Isaiah: Chapters 13 & 14 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome, Family! We're spending 2024 with the prophet Isaiah. While we claim no expertise, we're excited to sit with you as we both learn at the feet of Jesus. Each month, we offer a calendar that outlines daily exercises (adapted from Jenn Wilkin's Women of the Word Bible study process) to progress through Isaiah. Download March's calendar to begin with us and witness what we uncovered in our weekly "Wolfe Note" postings.

Two green trees thrive in sunlight. Text overlay quotes Isaiah 14:27.


  1. Different Versions Noting and clarifying differences between GNV & GW.
  2. Annotation My thoughts, connections, clarifications, and questions.
  3. Research on Satan's fall.
  4. Summary An approximately twenty word overview of the chapter.
  5. Memorize Why I chose to memorize Isaiah 14:27.
  6. Cross References Of Isaiah 14:27.
  7. Respond Based on reflections on God's character and my own.

Different Versions

I read Chapters 13 and 14 in the 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV) and God's Word Translation (GW). The GNV is a word-for-word translation and the GW is a thought-for-thought translation.  

Major differences I noticed (*My thoughts alone are in italics and designated with an asterisk.):
  • "The burden of Babel" GNV vs. "the divine revelation...about Babylon" GW. Isaiah 13:1. *I assume that Babel and Babylon reference the same place. Although, Babel brings to mind the tower of Babel. Also, burden makes me think of a horrible event and divine revelation not so bad. In the end, it is a vision from God that's terrible. In Hebrew, massa means burden, load, bearing or tribute. The word in the first verses of the following chapters of Isaiah: 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, and 23.  Also, the Hebrew for Babylon is "Babel" and according to and Chad Ashby they are the same city. 
  • "And I will visit the wickedness upon the world" GNV vs. "I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their wrongdoing" GW. Isaiah 13:11. *The GNV comes off softer in this verse than the GW. Although, I suppose one could infer that punishment would come when God comes face to face with wickedness. In Hebrew, paqad means to attend to, visit, muster, appoint. Based on usage in other scriptures, it commonly means it [the evil in this case] won't go unnoticed. He will attend to, or take care of it. 
  • "O Lucifer, son of the morning" GNV vs. "How you have fallen from heaven, you morning star, son of the dawn!" GW Isaiah 14:12. *When reading the GNV, you immediately connect this verse with Satan, in contrast, when reading the GW you may miss the reference completely. Most versions do not say Lucifer but all do mention a morning star in one way or another. The Hebrew word is helel meaning "a shining one" and this is the only time it is used in the Bible. *My research this week covers this topic if you care to dive in more deeply with me.
*Conclusions: GW interprets and GNV translates which makes sense given the thought-for-thought vs. word-for-word translations. While more difficult to read in the GNV, due to antiquated language, it offers some interesting insight because it stays closer to the original Hebrew. This allows the reader to do more of the interpreting work. Except for in the case of Isaiah 14:12. GNV clearly wants you to associate this verse with Lucifer, while GW sticks to the Hebrew more closely. Why the difference, I wonder.


Notes on my process*Denotes my thoughts alone. ! Denotes a connection. Researched quick answers are in italics. *Indicates a topic with more extensive notes under the research heading.
  1. Babylon's Destruction Foretold (Isaiah 13)
    1. Isaiah sees Babylon's future. (v1)
      1. Are Babel and Babylon connected? 
    2. Rallying multitudes from everywhere, God's army, equipped and led by God, goes en masse through the gates of the haughty to fulfil His wrath. (v2-5)
      1. Mighty men, like David's (God Questions article).
      2. ! Ephraim and Judah come together. 🎶People come together / Strangers, neighbours / Our blood is one / Children of generations / Of every nation / Of kingdom come🎵 ("Good Grace" by Hillsong)
      3. ! Equipped by God with the weapons of His wrath reminds me of the orphans from The Wingfeather Saga going into battle with forks from the Fork Factory! which they made while enslaved and used to escape.
      4. ? Does "end of heaven" indicate that angel armies were utilized here?
    3. You should be afraid, Babylon; your destruction is at hand. Strength and courage will leave you and in its place you'll know fear, torment, sorrow, pain, shock, and embarrassment. (v6-8)
    4. When God comes to irradicate the sinners, there will be complete darkness, arrogance will end, tyrants will fall, and few will remain. (v9-12)
      1. ! Indicative of God's justice and mercy. 
      2. ? When the sun is referenced as a "he" and the moon a "her", is this simply poetic or is there more to it?
      3. ! "I will make a man more precious than fine gold" reminds me of 🎵Lord, you are more precious than silver.🎶(Performed by Divine Hymns)
    5. Because of God's anger, the heavens will shake, the earth will move, and because of the chaos people will flee to their homes. (v13-14)
      1. 🎶Though the mountains be shaken / and the hills be removed / Yet my unfailing love for you🎵 ("Unfailing Love" by Jimmy Needham)
      2. ! Flee from sexual immorality (I Corinthians 6:18). Which could be seen in them running to their own homes (v14)
    6. So, run to the shelter of God, resist joining the theories of man. (v15)
      1. ! Her children arise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:26
      2. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11
    7. If you choose to trust man, you will die. The works of the sinners' hands will shatter, their securities will turn to dust, their faith will be defiled. (v16)
    8. The army God will use to punish the sinners are unbribable and without compassion. (v17-18)
      1. Who are the Medes? Any connection to the Medici? v17
    9. Babylon, though you were once full of pride, you will become like Sodom and Gomorrah, remaining completely desolate. (v19-20)
      1. ? Who are the Chaldeans? v19
    10. Animals will overtake your city, including your most prized architecture. (v21-22)
      1. ? Did it remain that way, desolate and overrun with animals?
      2. ? Is there significance behind the animals described?
      3. ? Does the dragon mentioned in verse 22 imply Satan?
  2. Return of the Remnant (Isaiah 14:1-8)
    1. Because God cares for His people, including those who choose to become one of His people, Babylon's destruction will happen quickly. (v1)
      1.  * Evidence of Gentile inclusion
    2. Israel will find rest. They will welcome those who join them into their homeland, but will enslave the people who once held them captive. (v2-3)
      1. ? Or, is it saying they enslaved the people who joined them also?
    3. Israel will taunt the King of Babylon, reminding him that God broke him because he ruled relentlessly with anger and wrath. (v4-6)
    4. And now, at peace and with joy, the whole world sings. Even the mighty rejoice at the kings downfall, knowing they are safe. (v7-8)
  3. Satan's Demise (Isaiah 14:9-27)
    1. Hell rises up to greet you, King of Babylon, asking if now you're like them. (v9-10)
    2. Sad music plays as you descend to be surrounded by worms. (v11)
      1. ? Is this where the phrase "the world's smallest violin" comes from?
    3. How did this happen? You fell, you, the King who once conquered many nations. You, who always believed your throne would rise to be equal to God and above your peers. (v12-14)
      1. How and when did this transfer to being about Lucifer, or was it always about him? *R
      2. ! This really does sound similar to Babel: Trying to build a tower to reach God and be above their peers. Genesis 11:1-9
    4. But the opposite will happen. Everyone will question if you really had any power at all but will remember all the evil you caused. While everyone else rests peacefully, you are eagerly cast out. (v15-20)
      1. ? Is there a reason Satan would be brought to the side of the pit?
    5. God will end the evil that's been done by you, ridding the earth of all ties to you. Babylon will belong to wild animals and be full of water, no longer habitable by humans. (v23)
      1. ? What is the broom of destruction? 
    6. God has said it, so it will be. (v24 & 26-27)
      1. ? Does the counsel of God reference the Holy Spirit? v26
    7. Assyria will be ruined and my people freed of them. (v25)
  4. Philistine's Destruction Foretold (Isaiah 14:28-32)
    1. When King Ahaz died, Isaiah saw another prophecy. (v28)
    2. Don't rejoice, Philistia, trouble comes. (v29, 31)
      1. ? What is the meaning of the "serpent's root", cockatrice, and the fiery flying serpent? v29
      2. ! "...there shall come from the North a smoke and none shall be alone..." reminds me of the fire by night in Exodus 13:21.
    3. But God will feed and protect those who need it while killing the root of evil and its offshoots. (v30)
    4. Tell the Gentiles: God rules in Zion and no one lacks anything. (v32)
      1. ! The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1


*Thoughts that are mine alone are marked with an asterisk and italicized.
Is Isaiah 14 talking about Satan's fall?

Examining Isaiah 14:12: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

  • Lucifer is clearly named in some versions (KJV, GNV, TLB) but different titles (day-star, star of the morning, the bright morning star) are used in others (ASV, AMP, CEV).
  • In Hebrew, the word is helel which means a shining one. This is the word's only occurrence in the entirety of scripture.
  • Cross references point either to Satan or Jesus as being the bright morning star.
    • Luke 10:18 Jesus said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning."
    • Revelation 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give this testimony to you for the churches. I am the root and descendant of David. I am the bright morning star."
  • Commentators are divided. Most believe it is about Lucifer and the King of Babylon while some believe it exclusively references the literal King of Babylon only.
  • Conclusions: It seems there is a tie to Lucifer, as this scripture clearly could not reference Jesus because the description in Isaiah is contradictory to Jesus' character. Interpreting this verse spiritually and literally honors God's word in spirit and truth. In my opinion, every interpretation of the Bible should include a spiritual and literal interpretation because it is given to us for spiritual growth. The Gospel Coalition agrees: "We must grasp not only the biblical author's intended meaning (which is possible for nonbelievers) but also his intended effect (which is possible only for believers)." (2 Corinthians 3:142 Timothy 3:16, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 8:7)

Satan's Fall with Ideas from Enduring Word and Ministry Magazine:

  • Isaiah 14 describes the prophecy for both the literal (human) and spiritual (Satan) Babylonian king.
  • "God wants us to know now that Satan is destined for hell." - Enduring Word 
    • As a victim, the ultimate prisoner
    • Hell will be happy to receive him this way because then the one who tortured so many himself will be tortured. (Isaiah 14:9)
  • "God wants us to know now...that Satan is a mere creature and is in no way the opposite of God." - Enduring Word
    • "We often...exaggerate Satan's status and importance."- Enduring Word
    • Satan's opposite might more closely be a high-ranking angel, like Michael, than God.
  • It will be a disgusting and degrading end.
  • There are four falls of Satan:
    1. From glorified to profane (Only this one has happened)
      • Ezekiel 28:14-16 GNV: ...therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering Cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
      • Luke 10:18 GNV: ...I saw Satan, like lightning, fall down from heaven.
    2. From access to heaven to restricted on earth.
      • Job 1:12 GNV: Then the Lord said unto Satan, Lo, all that [Job] hath is in thine hand... (See also I Kings 22:21 and Zechariah 3:1)
      • Revelation 12:9 GNV: And the great dragon, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, was cast out, which deceiveth all the world: he was even cast into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
    3. From earth to bottomless pit. Revelation 20:1-3 GNV: And [an angel] cast [Satan] into the bottomless pit, and [an angel] shut [Satan] up, and sealed the door upon him that he should deceive the people no more till the thousand years were fulfilled: for after that he must be loosed for a little season.
    4. From bottomless pit to lake of fire. Revelation 20:10 GNV: And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where that beast and that false prophet are, and shall be tormented even day and night for evermore.
  • The "I will" statements in Isaiah 14 show his desire: to exalt himself above his peers - the highest angel, next to, equal to, but not greater than God. 
  • One third of the angels joined in Satan's rebellion
      • Revelation 12:3-4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven [angels] and threw them down to the earth.
  • Satan's strategy is to:
    1. Obscure the image of God in man by encouraging sin and rebellion. 
      1. Genesis 3:5 Satan tempts Eve.
      2. Genesis 11:4 When men build a tower to reach heaven.
    2. Deceive man into serving Satan. 
    3. Prevent the ultimate glorification of man.

*Conclusions: Pride is the warning; humility the answer. New ideas for me were that 1) Satan does not rule hell, but will be punished there. 2) He doesn't want to be greater than God, but equal to God. He wants to be greater than humanity and all other angels. 3) Jesus demonstrated the correct response to God that perfectly contradicted Satan's response: emptying himself and serving God to the point of death on the cross.


God completely irradicates the arrogance of Babylon and Assyria - literally and spiritually - to bring justice and give His people rest.


I chose to memorize Isaiah 14:27.
For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

His promises, plans, power, and purpose stand. This verse will help train me in replacing my doubt with His certainty.

Cross References

*Thoughts that are mine alone are marked with an asterisk and italicized.

Of Isaiah 14:27:

  • 2 Chronicles 20:6 GW: He said, "Lord God of our ancestors, aren't you the God in heaven? You rule all the kingdoms of the nations. You possess power and might, and no one can oppose you.
  • Proverbs 19:21 ESV Many plans are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
  • Isaiah 43:13 GNV: Yea, before the day was, I am, and there is none that can deliver out of mine hand: I will do it, and who shall let it?  
  • Ezekiel 26:14 KJV: And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord.
  • Job 9:12 GW: He takes something away, [but] who can stop him? Who is going to ask him, "What are you doing?"
Conclusions: 🎵Who's gonna stop the King? No one, no one🎶(Lyrics from "Who's Gonna Stop the King" performed by Crowder)


  1. God calls His people to action. (Isaiah 13:3) After sanctification, He commands and calls those who rejoice in His glory. I am God's. I rejoice in His glory. He has sanctified me, He commands and calls me. I must seek to understand His commands, listen and look for His calling in my life, willingly obey, and rejoice in the Lord always.
  2. God will punish wrongdoers and make the prideful fall. It is not my job to punish sinners or put the prideful in their place. My job is to trust God, in every situation, while rejoicing in who He is and to love my enemies. I truly love others when I work to bring them to Jesus. This work is most effectively accomplished through prayer and by obeying God's commands.
  3. God cares for the poor and the needy, so I need to care for the poor and needy, too. I must look and listen for opportunity and act when I see it. I must consider the lack and needs of the people around me, too, like a crying sibling or a friend who is spiritually lost.

In Closing

God, You are so wonderfully complex, yet enduringly simple. Every word You speak is truth: I know what you say will happen. Though I don't understand every detail, I know You see the whole picture. Where You tell me to paint, I'll paint. When You order me to stop, I'll stop. You know me: I am Your sheep who hears Your voice and willingly follows while rejoicing in Your glory.

Learning with You,

Are you ready for Chapters 15 & 16?

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