Isaiah 13

A solemn message for Babylon, applicable to the end-time Babylon
.1 ¶ The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
.2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
 3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
 4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. 
 5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
  1 - Burden of Babylon Or better, "Oracle about Babylon." This particular "burden" continues through is1428.
Isaiah often uses this way of communication. For example, is1501, is1901, is2101.
  2 - Lift ye up a banner A signal for destruction.
  2 - High mountains Literally, "mountains swept bare."
  3 - My sanctified ones Or "my consecrated ones" (RSV). Here not necessarily holy ones but those the Lord would use in the destruction of Babylon.
  4 - Mustereth up the host Compare je0509, ez3814-16, zp0308, zc1412, re1613. See the title at the top of this page.
  5 - Weapons ... indignation God is describing the planned destruction of Babylon. In a similar way He destroyed Egypt and will destroy end-time world nations. See ex0719 to ex1230. Also is2620, na0105-7, re1410
.6 ¶ Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: 
.8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
  6 - The day of the Lord This is one of 20 or more times the term is used by the OT prophets. It is used for the pouring out of God's wrath in judgment on nations or the world. It comes when probation closes for a nation or the world. Before it is "the day of salvation." is4908, 2co0602. The "day of the Lord" against Judah is seen in is0212, jl0115, zp0107. Also see "the great day of the Lord." zp0114. And "the great and dreadful day of the Lord " mal0405.
.9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
.11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
  9 - Land desolate With sinners destroyed, as the verse reads. NT writers see a spiritual application for Babylon where she is like a wicked woman re1808.
  10 - Stars ... constellations These are perhaps what we call "planets" and "stars." Here they cease giving their light as a warning of the end of the world but the darkness may represent spiritual darkness. Compare re0612. Darkness in the day of the Lord is also seen in jl0210, jl0315, am0809, mt2429, mr1324, lu2125.
.12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
.13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
 14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
 15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
 16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
  12 - More precious Or "more rare" in modern English. The righteous who escape the end-time destruction will be very small in number compared to the wicked.
  13 - Shake ... heavens ... earth We may expect to see seismic disturbances like none seen before. he1226, re0614, re1618, re1621. And the earth will be shaken when the Lord arises is0219.
 17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
 18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
  17 - Stir up the Medes In the time of Isaiah Babylon was threatened by Assyria. The Medes became a significant threat much later. Babylon fell to the Median king, Cyrus in 539 BC. The Lord knew what Isaiah could not know.
.19 ¶ And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 
.20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
 21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 
 22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

  20 - Never inhabited It is still essentially desolate but we should realize that even if a city were built on the site, it would not be the seat of the proud pagan kingdom. See ez2614.
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