Isaiah 47 speaks to the virgin daughter of Babylon. The phrase “virgin daughter of…” is used not only for Babylon but also the Lord’s people and of Egypt. This phrase is obviously an idiom. As I contemplated its use, I decided that the word “virgin” is used possibly because the privacy, sin, or shame of the nation had not been exposed yet. Notice how the following verses supports this idea: Isaiah 47:2-3 Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.” The Lord intended to expose Babylon. He eventually took vengeance on Babylon by sending Medo-Persia to conquer it.
The virgin daughter of Babylon is told to sit on the ground without a throne. The Lord was telling Babylon that He was going to take away her throne and give it to another. This virgin should be contrasted to the woman in Revelation 17. This woman was sitting on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns. She was described as holding a cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. Her name describes her as the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth. Apparently, she willingly flaunts her abominations for the world to see. To her there are no moral absolutes; there’s only lawlessness.
According to Revelation 13:2, the dragon (Satan) gave its power, its throne and great authority to the leopard-bear-lion beast. This beast is a conglomerate of the leaders of the ancient empires of Greece, Medo-Persia, and Babylon. This throne is basically the land mass of these ancient kingdoms. As this beast evolved into the scarlet beast, it gained the territory of Ancient Rome. This entire area is the most spiritually dark part of the world. It is this territory or throne on which the harlot will be located until she is dethroned and destroyed by the beast. Contrary to what many believe, the woman is not the beast. She rides (which implies she controls) the beast temporarily.
Revelation 17:16-18 describes her destruction like this: “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
Just as disaster came upon the virgin daughter of Babylon, it will also come upon the harlot, Babylon the Great.
Now let’s get back to Isaiah 47. It says the Holy One of Israel is our Redeemer; His name is the Lord of hosts (YHVH Tzva’ot). Previously the Lord had been angry with His people and had given them into the hand of the Babylonians who had treated them without mercy. The Lord was warning Babylon that He was going to change all of that.
The Babylonians had done another thing wrong. They equated themselves with the Lord by saying in their hearts, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’ This is what the Lord said repeatedly in previous chapters about Himself. This mindset is repeated again in verse; these bookends emphasize the importance of what is said in between verses 8 and 10.
The Babylonians did not think it was possible for their children and husbands to be taken away from them. They trusted in the wickedness of sorcery and witchcraft; their wisdom and knowledge had perverted them. They were about to find out that things would change in a moment, in a day. The Lord sent the Medo-Persians to take away their throne, power, and authority. Babylon’s astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators could not stop it from happening nor could they save the Babylonians.
Isaiah 47 continues by saying the wicked will be burned with fire and be as stubble. I’ve read several accounts of the fall of Babylon but I’ve never seen where it or its people were burned. I believe this statement is for the future. Revelation 16 tells us the fourth plague is the burning of people by the fire from the sun. Revelation 18 describes the destruction and burning of the harlot, Babylon the Great, who will be a producer of a variety of expensive merchandise. The merchants of the earth will mourn the destruction of the harlot whose judgment will come in one hour. The riches of Babylon the Great will come to nothing when she is desolated. The end of Isaiah 47:15 is sobering: “No one shall save you.”
Think about what happened in the past to each empire that rose and fell. The Lord controlled that. History always has a way of repeating itself. Whose side do you want to be on in the future? Do you want to stand literally or figuratively with the lawless who commit abominations? Do you want to be saved with the righteous ones who live lawfully? I think I prefer the latter.
Let us press on and run the race set before us while patiently waiting for the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15:52-54: in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
You must choose what will happen to you one day “in a moment.” Will it be a moment of destruction or a moment of transformation? Repent; show you love the Lord by returning to Torah observance.