on capturing and ruling over Jerusalem. Yet, God says:
The Lord has founded Zion
And, let me add this verse that was given to the children of Israel as they were about to cross the Jordan River and enter the land that was being given to them. That land was described as…
a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.
The eyes of the Lord are always on the Land of Israel.
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