Isaiah 47:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before!

King James Bible
Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

American Standard Version
Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold they are as stubble, fire hath burnt them, they shall not deliver them- selves from the power of the dames: there are no coals wherewith they may be warmed, nor fire, that they may sit thereat.

English Revised Version
Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

Isaiah 47:14 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

A third strophe of this proclamation of punishment is opened here with ועתה, on the ground of the conduct censured. "And now hear this, thou voluptuous one, she who sitteth so securely, who sayeth in her heart, I am it, and none else: I shall not sit a widow, nor experience bereavement of children. And these two will come upon thee suddenly in one day: bereavement of children and widowhood; they come upon thee in fullest measure, in spite of the multitude of thy sorceries, in spite of the great abundance of thy witchcrafts. Thou trustedst in thy wickedness, saidst, No one seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, they led thee astray; so that thou saidst in thy heart, I am it, and none else. And misfortune cometh upon thee, which thou dost not understand how to charm away: and destruction will fall upon thee, which thou canst not atone for; there will come suddenly upon thee ruin which thou suspectest not." In the surnames given to Babylon here, a new reason is assigned for the judgment - namely, extravagance, security, and self-exaltation. עדין is an intensive from of עדן (lxx τρυφερά). The i of אפסי is regarded by Hahn as the same as we meet with in אתּי equals אתּ; but this is impossible here with the first person. Rosenmller, Ewald, Gesenius, and others, take it as chirek compaginis, and equivalent to עוד אין, which would only occur in this particular formula. Hitzig supposes it to be the suffix of the word, which is meant as a preposition in the sense of et praeter me ultra (nemo); but this nemo would be omitted, which is improbable. The more probable explanation is, that אפס signifies absolute non-existence, and when used as an adverb, "exclusively, nothing but," e.g., קצהוּ אפס, nothing, the utmost extremity thereof, i.e., only the utmost extremity of it (Numbers 23:13; cf., Numbers 22:35). But it is mostly used with a verbal force, like אין (אין), (utique) non est (see Isaiah 45:14); hence אפסי, like איני, (utique) non sum. The form in which the presumption of Babylon expresses itself, viz., "I (am it), and I am absolutely nothing further," sounds like self-deification, by the side of similar self-assertion on the part of Jehovah (Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 14:21, Isaiah 14:22 and Isaiah 46:9). Nineveh speaks in just the same way in Zephaniah 2:15; compare Martial: "Terrarum Dea gentiumque Roma cui par est nihil et nihil secundum." Babylon also says still further (like the Babylon of the last days in Revelation 18:7): "I shall not sit as a widow (viz., mourning thus in solitude, Lamentations 1:1; Lamentations 3:28; and secluded from the world, Genesis 38:11), nor experience the loss of children" (orbitatem). She would become a widow, if she should lose the different nations, and "the kings of the earth who committed fornication with her" (Revelation 18:9); for her relation to her own king cannot possibly be thought of, inasmuch as the relation in which a nation stands to its temporal king is never thought of as marriage, like that of Jehovah to Israel. She would also be a mother bereaved of her children, if war and captivity robbed her of her population. But both of these would happen to her suddenly in one day, so that she would succumb to the weight of the double sorrow. Both of them would come upon her kethummâm (secundum integritatem eorum), i.e., so that she would come to learn what the loss of men and the loss of children signified in all its extent and in all its depth, and that in spite of (בּ, with, equivalent to "notwithstanding," as in Isaiah 5:25; not "through equals on account of," since this tone is adopted for the first time in Isaiah 47:10) the multitude of its incantations, and the very great mass (‛ŏtsmâh, an inf. noun, as in Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 55:2, used here, not as in Isaiah 40:29, in an intensive sense, but, like ‛âtsūm, as a parallel word to rabh in a numerical sense) of its witchcrafts (chebher, binding by means of incantations, κατάδεσμος). Babylonia was the birth-place of astrology, from which sprang the twelve-fold division of the day, the horoscope and sun-dial (Herod. ii. 109); but it was also the home of magic, which pretended to bind the course of events, and even the power of the gods, and to direct them in whatever way it pleased (Diodorus, ii. 29). Thus had Babylon trusted in her wickedness (Isaiah 13:11), viz., in the tyranny and cunning by which she hoped to ensure perpetual duration, with the notion that she was exalted above the reach of any earthly calamity.

She thought, "None seeth me" (non est videns me), thus suppressing the voice of conscience, and practically denying the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. ראני (with a verbal suffix, videns me, whereas ראי saere in Genesis 16:3 signifies videns mei equals meus), also written ראני, is a pausal form in half pause for ראני (Isaiah 29:15). Tzere passes in pause both into pathach (e.g., Isaiah 42:22), and also, apart from such hithpael forms as Isaiah 41:16, into kametz, as in קימנוּ (Job 22:20, which see). By the "wisdom and knowledge" of Babylon, which had turned her aside from the right way, we are to understand her policy, strategy, and more especially her magical arts, i.e., the mysteries of the Chaldeans, their ἐπιχώριοι φιλόσοφοι (Strabo, xxi. 1, 6). On hōvâh (used here and in Ezekiel 7:26, written havvâh elsewhere), according to its primary meaning, "yawning," χαῖνον, then a yawning depth, χάσμα, utter destruction, see at Job 37:6. שׁאה signifies primarily a desert, or desolate place, here destruction; and hence the derivative meaning, waste noise, a dull groan. The perfect consec. of the first clause precedes its predicate רעה in the radical form בא (Ges., 147, a). With the parallelism of כּפּרהּ, it is not probable that שׁחרהּ, which rhymes with it, is a substantive, in the sense of "from which thou wilt experience no morning dawn" (i.e., after the night of calamity), as Umbreit supposes. The suffix also causes some difficulty (hence the Vulgate rendering, ortum ejus, sc. mali); and instead of תדעי, we should expect תראי. In any case, shachrâh is a verb, and Hitzig renders it, "which thou wilt not know how to unblacken;" but this privative use of shichēr as a word of colour would be without example. It would be better to translate it, "which thou wilt not know how to spy out" (as in Isaiah 26:9), but better still, "which thou wilt not know how to conjure away" (shichēr equals Arab. sḥḥr, as it were incantitare, and here incantando averruncare). The last relative clause affirms what shachrâh would state, if understood according to Isaiah 26:9 : destruction which thou wilt not know, i.e., which will come suddenly and unexpectedly.

Isaiah 47:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

they shall

Isaiah 40:24 Yes, they shall not be planted; yes, they shall not be sown: yes, their stock shall not take root in the earth...

Isaiah 41:2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings?...

Ezekiel 15:7 And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them...

Psalm 83:13-15 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind...

Joel 2:5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble...

Obadiah 1:18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble...

Nahum 1:10 For while they be entwined together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly...

themselves Heb. their soul

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul...

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

there shall

Isaiah 30:14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare...

Jeremiah 51:25,26 Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, said the LORD, which destroy all the earth: and I will stretch out my hand on you...

Revelation 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying...

Cross References
Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 10:17
The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: "Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?"

Isaiah 44:16
Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, "Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!"

Jeremiah 51:30
The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting; they remain in their strongholds; their strength has failed; they have become women; her dwellings are on fire; her bars are broken.

Jeremiah 51:32
the fords have been seized, the marshes are burned with fire, and the soldiers are in panic.

Nahum 1:10
For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried.

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