[Isa 14:4, 17 NLT] (4) you will taunt the king of Babylon. You will say, "The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended. ... (17) Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world's greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?'

  • Actually some scholars believe that Isaiah is not talking about a Babylonian king but rather about an Assyrian king (more specifically Sargon II) who happened to have ruled in Babylon, who died in war and never got proper burial. This would fit the context better, although there is no escaping the fact that chapter 13 is clearly about the Babylonian empire, as v. 17 makes abundantly clear. You can see more here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaiah_14 – Bach Dec 22 '20 at 3:23
  • Isaiah 13 is clearly a later insertion, since Isaiah is talking about the mighty Babylonian empire and the land of the Chaldeans and the Median empire, empires which didn't exist yet in Isaiah's days and clearly weren't mighty in his time. The big threat in Isaiah's days was the mighty Assyrian empire. That's why I think 14 would fit the context better if it were talking about Sargon, but chapter 13 remains misplaced. – Bach Dec 22 '20 at 3:26
  • Hi Bach. I always am glad to see your comments and answers because they are meaty. Thanks for posting. @Dottard suggests that "either/or" might not be necessary as the king seems to be an amalgam. Does that resonate with you? There seemed to be a confusion of referents, which is why I asked the question in the first place. – Ruminator Dec 22 '20 at 3:34
  • not really, v. 18-20 clearly seem to address a specific king that didn't get a proper burial. – Bach Dec 22 '20 at 15:08
  • 1
    @bill porter I appreciate you defending the bible like this, and I too usually don't engage in emending text whenever you like to suit your fancy, but sometimes the anachronism just stares you in the face, and it becomes clear that other hands were involved and that things were changed around. I think that this is one of these cases, but I might very well be wrong. Just a speculation, and I didn't even post this as an answer. – Bach Dec 24 '20 at 15:21

I would understand the "king of Babylon" in Isa 14 to be the titular king as opposed to an actual king, because the last king of Babylon was not the king who conquered many cities. More specifically,

  • The king who "has been destroyed" is a prophecy about the last king of Babylon which would be either Nabonidus (556 BC - 539 BC) or his son and co-regent Beshazzar (553 BC? to 539 BC).
  • The king of Babylon who "destroyed the world ... demolished the greatest cities" would be Nebuchadnezzar II (the "great") 605 BC - 562 BC. Nebuchadnezzar conquered Charchemish, Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, Judea, Cilicia, and kept Jehoiachin in prison for 37 years (Jer 52:31).

Thus, here as in many places in Scripture and Hebrew idiom, the "king" stands for the kingdom. Put another way, Babylon was personified by its king as we see in other places where Jacob is the personification of Israel, Esau is the personification of Edom, etc.

I also think that while Babylon wasted several cities, it did not make the world a wasteland; thus, Isa 14:17 is rather poetic and thus, hyperbolic.

  • Excellent post, Dottard. He does seem to be an amalgam and a personification of the city. – Ruminator Dec 21 '20 at 23:30
  • Where is the edit of your answer that shows that Isaiah 14:17 is not speaking about Titus-- chief military commander of Vespasian, who did indeed destroy many cities during their reign of terror? You say v. 17 is poetic, therefore hyperbola. This mocking occurs after this king’s death, and even after he has been resurrected—cast out of his grave. That has not happened yet. Jesus said that this abomination of desolation was spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Mark 13:14; Mat 24:15) Israel has not yet been given rest from their sorrow (verse 3). So where is the hyperbolic thread if not Titus? – Bill Porter Dec 23 '20 at 19:34

That king of Isaiah 14:4 KJV perfectly fits Titus. He was that King of Babylon, diverse from, and extended by changes to the little Horn of Daniel. He is the eleventh king of the powerful world-order of Rome, being the natural born son of, and natural heir to Vespasian--the tenth king--who was destroyed neither in anger, nor in battle. Daniel 11:20 demands:

Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. (My emphasis)

That is very unusual, check out Vespasian's predecessors. They were nearly all killed or died in some manner of strife.

MOREOVER Titus is also the eighth king of that Roman world-order kingdom, beginning with Julius Caesar, according to Revelation 17:11:

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Nero was the sixth king of Revelation, and was, at the time of the prophesy to John, in the waning days of his reign as we see in Rev 17:12:

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

How can He be the eleventh king of Daniel and still be the eighth king of Revelation?

BECAUSE he (Titus) had to come after the short reign of three rogue civil-war kings who were not acting in the interest of the "glory of the kingdom". Vespasian suceeded the three plucked-up kings, but in the glory of the kingdom because he was a dedicated Equestrian, (Dan 11:20, supra). Those three kings were "plucked up"--effectively eliminated--and therefore, not counted in Revelations tally of kings. No other Roman king or emperor fit's that set of required facts.

The historian of the day, often quoted by many of the religionists today, was a close friend of Vespasian and Titus. In fact, he was made a member of the Royal Flavius family. No wonder, Flavius Josephus, a Jew--who turned against the Jews and favorably toward the two men responsible for destroying the City of Jerusalem in 70 AD--did his best to alter history and times to protect the two scoundrels--the Flauvius father and son--the two kings referred to in Daniel 11:27:

And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. (My emphasis)

The answer to the OP's question is more fully addressed, especially with respect to Isaiah 14:4, in my paper at:


  • @Ruminator Thanks for the note and the heads up. I think it is now fixed. – Bill Porter Dec 22 '20 at 5:03
  • Neither Daniel or Revelation can, or rather should be, given short shrift. – Ruminator Dec 22 '20 at 5:14
  • 2
    Having waded through all this material, I conclude that Bill porter has a very pious but over-active prophetic imagination. I am at a loss to make the connections. What justification is there for making any interpretation other than the immediate connection that the Bible actually makes? – Dottard Dec 22 '20 at 8:46
  • 1
    I agree with Dottard, there is no evidence here whatsoever that it's king Titus that is being referenced. Daniel is Daniel, and Isaiah is Isaiah, no need to conflate these two. -1. – Bach Dec 22 '20 at 15:10
  • @Dottard You conclude huh? BAM--down goes the gavel. Sounds like a very pious statement made without stating any facts which would warrant such profound judgment. Let's hear those facts that you adjudge as making my answer pious. Maybe edit your answer to prove your judgment, your honor. – Bill Porter Dec 22 '20 at 17:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.