All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All the kings of the nations . . .—The “house” in which the monarchs lie is, of course, their sepulchre. Such sepulchres, as in the case of the pyramid graves of the Egyptian kings, the “eternal home” as they themselves called it (comp. Ecclesiastes 12:5), were often almost literally the “house,” or palace, of the dead.Isaiah 14:18-20. All the kings of the nations — That is, other kings generally; lie in glory, &c. — Are buried in their own sepulchres, having stately monuments erected to their memory. The persons who are represented as uttering these words are supposed to have before their eyes the carcass of the king of Babylon, lying on the bare ground among the common slain, greatly disfigured and covered with blood and wounds. But thou art cast out of thy grave — Deprived of a grave, or burying-place. Which very probably happened to Belshazzar, who, according to Daniel 5:30, was slain in the night in which the city was taken by Cyrus, when his people had neither opportunity nor heart to bestow an honourable interment upon him, and the conquerors would not suffer them to do it. Like an abominable branch — Like a rotten twig of a tree, which he that prunes the trees, casts away: and as raiment of those that are slain — Which, being mangled, and besmeared with mire and blood, is cast away with contempt. That go down to the pit — Who, being slain, are cast into some pit. He saith, to the stones of the pit, because when dead bodies are cast in thither, men use to throw a heap of stones upon them. As a carcass trodden under feet — Neglected, like such a carcass. And this might literally happen to Belshazzar’s dead body. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial — Not buried, as they are. Because thou hast slain thy people — Thou hast exercised great tyranny and cruelty, not only to thine enemies, but even to thine own subjects. The seed of evil-doers — Such as Belshazzar was, being descended from that Nebuchadnezzar who had made such horrid slaughters and devastations in the world, merely to gratify his own insatiable lusts, and who had been so impious toward God and his temple, and so bloody toward his church and people; shall never be renowned — Or, shall not be renowned for ever: although I have long borne with thee and thy family.
Lie in glory - They lie in a magnificent mausoleum; they are surrounded with splendor even in their tombs. It is well known that vast sums of money were expended to rear magnificent mausoleums as the burial place of kings. With this design, probably, the pyramids of Egypt were reared; and the temple of Bel in Babylon, we are told, was employed for this purpose. Josephus says that vast quantities of money were buried in the sepulchre of David. The kings of Israel were buried in a royal burying place on Mount Zion 2 Chronicles 21:20; 2 Chronicles 35:24; Nehemiah 3:16. For a description of the sepulchre of David, and of sepulchres in general, "see" Calmet's "Dict." Art. "Sepulchre" (compare Ezekiel 32.)
in glory—in a grand mausoleum.
house—that is, "sepulchre," as in Ec 12:5; "grave" (Isa 14:19). To be excluded from the family sepulcher was a mark of infamy (Isa 34:3; Jer 22:19; 1Ki 13:22; 2Ch 21:20; 24:25; 28:27).All of them; other kings most commonly do, as the word all is frequently used.
Every one in his own house; are buried in their own sepulchres, having stately monuments erected to their honour and memory.
even all of them lie in glory; in rich tombs and stately monuments, erected for the honour of them; and where they "sleep", as the word signifies, with their fathers, their ancestors, and are at rest, in the state of the dead, where they will continue to the resurrection:
everyone in his own house; or grave, see Job 30:23 the same with his long home, Ecclesiastes 12:5 or the house of his world: in reference to which, the Targum paraphrases it by the same phrase here; and though their graves were not in their dwelling houses or palaces, yet often near them, and in their own country, and were what had been erected, or caused to be erected by them, in their lifetime.All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. every one in his own house] This yields a perfectly good sense as it stands, the “house” being the tomb prepared by the king in his lifetime. But it forms a short half-line where a long one is required by the measure; hence the proposal to transfer the words to Isaiah 14:17 (see on that verse).
18, 19. The contrast here is that between the honourable burial accorded to other kings and the indignity to which the king of Babylon is subjected by being deprived of sepulchral rites.Verse 18. - All the kings of the nations, etc.; i.e. the other kings, speaking generally, died in peace, and had an honorable burial, each one in the sepulcher that he had prepared for himself as his final abode or "house" (comp. Isaiah 22:16). The care taken to prepare tombs was not confined to Egypt, though there obtaining its greatest development. Among others, the Persian kings certainly prepared their own sepulchers; and probably the practice was general. Jeremiah 13:10, סעף, Psalm 119:113, or rather attaching itself as a third class to the forms היכל, עירם: compare the Arabic sairaf, exchanger; saikal, sword-cleaner). It derives its name in other ancient languages also from its striking brilliancy, and is here called ben-shachar (sun of the dawn), just as in the classical mythology it is called son of Eos, from the fact that it rises before the sun, and swims in the morning light as if that were the source of its birth.
(Note: It is singular, however, that among the Semitic nations the morning star is not personified as a male (Heōsphoros or Phōsphoros), but as a female (Astarte, see at Isaiah 17:8), and that it is called Nâghâh, Ashtoreth, Zuhara, but never by a name derived from hâlal; whilst the moon is regarded as a male deity (Sin), and in Arabic hilâl signifies the new moon, which might be called ben- shacar (son of the dawn), from the fact that, from the time when it passes out of the invisibility of its first phase, it is seen at sunrise, and is as it were born out of the dawn.)
Lucifer, as a name given to the devil, was derived from this passage, which the fathers (and lately Stier) interpreted, without any warrant whatever, as relating to the apostasy and punishment of the angelic leaders. The appellation is a perfectly appropriate one for the king of Babel, on account of the early date of the Babylonian culture, which reached back as far as the grey twilight of primeval times, and also because of its predominant astrological character. The additional epithet chōlēsh ‛al-gōyim is founded upon the idea of the influxus siderum:
(Note: In a similar manner, the sun-god (San) is called the "conqueror of the king's enemies," "breaker of opposition," etc., on the early Babylonian monuments (see G. Rawlinson, The Five Great Monarchies, i.160).)
cholesh signifies "overthrowing" or laying down (Exodus 17:13), and with ‛al, "bringing defeat upon;" whilst the Talmud (b. Sabbath 149b) uses it in the sense of projiciens sortem, and thus throws light upon the cholesh ( equals purah, lot) of the Mishnah. A retrospective glance is now cast at the self-deification of the king of Babylon, in which he was the antitype of the devil and the type of antichrist (Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4), and which had met with its reward.
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