Isaiah Chapter 47  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Isaiah 47
Isa 47:1(top)
Isa 47:2

“grind flour.” This was ordinarily the work of women and slaves, but it is mentioned here in the context of the high-born women of Babylon because they would have had slaves to do that work.

“thigh.” An idiom. The word “thigh” was often used euphemistically for sexual organs because of their close proximity. Genesis 46:26 literally reads, “All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his thigh” (cp. Exod. 1:5; Judg. 8:30). Numbers 5:21 contains a curse, the essence of which is that if a woman has committed adultery, then “her thigh will rot.” Also, it was a custom for a man to make a solemn oath while holding the penis and testicles of the one he was swearing to, just as Abraham said to his servant, “put your hand under my thigh” (Gen. 24:2, 9; 47:29).

Here in Isaiah 47:2, the highborn women of Babylon (“tender and delicate;” Isa. 47:1) will be forced to grind grain, a menial task. Their veils and their clothing will be stripped off and their genitals will be openly exposed, and they will be marched across the rivers into Persia. The ancient cultures had some very cruel practices, and publicly stripping people naked was one of them. This stripping naked in Isaiah 47 was done by the Persians. In Isaiah 7:20 it was done by the Assyrians, who had a reputation around the East for their cruelty. There were many sexual euphemisms in biblical languages, just as there are in all languages. For the use of “feet” as a sexual idiom, see commentary on Isaiah 7:20.

Isa 47:3(top)
Isa 47:4(top)
Isa 47:5

“queen-mother.” The Hebrew word translated “queen-mother” is gebereth (#01404 גְּבֶרֶת), and it can refer to the queen-mother, the queen, or a mistress over servants (Gen. 16:14; 2 Kings 5:3). In this context it refers to a woman who is the queen-mother, that is, the mother of the king and thus still considered a queen (BDB Hebrew and English lexicon). The Queen-mother was the most powerful woman in the kingdom, much more powerful than any of the wives of the king, who often did not have much real power at all. Isaiah 47:5 refers to Babylon as the “queen-mother” of kingdoms because it was the most powerful kingdom in the biblical world at that time.

Isa 47:6(top)
Isa 47:7

“you did not lay these things to your heart; you did not remember the end of it.” That is, Babylon did not take to heart or consider what happened to Judah when they disobeyed God, and so it went headlong against His principles of mercy and justice. So now their end will be like Judah’s end, they will be conquered by a foreign nation. Indeed, Persia conquered Babylon.

Isa 47:8(top)
Isa 47:9(top)
Isa 47:10(top)
Isa 47:11(top)
Isa 47:12(top)
Isa 47:13(top)
Isa 47:14

“they will be like stubble, the fire will burn them up.” “Stubble” is a term that was used for the cut-up stalks of grain or grass that burned very fast and hot and was used to start fires or heat an oven (cp. Isa. 5:24; Obad. 1:18; Matt. 6:30)

Isa 47:15(top)

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