Isaiah 14:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty.

New Living Translation
"I will make Babylon a desolate place of owls, filled with swamps and marshes. I will sweep the land with the broom of destruction. I, the LORD of Heaven's Armies, have spoken!"

English Standard Version
“And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts.

New American Standard Bible
"I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

King James Bible
I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I will make her a swampland and a region for screech owls, and I will sweep her away with a broom of destruction." This is the declaration of the LORD of Hosts.

International Standard Version
"And I'm going to make it a possession of the hedgehog—pools of water—and I'll sweep with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of the Heavenly Armies.

NET Bible
"I will turn her into a place that is overrun with wild animals and covered with pools of stagnant water. I will get rid of her, just as one sweeps away dirt with a broom," says the LORD who commands armies.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"It will become the possession of herons. It will become pools of water. I'll sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of Armies.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I will also make it a possession for the bittern and pools of water, and I will sweep it with brooms of destruction, saith the LORD of the hosts.

King James 2000 Bible
I will also make it a possession for the owls, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the LORD of hosts.

American King James Version
I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, said the LORD of hosts.

American Standard Version
I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith Jehovah of hosts.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I will make it a possession for the ericius and pools of waters, and I will sweep it and wear it out with a besom, saith the Lord of hosts.

Darby Bible Translation
And I will make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith Jehovah of hosts.

English Revised Version
I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.

Webster's Bible Translation
I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.

World English Bible
"I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and pools of water. I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says Yahweh of Armies.

Young's Literal Translation
And have made it for a possession of a bittern, And ponds of waters, And daubed it with the mire of destruction, The affirmation of Jehovah of Hosts!
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - A possession for the bittern. Some water-bird or other is probably intended, since the word used is joined in Isaiah 36:11 with the names of three other birds, and is also certainly a bird's name in Zephaniah 2:14; but the identification with the "bittern" is a mere guess, and rests on no authority. And pools of water. The swampy character of the country about the ruins of Babylon is generally noticed by travelers. It arises from neglect of the dams along the course of the Euphrates. Ker Porter says that "large deposits of the Euphrates water are left stagnant in the hollows between the ruins" ('Travels,' vol. 2. p. 389).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I will also make it a possession for the bittern,.... Instead of being possessed by any of the family of the king of Babylon. The "bittern" is a kind of water fowl, which, by putting its bill into mire, or a broken reed, is said to make a most horrible noise. Some think the "owl" is meant, which dwells in desolate and ruinous places; and others take it to be the "ospray", a sort of eagle that preys upon fish and ducks; according to Kimchi, the "tortoise" is meant; some will have it that the "beaver" or castor is intended; Jarchi understands it of the porcupine or "hedgehog"; and in the Arabic language this creature is called "kunphud", which is pretty near the Hebrew word "kippod", here used; to which Bochartus agrees; but, whatever creature is meant, the design is to show that Babylon should not be inhabited by men, but by birds or beasts of prey, or noxious animals; and so mystical Babylon is said to be a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, Revelation 18:2,

and pools of water; Babylon being situated in a marshy ground, and by the river Euphrates; and when that river was turned by Cyrus (i), and afterwards its banks neglected, in course of time the water overflowed the place where the city was, and all about it, and so easily came to be what is here predicted it should; see Revelation 18:21,

and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts; and so clear it at once of all its inhabitants, wealth, and riches, and entirely remove its large walls and stately buildings, no more to be seen, just as a house is swept clean of all its dust; intimating, that this superb city, and all belonging to it, should be reduced to dust, and be as easily swept away as dust is with a besom. The word for "sweep", and a "besom", is only used in this place, and has this signification in the Arabic language; it is said in the Talmud (k), that the Rabbins knew not the meaning of this word, till they heard an Arabian girl say to her fellow servant,

"take this besom, and sweep the house.''

expressing the word here used.

(i) Xenophon. Cyropaedia, l. 7. c. 23. (k) Roshhashana, fol. 26. 2. Megilla, fol. 18. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. bittern—rather, "the hedgehog" [Maurer and Gesenius]. Strabo (16:1) states that enormous hedgehogs were found in the islands of the Euphrates.

pools—owing to Cyrus turning the waters of the Euphrates over the country.

besom—sweep-net [Maurer], (1Ki 14:10; 2Ki 21:13).

Isaiah 14:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
Triumphant Exultation over Babel
22"I will rise up against them," declares the LORD of hosts, "and will cut off from Babylon name and survivors, offspring and posterity," declares the LORD. 23"I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.
Cross References
1 Kings 14:10
"'Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel--slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone.

Isaiah 13:6
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 13:20
She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents, there no shepherds will rest their flocks.

Isaiah 21:1
A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror.

Isaiah 34:11
The desert owl and screech owl will possess it; the great owl and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation.

Jeremiah 50:3
A nation from the north will attack her and lay waste her land. No one will live in it; both people and animals will flee away.

Jeremiah 50:26
Come against her from afar. Break open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain. Completely destroy her and leave her no remnant.

Jeremiah 51:62
Then say, 'LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.'

Zephaniah 2:14
Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed.
Treasury of Scripture

I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, said the LORD of hosts.

make

Isaiah 13:21,22 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall …

Isaiah 34:11-15 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also …

Jeremiah 50:39,40 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the …

Jeremiah 51:42,43 The sea is come up on Babylon: she is covered with the multitude …

Zephaniah 2:14 And flocks shall lie down in the middle of her, all the beasts of the nations…

Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, …

Revelation 18:2,21-23 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great …

I will sweep

1 Kings 14:10 Therefore, behold, I will bring evil on the house of Jeroboam, and …

2 Kings 21:13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet …

Jeremiah 51:25,26 Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, said the LORD, which …

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