Isaiah 14 Commentary

Concerning Assyria and Philistia (14:24-32)

In Isaiah’s day the immediate threat came not from Babylon but from Assyria. But Assyria will suffer the same fate as Babylon. It may invade the land of Judah, but in that same land it will be defeated and its power over Judah broken (24-25). The almighty God has determined this, and therefore no one will be able to prevent it (26-27).

Ahaz had always tried to follow a pro-Assyrian policy, in spite of objections from Isaiah. Ahaz’s son and successor, Hezekiah, was firmly opposed to Assyria. The rulers of neighbouring Philistia apparently knew this, for soon after the death of Ahaz they sent representatives to try to persuade Hezekiah to join them in rebelling against Assyria. It seemed a suitable opportunity, as Assyria had just suffered some sort of military setback. Isaiah warns against being foolishly optimistic. Assyria will soon recover and meet any rebellion with a ferocity greater than before, leaving the land desolate (28-31). The answer to give the Philistine messengers is that Judah will not cooperate in the plan but will trust entirely in God (32).

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