Isaiah 13–14: Babylon and Lucifer

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 143

Isaiah 13–14, like Isaiah 10, contains prophecies about the destruction of a country that conquered the Lord’s covenant people. In Isaiah 10, the prophecy was about Assyria, the country that conquered the Northern Kingdom between approximately 725–721 B.C. Isaiah 13–14 tells about Babylon, the country that conquered Judah between approximately 600–588 B.C. Ancient Babylon was one of the wealthiest and most worldly empires in history. Consequently, the Lord used Babylon as a symbol of people who focus on the things of the world and as a contrasting image of Zion and heaven. The prophesied destruction of Babylon in Isaiah 13 symbolizes what will happen to those who fight against the people of God and those whose hearts are set upon the things of the world instead of the things of God.Isaiah 14 is more especially about the king of Babylon, whom Isaiah compared to Lucifer, or Satan. Because of the writings in this chapter, we learn more about how Lucifer became Satan and also about what will yet happen to him and his followers.

Understanding the Scriptures

Isaiah 14

Cleave (v. 1)Join together 
Captives (v. 2)Prisoners 
Oppressors (vv. 2, 4)Those who rule over and hurt others 
Sceptre (v. 5)Staff representing authority to rule 
Hindereth (v. 6)Stops 
Pomp (v. 11)Pride 
Viols (v. 11)Musical instruments 
Renowned (v. 20)Spoken of 
Bittern (v. 23)A porcupine (animal with sharp quills on its back) 
Disannul (v. 27)Stop 
Rod (v. 29)Weapon of war 
Dissolved (v. 31)Destroyed 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Isaiah 13–14.

Activity A iconWhy Would You Follow Him?

  1. 1.

    Isaiah 14:12–14 tells us about how Lucifer became Satan. What do you find most interesting about what Isaiah said?

  2. 2.

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 76:25–27 and Moses 4:1–4 and write about additional concepts you learn about the fall of Lucifer.

  3. 3.

    According to Isaiah 14:4–11, 15–20, what will eventually happen to Lucifer?

  4. 4.

    What additional information do you learn from Doctrine and Covenants 76:30, 33, 36–38, 44–46?

  5. 5.

    One of the reasons we try to learn about Jesus Christ is so we can follow His example and be more like Him. The scriptures briefly mention how Satan became the devil so we can identify what we must do to avoid following him. As you think about what you read in Isaiah 14 about Lucifer’s fall, write about why what you learned helps you want to follow Jesus Christ’s example more fully. Also write about how you will be better able to avoid Satan and his temptations because of what you learned.