The unique circumstance is detailed by Isaiah as he pronounces that with God’s coming the dead will stir, spirits will rise and respected leaders (living and dead) will rise from their thrones to acknowledge the One True God. Yes, they were and are kings over the nations but a day is coming when God will return and those who were feted in their lifetime will realise how small a thing it was compared to the majesty and glory of God who controls both time and circumstance!
‘The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you— all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones— all those who were kings over the nations.’ (Isaiah 14v9).
For those who lived in the time of Isaiah, this verse – inspiring as it is – would have made little sense. Sure, many had a belief in Sheol – the place where the dead were often imagined to inhabit. An Underworld in which the dead were separated from the living and never the two could meet again unless under a unique circumstance.