The Lord hath broken - Yahweh, by the hand of Cyrus.
The staff of the wicked - That is, the scepter of the king of Babylon. The word rendered ‹staff‘ (מטה maṭēh ) may mean either a bough, stick, staff, rod, or a scepter. The scepter was the symbol of supreme power. It was in the form of a staff, and was made of wood, ivory, or gold. It here means that Yahweh had taken away the power from Babylon, and destroyed his dominion.
Even the wicked are now placed beyond the power of Satan, and alone with his evil angels he remains to realize the effect of the curse which sin has brought. “The kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, everyone in his own house [the grave]. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch.... Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people.” Isaiah 14:18-20. GC 660.1
For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth to behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. During this time his sufferings are intense. Since his fall his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection; but he is now deprived of his power and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for the sins that he has caused to be committed. GC 660.2
To God's people the captivity of Satan will bring gladness and rejoicing. Says the prophet: “It shall come to pass in the day that Jehovah shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy trouble, and from the hard service wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon [here representing Satan], and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! ... Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers; that smote the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, that ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained.” Verses 3-6, R.V. GC 660.3Read in context »