Isaiah 47 – “Doom for Babylon”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Babylon is criticized and many of its citizens are doomed to die.

II. Photo
Babylon’s astrologers are futile: “You are helpless, despite all your art. Let them stand up and help you now, the scanners of heaven, the star-gazers, who announce, month by month, whatever will come upon you!” (v. 13)

III. Important Verses
1-3: Get down, sit in the dust, Fair Maiden Babylon; Sit, dethroned, on the ground, O Fair Chaldea; Nevermore shall they call you The tender and dainty one. Grasp the handmill and grind meal. Remove your veil, Strip off your train, bare your leg, Wade through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, And your shame shall be exposed. I will take vengeance, And let no man intercede.
6: I was angry at My people, I defiled My heritage; I put them into your hands, But you showed them no mercy. Even upon the aged you made Your yoke exceedingly heavy.
9: These two things shall come upon you, Suddenly, in one day: Loss of children and widowhood Shall come upon you in full measure, Despite your many enchantments And all your countless spells.
13-14: You are helpless, despite all your art. Let them stand up and help you now, The scanners of heaven, the star-gazers, Who announce, month by month, Whatever will come upon you. See, they are become like straw, Fire consumes them; They cannot save themselves From the power of the flame; This is no coal for warming oneself, No fire to sit by!

IV. Outline
1-5. Shame for Babylon
6-7. Babylon’s crime: excessively punishing Israel
8-9. Babylon’s men and children will die
10-15. Babylon’s futile star-gazers

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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