No earthly king has ever fallen from heaven, a truth that suggests that verses 12-15 are focusing on someone bigger than the king, even of Babylon. Furthermore, the images of ascending to heaven, of being in a position higher than angels, and of presiding over the assembly on the mountain in the far north are all recognized descriptions of deity in the ancient Near East. Satan’s ambitions are, clearly, exposed here, in this kind of “dual” prophecy.
Jesus uses a similar tactic in His description of the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24) . Although the disciples ask about the destruction of the temple, in His reply, Jesus describes both the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, and the greater reality of the end of the world. In the same way, Isaiah describes the attributes of an earthly king but applies it all to something much grander and larger than just a mere human king.
Ezekiel 28:13 escribes a perfect being present in the “garden of God, ” one decorated with all the kinds of precious stones later found on the breastplate of the high priest and as a being who was commissioned as a guardian cherub at the throne of God. The perfect being, however, corrupted himself because of his “beauty.”
By using human parallels, these glimpses allow us to understand divine realities. The prophets used that which is closer and more easily understandable in order to explain something that, in and of itself, might be harder for us to understand. What happens in heaven may be difficult for us on earth to grasp, but we are all able to understand the effects of the blatant and destructive political ambitions of earthly rulers. Isaiah and Ezekiel give us insight into the inexplicable transition, at some point in history, when all that was beautiful and perfect in God’s order of things was marred by destructive ambition.
If a perfect being, created by a perfect God, in a perfect environment, could mess himself up because of pride, what should that tell us fallen beings about how deadly this sentiment really is?