Study Guide

Book of Isaiah Chapter 47

Chapter 47

Trading Places

  • God calls Babylon a "virgin daughter," and whisks her off her metaphorical throne. She's going to grind meal and tromp about through the rivers naked and ashamed. God vows he's taking a "take no prisoners" attitude towards Babylon.
  • Now, even though God is the one who gave up Israel to Babylon in the first place, it's time for a reversal: Babylon is going to sit in shame and darkness, instead of being the richly rewarded mistress of all the nations.
  • Unable to enjoy its fine pleasures anymore, Babylon will know what it's like to be a widow and lose its children (just as Israel had).
  • God reminds them that he was watching  as they performed their wicked deeds, and he's really not cool with their selfish behavior. He's sending a calamity that they won't be able to ward off with any amount of money or pleading. 
  • Oh, and they can put that sorcery and magic away, too. That won't help either.

Psych Out

  • The disaster that's coming can't be held off by spells and enchantments, but God challenges them to try anyway. He says they should see if their royal astrologers might be of any use in helping them succeed. Maybe they will succeed, God hints…
  • But no. Psych! He says they're actually going to get consumed like stubble in a fire.
  • There's no one who can possibly help Babylon—absolutely no one.