Isaiah 48 – “God’s Involvement in the Fall of Babylon”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God insists that he predicted and caused the fall of Babylon. He also urges the exiles to return.

II. Photo
God urges the people to follow him: “If only you would heed my commands! Then your prosperity would be like a river, your triumph like the waves of the sea!” (v. 18)

III. Important Verses
3-5: Long ago, I foretold things that happened, From My mouth they issued, and I announced them; Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. Because I know how stubborn you are (Your neck is like an iron sinew And your forehead bronze), Therefore I told you long beforehand, Announced things to you ere they happened — That you might not say, “My idol caused them, My carved and molten images ordained them.”
8b-9: Though I know that you are treacherous, That you were called a rebel from birth, For the sake of My name I control My wrath; To My own glory, I am patient with you, And I will not destroy you.
20-21: Go forth from Babylon, Flee from Chaldea! Declare this with loud shouting, Announce this, Bring out the word to the ends of the earth! Say: “The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob!” They have known no thirst, Though He led them through parched places; He made water flow for them from the rock; He cleaved the rock and water gushed forth.

IV. Outline

1-16a. Speech #1
    1-2. Condemnatory address to Israel
    3-8a. God told Israel of the things to come
    8b-11. God punishes Israel instead of destroying it
    12-13a. God is the creator
    13b-16a. God predicted Babylon’s fall before it happened
16b-22. Speech #2
    16b-17a. The prophet’s introductory remarks
    17b-19. Following God engenders success
    20-21. The Babylonian exiles should be told to return
    22. The wicked will not prosper

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).
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