Isaiah 14:15
Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
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(15) 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. 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?Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell - Hebrew, 'To sheol' (compare 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).

15. to hell—to Sheol (Isa 14:6), thou who hast said, "I will ascend into heaven" (Mt 11:23).

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).

No text from Poole on this verse. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,.... Into a very low and miserable condition; see 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;''

the place of everlasting destruction.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
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. But whilst it has become so quiet on earth, there is the most violent agitation in the regions below. "The kingdom of the dead below is all in uproar on account of thee, to meet thy coming; it stirreth up the shades for thee, all the he-goats of the earth; it raiseth up from their throne-seats all the kings of the nations." The notion of Hades, notwithstanding the mythological character which it had assumed, was based upon the double truth, that what a man has been, and the manner in which he has lived on this side the grave, are not obliterated on the other side, but are then really brought to light, and that there is an immaterial self-formation of the soul, in which all that a man has become under certain divinely appointed circumstances, by his own self-determination, is, as it were, reflected in a mirror, and that in a permanent form. This psychical image, to which the dead body bears the same relation as the shattered mould to a cast, is the shade-like corporeality of the inhabitants of Hades, in which they appear essentially though spiritually just as they were on this side the grave. This is the deep root of what the prophet has here expressed in a poetical form; for it is really a mâshâl that he has interwoven with his prophecy here. All Hades is overwhelmed with excitement and wonder, now that the king of Babel, that invincible ruler of the world, who, if not unexpected altogether, was not expected so soon, as actually approaching. From עורר onwards, Sheol, although a feminine, might be the subject; in which case the verb would simply have reverted from the feminine to the radical masculine form. But it is better to regard the subject as neuter; a nescio quid, a nameless power. The shades are suddenly seized with astonishment, more especially the former leaders (leading goats or bell-wethers) of the herds of nations, so that, from sheer amazement, they spring up from their seats.
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