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Isaiah 25:2

ESV For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners’ palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt.
NIV You have made the city a heap of rubble, the fortified town a ruin, the foreigners' stronghold a city no more; it will never be rebuilt.
NASB For You have turned a city into a heap, A fortified city into a ruin; A palace of strangers is no longer a city, It will never be rebuilt.
CSB For you have turned the city into a pile of rocks, a fortified city, into ruins; the fortress of barbarians is no longer a city; it will never be rebuilt.
NLT You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins. Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble. Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear and will never be rebuilt.
KJV For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.

What does Isaiah 25:2 mean?

The prophet Isaiah has praised the Lord for faithfully carrying out His plans. These designs existed in God's mind since the beginning of time (Isaiah 25:1). These plans of the Lord included turning "the city" into a pile of destruction. He has torn down the palace of the "foreigner," the oppressive enemy of Israel and of the Lord, which will never be restored.

Both terms have broader symbolic meaning. Israel was God's chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6), and other nations generally opposed God and His Word. References to "the nations" or "the gentiles" frequently mean "non-believers." Here, both "the city" and "the palace" are tied to "foreigners." These generically represent the enemies of God; later, Isaiah will speak of God removing sin and shame from all nations (Isaiah 25:8).

Isaiah previously used a nameless wasted city as a picture of the Lord's judgment against the sinful people of the world (Isaiah 24:12). He seems to be referencing that same city in this verse. Here he is praising the Lord for carrying out His longstanding plan to destroy the political powers of the earth aligned against Him and against His people Israel.
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