Isaiah 14 – “A Song About Babylon; Doom for Philistia”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Israel will return from Babylon and sing a song that mocks their former rulers. Philistia will be punished.

II. Photo
Babylon is castigated for its pride: “Once you thought in your heart, ‘I will climb to the sky; Higher than the stars of God I will set my throne. I will sit in the mount of assembly, On the summit of Zaphon: I will mount the back of a cloud — I will match the Most High.” (vv. 13-14)

III. Important Verses
3-4a: And when the LORD has given you rest from your sorrow and trouble, and from the hard service that you were made to serve, you shall recite this song of scorn over the king of Babylon…
7-8: All the earth is calm, untroubled; Loudly it cheers. Even pines rejoice at your fate, And cedars of Lebanon: “Now that you have lain down, None shall come up to fell us.”
12-17: How are you fallen from heaven, O Shining One, son of Dawn! How are you felled to earth, O vanquisher of nations! Once you thought in your heart, “I will climb to the sky; Higher than the stars of God I will set my throne. I will sit in the mount of assembly, On the summit of Zaphon: I will mount the back of a cloud — I will match the Most High.” Instead, you are brought down to Sheol, To the bottom of the Pit.  They who behold you stare; They peer at you closely: “Is this the man Who shook the earth, Who made realms tremble, Who made the world like a waste And wrecked its towns, Who never released his prisoners to their homes?”
20b-21: Let the breed of evildoers Nevermore be named! Prepare a slaughtering block for his sons Because of the guilt of their father. Let them not arise to possess the earth! Then the world’s face shall be covered with towns.

IV. Outline

1-27. Israel’s triumph over Babylon
    1-2. Israel will return from exile
    3-4a. Directive to recite the Babylon song
    4b-21. The song of Babylon
        4b-6. How the mighty have fallen
        7-8. The earth is calm and the trees are joyous
        9-11. Sheol and its inhabitants await the Babylonians
        12-15. How the mighty have fallen
        16-20a. An object of scorn
    20b-21. Imperative: let the descendants die out
    22-23. Oracle #1: God’s promise to destroy Babylon
    24-25a. Oracle #2: God’s promise to destroy Assyria
    25b-27. Affirmation
28-32. A pronouncement concerning Philistia
    28. Introduction
    29-32. Philistia will be broken and the oppressed will rise to power

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from http://www.brokendream.net/wallpapers/adventure_sports/Climbing_Thin_Ice,_The_Needles,_California.jpg

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