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Isaiah 14:4

    Isaiah 14:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    That you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How has the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    That you will take up this bitter song against the king of Babylon, and say, How has the cruel overseer come to an end! He who was lifted up in pride is cut off;

    Webster's Revision

    that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    World English Bible

    that you will take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, "How the oppressor has ceased! The golden city has ceased!"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    Definitions for Isaiah 14:4

    Proverb - A dark or puzzling saying.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 14:4

    This proverb "This parable" - משל mashal, I take this to be the general name for poetic style among the Hebrews, including every sort of it, as ranging under one or other, or all of the characters, of sententious, figurative, and sublime; which are all contained in the original notion, or in the use and application of the word mashal. Parables or proverbs, such as those of Solomon, are always expressed in short pointed sentences; frequently figurative, being formed on some comparison; generally forcible and authoritative, both in the matter and the form. And such in general is the style of the Hebrew poetry. The verb mashal signifies to rule; to exercise authority; to make equal; to compare one thing with another; to utter parables, or acute, weighty, and powerful speeches, in the form and manner of parables, though not properly such. Thus Balaam's first prophecy, (Numbers 23:7-10), is called his mashal; though it has hardly any thing figurative in it: but it is beautifully sententious, and, from the very form and manner of it, has great spirit, force, and energy. Thus Job's last speeches, in answer to his three friends, chap. 27-31, are called mashals; from no one particular character, which discriminates them from the rest of the poem, but from the sublime, the figurative, the sententious manner which equally prevails through the whole poem, and makes it one of the first and most eminent examples extant of the truly great and beautiful in poetic style. See the note on Proverbs 1:1 (note).

    The Septuagint in this place render the word by θρηνος, a lamentation. They plainly consider the speech here introduced as a piece of poetry, and of that species of poetry which we call the elegiac; either from the subject, it being a poem on the fall and death of the king of Babylon, or from the form of the composition, which is of the longer sort of Hebrew verse, in which the Lamentations of Jeremiah, called by the Septuagint Θρηνοι, are written.

    The golden city ceased - מדהבה madhebah, which is here translated golden city, is a Chaldee word. Probably it means that golden coin or ingot which was given to the Babylonians by way of tribute. So the word is understood by the Vulgate, where it is rendered tributum; and by Montanus, who translates it aurea pensio, the golden pension. Kimchi seems to have understood the word in the same sense. De Rossi translates it auri dives, rich in gold, or auri exactrix, the exactor of gold; the same as the exactor of tribute.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 14:4

    That thou shalt take up - Thou shalt utter, declare, or commence. The word 'take up,' is used in the sense of utter, speak, or declare, in Exodus 20:7; Exodus 23:1; Psalm 15:2.

    This proverb - (המשׁל hamâshâl). Vulgate, 'Parable.' Septuagint Τὸν ρῆνον ton thrēnon - 'Lamentation.' The Hebrew word משׁל mâshâl, usually rendered "proverb," is also rendered "a parable," or "a by-word." It properly denotes "a metaphor, a comparison, a similitude;" and is applied usually to a brief and pungent sentiment or maxim, where wisdom is embodied in few words. In these the ancients abounded. They had few books; and hence arose the necessity of condensing as much as possible the sentiments of wisdom, that they might be easily remembered, and transmitted to future times. These maxims were commonly expressed in figurative language, or by a brief comparison, or short parable, as they are with us. The word also means, figurative discourse generally; and hence, a song or poem Numbers 23:7, Numbers 23:18; Job 27:1; Job 29:1; Psalm 49:5. It is also used to denote a satire, or a song of triumph over enemies Micah 2:4; Hebrews 4:6; Joel 2:17. It is evidently used in this sense here - to denote a taunting speech, a song of triumph over the prostrate king of Babylon. In this beautiful song, there are all the elements of the most pungent satire, and all the beauties of the highest poetry.

    Against the king of Babylon - Over the king of Babylon, or in regard to him. It is not certain that any particular king of Babylon is here intended. If there was, it was probably Belshazzar, in whose reign the city was taken (see the notes at Isaiah 14:22). It may, however, be designed to denote the Babylonian empire - the kingdom that had oppressed the Jews; and thus the king may be referred to as the head of the nation, and as the representative of the whole people.

    How hath the oppressor ceased! - The word 'oppressor' (נגשׂ nogēs') denotes, properly, the "exactor of tribute," and refers here to the fact that Babylon had oppressed its dependent provinces, by exacting large revenues from them, and thus cruelly oppressing them.

    Ceased - Ceased to exact tribute; or (Hebrew) 'is at rest.' It is now at rest, and no more puts forth its power in oppressing its dependent provinces.

    The golden city - Babylon. The word used here (מדהבה madehēbâh) occurs nowhere else in the Bible. According to the Jewish Commentators, it means "an exactress of gold," as if derived from דהב dehab, used for זהב zehab, gold. Gesenius and Michaelis prefer another reading (מרהבה marehēbâh), from (רהב râhab), and suppose that it means oppression. The Vulgate renders it "tribute" - 'The tribute hath ceased.' The Septuagint Ἐπισπουδαστής Epispoudastēs - 'Solicitor, or exactor (of gold).' Vitringa supposes that the word means "gold," and that it refers to the golden scepter of its kings that had now ceased to be swayed over the prostrate nations. The most probable sense is, that it means the exactress of gold, or of tribute. This best expresses the force of the word, and best agrees with the parallelism. In this sense it does not refer to the magnificence of the city, but to its oppressive acts in demanding tribute of gold from its dependent provinces.

    Wesley's Notes on Isaiah 14:4

    14:4 Golden city - As they used to call themselves; which therefore he expresses here in a word of their own language.