The Vision of Isaiah

Chapter 14

God's merciful restoration of Israel, 1, 2. Their triumphant exultation over Babel, 3-23. God's purpose against Assyria, 24-28. Palestina is threatened, 29-32.

1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land. And the strangers shall be joined with them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. 2 And the people shall take them and bring them to their place. And the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for men-servants and women-servants. And they shall take them captives, whose captives they were, and they shall rule over their oppressors.

3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, from your fear, and from the hard bondage in which you were made to serve,

4 That you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon and say,

"How the oppressor has ceased!/
The golden city ceased!

The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked/
and the scepter of the rulers.

He who smote the people in wrath/
with a continual stroke,/
he who ruled the nations in anger/
is persecuted, and no one hinders.

The whole earth is at rest and is quiet./
They break forth into singing.

Even the fir-trees/
and the cedars of Lebanon rejoice at you, saying,/
'Since you are laid down,/
no feller has come up against us.'

Hell from beneath is moved for you/
to meet you at your coming./
It stirs up the dead for you,/
even all the chief ones of the earth./
It has raised up from their thrones/
all the kings of the nations.

10 All of them shall speak and say to you,/
'Have you also become weak as we are?/
Have you become like us?'

11 Your pomp is brought down to the grave,/
and also the noise of your harps./
The worm is spread under you,/
and the worms cover you.

12 How you have fallen from heaven,/
O morning-star, son of the dawn!/
How you are cut down to the ground,/
who weakened the nations!

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 upon the mountain of the congregation/
in the uttermost parts of the north.

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds./
I will be like the Most High.'

15 Yet you shall be brought down to hell,/
to the sides of the pit.

16 Those who see you shall narrowly look upon you/
and consider you, saying,/
'Is this the man who made the earth to tremble,/
who shook kingdoms,

17 Who made the world as a wilderness/
and destroyed its cities,/
who did not open the house of his prisoners?'

18 All the kings of the nations,/
even all of them, lie in glory,/
each in his own house.

19 But you are cast out of your grave/
like an abominable branch/
and as the clothing of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword,/
who go down to the stones of the pit,/
as a carcass trodden under feet.

20 You shall not be joined with them in burial/
because you have destroyed your land/
and slain your people./
The offspring of evil-doers/
shall never be renowned.

21 Prepare slaughter for his children/
for the iniquity of their fathers,/
so that they may not rise, nor possess the land,/
nor fill the face of the world with cities."

22 "For I will arise against them," says the LORD of hosts, "and cut off from Babylon the name, remnant, son, and nephew," says the LORD. 23 "I will also make it a possession for the bittern and pools of water. And I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says the LORD of hosts.

24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand. 25 I will break the Assyrian in my land and upon my mountains tread him under foot. Then his yoke shall depart from off them and his burden shall depart from off their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth. And this is the hand that is stretched over all the nations. 27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who shall make it void? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"

28 [In the year that king Ahaz died, this burden came.]

29 Do not rejoice, all Palestina,/
because the rod of him who smote you is broken./
For out of the serpent's root shall come forth an adder,/
and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

30 And the first-born of the poor shall feed,/
and the needy shall lie down in safety./
And I will kill your root with famine,/
and he shall slay your remnant.

31 Howl, O gate. Cry, O city./
You, all Palestina, are dissolved./
For there shall come from the north a smoke,/
and no one shall be alone in his appointed times.

32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation?/
That the LORD has founded Zion/
and the poor of his people shall trust in it.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 14[➚]


[v.12] - This is a verse of some controversy. The Latin Vulgate and early English texts have "Lucifer" in place of "morning-star." The Greek Septuagint has the word, εωσφόρος (Heōsphóros), which is made up of two words: εωσ, dawn, and φόρος, to bear or carry. The Hebrew word used is, הֵילֵל (hay-lale'), which means, morning-star. Lucifer is a Latin word that means morning-star, day-star, or bringer of light. It also refers to the planet Venus as the bright object in the sky in the morning, hence morning-star. Where the controversy arises is in the person of Lucifer. Many think Lucifer to be Satan, but this is not the case because of the context in which this passage resides. Here is some commentary from John Calvin:

"The exposition of this passage, which some have given, as if it referred to Satan, has arisen from ignorance; for the context plainly shows that these statements must be understood in reference to the king of the Babylonians. But when passages of Scripture are taken up at random, and no attention is paid to the context, we need not wonder that mistakes of this kind frequently arise. Yet it was an instance of very gross ignorance, to imagine that Lucifer was the king of devils, and that the Prophet gave him this name. But as these inventions have no probability whatever, let us pass by them as useless fables."

Here is a passage from John Gill's Exposition:

"O Lucifer, son of the morning! alluding to the star Venus, which is the phosphorus or morning star, which ushers in the light of the morning, and shows that day is at hand; by which is meant, not Satan, who is never in Scripture called Lucifer, though he was once an angel of light, and sometimes transforms himself into one, and the good angels are called morning stars (Job 38:7), and such he and his angels once were; but the king of Babylon is intended, whose royal glory and majesty, as outshining all the rest of the kings of the earth, is expressed by those names; and which perhaps were such as he took himself, or were given him by his courtiers."

Here is the entry for הֵילֵל in the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon:

"Noun masculine appellative. Shining one, epithet of king of Babylon... Isaiah 14:12 how art thou fallen, shinning one, son of dawn! i.e. star of the morning."

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary applies this not only to the king of Babylon, but also to Antichrist. Here is the passage:

"The language is so framed as to apply to the Babylonian king primarily, and at the same time to shadow forth through him, the great final enemy, the man of sin, Antichrist, of Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John; he alone shall fulfill exhaustively all the lineaments here given. [Verse] 12. Lucifer—'day star.' A title truly belonging to Christ (Revelation 22:16), 'the bright and morning star,' and therefore hereafter to be assumed by Antichrist."