Summary of passage: The King of Babylon will be greeted in Hell by other evil leaders. Maggots and worms will cover you and all the pomp and noise of your harps on Earth will disappear. Babylon will be cast down despite its dominant past. The King’s heart boasted how he will ascend to heaven and sit on a throne above God, how he will be above the clouds and like the Most High. But instead the king will live in the depths of the pit. He will be cast out of his own tomb and covered with the slain–all in punishment for his crimes of destroying lands and killing people. The Lord will cut off Babylon, her name, her survivors, and her descendants. The Lord declares,”…as I have planned, so will it be…”. Assyria will be crushed and the Lord’s people’s burden will be removed. The Philistines will not be spared either after Assyria is defeated. They will be destroyed by famine and melted away by a cloud from the north.
9)The Babylonian King believes he is the supreme ruler of the world, invincible and all mighty. He believes he will ascend to heaven and raise his throne above the stars of God. He believes he will sit the highest (above God) and above the clouds and he will make himself like the Most High. Here Isaiah says he will be brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit (Hell). He will be cast out of his tomb and be covered with the slain and with those pierced by the sword. I find the irony in how the King of Babylon’s pride and arrogance makes him believe he’s above God and in the end He will be the lowliest of the low.
10) Maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. There is no pomp, no music. For the wicked, this is their fate. Going off of just this one passage, for the good, their fate must be the opposite. Instead of wallowing in Hell’s pit, you will rise to Heaven. Instead of being covered in maggots, you will be covered in God (maggots being the lowly of the low, God being the highest of the high). Instead of no pomp and music, you will experience much celebration and cheer.
b) The Lord will rise up against Babylon and eliminate its name, survivors, and descendants from the Earth. The city will be swampland, a place for owls, a home for demons, and a haunt for every evil spirit and unclean bird. The city of Babylon will be completely destroyed, never to be found again.
12a) The Lord begins by saying, “…as I have planned, so it will be…” leaving no doubt for the people that God is in charge. God says He will crush the Assyrians in His land. The yoke and burden of Assyria will be removed from the people. Against the Philistines, God says just because Assyria is defeated, does not mean the Philistines are off the hook. He is not finished with His judgments against them. So, the oracle says the Philistines will be destroyed by famine. He describes a cloud of smoke coming from the north (which is possibly referring to Babylon), saying the Philistines will melt away, which in essence, happens (see my explanation below).
[Side note: Being curious as to how the mention of the Philistines fit into Assyria, I researched the Philistines and here is what I found.]
Philistines were one of Judah’s neighbors and they were constantly at war with the Israelites, frequently invading. Assyria defeated them in 732 BC and when Babylon conquered Judah, the Philistines were swallowed up in the Babylonian empire. The Bible makes little reference to them after this time period and we can only assume they were assimilated amongst the peoples.
Being a visual person, here’s another really nice map that gives you a sense of the lay out of the lands:
Information taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philistines
b) Personal Question. My answer: To me, it means no matter how much I fight God and His purposes for my life, He will win out in the end, which is very encouraging, especially when I’m in the midst of uncertainty. To know despite all my mistakes, God is in charge and will put me where he wants me brings me a level of peace to my life.
Conclusions: Good lesson. You learn how despite what man thinks, God’s will prevails, and sometimes man is oblivious to it all until the very end. God is the judge and eventually everyone answers to him and suffers the consequences of their actions. God is in charge. Period.