“For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, ‘No one sees me’; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’ Isaiah 47:10
Babylon’s Actions Not Hidden from God
Isaiah now leaps forward to describe the fall of Babylon (47:1-4). God permitted Babylon to triumph over His people to discipline them. But Babylon went too far in its inhuman treatment of the captives. Babylon’s overweening pride and wickedness calls for judgment. Disaster will come, and no experimenting with magic spells, no frantic suggestions of stargazers, can save Babylon from the devastation God has ordained.
Isaiah has named Cyrus as the one who will overthrow Israel’s great future enemy. Now the proud city, which her citizens thought would continue forever, is swept away by disaster.
Babylon’s judgment 47:1-8. Two factors that fix Babylon’s fate are defined by Isaiah. One is the arrogant pride. The other is Babylon’s treatment of God’s people. In showing the Jews “no mercy” the Babylonians unwittingly placed themselves under God’s ban. One of God’s commitment to Abraham was, “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3). In harming God’s chosen people the Babylonians determined their own destiny. We need to look no further back in history than to Hitler’s Germany to see this principle still in operation.
Astrology 47:13. The New World Dictionary defines astrology as “a pseudo-science claiming to foretell the future by studying the supposed influence of the relative positions of the moon, sun, and stars on human affairs.” Astrology is not new. It was practiced, along with magic and sorcery, in ancient Babylon and in even older cultures. The Heb. Phrase translated “astrologers” in the NIV and NASB means “diviners of the heaven.” The NIV also trans. ‘assap as astrologer, while other versions render it “conjurer.” Our Isa. Passage shows how closely astrology was linked with magic – a practice strongly condemned in the Bible.
47 1 “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate. 2 Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.” 4 As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel. 5 “Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; For you shall no longer be called The Lady of Kingdoms. 6 I was angry with My people; I have profaned My inheritance, And given them into your hand. You showed them no mercy; On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily.
7 And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’ So that you did not take these things to heart, Nor remember the latter end of them. 8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, Who dwell securely, Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know the loss of children’; 9 But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments. 10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, ‘No one sees me’; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’ 11 Therefore evil shall come upon you; You shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; You will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, Which you shall not know. 12 “Stand now with your enchantments And the multitude of your sorceries, In which you have labored from your youth– Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you will prevail. 13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators Stand up and save you From what shall come upon you. 14 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 be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before! 15 Thus shall they be to you With whom you have labored, Your merchants from your youth; They shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you.