Isaiah 47

Isaiah 47  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 12
Chapter 46 commenced with a forecast of the Babylonian gods falling into ruin and captivity. Chapter 47 from start to finish pronounces judgment on Babylon itself. Just as the mystical Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18 is viewed as a woman, so here, only the picture is not so dark. Babylon here, for instance, is addressed as “virgin daughter”, and not as “the great whore” and as “the mother of harlots”. It is a solemn thought that the mystical Babylon, to which an apostate Christendom is working up, is more filthy in the eyes of God than the literal Babylon of Old Testament times.
The ancient Babylon was indeed for a short period “the lady [mistress] of kingdoms”, but her downfall is foretold. Verse 6 strikes us as very remarkable, inasmuch as the things alleged against her had not actually taken place and did not come to pass till the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Then the wrath of God against the evils of His people condemned them to be carried away, and His inheritance polluted by the temple being destroyed. God permitted it; the Babylonian monarch did it with a heavy hand, and upon Babylon will come the heavy hand of God’s judgment, in a day when there should be executed “the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of His temple” (Jer. 50:2828The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple. (Jeremiah 50:28)), So Isaiah was led to prophesy what Babylon would do to Jerusalem a century before it happened, and to foretell also how Babylon later should be overthrown, since Jehovah is “our Redeemer... the Holy One of Israel” (verse 4). He spoke too of the unexpected way in which the destruction would come upon them, as we see in verse 11, the fulfillment of which we find in Daniel 5.
Verse 13 speaks of the men who practiced the dark arts of spiritism, in which Babylon trusted, for that city was apparently the original home of idolatry, which means the worship of demon powers. All such evil powers collapse when God acts in judgment. But it is this feature, we believe, that accounts for Babylon, rather than any other ancient city, being carried into Revelation with a spiritual application; for of that Babylon we read it had “become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit”, and again that by its “sorceries were all nations deceived” {Rev. 18:2,232And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. (Revelation 18:2)
23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. (Revelation 18:23)
The copyright for this material is assigned to Scripture Truth Publications. Used by permission.