Isaiah 47:8 MEANING

Isaiah 47:8
(8) I am, and none else beside me . . .--The boasts of Babylon are purposely embodied by the prophet in praises that recall Jehovah's assertion of His own eternity. She practically deified herself. So a like boast is put into the mouth of Nineveh in Zephaniah 2:15, and was repeated almost verbally by the poets of Rome: Terrarum dea gentiumque Roma, cui par est nihil, et nihil secundum (Martial).

Verse 8. - Therefore; rather, and now. The third strophe begins here, but with a single, instead of a double, imperative. So also the fourth strophe in ver. 12. Thou that art given to pleasures (see the comment on ver. 1, sub fin.). That dwellest carelessly; or, that sittest securely; i.e. in an imagined security. Herodotus says that, when Cyrus invested the city, the inhabitants "made light of his siege" (1:190), and occupied themselves "in dancing and revelry" (1:191). The Nabonidus Tablet seems to show that very slight and insufficient preparations for defence were made.! am, and none else Beside me. This is not self-deification, but only a boast of superiority to all other earthly powers. Zephaniah expresses in exactly similar terms the pride and arrogance of Assyria (Zephaniah 2:15). I shall not sit as a widow; i.e. in solitude and desolation (Lamentations 1:1), deserted by the crowds who had sought her marts and delighted in her luxury. This result, which now impended, had never been anticipated by the "careless" one, who had expected to be for ever "the lady of kingdoms." The loss of children; i.e. diminution of population.

47:7-15 Let us beware of acting and speaking as Babylon did; of trusting in tyranny and oppression; of boasting as to our abilities, relying on ourselves, and ascribing success to our own prudence and wisdom; lest we partake of her plagues. Those in the height of prosperity, are apt to fancy themselves out of the reach of adversity. It is also common for sinners to think they shall be safe, because they think to be secret in wicked ways. But their security shall be their ruin. Let us draw from such passages as the foregoing, those lessons of humility and trust in God which they convey. If we believe the word of God, we may know how it will be with the righteous and the wicked to all eternity. We may learn how to escape the wrath to come, to glorify God, to have peace through life, hope in death, and everlasting happiness. Let us then stand aloof from all delusions.Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures,.... To carnal lusts and pleasures; gratifying her sensual appetite; indulging herself in everything that was agreeable to the senses; abounding in delicacies, and living deliciously; as is said of mystical Babylon, Revelation 18:4, particularly given to venereal pleasures. Curtius says (g),

"no city was more corrupt in its manners, or furnished to irritate or allure to immoderate pleasures. Parents and husbands suffered their children and wives to prostitute themselves to strangers, so that they had but a price.''

Yea, every woman was obliged by a law to do this once in life, and that in a public manner, in the temple of Venus; the impurities of which are at large described by Herodotus (h) and Strabo (i):

that dwelleth carelessly; in great confidence and security, being fearless of danger, and insensible of any:

that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else besides me: sole monarch of the world, empress of the whole universe; no competitor with me, none that can rival me. These words are sometimes used by the eternal and unchangeable Jehovah of himself, and indeed they suit with none but him; and it is the height of insolence and blasphemy in a creature to use them of itself; they fitly express that sovereignty, supremacy, infallibility, and even deity, which mystical Babylon assumes and ascribes to her head:

I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children; not be without a head, king, or monarch, which is as a husband to the state; nor without numerous subjects, which are as children. The like mystical Babylon says, "I sit a queen, and am no widow", Revelation 18:7.

(g) Hist. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 1.((h) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 199. (i) Geograph. l. 16. p. 513.

Courtesy of Open Bible