14:1 The Lord will certainly have compassion on Jacob; 1 he will again choose Israel as his special people 2 and restore 3 them to their land. Resident foreigners will join them and unite with the family 4 of Jacob. 14:2 Nations will take them and bring them back to their own place. Then the family of Jacob will make foreigners their servants as they settle in the Lord’s land. 5 They will make their captors captives and rule over the ones who oppressed them. 14:3 When the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and anxiety, 6 and from the hard labor which you were made to perform, 14:4 you will taunt the king of Babylon with these words: 7
“Look how the oppressor has met his end!
Hostility 8 has ceased!
14:5 The Lord has broken the club of the wicked,
the scepter of rulers.
with unceasing blows. 10
It angrily ruled over nations,
oppressing them without restraint. 11
14:7 The whole earth rests and is quiet;
they break into song.
as do the cedars of Lebanon, singing, 13
‘Since you fell asleep, 14
no woodsman comes up to chop us down!’ 15
ready to meet you when you arrive.
It rouses 17 the spirits of the dead for you,
all the former leaders of the earth; 18
it makes all the former kings of the nations
rise from their thrones. 19
14:10 All of them respond to you, saying:
‘You too have become weak like us!
You have become just like us!
as well as the sound of your stringed instruments. 21
You lie on a bed of maggots,
with a blanket of worms over you. 22
14:12 Look how you have fallen from the sky,
O shining one, son of the dawn! 23
You have been cut down to the ground,
“I will climb up to the sky.
Above the stars of El 27
I will set up my throne.
I will rule on the mountain of assembly
on the remote slopes of Zaphon. 28
I will make myself like the Most High!” 30
to the remote slopes of the pit. 32
14:16 Those who see you stare at you,
they look at you carefully, thinking: 33
“Is this the man who shook the earth,
the one who made kingdoms tremble?
14:17 Is this the one who made the world like a desert,
who ruined its 34 cities,
and refused to free his prisoners so they could return home?”’ 35
each in his own tomb. 39
14:19 But you have been thrown out of your grave
like a shoot that is thrown away. 40
You lie among 41 the slain,
among those who have been slashed by the sword,
as if you were a mangled corpse. 44
because you destroyed your land
and killed your people.
The offspring of the wicked
will never be mentioned again.
for the sins their ancestors have committed. 47
They must not rise up and take possession of the earth,
or fill the surface of the world with cities.” 48
14:22 “I will rise up against them,”
says the Lord who commands armies.
“I will blot out all remembrance of Babylon and destroy all her people, 49
including the offspring she produces,” 50
says the Lord.
and covered with pools of stagnant water.
I will get rid of her, just as one sweeps away dirt with a broom,” 52
says the Lord who commands armies.
[14:1] 1 tn The sentence begins with כִּי (ki), which is understood as asseverative (“certainly”) in the translation. Another option is to translate, “For the Lord will have compassion.” In this case one of the reasons for Babylon’s coming demise (13:22b) is the Lord’s desire to restore his people.
[14:4] 8 tc The word in the Hebrew text (מַדְהֵבָה, madhevah) is unattested elsewhere and of uncertain meaning. Many (following the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa) assume a dalet-resh (ד-ר) confusion and emend the form to מַרְהֵבָה (marhevah, “onslaught”). See HALOT 548 s.v. II *מִדָּה and HALOT 633 s.v. *מַרְהֵבָה.
[14:9] 17 tn Heb “arousing.” The form is probably a Polel infinitive absolute, rather than a third masculine singular perfect, for Sheol is grammatically feminine (note “stirred up”). See GKC 466 §145.t.
[14:9] 19 tn Heb “lifting from their thrones all the kings of the nations.” הֵקִים (heqim, a Hiphil perfect third masculine singular) should be emended to an infinitive absolute (הָקֵים, haqem). See the note on “rouses” earlier in the verse.
[14:12] 23 tn The Hebrew text has הֵילֵל בֶּן־שָׁחַר (helel ben-shakhar, “Helel son of Shachar”), which is probably a name for the morning star (Venus) or the crescent moon. See HALOT 245 s.v. הֵילֵל.
[14:12] sn What is the background for the imagery in vv. 12-15? This whole section (vv. 4b-21) is directed to the king of Babylon, who is clearly depicted as a human ruler. Other kings of the earth address him in vv. 9ff., he is called “the man” in v. 16, and, according to vv. 19-20, he possesses a physical body. Nevertheless the language of vv. 12-15 has led some to see a dual referent in the taunt song. These verses, which appear to be spoken by other pagan kings to a pagan king (cf. vv. 9-11), contain several titles and motifs that resemble those of Canaanite mythology, including references to Helel son of Shachar, the stars of El, the mountain of assembly, the recesses of Zaphon, and the divine title Most High. Apparently these verses allude to a mythological story about a minor god (Helel son of Shachar) who tried to take over Zaphon, the mountain of the gods. His attempted coup failed and he was hurled down to the underworld. The king of Babylon is taunted for having similar unrealized delusions of grandeur. Some Christians have seen an allusion to the fall of Satan here, but this seems contextually unwarranted (see J. Martin, “Isaiah,” BKCOT, 1061).
[14:12] 25 sn In this line the taunting kings hint at the literal identity of the king, after likening him to the god Helel and a tree. The verb גָדַע (gada’, “cut down”) is used of chopping down trees in 9:10 and 10:33.
[14:14] 29 tn Heb “the high places.” This word often refers to the high places where pagan worship was conducted, but here it probably refers to the “backs” or tops of the clouds. See HALOT 136 s.v. בָּמָה.
[14:14] 30 sn Normally in the OT the title “Most High” belongs to the God of Israel, but in this context, where the mythological overtones are so strong, it probably refers to the Canaanite high god El.
[14:17] 34 tc The pronominal suffix is masculine, even though its antecedent appears to be the grammatically feminine noun “world.” Some have suggested that the form עָרָיו (’arayv, plural noun with third masculine singular suffix) should be emended to עָרֶיהָ (’areha, plural noun with third feminine singular suffix). This emendation may be unnecessary in light of other examples of lack of agreement a suffix and its antecedent noun.
[14:17] 35 tn Heb “and his prisoners did not let loose to [their] homes.” This really means, “he did not let loose his prisoners and send them back to their homes.’ On the elliptical style, see GKC 366 §117.o.
[14:18] 36 sn It is unclear where the quotation of the kings, begun in v. 10b, ends. However, the reference to the “kings of the nations” in v. 18 (see also v. 9) seems to indicate that the quotation has ended at this point and that Israel’s direct taunt (cf. vv. 4b-10a) has resumed. In fact the references to the “kings of the nations” may form a stylistic inclusio or frame around the quotation.
[14:19] 40 tn Heb “like a shoot that is abhorred.” The simile seems a bit odd; apparently it refers to a small shoot that is trimmed from a plant and tossed away. Some prefer to emend נֵצֶר (netser, “shoot”); some propose נֵפֶל (nefel, “miscarriage”). In this case one might paraphrase: “like a horrible-looking fetus that is delivered when a woman miscarries.”
[14:23] 51 tn Heb “I will make her into a possession of wild animals.” It is uncertain what type of animal קִפֹּד (qippod) refers to. Some suggest a rodent (cf. NASB, NRSV “hedgehog”), others an owl (cf, NAB, NIV, TEV).