What did it mean that Satan wanted to be like the Most High in Isaiah 14:14?


Isaiah 14 is a biting and vivid prophecy against the king of Babylon. In Isaiah 14:9–21, the prophet Isaiah imagines the king’s death and his subsequent entrance into the realm of the dead. The dead mock the king of Babylon as he enters his new abode: in contrast to his great aspirations, the king is now equal to everyone who came before him (Isaiah 14:10–11). Weak, dethroned, and powerless, he finds that all his great ambitions have come to nothing (Isaiah 14:19–21). In the center of their sobering taunt, the dead recount the king of Babylon’s enormous pride: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit” (Isaiah 14:13–15).

While these verses are talking about the king of Babylon, many interpreters, including some early church fathers, saw a secondary reference to Satan’s fall from heaven (Luke 10:18; this view is the basis for John Milton’s famous confrontation between Satan and God in Paradise Lost). In this interpretation, “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” also represents Satan’s ambition to overthrow God. Assuming a secondary reference to Satan in Isaiah 14:14, why was it a sin for Satan to want to be like God?

In the context of Isaiah 14, being “like the Most High” does not mean “being like God in character or attitude.” Isaiah 14:12–15 is talking about an attempted coup, a desire to surpass God. Verses 13–14 are laden with ancient Near Eastern images of divine dominance and power, including stars, mountains, and clouds. The speaker wants to be like God in power and authority. He wants to wield ultimate cosmic power, even over God Himself. Simply put, he would like to be God, ruling the universe with unopposed might.

A desire to be like the Most High in holiness and righteousness is not evil but is encouraged by the Scriptures (Ephesians 5:1–2). But a craving to have God’s power and authority is evil, stemming from the depths of depravity (Proverbs 16:5). God is incomparably great (Psalm 145:3), so it is irrational to attempt to surpass Him. He alone is God, so it is irrational to attempt to be God. The only reason a creature would want to become its Creator is due to a warped, prideful sense of self-importance. Selfishness, envy, and pride drive rebellion against the perfect Creator. It is a sin for Satan to attempt to be “like the Most High” in glory and power because it is a pointless attempt fueled by selfish ambition and pride.

Thankfully, Satan’s rebellion against God is futile. God remains enthroned over the cosmos (Isaiah 40:12-31). Satan is in no way comparable to God because God is incomparably awesome (1 Chronicles 29:11; 2 Timothy 1:7; Colossians 1:16; 1 John 5:18–19). God’s power has no match, and He has no equal. He is the perfect King and governs the universe with righteousness and love (Mark 10:18; Isaiah 28:28; Romans 11:33; Psalm 100:5; 1 John 4:8). Satan’s plans have already been defeated, and he will be subject to eternal torment for his sins (John 12:31; 16:11; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 20:10). “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

Published by milo2030

I am widowed 5 years now and have 2 adult sons at home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Considering the Bible

Scripture Musings


The Official Home of Rolli - Author, Cartoonist and Songwriter

Pure Glory

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Psalms 19:1

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

The Christian Tech-Nerd

-Reviews, Advice & News For All Things Tech and Gadget Related-

Thinking Through Scripture

to help you walk with Jesus in faith, hope, and love.

A disciple's study

This is my personal collection of thoughts and writings, mainly from much smarter people than I, which challenge me in my discipleship walk. Don't rush by these thoughts, but ponder them.

Author Scott Austin Tirrell

Maker of fine handcrafted novels!


Sharing words of Support, Motivation and Compassion

In Pursuit of My First Love

Returning to the First Love

Becoming HIS Tapestry

Christian Lifestyle Blogger


Biblical postings, Talmidim- meaning students

Unshakable Hope

"All of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain." (Hebrews 12:27)

Life Hub Inspirations

Finding inspirations through the Word of God. A hub of encouraging thoughts and reflections.

Fountains of hope poetry

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


Home of Micropoetry, Literature, art and philosophy.

Bible Daily

Hannah's daily devotional

Learning From God's Word

Prayers, Bible Readings Notes, Sermons And Theological Articles

The Eyes of My Heart

Stay true to His calling

Ritika Rasal

Never Wanted Perfect Just Real

%d bloggers like this: