Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
isa 14:1Chuse - Will renew his choice of them; for he had rejected them.
isa 14:2Rule - Which they literally did, after their return into their own land. But this was more eminently verified in a spiritual sense, in the days of the gospel.
isa 14:4Golden city - As they used to call themselves; which therefore he expresses here in a word of their own language.
isa 14:6Anger - With rigour and not with clemency. None - Neither the Babylonians themselves, nor their confederates.
isa 14:7The earth - The subjects of that vast empire, who groaned under their cruel bondage.
isa 14:8The trees - Which were felled for the service of her pride and luxury, but now are suffered to stand.
isa 14:9Thrones - From their graves, which he seems to call their thrones by way of irony: the only thrones now left to them. Thrones both paved and covered with worms, instead of their former thrones, adorned with gold and precious stones.
isa 14:11Thy pomp - All thy glory is buried with thee. Viols - All thy musical instruments, which were much used in Babylon, and were doubtless used in Belshazzar's solemn feasts, Dan 5:1, at which time the city was taken; to which possibly the prophet here alludes. The worm - Instead of those stately carpets upon which thou didst frequently tread.
isa 14:12Fallen - From the height of thy glory. Lucifer - Which properly is a bright star, that ushers in the morning; but is here metaphorically taken for the mighty king of Babylon. Son - The title of son is given in scripture not only to a person or thing begotten or produced by another, but also to any thing which is related, to it, in which sense we read of the son of a night, Jon 4:10, a son of perdition, Joh 17:12, and, which is more agreeable, to the present case, the sons of Arcturus, Job 38:32.
isa 14:13I - I will advance myself above the state of a weak man. Above - Above all other kings and potentates; or, above the most eminent persons of God's church. North - This is added as a more exact description of the place of the temple; it stood upon mount Moriah, which was northward from the hill of Zion strictly so called.
isa 14:14Like - In the uncontrolableness of my power, and the universal extent of my dominion.
isa 14:17Cried not - Whereby he signifies both his irresistible power, and his continued cruelty.
isa 14:18All - That is, other things most commonly do. Lie - Are buried in their own sepulchres, having stately monuments erected to their memory.
isa 14:19Cast out - Or, cast from thy grave or burying - place. Which very probably happened to Belshazzar, when his people had neither opportunity nor heart to bestow an honourable interment upon him, and the conquerors would not suffer them to do it. Like - Like a rotten twig of a tree, which he that prunes the trees, casts away. Raiment - Which, being mangled, and besmeared with mire, and blood, was cast away with contempt. Go down - Who being slain, are cast into some pit. He saith, to the stones of the pit, because when dead bodies are cast in thither, men use to throw an heap of stones upon them. Trodden - Neglected, like such a carcase. And this might literally happen to Belshazzar's dead body.
isa 14:20Joined - Not buried as they are. Slain - Thou hast exercised great tyranny and cruelty, not only to thine enemies, but even to thine own subjects. The seed - Such as Belshazzar was, being descended from that Nebuchadnezzar who had made such horrid slaughters and devastations in the world, merely to gratify his own insatiable lusts, and who had been so impious towards God and his temple, and so bloody towards his church and people. Renowned - Or, shall not be renowned for ever: although I have long borne with thee and thy family.
isa 14:21Children - Cut off all the branches of the royal family. Rise - Not recover their former power.
isa 14:22Remnant - The remembrance of those that are dead, and the persons of those who yet survive.
isa 14:23Bittern - A great water fowl, which delights in solitary places, as also in watery grounds. Such as those were about Babylon. Pools - The ground about Babylon was of itself very moist, because of the great river Euphrates, running by it, which was kept from overflowing the country with charge and labour; this being neglected, when the city was destroyed, it was easily turned into pools of water.
isa 14:24Saying - This verse does not only concern Babylon's destruction, but also the overthrow of Sennacherib and the Assyrian host, which was a pledge of the destruction of the city and empire of Babylon.
isa 14:25My land - In Judea, which is my land in a peculiar manner. Mountains - In my mountainous country, for such Judea was, especially about Jerusalem.
isa 14:26The earth - Upon this vast empire, now in the hands of the Assyrians, and shortly to come into the hands of the Babylonians. The hand - The providence of God executing his purpose.
isa 14:28This burden - This following burdensome prophecy concerning the Philistines, who in Ahaz's time, made an inroad into Judah, and took divers of their cities.
isa 14:29Of him - Most understand this of Uzziah, who did then much mischief, Ch2 26:3, Ch2 26:6. But he was dead thirty - two years before this time, and therefore their joy for his death was long since past. Others understand it of Ahaz: but he was so far from smiting them, that he was smitten by them. We may understand this of the royal race of Judah, who had been a terrible scourge to them, whose rod might be said to be broken, because that scepter was come into the hands of slothful princes. A serpent - From the root of David shall come Hezekiah, who, like a serpent, shall sting thee to death, as he did, Kg2 18:8.
isa 14:30The poor - The people of the Jews, who are brought to extreme poverty. The title of first - born is given to persons or things which are most eminent in their kinds, as to the people of Israel, Exo 4:22, to David, Psa 89:27; Job 18:13, and here to persons eminently poor. Feed - Shall have plenty of provisions. Kill - I will utterly destroy thee both root and branch.
isa 14:31Gate - The gate is put for the city. City - City is here put collectively for their cities. The north - From Chaldea. A smoak - A grievous judgment and calamity. Times - When God's appointed time shall come, not one of all that numerous army shall desert his colours, or lag behind the rest.
isa 14:32What - What shall a Jew say to the people of other nations, who shall enquire concerning the state of Zion, when not only the Philistines, but even the Jews themselves, shall fall by the hands of the same enemy? That - They shall give them this answer, That although Zion at present be in a very distressed condition, yet she stands upon a firm foundation, and God who first founded her, will restore her, and his poor despised people shall resort to her, as to a strong refuge.