Pride Goes Before a Fall
Babylon had not yet become a world power, but her downfall is here predicted. The king of Babylon will go down to Sheol, the place of the dead. He who had said, “I will make myself like the Most High” (14:14) will then be dead and powerless. Of him who had been so filled with pride, the other dead will say, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble?” (v. 16). How foolish the pride of mortal man.
Beginning at 14:24, we see how God will crush the Assyrians. Back in chapter 10, we read of the king of Assyria’s “haughty pride.” But Philistia better not rejoice in the fall of Assyria, for she whose champion Goliath many years before had proudly taunted the Israelites will also fall.
Moab also would be laid waste. “We have heard of the pride of Moah, how proud he was; of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence” (16:6). The Syrians whose capital was Damascus (17:1) and the Israelites whose main tribe was Ephraim (v. 3) had teamed up against Judah back in chapter 7 where they had said: “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it” (v. 6). But both of them also will be “brought low” (v. 4). Israel was especially guilty since she knew the true God, but the prophet said to her, “You have forgotten the God of your salvation” (v. 10). The message to us is: “Walk humbly with your God.” Are you doing that?