Isaiah 14:7
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
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(7) They break forth into singing . . .—The phrase is noticeable as characteristic of Isaiah (Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 55:12), and is not found elsewhere. The emancipated nations are represented as exulting in the unfamiliar peace that follows on the downfall of their oppressor.

14:1-23 The whole plan of Divine Providence is arranged with a view to the good of the people of God. A settlement in the land of promise is of God's mercy. Let the church receive those whom God receives. God's people, wherever their lot is cast, should endeavour to recommend religion by a right and winning conversation. Those that would not be reconciled to them, should be humbled by them. This may be applied to the success of the gospel, when those were brought to obey it who had opposed it. God himself undertakes to work a blessed change. They shall have rest from their sorrow and fear, the sense of their present burdens, and the dread of worse. Babylon abounded in riches. The king of Babylon having the absolute command of so much wealth, by the help of it ruled the nations. This refers especially to the people of the Jews; and it filled up the measure of the king of Babylon's sins. Tyrants sacrifice their true interest to their lusts and passions. It is gracious ambition to covet to be like the Most Holy, for he has said, Be ye holy, for I am holy; but it is sinful ambition to aim to be like the Most High, for he has said, He who exalts himself shall be abased. The devil thus drew our first parents to sin. Utter ruin should be brought upon him. Those that will not cease to sin, God will make to cease. He should be slain, and go down to the grave; this is the common fate of tyrants. True glory, that is, true grace, will go up with the soul to heaven, but vain pomp will go down with the body to the grave; there is an end of it. To be denied burial, if for righteousness' sake, may be rejoiced in, Mt 5:12. But if the just punishment of sin, it denotes that impenitent sinners shall rise to everlasting shame and contempt. Many triumphs should be in his fall. God will reckon with those that disturb the peace of mankind. The receiving the king of Babylon into the regions of the dead, shows there is a world of spirits, to which the souls of men remove at death. And that souls have converse with each other, though we have none with them; and that death and hell will be death and hell indeed, to all who fall unholy, from the height of this world's pomps, and the fulness of its pleasures. Learn from all this, that the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned. The royal city is to be ruined and forsaken. Thus the utter destruction of the New Testament Babylon is illustrated, Re 18:2. When a people will not be made clean with the besom of reformation, what can they expect but to be swept off the face of the earth with the besom of destruction?The whole earth is at rest - The kingdom of Babylonia, or Chaldea, extended nearly over the whole pagan world. Now that Babylon was fallen, and that those oppressions would cease, the world is represented as in peace and quietness.

They break forth into singing - That is, the inhabitants of all the nations that were subject to Babylon now rejoice that they are released from its galling and oppressive yoke.

7. they—the once subject nations of the whole earth. Houbigant places the stop after "fir trees" (Isa 14:8), "The very fir trees break forth," &c. But the parallelism is better in English Version. The whole earth; the inhabitants and subjects of that vast empire, who groaned under their cruel bondage. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet,.... The troubler of them being gone; and which will be the ease of the people of God, who in the latter day will fill the face of the earth, when the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire; and especially when Satan shall be bound, and put in prison for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more, Revelation 19:20,

they break forth into singing; that is, the inhabitants of the earth, because of the fall of the king of Babylon, they being delivered from so great a tyrant or oppressor; or, "utter a song of praise", as the Targum, Aben Ezra says the word in the Arabic language is expressive of "clearness", and so it does signify to speak purely, dearly, and fluently, with open, mouth, and a clear voice (z); it is rendered in Psalm 98:4 "make a loud noise"; by singing a joyful song; and such a song will be sung by the church, when the mystical Babylon is fallen; see Revelation 15:2.

(z) "perspicuo, puriore sermone fuit, fluida oratione disertas fuit, ----diserte, eleganter locutus est", Castel. col. 3040.

The whole earth is at {e} rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.

(e) Meaning that where tyrants reign, there can be no rest or quietness and also how detestable a thing tyranny is, seeing the insensible creatures have opportunity to rejoice at their destruction.

7. they break forth into singing] A favourite idea in the second part of the book: ch. Isaiah 44:23, Isaiah 49:13, Isaiah 54:1, Isaiah 55:12.Verse 7. - At rest... singing. The first result of the fall of Babylon is general peace, rest, and quiet; then the nations, recognizing the blessedness of the change, burst out into a song of rejoicing. The peace did not really continue very long; for Persia took up the role of conqueror which Babylon had been forced to drop, and, under Cambyses and Darius Hystaspis, produced as much stir and disturbance as had been caused by Babylon., Still, there was an interval of about eleven years between the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus ( B.C. 538), and the expedition by Cambyses against Egypt ( B.C. 527). But it is love to His own people which impels the God of Israel to suspend such a judgment of eternal destruction over Babylon. "For Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will once more choose Israel, and will settle them in their own land: and the foreigner will associate with them, and they will cleave to the house of Jacob. And nations take them, and accompany them to their place; and the house of Israel takes them to itself in the land of Jehovah for servants and maid-servants: and they hold in captivity those who led them away captive; and become lords over their oppressors." We have here in nuce the comforting substance of chapters 46-66. Babylon falls that Israel may rise. This is effected by the compassion of God. He chooses Israel once more (iterum, as in Job 14:7 for example), and therefore makes a new covenant with it. Then follows their return to Canaan, their own land, Jehovah's land (as in Hosea 9:3). Proselytes from among the heathen, who have acknowledged the God of the exiles, go along with them, as Ruth did with Naomi. Heathen accompany the exiles to their own place. And now their relative positions are reversed. Those who accompany Israel are now taken possession of by the latter (hithnachēl, κληρονομεῖν ἑαυτῷ, like hithpattēach, Isaiah 52:2, λύεσθαι; cf., p. 62, note, and Ewald, 124, b), as servants and maid-servants; and they (the Israelites) become leaders into captivity of those who led them into captivity (Lamed with the participle, as in Isaiah 11:9), and they will oppress (râdâh b', as in Psalm 49:15) their oppressors. This retribution of life for like is to all appearance quite out of harmony with the New Testament love. But in reality it is no retribution of like for like. For, according to the prophet's meaning, to be ruled by the people of God is the true happiness of the nations, and to allow themselves to be so ruled is their true liberty. At the same time, the form in which the promise is expressed is certainly not that of the New Testament; and it would not possibly have been so, for the simple reason that in Old Testament times, and from an Old Testament point of view, there was no other visible manifestation of the church (ecclesia) than in the form of a nation. This national form of the church has been broken up under the New Testament, and will never be restored. Israel, indeed, will be restored as a nation; but the true essence of the church, which is raised above all national distinctions, will never return to those worldly limits which it has broken through. And the fact that the prophecy moves within those limits here may be easily explained, on the ground that it is primarily the deliverance from the Babylonian captivity to which the promise refers. And the prophet himself was unconscious that this captivity would be followed by another.
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