Scripture reading – Isaiah 13; Isaiah 14 

Continuing our chronological study of the Scriptures, we return to the prophecies of Isaiah, chapters 13 and 14. 

 

Isaiah 13 

 

The Rise of Babylon and Its Adversaries (Isaiah 13:1-5) 

 

While the Assyrian empire was the world’s dominant power in Isaiah’s day, the Chaldeans, whose capital was Babylon, were growing and would become the first world empire. Babylon’s prophetic importance was revealed in the opening verse of Isaiah 13, where we read, 1The burden [pronouncement] of [or concerning] Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see” (Isaiah 13:1). 

 

What was the “burden” Isaiah foresaw concerning Babylon? It was a prophecy of judgment well before that nation assumed its place on the world stage. Babylon invaded Judah, laid siege to Jerusalem, and took away God’s people. Even then, the LORD had determined His future judgment against that city and nation. 

 

Isaiah 13 was a prophetic summons to the world’s nations to gather against Babylon. They would witness that city destroyed by the armies of the Medes and Persians. Two centuries would pass, but Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled (Daniel 5).  

The Destruction of Babylon (Isaiah 13:19-22)

The Fall of Babylon (Isaiah 13:6-18) 

 

Reminded that God is Sovereign of the nations, the LORD would order the destruction of Babylon. Nearly two centuries before it came to pass, the LORD foretold the terror of His judgment and said, “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty” (Isaiah 13:6-8). That great city was destroyed in a night, and the wicked were punished, and the proud were brought low (Isaiah 13:9-13).  

 

Isaiah revealed that the LORD determined He would “stir up the Medes against” the Chaldeans, and the young men of the nation would be dashed “to pieces,” and the children would not be spared (Isaiah 13:17-18). 

 

The Destruction of Babylon (Isaiah 13:19-22) 

 

Isaiah 13:19-22 painted a graphic prophetic picture of the devastation Babylon eventually suffered. Comparing the destruction of “Sodom and Gomorrah” to Babylon, the glory and beauty of that great city were doomed (Isaiah 13:19). There have been men in my lifetime who aspired to rebuild Babylon, but Isaiah prophesied, “It shall never be inhabited, Neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; Neither shall the shepherds make their fold there” (Isaiah 13:20). 

 

The ruins of Babylon remain buried under the sands of the desert and testify to the sovereignty and omniscience of the LORD (Isaiah 13:20-22). 

 

Isaiah 14 

 

The LORD Promised to Remember His People (Isaiah 14:1-3) 

 

Isaiah 14 continued the LORD’s prophecy against Babylon. The opening verses of this chapter offered hope to the Jews in captivity that they would one day be restored to their land.  Remarkably, the destruction of Babylon, considered unassailable in its day, was prophetically fulfilled in detail. 

 

The Prophecy Against the King of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4-20) 

 

The king of Babylon presided over the most powerful and influential nation the world had ever known. Yet, because Babylon persecuted the Jews and later destroyed Jerusalem and Judah, the LORD foretold that “the golden city” would cease, and “the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers” would be broken (Isaiah 14:4-5). The king of Babylon was doomed, and “the whole earth [would] break forth into singing” (Isaiah 14:7). Indeed, hell itself was stirred at the entrance of the fallen king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:9). 

the fall of the archangel Lucifer

Isaiah 14:12-14 compared the sudden fall of the king of Babylon with the fall of the archangel Lucifer. Though that angel was the “son of the morning,” he was cast out of the presence of God (Isaiah 14:12).  The sinful pride that moved Lucifer to challenge the God of Heaven was the sin that moved Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, to boast he would assail Israel and “exalt [his] throne above the stars of God” (perhaps a reference to the Jews).  

 

Babylon’s king declared he would “sit also upon the mount of the congregation,” which was most likely a reference to Mount Zion upon which Jerusalem was built (Isaiah 14:13). In fact, the parallel between the fall of Lucifer and the king of Babylon continued in verse 15, where we read, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). 

 

Isaiah 14:16-23 completed the prophecy against the king of Babylon. Isaiah revealed how the world would gaze upon the king’s lifeless body. The people would look upon the fallen king of Babylon and wonder that so powerful a man was brought low to the grave like all men. 

 

Closing thoughts –  

 

Friend, we have seen that the most powerful king of ancient days faced the enemy of all humanity…Death. Death is no respecter of persons. Death is the great equalizer. The small and great, famous and infamous, the rich and poor should remember: “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”(Hebrews 9:27).  

 

Inevitably, every man and woman will stand before God’s judgment, and “every knee shall bow…and every tongue shall confess to God. 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:11-12). “Every man [shall be judged] according to [his] works…15And whosoever [is] not found written in the book of life [will be] cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12-15). 

 

Are you ready to face God’s judgment? 

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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