WHAT IS A “BESOM?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
Isaiah 14:22-23: “ For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.  I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Our first context clue is that a “besom” is something used to “sweep.” It is actually a crude broom formed by tying twigs to a stick. In other words, JEHOVAH God attacking and defeating Babylon (and its king—verse 4) is like Him sweeping trash, filth, or dirt on a floor! The idea is a purging or cleansing of evil, that which is disgusting in His sight being forced out of His sight. Chapters 13 and 14 described historic Babylon being destroyed (see Daniel 5:25-31). This was a few centuries after Isaiah’s ministry.
Yet, there is a prophetic significance as well, for the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming will permanently conquer a new Babylon (see Revelation chapters 17-18). This is still awaiting fulfillment. We can also refer to Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51, as well as the little Old Testament Book of Habakkuk. These are all about ancient and modern Babylon being conquered because of their alliance with Satan and false religion (pagan idolatry). Among these prophecies are the rise and fall of the coming Antichrist. In other words, they are dual prophecies—linking the past and future so they mirror each other.