Verse

Isaiah 14:5

ESV The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers,
NIV The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,
NASB The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of rulers,
CSB The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers.
NLT For the Lord has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule.
KJV The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.

What does Isaiah 14:5 mean?

Isaiah is relaying the song that will be sung by God's people after the king of Babylon is defeated and his kingdom destroyed. It's unknown if this song refers to a specific king, or which one that might be. Scholars suggest it could be about one of the Assyrian emperors during a time in which they also ruled over Babylon. Another possibility is it may be a reference to the evil rule of Babylon, in general (Isaiah 14:4).

It is a long poem, or song, which begins with a joyful celebration over what the Lord has done. It is the Lord Himself who has defeated this king. After declaring that the oppression and fury of this ruler's reign has finally been destroyed, the people give all the credit to the Lord. He is the one who has broken the "staff of the wicked" and the "scepter of rulers." The staff and scepter were symbols of a king's authority and power. To break these objects, an enemy would need to advance an attack past every defense and all the way into the throne room of the king himself. At that point, the king would be thoroughly defeated.
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