Isaiah 14:6
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution.

King James Bible
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.

American Standard Version
that smote the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, that ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained.

Douay-Rheims Bible
That struck the people in wrath with an incurable wound, that brought nations under in fury, that persecuted in a cruel manner.

English Revised Version
that smote the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, that ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained.

Webster's Bible Translation
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.

Isaiah 14:6 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Babel, like the cities of the Pentapolis, had now become a perpetual desert. "She remains uninhabited for ever, and unoccupied into generation of generations; and not an Arab pitches his tent there, and shepherds do not make their folds there. And there lie beasts of the desert, and horn-owls fill their houses; and ostriches dwell there, and field-devils hop about there. And jackals howl in her castles, and wild dogs in palaces of pleasure; and her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged." The conclusion is similar to that of the prophecy against Edom, in Isaiah 34:16-17. There the certainty of the prediction, even in its most minute particulars, is firmly declared; here the nearness of the time of fulfilment. But the fulfilment did not take place so soon as the words of the prophecy might make it appear. According to Herodotus, Cyrus, the leader of the Medo-Persian army, left the city still standing, with its double ring of walls. Darius Hystaspis, who had to conquer Babylon a second time in 518 b.c., had the walls entirely destroyed, with the exception of fifty cubits. Xerxes gave the last thrust to the glory of the temple of Belus. Having been conquered by Seleucus Nicator (312), it declined just in proportion as Seleucia rose. Babylon, says Pliny, ad solitudinem rediit exhausta vicinitate Seleuciae. At the time of Strabo (born 60 b.c.) Babylon was a perfect desert; and he applies to it (16:15) the words of the poet, ἐρημία μεγάλη ̓στὶν ἡ μεγάλη πόλις. Consequently, in the passage before us the prophecy falls under the law of perspective foreshortening. But all that it foretells has been literally fulfilled. The curse that Babylon would never come to be settled in and inhabited again (a poetical expression, like Jeremiah 17:25; Jeremiah 33:16), proved itself an effectual one, when Alexander once thought of making Babylon the metropolis of his empire. He was carried off by an early death. Ten thousand workmen were at that time employed for two months in simply clearing away the rubbish of the foundations of the temple of Belus (the Nimrod-tower). "Not an Arab pitches his tent there" (‛Arâbi, from ‛Arâbâh, a steppe, is used here for the first time in the Old Testament, and then again in Jeremiah 3:2; yăhēl, different from yâhēl in Isaiah 13:10 and Job 31:26, is a syncopated form of יאהל, tentorium figet, according to Ges. 68, Anm. 2, used instead of the customary יאהל): this was simply the natural consequence of the great field of ruins, upon which there was nothing but the most scanty vegetation. But all kinds of beasts of the desert and waste places make their homes there instead. The list commences with ziyyim (from zi, dryness, or from ziyi, an adj. relat. of the noun zi), i.e., dwellers in the desert; the reference here is not to men, but, as in most other instances, to animals, though it is impossible to determine what are the animals particularly referred to. That ochim are horned owls (Uhus) is a conjecture of Aurivillius, which decidedly commends itself. On benoth ya‛ănâh, see at Job 39:13-18. Wetzstein connects ya‛ănâh with an Arabic word for desert; it is probably more correct, however, to connect it with the Syriac יענא, greedy. The feminine plural embraces ostriches of both sexes, just as the 'iyyim (sing. אי equals אוי, from 'âvâh, to howl: see Bernstein's Lex. on Kirsch's Chrestom. Syr. p. 7), i.e., jackals, are called benât āwa in Arabic, without distinction of sex (awa in this appellation is a direct reproduction of the natural voice of the animal, which is called wawi in vulgar Arabic). Tan has also been regarded since the time of Pococke and Schnurrer as the name of the jackal; and this is supported by the Syriac and Targum rendering yaruro (see Bernstein, p. 220), even more than by the Arabic name of the wolf, tinân, which only occurs here and there. אי, ibnu āwa, is the common jackal found in Hither Asia (Canis aureus vulgaris), the true type of the whole species, which is divided into at least ten varieties, and belongs to the same genus as dogs and wolves (not foxes). Tan may refer to one of these varieties, which derived its name from its distinctive peculiarity as a long-stretched animal, whether the extension was in the trunk, the snout, or the tail.

The animals mentioned, both quadrupeds (râbatz) and birds (shâcan), are really found there, on the soil of ancient Babylon. When Kerporter was drawing near to the Nimrod-tower, he saw lions sunning themselves quietly upon its walls, which came down very leisurely when alarmed by the cries of the Arabs. And as Rich heard in Bagdad, the ruins are still regarded as a rendezvous for ghosts: sâ‛ir, when contrasted with ‛attūd, signifies the full-grown shaggy buck-goat; but here se‛irim is applied to demons in the shape of goats (as in Isaiah 34:14). According to the Scriptures, the desert is the abode of unclean spirits, and such unclean spirits as the popular belief or mythology pictured to itself were se‛irim. Virgil, like Isaiah, calls them saltantes Satyros. It is remarkable also that Joseph Wolf, the missionary and traveller to Bochâra, saw pilgrims of the sect of Yezidis (or devil-worshippers) upon the ruins of Babylon, who performed strange and horrid rites by moonlight, and danced extraordinary dances with singular gestures and sounds. On seeing these ghost-like, howling, moonlight pilgrims, he very naturally recalled to mind the dancing se‛irim of prophecy (see Moritz Wagner's Reise nach Persien und dem Lande der Kurden, Bd. ii. p. 251). And the nightly howling and yelling of jackals (‛ânâh after rikkēd, as in 1 Samuel 18:6-7) produces its natural effect upon every traveller there, just as in all the other ruins of the East. These are now the inhabitants of the royal 'armenoth, which the prophet calls 'almenoth with a sarcastic turn, on account of their widowhood and desolation; these are the inhabitants of the palaces of pleasure, the luxurious villas and country-seats, with their hanging gardens. The Apocalypse, in Revelation 18:2, takes up this prophecy of Isaiah, and applies it to a still existing Babylon, which might have seen itself in the mirror of the Babylon of old.

Isaiah 14:6 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

who smote

Isaiah 33:1 Woe to you that spoil, and you were not spoiled; and deal treacherously...

Isaiah 47:6 I was wroth with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and given them into your hand: you did show them no mercy...

2 Chronicles 36:17 Therefore he brought on them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary...

Jeremiah 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, said the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant...

Daniel 7:19-21 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron...

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment.

continual stroke. Heb. a stroke without removing
is persecuted

Isaiah 13:14-18 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man takes up: they shall every man turn to his own people...

Isaiah 21:1-10 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it comes from the desert, from a terrible land...

Isaiah 47:1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans...

Jeremiah 25:26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are on the face of the earth...

Jeremiah 50:31 Behold, I am against you, O you most proud, said the Lord GOD of hosts: for your day is come, the time that I will visit you.

Revelation 17:16,17 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked...

Revelation 18:8-10 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire...

and none

Isaiah 46:10,11 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand...

Job 9:13 If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven...

Cross References
Isaiah 10:14
My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped."

Isaiah 14:5
The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers,

Isaiah 47:6
I was angry with my people; I profaned my heritage; I gave them into your hand; you showed them no mercy; on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.

Lamentations 1:21
"They heard my groaning, yet there is no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it. You have brought the day you announced; now let them be as I am.

Habakkuk 1:17
Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever?

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