Isaiah chapter 13

Isaiah foresees the destruction of Babylon.





VERSE 1. The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

NLT translation. Isaiah son of Amoz received this message concerning the destruction of Babylon.

Isaiah son of Amoz. This vision was seen by Isaiah himself. It is not attributed to someone else.

this message. That is, “oracle” or “burden.” It comes from a verb meaning “to be lifted or carried.” It is a weighty or burdensome message to deliver.

destruction of Babylon. This could refer to the Babylonian empire falling to Cyrus of Persia in 539 BC.

Or it could refer to Alexander the Great conquering Darius III of Babylon in 331 BC.


VERSE 2. Set up a banner on the bare mountain! Lift up your voice to them! Wave your hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.

to them. That is, the Medes and the Persians. They will destroy Babylon.


VERSE 3. I have commanded my consecrated ones; yes, I have called my mighty men for my anger, even my proudly exulting ones.


VERSE 4. The noise of a multitude is in the mountains, as of a great people; the noise of an uproar of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! The LORD of Hosts is mustering the army for the battle.

BBE translation. The noise of great numbers in the mountains, like the noise of a strong people! The noise of the kingdoms of the nations meeting together! The Lord of armies is numbering his forces for war.

The Lord of armies is numbering. That is, the LORD of hosts is mustering an army for battle. He has called them together.

In those days, that was true of the physical battle. In our day, it is still true of the spiritual battle.

The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few, Jesus says:

Matthew 9:37. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

This was true in the days of the prophet Isaiah, it was true in during the earthly life of the Lord Jesus, and it is true today.

The LORD God still seeks out laborers. He seeks workers for his vineyard. He looks for people who are willing to do their part in his vast project of evangelizing the planet.

The Great Commission, as Christ’s final words are often called, is this:

Matthew 28:19-20. Go make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey all I have commanded you. (NIV translation)

This has two aspects. The first aspect is to evangelize non-Christians, so they come to faith in Christ and get baptized. We offer people our ministry of evangelism.

The second aspect is to help these new believers grow in their newfound faith.

We offer them our ministry of Christian discipleship.

When the new believer is established in the faith, then he or she is ready to go and do the same with others: evangelize and train in discipleship.


VERSE 5. They come from a far country, from the uttermost part of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.


VERSE 6. Wail, for the LORD’s day is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

the LORD’s day. The day of the Lord refers to the time of the LORD God’s judgment on the world. And/or the deliverance of his people.


VERSE 7. Therefore all hands will be feeble, and everyone’s heart will melt.


VERSE 8. They will be dismayed. Pangs and sorrows will seize them. They will be in pain like a woman in labor. They will look in amazement one at another. Their faces will be faces of flame.


VERSE 9. Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land a desolation, and to destroy its sinners out of it.


VERSE 10. For the stars of the sky and its constellations will not give their light. The sun will be darkened in its going out, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.


VERSE 11. I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will humble the arrogance of the terrible.


VERSE 12. I will make people more rare than fine gold, even a person than the pure gold of Ophir.


VERSE 13. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place in the LORD of Hosts’ wrath, and in the day of his fierce anger.

I will make the heavens tremble. This will be a bombastic event.


VERSE 14. It will happen that like a hunted gazelle, and like sheep that no one gathers, they will each turn to their own people, and will each flee to their own land.


VERSE 15. Everyone who is found will be thrust through. Everyone who is captured will fall by the sword.


VERSE 16. Their infants also will be dashed in pieces before their eyes. Their houses will be ransacked, and their wives raped.

Their infants … will be dashed in pieces. The enemy is doing terrible things.

their wives raped. The enemy is doing terrible things.


VERSE 17. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver, and as for gold, they will not delight in it.

BBE translation. See, I am driving the Medes against them, who put no value on silver and have no pleasure in gold.

I am driving the Medes against them. When the time is right, a destroyer will appear.


VERSE 18. Their bows will dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb. Their eyes will not spare children.

BBE translation. In their hands are bows and spears; they are cruel, violently putting the young men to death, and crushing the young women; they have no pity for children, and no mercy for the fruit of the body.

no pity for children. They will show no compassion for children.

This is like the clergy sex abuse scandal. The cleric-abusers, as well as the bishops who sheltered them, have no concern for the children who were abused.


VERSE 19. Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Kasdim’ pride, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

God overthrew. The LORD God will overthrow Baylon.


VERSE 20. It will never be inhabited, neither will it be lived in from generation to generation. The Arabian will not pitch a tent there, neither will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.


VERSE 21. But wild animals of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of jackals. Ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will frolic there.


VERSE 22. Wolves will cry in their fortresses, and jackals in the pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged.

BBE translation. And wolves will be answering one another in their towers, and jackals in their houses of pleasure: her time is near, and her days of power will quickly be ended.

not be prolonged. Other translations say “soon” or “quickly.”

That is difficult to understand. it might mean “in three minutes.” Or it might mean “in three millennia.” Either one could be considered “soon.”


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 3435, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 5253, 54, 5556, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 6566

RESOURCES: SummaryOutline, MemorizeTrue Fasting

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.