14:1  FOR THE Lord will have mercy on Jacob [the captive Jews in Babylon] and will again choose Israel and set them in their own land; and foreigners [who are proselytes] will join them and will cleave to the house of Jacob (Israel).

14:2  And the peoples [of Babylonia] shall take them and bring them to their own country [of Judea] {and} help restore them. And the house of Israel will possess [the foreigners who prefer to stay with] them in the land of the Lord as male and female servants; and they will take captive [not by physical but by moral might] those whose captives they have been, and they will rule over their [former] oppressors.

14:3  When the Lord has given you rest from your sorrow {and} pain and from your trouble {and} unrest and from the hard service with which you were made to serve,

14:4  You shall take up this [taunting] parable against the king of Babylon and say, How the oppressor has stilled [the restless insolence]! The golden {and} exacting city has ceased!

14:5  The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the [tyrant] rulers,

14:6  Who smote the peoples in anger with incessant blows {and} trod down the nations in wrath with unrelenting persecution--[until] he who smote is persecuted and no one hinders any more.

14:7  The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they break forth into singing.

14:8  Yes, the fir trees {and} cypresses rejoice at you [O kings of Babylon], even the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you have been laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.

14:9  Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead) below is stirred up to meet you at your coming [O tyrant Babylonian rulers]; it stirs up the shades of the dead to greet you--even all the chief ones of the earth; it raises from their thrones [in astonishment at your humbled condition] all the kings of the nations.

14:10  All of them will [tauntingly] say to you, Have you also become weak as we are? Have you become like us?

14:11  Your pomp {and} magnificence are brought down to Sheol (the underworld), along with the sound of your harps; the maggots [which prey upon dead bodies] are spread out under you and worms cover you [O Babylonian rulers].

14:12  How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer {and} daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened {and} laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]

14:13  And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.

14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

14:15  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).

14:16  Those who see you will gaze at you {and} consider you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?--

14:17  Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who would not permit his prisoners to return home?

14:18  All the kings of the nations, all of them lie sleeping in glorious array, each one in his own sepulcher.

14:19  But you are cast away from your tomb like a loathed growth {or} premature birth {or} an abominable branch [of the family] {and} like the raiment of the slain; and you are clothed with the slain, those thrust through with the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit [into which carcasses are thrown], like a dead body trodden underfoot.

14:20  You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and have slain your people. May the descendants of evildoers nevermore be named!

14:21  Prepare a slaughtering place for his sons because of the guilt {and} iniquity of their fathers, so that they may not rise, possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities.

14:22  And I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son's son, says the Lord.

14:23  I will also make it a possession of the hedgehog {and} porcupine, and of marshes {and} pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the Lord of hosts.

14:24  The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought {and} planned, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand--

14:25  That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains I will tread him underfoot. Then shall the [Assyrian's] yoke depart from [the people of Judah], and his burden depart from their shoulders.

14:26  This is the [Lord's] purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth [regarded as conquered and put under tribute by Assyria]; and this is [His omnipotent] hand that is stretched out over all the nations.

14:27  For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who can annul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?

14:28  In the year that King Ahaz [of Judah] died there came this mournful, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up):

14:29  Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod [of Judah] that smote you is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth an adder [King Hezekiah of Judah], and its [the serpent's] offspring will be a fiery, flying serpent.

14:30  And the firstborn of the poor {and} the poorest of the poor [of Judah] shall feed on My meadows, and the needy will lie down in safety; but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant shall be slain.

14:31  Howl, O gate! Cry, O city! Melt away, O Philistia, all of you! For there is coming a smoke out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks {and} none stands aloof [in Hezekiah's battalions].

14:32  What then shall one answer the messengers of the [Philistine] nation? That the Lord has founded Zion, and in her shall the poor {and} afflicted of His people trust {and} find refuge.