Isaiah 14:17

ESV who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’
NIV the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?'
NASB Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’
CSB who turned the world into a wilderness, who destroyed its cities and would not release the prisoners to return home? "
NLT 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?’
KJV That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

What does Isaiah 14:17 mean?

Astonished reactions come from those who see the fallen king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:1–3). This ruler who caused nations to shake with fear has not even been awarded a proper funeral. Isaiah has been going through a taunt song mocking this former ruler (Isaiah 14:4–16).

How could this happen to a man powerful enough to make the world "like a desert." Isaiah could mean this in the sense of causing once highly trafficked areas to be abandoned by all. Travelers would fear being killed or captured by the king's ravenous armies How could such a ruler overthrew cities now be completely powerless?

After all, this was the man who made prisoners of entire people groups. This king would not allow them to return to their home countries even decades later. The idea was to keep people from redeveloping a sense of national pride and the ability to rebel against his rule over them. The people of Judah remained in exile in Babylon for 70 years. Now death had taken all the power and fearsomeness away from their captor.
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