Isaiah – Chapter 47

God mocked Babylon as a virgin daughter to be disgraced by the Persians and as a lady doomed to widowhood and loss of children. God would destroy Babylon for her sorcery and witchcraft. Her satanic advisors would not stop Him at all.




Theme:  God mocked Babylon as a virgin daughter and lady and promised her ruin in spite of witchcraft.



1-4       Isaiah Mocked Babylon as a Disgraced Virgin

5-7       God Mocked Babylon as a Doomed Virgin

8-11     God Promised Babylon Would Be Desolated

12-15   God Promised to Ruin Babylon’s Sorcerers


Preparatory Reading:  Isaiah chapters 13-14, 19, 39, 41, 43-46; Jeremiah 25, 27, 50-51; Daniel 2, 5, 7.


Related Links:

  1. Exposition of Isaiah 13 (Babylon beat) …
  2. Exposition of Isaiah 14 (Belshazzar) …
  3. Exposition of Isaiah 19 (Egypt judged) …
  4. Exposition of Isaiah 41 (Cyrus foretold) …
  5. Exposition of Isaiah 43 (Babel beat) …
  6. Exposition of Isaiah 44 (Cyrus called) …
  7. Exposition of Isaiah 45 (Cyrus called) …
  8. Babylon: History-Prophecy
  9. A Threatened Virgin (Sennacherib) …
  10. The Power of Darkness (Satan) …
  11. Witchcraft (in many modern forms) …
  12. The Stronger Man (Jesus over Satan) …
  13. Glory of Fulfilled Prophecy
  14. Cyrus Decree to Rebuild …
  15. God Is Author of Confusion
  16. Boasting of God – Isaiah



  1. This chapter, eighth in Isaiah’s comfort section, can build faith, thanks for election, hatred for sorcery.
    1. Comfort. To strengthen (morally or spiritually); to encourage, hearten, inspirit, incite. To minister delight or pleasure to; to gladden, cheer, please, entertain.
    2. Isaiah 41 had God mocking idolatrous nations about the rise of Cyrus to save and promote Israel.
    3. Isaiah 43 had God mocking idolatrous nations about His defeat and sacrifice of Babylon for Jews.
    4. Isaiah 44 had God naming Cyrus and exalting fulfilled prophecies over the insanity of idolaters.
    5. Isaiah 45 had God naming Cyrus and guaranteeing his success for God’s universal glory and praise.
    6. Isaiah 46 had God comforting Israel by His superiority to idols in care, nature, prophecy, salvation.
    7. It is our duty in scripture to work hard for God’s approval by applying the words to the right event.
    8. Though there are wonderful words in these chapters, we want the sense of them not just the sound.
    9. Therefore, it is key to carefully analyze the context and the content to apply it to the right event.
    10. The chapter divisions are not inspired, but God has providentially preserved them with some value.
    11. Keep in mind when reading that Isaiah moves all over the timeline e.g. Rome (Is 6:9-13), Assyria (Is 7:2), Messiah (Is 9:1-2,6-7), Assyria (Is 10:1-34), Messiah (Is 11:1-10), Babylon (Is 13-14).
    12. Isaiah had told Babylon’s ruin (Is 13-14; 21:1-12; 41:1-9; 43:14-18; 44:24-48; 45:1-6; 46:9-11).
    13. Though the event is near 160+ years away, God here proves He is God by this incredible prophecy.
    14. The reason for the event is His glory above all else (Isaiah 47:4,6,10 compared to Isaiah 48:9; etc.).
    15. Christians should never fear political events or occult religion, for Jehovah fully governs both.
  2. This chapter follows the previous seven with more details justifying comfort for Israel after chastening.
    1. After 39 chapters, many of which foretold terrible judgments, Isaiah began a section of comfort.
    2. From the first chapter to the historical section (36-39), Assyria and Babylon would ravage Judah.
    3. Assyria’s war with Judah was repeated for being in Isaiah’s time, but Babylon’s war is also told.
    4. But notice the very last prophecy before chapter 40 – Babylon would take all captive (Is 39:6-7).
    5. The comfort here identifies God’s power over idols to fulfill His covenant promises to the Jews.
    6. He called on Israel to be His witnesses to the world that He had foretold about Cyrus far in advance.
    7. Fulfilled prophecies – like this – are one of the greatest proofs of God’s existence and Bible truth.
    8. The amount of prophetic and historical space given to Cyrus and Babylon prove its value to God.
  3. To fully appreciate the value and power of this chapter, a person needs to learn about Cyrus the Great.
    1. He is the main character in these 40’s chapters of Isaiah, for God used him greatly (Is 44:28; 45:1).
    2. His commandment to rebuild Jerusalem is what started Daniel’s crucial timeline (Daniel 9:24-27).
    3. His proclamation for Jews to return to Jerusalem is huge in history (II Chr 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4).
    4. Skeptics and students resent Cyrus, for this supernatural prophecy and/or denying Ussher/Ptolemy.
    5. The overthrow of the mighty city of Babylon in one night and release of the Jews is clearly epic.
    6. God loved this event and spends these 40’s chapters of Isaiah to boast about His prophecy of him.
    7. Though the name Cyrus is in the pages of scripture nineteen times, most Christians know nothing.
    8. When a man denies the supernatural about Cyrus and/or starting Daniel’s prophecy, he is ignorant.
  4. What do we want to get from this chapter? There are many goals and reasons to learn it; here are some.
    1. It should build our joy and pleasure that God makes a huge difference between us and His enemies.
    2. It should help us see the great contrast between being ravished and being redeemed by a great king.
    3. It should build our confidence and fearlessness in God against all the powers of darkness anywhere.
    4. It should provoke our spiritual minds to see the power of our Lord over the devil and all his wiles.
    5. It should remind us Jesus will return to make a difference far greater than Cyrus (II Thess 1:7-10).

  Isaiah Mocked Babylon as a Disgraced Virgin  –  Verses 1-4 

1  Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.

  1. This section we ascribe to Isaiah, for he referred to Jehovah in the third person (Is 47:4).
  2. Cities or kingdoms are often compared to girls or women outside this chapter of Isaiah.
    1. God called Jerusalem the virgin daughter of Zion (Is 10:32; 37:22; 52:2; Lam 2:13).
    2. Babylon is referred to under feminine terms (Ps 137:8; Jer 50:42; 51:33; Zech 2:7).
    3. We use Lady Liberty and Mother Nature without hardly giving such usage a thought.
    4. You must grasp the metaphor of a virgin daughter and then apply it to the city’s ruin.
  3. A virgin daughter is a very precious thing – a very glorious term for a female human.
    1. A virgin daughter is precious, so men have used it metaphorically for great value.
    2. Virginity is no longer thought valuable but rather an anomaly, blemish, or disgrace.
    3. However, the Bible knows better and required it against humbling (Deut 22:13-29).
  4. Isaiah prophetically mocked this beautiful city for how God would greatly disgrace it.
    1. Instead of cavorting in fine clothing in a palace, she would sit on the dusty ground.
    2. Instead of sitting in a throne as a princess, the daughter of Babylon would have none.
    3. The change would include losing all fine descriptions such as tender and delicate.
    4. You must grasp the metaphor of a virgin daughter and then apply it to the city’s ruin.
  5. Babylon, one of the most beautiful cities of history, would eventually be dirt mounds.
    1. God had promised her great downfall, and it began with Cyrus the Persian taking it.
    2. The capital of Persia was quickly moved from Babylon to Shushan (today’s Susa).
    3. Eventually it became the uninhabited wilderness it has been known as for centuries.
  6. Zion as a Virgin (Sennacherib) …
  7. Babylon’s Overthrow

2  Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.

  1. So far from being the virgin daughter of Babylon enjoying finery, she would be a slave.
  2. Princesses, virgin daughters of kings at home, did not do manual labor like grind meal.
    1. Such menial tasks were assigned to servants or slaves, and they were well used to it.
    2. The beautiful city of splendor that lived in pleasure was reduced to desperate straits.
    3. It is not uncommon to mock girls that try to avoid manual labor today as princesses!
    4. You must grasp the metaphor of a virgin daughter and then apply it to the city’s ruin.
  3. Princesses, virgin daughters of kings at home, were used to fine and extensive clothing.
    1. Let it be known by all women that the best and honored in all nations were covered.
    2. Only slaves and whores ever revealed so much of their bodies … hair, legs and thighs.
    3. This princess’s head was bare, and she had to gird up clothes for labor and fording.
    4. She would be stolen and taken away to foreign nations, thus passing over the rivers.
    5. Beautiful Babylon no longer had regal beauty but was reduced to abject servitude.
    6. The capital of Persia was quickly moved from Babylon to Shushan (today’s Susa).

3  Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

  1. Grinding meal without fine attire is nothing compared to what happens to captive girls.
  2. Female captives were cruelly abused physically and cruelly mocked verbally by many.
    1. Know God’s holy judgment of His virgin Israel (Jer 13:26; Ezek 16:15-59; 23:1-49).
    2. Compare God’s judgment of Nineveh and other enemies of His (Nah 3:5; Hab 2:16).
    3. The gang rape of the Levite’s concubine in Gibeah is an example (Judges 19:24-28).
    4. The contrast here is between ravish and redeem (Is 13:16; 49:26; La 5:11; Zec 14:2).
    5. The beauty and magnificence of Babylon would be stolen and destroyed completely.
    6. She would become a proverb and byword for her great overthrow and desolation.
    7. Every flaw and secret, any shame in government or situation, would be exposed.
  3. Continuing the metaphor, Babylon’s virgin daughter would be violated horribly for sins.
    1. This princess daughter was used to being treated with great courtesy and kindness.
    2. But she would be taken captive and abused physically and verbally with vengeance.
    3. First Cyrus and then other conquerors stole the beauty and riches of great Babylon.
    4. They did not treat her like a date with a gentleman suitor but rather like an enemy.
    5. God by His servants did not come with kind invitations but ferocious destruction.
    6. A lion or crocodile destroying an antelope has no gentleness or leniency like men.
    7. American ignorance of events like the Rape of Nanking destroy the full intent here.
  4. Judgment day comes – when God will ravish some and redeem others (II Thess 1:7-10).
    1. The difference between the elect and reprobates is far greater than any comparison.
    2. He will destroy His enemies in fiery vengeance, and He will be admired by believers.
  5. When persons say God is not a God of judgment, they reason as a man – a foolish man.
    1. They cannot imagine God being as severe as He is, for they reason from themselves.
    2. Because man is not holy and has embraced his feminine side, He cannot grasp God.
    3. Paul knew the terror of the Lord Jesus and taught it (II Cor 5:11; Heb 10:26-31; etc.).

4  As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.

  1. God’s servant – Cyrus the Great – would ravish Babylon and redeem Israel. Hallelujah!
  2. Let this little connected chorus (the next verse returns back to Babylon), thrill your soul.
  3. In this context, remember how Jehovah gloriously saved His virgin daughter of Zion.
    1. Sennacherib, who deflowered other cities and kingdoms, ridiculed God’s princess.
    2. God took his efforts to seduce Zion jealously and destroyed his army and then him.
  4. The same God and His servants were Israel’s redeemer while being Babylon’s abuser.
    1. Cyrus and God that called him, or God and Cyrus His servant, would redeem Israel.
    2. Instead of the ravishing fury of a lustful, vengeful army, remnant Jews were saved.
  5. The contrast here is very great, and the difference between heaven and hell is very great.

  God Mocked Babylon as a Doomed Virgin  –  Verses 5-7 

5  Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.

  1. This section we ascribe to God; He tells of Himself as Judge in the first person (Is 47:6).
  2. The bright and exciting city of Babylon was brought down to darkness and destruction.
    1. Once known for thrilling noise and bright light and décor, soon to be silent and dark.
    2. The lady of kingdoms is an expression of preeminence above the cities of the earth.
  3. Next comes explanation of judgment, not a chorus of exultation and joy as the previous.

6  I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke.

  1. Here is the reason for the terrible predicament of God’s virgin in the brothel of Babylon.
    1. There are two important facts to gather from this predicament about future events.
    2. First, Israel was there for their sins and the chastening wrath of a holy and just God.
    3. Second, Babylon would be punished for being excessively cruel in their given role.
    4. The chastening of Jews would end, and then the vengeance of Babylon would begin.
  2. The joy of the whole earth, the illustrious virgin of Zion, was there by God’s judgment.
    1. She was not there for any innate superiority of the Chaldeans over the people of God.
    2. God’s anger caused Him to pollute Judah and send His people to such an evil place.
    3. They had sinned many different ways that the historical and prophetic books record.
  3. God was now angry with Babylon and would revenge their cruel punishment of Jews.
    1. Though Nebuchadnezzar showed some mercy, there was great cruelty (Ps 137:1-9).
    2. Even the oldest captives were treated cruelly on the 1000-mile march to Babylon.
    3. Believe Bible truth that vengeance is the LORD’s (Rom 12:17-21; Heb 10:30-31).
  4. Even in chastisement of His children, which can be severe, God remembers their pain.
    1. Though the Jews deserved even worse than they received, God remembered mercy.
    2. Habakkuk once cried out about the Chaldeans, In wrath, remember mercy (Hab 3:2).
    3. God does scourge His children, but always and only for their good (Heb 12:5-13).

7  And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.

  1. Babylon arrogantly presumed that she would be the queen city of the earth for all time.
    1. They did not grasp that God had raised them up to destroy Assyria and chasten Israel.
    2. God’s favor is often misunderstood as His approval for presumption (Psalm 50:21).
    3. From all appearances and analysis, it seemed that Babylon should last a 1000 years.
  2. She foolishly pressed forward in her projects without considering conduct or judgment.
  3. Knowing the God of Israel was the true and living God, she still despised His people.
    1. Babylon’s ambassador had visited Hezekiah for the wonder done (II Chron 32:31).
    2. Her greatest king had been put out to pasture and honored Daniel (Daniel 5:10-12).
    3. There is no reason that she did not know the history of this Jehovah-blessed people.
    4. Though Nebuchadnezzar showed some mercy, there was great cruelty (Ps 137:1-9).
    5. Even the oldest captives were treated cruelly on the 1000-mile march to Babylon.
  4. Knowing the God of Israel was the true and living God, she still ignored His prophecies.
    1. Daniel had clearly told Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom was temporary (Dan 2:37-39).
    2. Nebuchadnezzar himself had been deposed for seven years for sins (Daniel 4:27).
    3. It is an axiom of kingdoms and Solomon’s wisdom about the throne (Pr 27:23-24).
    4. These people knew about Jeremiah (think Nebuchadnezzar), but ignored 70 years.
    5. The prophecy of Babylon’s overthrow was clearly revealed by Isaiah in advance.
  5. Reader, have you diligently made your calling and election sure to guarantee the future?
    1. You should examine your life in sober reflection about your conduct (II Cor 13:5).
    2. You should consider the final end of life and make your election sure (II Pet 1:5-11).

  God Promised Babylon Would Be Desolated  –  Verses 8-11 

8  Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:

  1. The therefore here is important, for it draws a conclusion from the two issues at stake.
    1. There are two important facts to gather from this predicament about future events.
    2. First, Israel was there for their sins and the chastening wrath of a holy and just God.
    3. Second, Babylon would be punished for being excessively cruel in their given role.
    4. The chastening of Jews would end and then the vengeance of Babylon would begin.
  2. Babylon was so rich and secure she could be addicted to pleasures and careless living.
    1. There was no reason to think she could be taken or any competitor to steal business.
    2. By her central location between Asian and Europe/Africa, she was great in business.
    3. By her access to the Persian Gulf with the Euphrates River, she was great in business.
    4. Christians in 2020 should fear pleasure and careless living (II Tim 3:1-5; II Pet 2:19).
  3. Babylon, like other great kingdoms, thought she would surely reign long into the future.
    1. Hitler, like the Holy Roman Empire, taught the Third Reich would last a 1000 years.
    2. Success breeds pride, which forgets the incredible difficulty to maintain state power.
    3. Solomon gave a general political axiom about the duration of kingdoms (Pr 27:24).
    4. Proverbs 27:24 Commentary
  4. The enemies of a woman’s joy – the queen lady here – is loss of husband and children.
    1. The two things a woman truly needs are a husband for his role and children for joy.
    2. The two things indispensable to a kingdom are a great king and obedient citizens.
    3. There is no great necessity to make this strongly literal; verse one was a metaphor.
    4. Babylon presumed she would be the queen lady of the whole earth forever and ever.
    5. She presumed that the other misfortune of losing her children would never happen.

9  But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.

  1. Two great fears for a kingdom or queen – loss of husband and children – would come.
  2. Take the metaphor as you wish – the loss of both necessities did occur in just one day.
    1. If the terminology is purely metaphorical, Babylon was overthrown in only one day.
    2. If the terms here imply a king and citizens, Belshazzar was killed and the city taken.
  3. Note the powerful language – the complete destruction of the lady – would be perfected.
    1. God would perfectly perform vengeance of taking away her husband and children.
    2. Taken metaphorically, God would vengefully take husband and children perfectly.
    3. Taken for king and citizens, God would perfectly remove both kingdom necessities.
    4. The husband did not die and then the children later, not some children, but all, etc.
  4. Here God by Isaiah introduced another cause and motive to justify God’s vengeance.
    1. Babylon was given to sorcery, superstition, and witchcraft of all kinds against God.
    2. God would judge her for treatment of the captive Jews and also for treatment of Him.
    3. Playing with the occult in any way highly offends the only true, living, wise God.
    4. God challenged and mocked them to use sorcery against His word (Isaiah 47:12-13).
  5. The Chaldeans and the city of Babylon were given to occult practices of various kinds.
    1. Babylon’s king chose a direction by using arrows, images, or the liver (Ezek 21:21).
    2. Nebuchadnezzar used magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, soothsayers (Dan 2:2; 4:7).
    3. Belshazzar used astrologers and soothsayers but without any profit (Dan 5:7-8,15).
    4. Reading ahead, God will add stargazers and monthly prognosticators (Isaiah 47:13).
  6. Reader, dost thou consult the horoscope? Palm readers? Fortune cookies? Crystal ball? Harry Potter? Ouija board? Jeanne Dixon? Pokemon cards? Dungeons & Dragons?
  7. Witchcraft (Babylon’s many sorceries) …

10  For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.

  1. God would perfect judgment against Babylon (Is 47:9) – for arrogance in the dark arts.
    1. The wickedness under consideration is devil worship through sorcery and witchcraft.
    2. Consider again the many devilish advisors the kings used (Daniel 2:2; 4:7; 5:7-8,15).
    3. Reading ahead, God will add stargazers and monthly prognosticators (Isaiah 47:13).
    4. Their confidence rose up against heaven itself, that even God could not see their arts.
    5. They thought their mysteries were so deep and hidden that God could not see them.
    6. It matters little how much they knew God hated witchcraft, they chose the darkness.
    7. God holds men accountable – without excuse – for truth they should know (Is 47:7).
  2. Babylon’s kings used many advisors and counselors, many of the dark arts, for wisdom.
    1. She had a multitude of sorceries and a great abundance of enchantments (Is 47:9).
    2. Consider again the many devilish advisors the kings used (Daniel 2:2; 4:7; 5:7-8,15).
    3. Reading ahead, God will add stargazers and monthly prognosticators (Isaiah 47:13).
    4. Recall the graduate school of the best minds Daniel had attended (Dan 1:3-5,17-20).
  3. Their presumption of wisdom through their counselors and sorceries caused great pride.
    1. Their successes were ordained and done by God’s blessing on the rod in His hand.
    2. But instead, they thought they were invincible by their consultations and successes.
    3. They had truly overthrown mighty Nineveh; they ruled the world as the head of gold.
    4. Do not let successes guide your thinking, for it can easily be fools’ gold (Prov 1:32).
  4. Note that what Babylon called wisdom, God called wickedness – an upside down world.
    1. The false education and science today has perverted most men (I Tim 4:7; 6:20-21).
    2. Right Side Up (slides) …

11  Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

  1. The therefore here is important, for it draws a conclusion that witchcraft gets judged.
  2. They presumed against God by satanic arts, so God would destroy them a special way.
    1. They thought they had great wisdom, but their conqueror would escape their notice.
    2. The rise of Cyrus was very sudden and powerful, for Media and Lydia were greater.
    3. Babylon fell in one night, shocking Belshazzar and nobles (Jer 51:31; Dan 5:30-31).
    4. They could not see the enemy, resist his military campaign, or know his strategies.
    5. Think! They and their devils missed Cyrus, whom God had named 160 years earlier!
    6. Think! They and their seances missed the river as the entry point, foretold by God!
  3. Note the two references of their ignorance about political/military events by an enemy.
    1. They would miss the enemy’s location … thou shalt not know from whence it riseth.
    2. They would miss the means of the enemy’s shockingly quick victory … desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.
    3. Our God planned to raise up an unknown enemy and give him an incredible victory.
    4. The holy reason for the details was to utterly confound their diviners (Isaiah 44:25).
    5. The holy reason for the details was to utterly confound their diviners (Isaiah 44:25).
    6. You should love the defeat of Babylon by Cyrus for these damning circumstances.
  4. Reader, be very careful to know nothing but what God has declared and to be humble.
    1. Let us hate the arrogance of this ignorant society and their science falsely so called.
    2. God has disgraced them with sexual perversions they do not perceive (Ro 1:20-27).
    3. They have no ability or bravery to say, But the emperor doesn’t have any clothes on!
    4. Right Side Up (slides) …

God Promised to Ruin Babylon’s Sorcerers  –  Verses 12-15 

12  Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.

  1. God hereby mocks and ridicules their dark arts by challenging them to resist His power.
    1. He calls on them to stand and resist Him. Use all your traditional means to stop me.
    2. He foretold the ruin of Babylon in one day, already highly improbable on its own.
    3. Coaches do not like the score run up on their teams; they should stop the opponent!
  2. But even with their good odds, He dared the many sorcerers of Babylon to stop Him.
    1. The Babylonians in their history, from youth, had employed these arts for wisdom.
    2. God dared them to find out anything to profit their cause or to overcome the enemy.
    3. They had made huge investments of effort – labored – in witchcraft to learn things.
  3. God declared the overthrow of Babylon with many details – let their devils stop Him!

13  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.

  1. The devilish Babylonians were tired from the efforts at sorcery – which could not profit.
    1. Consider again the many devilish advisors the kings used (Daniel 2:2; 4:7; 5:7-8,15).
    2. Reading here, God also added stargazers and monthly prognosticators (Isaiah 47:9).
    3. They had so many opinions of so many different occult crafts to sort out for wisdom.
  2. God mocked them by telling them to get all diviners and sorcerers together for help.
  3. God told them what would happen, even naming Cyrus, and dared them to stop them.
  4. Remember how God sent a lying spirit to corrupt the advice to Ahab (I Kgs 22:19-23).
  5. A Lying Spirit from God …

14  Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

  1. What would happen to the sorcerers and witches of Babylon? God would burn them up.
    1. The city’s counselors and advisors would be utterly overthrown and fully destroyed.
    2. The plural they and them here and in previous verses is their different satanic arts.
    3. Fire here is for the judgment of God, and the diviners would burn up like dry stalks.
    4. There was not a literal fire – Cyrus did not burn them at the stake for their crimes.
  2. The conflagration of Babylon’s leadership and wisdom would leave nary a warm coal.
    1. The traditional wise men of Babylon and their prestige would be totally confounded.
    2. They may have been in the room yet with Belshazzar when Cyrus/Darius slew some.
    3. There would not be left even a hint or semblance of profit from the academy of arts.
    4. The total consternation of them and their devotees would be as if fully incinerated.
    5. Cyrus and Darius would completely overthrow their every prediction and guarantee.
  3. Learn how to read prophecy – fire is used as two different metaphors in only one verse.
    1. The first fire and flame of the verse is God’s destructive vengeance on the sorcerers.
    2. The second coal and fire would be advice and comfort from the former counselors.

15  Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.

  1. Those Babylon labored with from youth were sorcerers and enchanters (Is 41:12-14).
    1. They would be burned up in the way the previous verse had described (Isaiah 41:14).
    2. Their ruin would be so complete, fire is a metaphor here, there would be no help left.
    3. They would take leave to return home with thoughts like Ahithophel (II Sam 17:23).
    4. They would be totally unable to profit or save the city from the judgment of Jehovah.
  2. The nonrestrictive phrase, even thy merchants, mocks the city for being merchandised.
    1. The first clause condemns sorcerers with ruin by the metaphorical fire just described.
    2. The second clause describes their reaction when they are fully confounded by Cyrus.
    3. The third clause describes the utter vanity of trust in them for the safety of Babylon.
    4. The short modifier, even thy merchants, gives the sorcerers another role in the city.
    5. These imposters had made lots of money in selling idols and/or selling their advice.
    6. Alexander the coppersmith would later whine about poor idol sales to brother Paul.
    7. Peter much later wrote about false prophets making merchandise of men (II Pet 2:3).
  3. The nonrestrictive phrase, even thy merchants, may also/or refer to merchants proper.
    1. Just like the confounding of counsel from occult advisors, business help would fail.
    2. The huge international and intercontinental business tradition of Babylon would fail.
    3. The merchants would wander to their nations of origin and hope for new business.
    4. None of the foreign merchants, who had made much money in Babylon, could help.