Isaiah 14:7
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) They break forth into singing . . .—The phrase is noticeable as characteristic of Isaiah (Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 55:12), and is not found elsewhere. The emancipated nations are represented as exulting in the unfamiliar peace that follows on the downfall of their oppressor.

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?The whole earth is at rest - The kingdom of Babylonia, or Chaldea, extended nearly over the whole pagan world. Now that Babylon was fallen, and that those oppressions would cease, the world is represented as in peace and quietness.

They break forth into singing - That is, the inhabitants of all the nations that were subject to Babylon now rejoice that they are released from its galling and oppressive yoke.

7. they—the once subject nations of the whole earth. Houbigant places the stop after "fir trees" (Isa 14:8), "The very fir trees break forth," &c. But the parallelism is better in English Version. The whole earth; the inhabitants and subjects of that vast empire, who groaned under their cruel bondage.

The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet,.... The troubler of them being gone; and which will be the ease of the people of God, who in the latter day will fill the face of the earth, when the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire; and especially when Satan shall be bound, and put in prison for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more, Revelation 19:20,

they break forth into singing; that is, the inhabitants of the earth, because of the fall of the king of Babylon, they being delivered from so great a tyrant or oppressor; or, "utter a song of praise", as the Targum, Aben Ezra says the word in the Arabic language is expressive of "clearness", and so it does signify to speak purely, dearly, and fluently, with open, mouth, and a clear voice (z); it is rendered in Psalm 98:4 "make a loud noise"; by singing a joyful song; and such a song will be sung by the church, when the mystical Babylon is fallen; see Revelation 15:2.

(z) "perspicuo, puriore sermone fuit, fluida oratione disertas fuit, ----diserte, eleganter locutus est", Castel. col. 3040.

The whole earth is at {e} rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.

(e) Meaning that where tyrants reign, there can be no rest or quietness and also how detestable a thing tyranny is, seeing the insensible creatures have opportunity to rejoice at their destruction.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. they break forth into singing] A favourite idea in the second part of the book: ch. Isaiah 44:23, Isaiah 49:13, Isaiah 54:1, Isaiah 55:12.

Verse 7. - At rest... singing. The first result of the fall of Babylon is general peace, rest, and quiet; then the nations, recognizing the blessedness of the change, burst out into a song of rejoicing. The peace did not really continue very long; for Persia took up the role of conqueror which Babylon had been forced to drop, and, under Cambyses and Darius Hystaspis, produced as much stir and disturbance as had been caused by Babylon., Still, there was an interval of about eleven years between the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus ( B.C. 538), and the expedition by Cambyses against Egypt ( B.C. 527). Isaiah 14:7"The whole earth rests, is quiet: they break forth into singing. Even the cypresses rejoice at thee, the cedars of Lebanon: 'Since thou hast gone to sleep, no one will come up to lay the axe upon us.'" The preterites indicate inchoatively the circumstances into which the whole earth has now entered. The omission of the subject in the case of pâtz'chu (they break forth) gives the greatest generality to the jubilant utterances: pâtzach rinnâh (erumpere gaudio) is an expression that is characteristic of Isaiah alone (e.g., Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13); and it is a distinctive peculiarity of the prophet to bring in the trees of the forest, as living and speaking beings, to share in the universal joy (cf., Isaiah 55:12). Jerome supposes the trees to be figuratively employed here for the "chiefs of the nations" (principes gentium). But this disposition to allegorize not only destroys the reality of the contents, but the spirit of the poetry also. Cypresses and cedars rejoice because of the treatment which they received from the Chaldean, who made use of the almost imperishable wood of both of them for ornamental buildings, for his siege apparatus, and for his fleets, and even for ordinary ships - as Alexander, for example, built himself a fleet of cypress-wood, and the Syrian vessels had masts of cedar. Of the old cedars of Lebanon, there are hardly thirty left in the principle spot where they formerly grew. Gardner Wilkinson (1843) and Hooker the botanist (1860) estimated the whole number at about four hundred; and according to the conclusion which the latter drew from the number of concentric rings and other signs, not one of them is more than about five hundred years old.

(Note: See Wilkinson's paper in the Athenaeum (London, Noverse 1862).)

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