Isaiah 47


Babylon is portrayed in this chapter as a beautiful and arrogant woman.

This woman is forced into slavery which is not at all how she pictured herself.


She relied on her own self-confidence and did not rely on the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 45:21-23 has made it clear that the nations of history have no hope

but in the Holy One of Israel:

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is                
no other. .  . Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. . .      
All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.”


Babylon did not recognize God as:

a)      the One with absolute power and themselves as under him with limited power

b)      the One with the ultimate will and them with a will that must line up with his



Imperatives (commands) begin this chapter

Not a throne, but sit in the dust.


“tender or delicate” describes a young virgin girl who has never had to face the harsh realities of life. 

Their view of life, their values and priorities where based on false allusions of self worship.



“Millstones” and “grind flour” sets this woman not on the throne but at work.

“Take off your veil”, “lift up your skirts”, “bare your legs”, “wade through the streams” are all terms comparing a socially elite lady with a slave woman.

Elite Lady

Slave Woman

Face covered with a veil

Face uncovered for she is not special

Long Gown

Worked in skirts, not dresses

Legs where covered

Working woman’s legs where bare

Never walk in water

Skirts pulled even high to work the irrigation ditches of the Euphrates



Nakedness indicated extreme humiliation

When referring to a nation it can indicated many lovers (which indicates false gods) that ultimately leave them defenseless and humiliated.


Whatever this woman was trusting in she was not protected.


Time will not reduce Babylon

God, the Holy One of Israel, will do this.



Describes who will overthrow arrogant Babylon.

God has promised Israel salvation.

This salvation means the defeat of those who raise themselves above God and crush his people.



Restates the ultimate



The God who controls history used Babylon to punish his people.

Babylon could have done this and remained in a right relationship with God.

But because Babylon was self-reliant, arrogant and did not recognize any power high     than themselves or any plan other than their own

will they went way past God’s way of dealing with people in judgment.

Because of this they will be overthrown.


History shows that other empires and nations where much crueler than Babylon.

Babylon’s problem was they recognized no high court to call them to account.


Isaiah is not referring to a world court or a more authoritative group to over see Babylon.

Isaiah is referring to Babylon recognizing God, the Holy One of Israel, as being the absolute authority



Did not consider that someone gave you  life and will someday take that life; or gave you power and will someday take it away.

Reflect on what your consequences where by recognizing that there is one who will judge you.



“wanton creature” is literally “lover of luxury” (NRS “lover of pleasure”; JPSV “”Pampered one”) describes “thoughtless self-indulgence” and “assumes that luxury is her right.”


“widow” refers to being without support or protection. (wealth and safety)

“without children” refers to a widowed women with children at least had hope because her children would provide for her. 

“With out children” means she is without hope in her future.  She did not produce children when her husband was alive and                       

now her chance of securing her future is past.





Quotes by the founders of the United States of America that indicated their reliance on the Holy One of Israel.


John Adams and John Hancock:

“We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!”

-April 18, 1775


John Adams:

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798


Benjamin Franklin:

“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel

–Constitutional Convention of 1787


“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”

-         Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787

Alexander Hamilton:
"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests."
-1787 after the Constitutional Convention

Patrick Henry:
“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

-May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses

Thomas Paine:
“ It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.”

“The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal.”
-“The Existence of God”—1810


“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"?

-- John Quincy Adams, 1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.