Isaiah 14:2 MEANING

Isaiah 14:2
(2) The people shall take them . . .--Literally, the peoples. In Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 6:7-8, we have what answered, in a measure, to the picture thus drawn; but here, as elsewhere, the words paint an ideal to which there has been as yet no historical reality fully corresponding. No period of later Jewish history has beheld the people ruling over a conquered race; and if we claim a real fulfilment of the last clause of the verse, it is only in the sense in which the Latin poet said that Gr?cia capta ferum victorem cepit (Horat. Ep. II. i. 156). The triumph of Israel has, so far, been found in that of its leading ideas, and in the victory of the faith of Christ. In Isaiah 56:3 the proselyte appears as admitted on terms of equality, here on those of subjugation.

Verse 2. - And the people shall take them; rather, peoples shall take them. The heathen nations among whom they have dwelt shall rejoice at the restoration of Israel to their own land, and even escort them in a friendly spirit to their borders (comp. Ezra 1:4, 6; Nehemiah 2:7-9). Some shall go so far as voluntarily to become their bondservants in Palestine. They shall take them captive, whose captives they were. This can scarcely have been intended literally. The Jews were at no time a conquering people, nor one that set itself to "take captives." The true meaning is that Jewish ideas shall penetrate and subdue the nations generally, and among them those with whom Israel had dwelt as captives. The Jews did become very powerful and numerous both in Assyria and Babylonia about the first century after Christ, and Christian Churches were early formed in Mesopotamia, Adiabene, and even Babylon.

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?And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place,.... That is, the people among whom the Jews dwelt in Babylon, who had a kindness for them, and especially such of them as were proselyted to their religion should attend them in their journey home, and supply them with all necessaries for provision and carriage, as they were allowed to do by the edict of Cyrus, Ezra 1:4 and this will have a further accomplishment in the latter day, when the Gentiles shall bring their sons and daughters in their arms, and on their shoulders, and on horses, and in chariots, to Jerusalem, Isaiah 49:21 which last passage Kimchi refers to, as explanative of this:

and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord, for servants and handmaids; by the "land of the Lord" is meant the land of Israel, which was peculiarly his; for though the whole earth is his, yet he chose this above all others for the place of his worship, under the former dispensation; and where his son, in the fulness of time, should appear in human nature, preach the Gospel, perform miracles, and work out the salvation of his people; and where his feet shall stand at the latter day, when he comes to judge the world; this is the same with Immanuel's land, Isaiah 8:8 hither many of the Chaldeans coming along with the Jews, and having embraced their religion, chose rather to be servants and handmaids to them, than to return to their own land, and who were a kind of inheritance or possession to the Jews; though some think that these were such as they bought of the Babylonians, that came with them to be their servants, and not they themselves. It may be understood of Gentile converts in Gospel times, who would willingly and cheerfully engage in the service of the church of God, and by love serve his people, and one another. Kimchi explains this clause by Isaiah 61:5,

and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors: that is, the Babylonians, who had carried the Jews captive, should be taken captives by them, and made slaves of; which might be true of those they bought of them, when they returned to their own land; or, as some think, this had its accomplishment in the times of the Maccabees, when they conquered many people, who before had carried them captive, and oppressed them; and in a spiritual and mystical sense has been fulfilled in the times of the Gospel, through the spread of it in the Gentile world, by the ministry of the apostles, who were Jews; by which means many of the nations of the world were brought to the obedience of Christ and his church.

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