The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Lord of hosts hath sworn . . .—The long “oracle” of Babylon is followed by a fragmentary prophecy against Assyria (Isaiah 14:24-27), possibly misplaced, possibly, as opening with a solemn asseveration, like that of the preceding verse, added by way of proof, that the word of the Lord of Hosts would be fulfilled on Babylon, as it had been on Assyria, with which, indeed, Babylon was closely connected—almost, perhaps, identified—in his thoughts.Isaiah 14:24-27. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, &c. — Here begins another prophecy against the Assyrians, which was to be fulfilled much sooner than the foregoing, even in the life-time of the prophet. But, “though of a peculiar and different, it is not of a totally foreign argument: it contains the epilogue and conclusion of the foregoing prophecy. As what the prophet foretold concerning the destruction of Babylon might justly seem great beyond expectation, he was desirous that the truth of the prediction should be collected from another remarkable and not dissimilar divine judgment, which should precede the completion of this prophecy, namely, the wonderful slaughter which the king of Assyria should meet with in Canaan itself, as an example of the divine indignation, and a pledge of the truth of similar predictions denouncing the destruction of the enemies of the people of God.” And here, to give his people greater assurance of the accomplishment of this prediction, and thereby to confirm their faith in it, and all other prophecies which his prophet was commissioned to deliver, God adds his solemn oath; saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass, that I will break the Assyrian — Sennacherib and his Assyrian army; in my land — In Judea, which was God’s land in a peculiar sense, chosen by him, and inhabited by his people; and upon my mountains tread him under foot — In my mountainous country, for such Judea was, especially about Jerusalem, where his army was destroyed; then shall his yoke depart, &c. — See on Isaiah 10:27. This the purpose upon the whole earth — Upon this vast empire, now in the hands of the Assyrians, and shortly to come into the hands of the Babylonians; and this is the hand, &c. — The providence of God executing his purpose.Isaiah 1:9). It is evident that this verse and the three following, is not directly connected with that which goes before, respecting Babylon. This pertains to the Assyrian; that had relation to Babylon. Vitringa says that this is attached to the prophecy respecting Babylon, and is a unique yet not altogether foreign argument, and is a sort of epilogue to the prophecy respecting Babylon. The design, he says, is this. As the events which had been foretold respecting Babylon seemed so great and wonderful as to be almost incredible, the prophet, in order to show the Jews how easily it could be accomplished, refers them to the case of Sennacherib, and the ease with which he and his army had been destroyed. Lowth supposes that the Assyrians and Babylonians here are one people. Rosenmuller supposes that this prophecy respecting Sennacherib has been "displaced" by the collector of the prophecies of Isaiah, and that it should have been attached to the prophecy respecting the Assyrian monarch (see Isaiah 10.) The probable sense of the passage is that which makes it refer to the predicted destruction of Sennacherib Isaiah 10; and the design of the prophet in referring to that here is, to assure the Jews of the certain destruction of Babylon, and to comfort them with the assurance that they would be delivered from their captivity there.
The prophecy respecting Babylon was uttered "before" the destruction of Sennacherib; but it is to be remembered that its design was to comfort the Jews "in" Babylon. The prophet therefore throws himself "beyond" the period of their captivity - though it was to occur many years "after" the prophecy respecting Babylon was uttered; and with this view he introduces the subject of the Assyrian. At that future time, Sennacherib would have been destroyed. And as God would have fulfilled the prophecy respecting the proud and self-confident Assyrian, so they might have the assurance that he "would" fulfill his predictions respecting the no less proud and self-confident king of Babylon; and as he would have delivered his people from the invasion of the Assyrian, even when he was at the gates of Jerusalem, so he would deliver them in their captivity in Babylon.
Hath sworn - (see Genesis 24:7; Exodus 13:5, Exodus 13:11; Exodus 33:1; Numbers 32:10; Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 6:13). Yahweh is often represented as making use of an oath to denote the strong confirmation, the absolute certainty of what he utters. The oath here was designed to comfort the Jews, when they should be in Babylon, with the assurance that what he had thus solemnly promised would assuredly come to pass.
As I have thought - As I have designed, or intended. God's promises never fail; his purposes shall all be accomplished (compare Isaiah 46:10-11). This passage is full proof that God does not "change:" that whatever his purposes are, they are inflexible. Change supposes imperfection; and it is often affirmed that God is immutable 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17.
a pledge to assure the captives in Babylon that He who, with such ease, overthrew the Assyrian, could likewise effect His purpose as to Babylon. The Babylonian king, the subject of this prediction, is Belshazzar, as representative of the kingdom (Da 5:1-31).
Isa 14:24-27. A Fragment as to the Destruction of the Assyrians under Sennacherib.
This would comfort the Jews when captives in Babylon, being a pledge that God, who had by that time fulfilled the promise concerning Sennacherib (though now still future), would also fulfil His promise as to destroying Babylon, Judah's enemy.
24. In this verse the Lord's thought (purpose) stands in antithesis to the Assyrians' thoughts (Isa 10:7). (See Isa 46:10, 11; 1Sa 15:29; Mal 3:6).Jonah 3:4,10. And this solemn oath is added to confirm the faith of God’s people, because otherwise the destruction of this vast and mighty empire might seem incredible. But it is to be diligently observed, that this verse doth not only concern this present prophecy of Babylon’s destruction by the Medes and Persians, but is also to be extended unto the foregoing prophecy concerning the overthrow of Sennacherib and the Assyrian host, Isaiah 10, as appears by the next verse, where the sum of that prophecy is repeated. Nor is this any digression, but very pertinent to the main design and business of this chapter; inasmuch as the overthrow of that great Assyrian host, and of the deliverance of God’s people at that time, was a pledge of the certain accomplishment of that future destruction of the city and empire of Babylon, and of their deliverance out of that captivity.
surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; as he had shaped and schemed it, and drew the form and image in his own mind, or fixed and settled it there, so should it be done in due time, as every thing is that is determined by the Lord; and this shows that nothing is casual, or comes by chance, but everything as it is purposed of God; and that as everything comes to pass which he has resolved, so every such resolution proceeds from thought, and is the produce of the highest wisdom and prudence:
and as I have purposed, so it shall stand; or "counselled" (l); within himself, for he does all things according to the counsel of his will; and which always stands firm, sure, and unalterable, let what devices soever be in the heart of man.The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. The Lord of hosts hath sworn] cf. Amos 4:2; Amos 6:8; Amos 8:7; Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 54:9; Isaiah 62:8. The formula is nowhere else used by Isaiah.
come to pass … stand] Combined as in ch. Isaiah 7:7.
Ch. Isaiah 14:24-32. Two Isaianic Fragments
i. Isaiah 14:24-27. An announcement of Jehovah’s purpose to destroy the Assyrians on the soil of Canaan. In spite of the absence of a title these verses cannot without violence be explained as a continuation of the oracle on Babylon. They bear every evidence of being a genuine prophecy of Isaiah; and both in form and substance they shew an obvious resemblance to those of ch. Isaiah 10:5 ff. and ch. 18. Some critics, indeed, regard them as a misplaced fragment of one or other of these chapters. Without going so far as this we may at least with some confidence assign the passage to the same period of Isaiah’s ministry, probably the early years of Sennacherib’s reign.Verses 24-27. - A FURTHER PROPHECY OF DELIVERANCE FROM ASSYRIA. From the distant prospect of an ultimate deliverance from the power of Babylon, the prophet turns his gaze to a nearer, if not a greater, deliverance. The present enemy is Assyria. It is she who has carried Samaria into captivity, and who now threatens the independence of Judah. Deliverance from her has already been promised more than once (Isaiah 10:16-19, 25-27, 33, 34); but apparently the people are not reassured - they still dread the foe who is so near, and who seems so irresistible. God, therefore, condescends to give them a fresh prophecy, a fresh assurance, and to confirm it to them by an oath (ver. 24). The Assyrian power shall be broken - her yoke shall be cast off (ver. 25); God has declared his purpose, and nothing can hinder it (ver. 27). Verse 24. - Hath sworn. This is the emphatic word - the new thing in the prophecy. God but seldom declares his purposes with an oath - never but in condescension to the weakness of his creatures, who, though they misdoubt his word, can feel the immutability of an oath (Hebrews 6:17), and yield it the credence and the confidence which they refuse to a bare assertion. As I have thought... as I have purposed. A reference to the prophecies previously given in Isaiah 10. So shall it come to pass; literally, so it hath been - a striking instance of the "preterite of prophetic certainty." So shall it stand; literally, as I have purposed, that shall stand. Numbers 15:24; Proverbs 20:3. He lies there like nētzer nith‛âb, i.e., like a branch torn off from the tree, that has withered and become offensive, or rather (as neetzer does not mean a branch, but a shoot) like a side-shoot that has been cut off the tree and thrown away with disgust as ugly, useless, and only a hindrance to the regular growth of the tree (possibly also an excrescence); nith‛âb (cast away) is a pregnant expression, signifying "cast away with disgust." The place where he lies is the field of battle. A vaticinium post eventum would be expressed differently from this, as Luzzatto has correctly observed. For what Seder 'Olam says - namely, that Nebuchadnezzar's corpse was taken out of the grave by Evilmerodach, or as Abravanel relates it, by the Medo-Persian conquerors - is merely a conclusion drawn from the passage before us, and would lead us to expect הוצת rather than השלכת. It is a matter of indifference, so far as the truth of the prophecy is concerned, whether it was fulfilled in the person of Nebuchadnezzar I, or of that second Nebuchadnezzar who gave himself out as a son of Nabonet, and tried to restore the freedom of Babylon. The scene which passes before the mind of the prophet is the field of battle. To clear this they made a hole and throw stones (abnē-bor, stones of the pit) on the top, without taking the trouble to shovel in the earth; but the king of Babylon is left lying there, like a carcase that is trampled under foot, and deserves nothing better than to be trampled under foot (mūbâs, part. hoph. of būs, conculcare). They do not even think him worth throwing into a hole along with the rest of the corpses.
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