“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)
To begin in the middle of a thought always does violence to the thought and causes one to miss the proper meaning. The thought here, of which this 12th verse is only a part, begins with the 4th verse of this chapter and continues through the 23rd verse. This puts the 12th verse down in the middle of the thought.
Verse 4 says, “Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say….” (Isaiah 14:4) This makes it clear that the remarks made here refer to the king of Babylon. The thoughts concerning the proverb against the king of Babylon are continuous from this 4th verse through the 23rd verse. I request anyone who does not agree with this interpretation of this Scripture to show where the line of thought changes and the remarks are directed to another person other than the king of Babylon. The 4th verse introduces the proverb against the king of Babylon and continues through the succeeding verses to tell of his violent acts in the earth against other nations and peoples for which the judgments of God are pronounced upon him. In the 22nd verse, He mentions judgments against Babylon, showing clearly this subject is still under consideration.
Now, let us take a direct look at this 12th verse which mentions Lucifer, who is said to have “fallen from heaven,” being “cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.” This, then, was some judgment upon him for something he had done previously. Could it then refer to the devil? Could he have weakened the nations while he was still in heaven, and then later been cast out of heaven for having weakened the nations? Could he have done any evil work in the earth while he was still a pure angel in heaven? Of course not!
But, on the other hand, the king of Babylon did do these things and became so exalted in his heart that he said he had done all these things with his own hand (Daniel 4:30). The Babylonian Kingdom was the first universal kingdom that history records, and her king subdued and weakened and brought under subjection all other nations (Daniel 2:37-38). Hence the reference to him who “didst weaken the nations.”
“Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.” (Daniel 4:10-16)
In the 19th verse, Daniel begins to interpret his vision to him and refers to the tree, etc., and in the 22nd verse he says, “It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22)
This corresponds exactly with Isaiah 14:13, which reads, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” Nebuchadnezzar was proud in heart and said the same thing in different words in Daniel 4:30, after he had subjected all the kingdoms of the world to himself. Listen to him: “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”
In verse 25 Daniel had proclaimed unto the king what is the decree of the most High concerning him. “That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (Daniel 4:25)
In verses 31-33 we find that this judgment actually came on Nebuchadnezzar. We also learn just how serious it was, because his heart was lifted up with pride and he exalted himself in his heart even unto heaven, and did not acknowledge the God of heaven, but said he had done all this “by the might of my power.” Thus he fell from heaven (the exalted position he held and had attributed unto himself in his heart) and was cut down to the earth and humiliated beyond any other man that we have any record of.