Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Yet thou shalt be brought . . .—We note in the use of the same words (“ the sides, or recesses,” of the pit), as in the previous verse, the contrast of an indignant sarcasm. Yes, the prophet seems to say, the proud king has found his way to those “recesses;” but they are not in heaven, but in Hades.Isaiah 14:15-17. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell — To the grave, and the state of the dead; to the sides of the pit — And lodged there in the lowest state of misery and degradation. They that see thee — In this humbled and wretched state, shall narrowly look upon thee — As not knowing thee at first sight, and hardly believing their own eyes, because of this great alteration of thy condition, a change which, to them, seemed next to impossible. Is this the man that made the earth to tremble — All the nations of the earth? that did shake the kingdoms — At his pleasure? that made the world a wilderness — By slaying or carrying away captive its inhabitants, and destroying its produce: that opened not the house of his prisoners — That did not restore them to their own country, as Cyrus afterward did the Jews; but kept them in perpetual slavery, Jeremiah 50:33. By this the prophet signifies both his irresistible power, and his continued cruelty. Isaiah 14:9).
To the sides of the pit - The word 'pit,' here, is evidently synonymous with "hell" or "hades," represented as a deep, dark region under ground. The dead were often buried in caves, and the descent was often dark and dreary, to the vaults where they reposed. Hence, it is always represented as going down; or, as the "inferior" regions. The 'sides of the pit' here stand opposed to the 'sides of the north.' He had sought to "ascend" to the one; he should be "brought down" to the other. The reference here is, doubtless, to the land of shades; to the dark and dismal regions where the departed dead are supposed to dwell - to "sheol." So the parallelism proves. But the image or figure is taken from the custom of burying, where, in a deep natural cavern, or a sepulchre excavated from a rock, the dead were ranged around the "sides" of the cavern in niches or recesses excavated for that purpose (see the note at Isaiah 14:9).
sides of the pit—antithetical to the "sides of the north" (Isa 14:13). Thus the reference is to the sides of the sepulcher round which the dead were arranged in niches. But Maurer here, as in Isa 14:13, translates, "the extreme," or innermost parts of the sepulchre: as in Eze 32:23 (compare 1Sa 24:3).Matthew 11:23 instead of ascending to heaven: or "to the grave"; though, inasmuch as afterwards a burial is denied him, the word may be taken for the infernal pit, and so is, as much as can be, opposed to heaven; and this will be true of antichrist, when the beast and false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire, Revelation 19:20,
to the sides of the pit; instead of being on the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north; another word for hell, the pit of corruption, and the bottomless pit. The Targum is,
"to the ends of the lake of the house of perdition;''Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. thou shalt be brought down to Sheol] Such is the end of the “vaulting ambition that o’erleaps itself.” The Babylonian Hades (Aralu) seems to have been conceived as situated under the mountain of the gods. The pit means Sheol, and the sides of the pit are its inmost recesses, the most dismal part of a land of darkness. These apparently are reserved for those who have not obtained honourable burial on earth (see below on Isaiah 14:18-20).Verse 15. - Thou shalt be brought down; rather, thou art brought down (comp. vers. 9-11). The sides of the pit; or, the recesses - the "lowest parts" of the pit. With those words the third stanza terminates.
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