Introduction to the story about the king of Babylon (Isa 14:3-14:4)

“When Yahweh has given you rest

From your pain,

From your turmoil,

From your hard service,

With which

You were made to serve,

You will take up this taunt

Against the king of Babylon.”

Many believe that this may have been a taunt by Isaiah against the dead King Sargon II, who died in 705 BCE after ruling from 722 BCE. Later it was used against King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BCE). It assumes that the Israelites had returned from the Exile. They had some rest from their pain, turmoil, and hard service. Now they were able to taunt the king of Babylon.

Job responds to his accusers (Job 16:1-16:5)

“Then Job answered.

‘I have heard many such things.

You are miserable comforters!

Have windy words no limit?

What provokes you that you keep on talking?

I also talk as you do.

If you were in my place,

I could join words together against you.

I could shake my head at you.

I could encourage you with my mouth.

The solace of my lips would assuage your pain.’”

Job responded that they were miserable comforters. Why did they keep on talking? Job could talk also. If the tables were turned, he could talk against them. However, he would encourage them with mouth and words to ease their pain, not the opposite as they have done. The idea of shaking one’s head was a sign of disgust and derision.