Isaiah 14:28
In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.
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(28) In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.—The prophecies against Babylon and Assyria are naturally followed by a series of like predictions, dealing with other nations which played their part in the great drama of the time. The date of that which comes next in order is obviously specified, either by Isaiah himself or by the compiler of his prophecies, that it might be seen that it was not a prophecy after the event. The death-year of Ahaz was B.C. 727. It was natural that the prophet’s thoughts should be much exercised then, as in the year of Uzziah’s death (Isaiah 6:1), on the uncertainties of the coming future, and the “burden” was the answer to his searchings of heart. It was probably delivered before the king’s death. (See Note on Isaiah 6:1.)

Isaiah 14:28-29. In the year Ahaz died was this burden — This is the second sermon of this second part of Isaiah’s prophecies, (see the general argument, and the contents of chap. 13.,) in which the prophet denounces judgment against the Philistines, exulting in the prosperous state of their affairs, under the reign of Ahaz, and conceiving on the death of that king, when this prophecy was delivered, still greater hopes of increasing prosperity. Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina — Hebrew, Palestina, כלךְ, all of thee, that is, all thy tribes, or clans. For they were still, as formerly, it seems, under the government of five lords or heads, 1 Samuel 6:16; because the rod of him that smote thee is broken — Because Ahaz, the son of Uzziah, thy deadly enemy, is cut off; or, because the power of the kings of Judah, who were wont to be a great scourge to thee, is now much impaired. Uzziah had smitten and subdued the Philistines, 2 Chronicles 26:6-7; but, taking advantage of the weak reign of Ahaz, they had since then not only recovered their former power, but had gained much more, had even invaded Judea, and taken and held in possession divers cities and villages in the southern part of that kingdom, 2 Chronicles 28:18. But the prophet here foretels the grievous calamities which they should suffer as well from Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, as from the Assyrians; thus humbling their pride and boasting, and encouraging the pious and afflicted Jews with the hope of better times. For out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice — Or basilisk, as Bishop Lowth translates צפע, a serpent of the most poisonous kind, termed שׂרŠ מעופŠ, a fiery flying serpent, in the next clause. As if he had said, As much as a basilisk, or fiery flying serpent, is more to be dreaded than a common viper; so much more reason have you to fear Hezekiah than his grandfather Uzziah, because the grandson will gain greater victories over you. This Hezekiah did, for he smote the Philistines even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, 2 Kings 18:8. “A flying serpent,” says Lowth, “is what the Latins call serpens jaculus, which darts itself against any creature it meets; and they are called fiery, because they cause an inflammation where they sting.”14:28-32 Assurance is given of the destruction of the Philistines and their power, by famine and war. Hezekiah would be more terrible to them than Uzziah had been. Instead of rejoicing, there would be lamentation, for the whole land would be ruined. Such destruction will come upon the proud and rebellious, but the Lord founded Zion for a refuge to poor sinners, who flee from the wrath to come, and trust in his mercy through Christ Jesus. Let us tell all around of our comforts and security, and exhort them to seek the same refuge and salvation.In the year that king Ahaz died - This is the caption or title to the following prophecy, which occupies the remainder of this chapter. This prophecy has no connection with the preceding; and should have been separated from it in the division into chapters. It relates solely to Philistia; and the design is to comfort the Jews with the assurance that they had nothing to apprehend from them. It is not to call the Philistines to lamentation and alarm, for there is no evidence that the prophecy was promulgated among them (Vitringa); but it is to assure the Jews that they would be in no danger from their invasion under the reign of the successor of Ahaz, and that God would more signally overthrow and subdue them than had been done in his time. It is not improbable that at the death of Ahaz, and with the prospect of a change in the government on the accession of his successor, the Philistines, the natural enemies of Judah, had meditated the invasion of the Jews. The Philistines had been subdued in the time of Azariah 2 Kings 15:1-7, or Uzziah, as he is called in 2 Chronicles 26:1, who was the son and successor of Amaziah. He broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Gabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and effectually subdued and humbled them 2 Chronicles 26:6. In the time of Ahaz, and while he was engaged in his unhappy controversies with Syria and Ephraim, the Philistines took advantage of the enfeebled state of Judah, and made successful war on it, and took several of the towns 2 Chronicles 28:18; and at his death they had hope of being able to resist Judah, perhaps the more so as they apprehended that the reign of Hezekiah would be mild, peaceable, and unwarlike. Isaiah, in the prophecy before us, warns them not to entertain any such fallacious expectations, and assures them that his reign would be quite as disastrous to them as had been the reign of his predecessors.

Was this burden - See the note at Isaiah 13:1.

Isa 14:28-32. Prophecy against Philistia.

To comfort the Jews, lest they should fear that people; not in order to call the Philistines to repentance, since the prophecy was probably never circulated among them. They had been subdued by Uzziah or Azariah (2Ch 26:6); but in the reign of Ahaz (2Ch 28:18), they took several towns in south Judea. Now Isaiah denounces their final subjugation by Hezekiah.

28. In … year … Ahaz died—726 B.C. Probably it was in this year that the Philistines threw off the yoke put on them by Uzziah.

This following burdensome prophecy concerning the Philistines, who in Ahaz’s time made an inroad into Judah, and took divers of their cities and villages, 2 Chronicles 28:18. In the year that King Ahaz died was this burden. The following heavy prophecy, concerning the destruction of the Philistines; whether it was delivered out before or after his death is not certain. Here some begin the "fifteenth" chapter Isaiah 15:1, and not improperly; henceforward prophecies are delivered out under another reign, as before under Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz, now under Hezekiah. This, according to Bishop Usher, was A. M. 3278 and before the Christian era 726. In the year that king Ahaz died was this {q} burden.

(q) Read Geneva Isa 13:1

28. The superscription. The word “burden” (massâ’) makes it improbable that the verse was written by Isaiah. It may nevertheless embody a sound tradition.

the year that king Ahaz died] Cf. ch. Isaiah 6:1. Probably 727 b.c. (but see Chronological Note, pp. lxxvi f.).

Each verse of the short oracle forms a strophe of four lines.Verses 28-32. - THE BURDEN OF PHILISTIA. The Philistines had suffered grievously at the hands of Judah in the reign of Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6), and had retaliated in the reign of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:18). It would seem that after this they were invaded by Tiglath-Pileser, who penetrated as far as Gaza, which lie took ('Records of the Past,' vol. 5. p. 51) and made tributary, as he also did Ascalon ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. it. p. 399). Tiglath-Pileser died shortly before Ahaz, and the present "burden" seems to have been uttered in connection with his death. Isaiah warns Philistia (equivalent to "Palestina") that her rejoicing is premature; Tiglath-Pileser will have successors as powerful and as cruel as himself, and these successors will carry destruction and ravage over the whole land. Verse 28. - In the year that King Ahaz died was this burden. These words introduce the "burden of Philistia," and shows that it is chronologically out of place, since the prophecies from Isaiah 10. to Isaiah 14:1-27 have belonged to the reign of Hezekiah. Ahaz appears to have died early in B.C. 725. Thus far the prophet has spoken in the name of God. But the prophecy closes with a word of God Himself, spoken through the prophet. "And I will rise up against them, saith Jehovah of hosts, and root out in Babel name and remnant, sprout and shoot, saith Jehovah. And make it the possession of hedgehogs and marshes of water, and sweep it away with the bosom of destruction, saith Jehovah of hosts." שם ושאר and נין ונכד are two pairs of alliterative proverbial words, and are used to signify "the whole, without exception" (compare the Arabic expression "Kiesel und Kies," "flint and pebble," in the sense of "altogether:" Nldecke, Poesie der alten Araber, p. 162). Jehovah rises against the descendants of the king of Babylon, and exterminates Babylon utterly, root and branch. The destructive forces, which Babylon has hitherto been able to control by raising artificial defences, are now let loose; and the Euphrates, left without a dam, lays the whole region under water. Hedgehogs now take the place of men, and marshes the place of palaces. The kippod occurs in Isaiah 34:11 and Zephaniah 2:14, in the company of birds; but according to the derivation of the word and the dialects, it denotes the hedgehog, which possesses the power of rolling itself up (lxx ἔρημον ὥστε κατοικεῖν ἐχίνους), and which, although it can neither fly, nor climb with any peculiar facility, on account of its mode of walking, could easily get upon the knob of a pillar that had been thrown down (Zephaniah 2:14). The concluding threat makes the mode of Babel's origin the omen of its end: the city of טיט, i.e., Babylon, which had been built for the most part of clay or brick-earth, would be strangely swept away. The pilpel טאטא (or טאטא, as Kimchi conjugates it in Michlol 150ab, and in accordance with which some codices and early editions read וטאטאתיה with double zere) belongs to the cognate root which is mentioned at Psalm 42:5, with an opening ד, ט, ס (cf., Isaiah 27:8), and which signifies to drive or thrust away. מטאטא is that with which anything is driven out or swept away, viz., a broom. Jehovah treats Babylon as rubbish, and sweeps it away, destruction (hashmēd: an inf. absol. used as a substantive) serving Him as a broom.
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