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Book of Isaiah
THEME: Destruction in the Day of the Lord and in the immediate future.
Chapter 13 brings us to a completely different section than there was in Chapter 12. The manner changes immediately. Chapters 13-23 of Isaiah contain burdens imposed on Israel’s surrounding nations. A burden (judgment)is something that you bear, and these burdens are judgments of God upon Gentile nations: Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Edom, & Tyre. This is an amazing Passage of Scripture, because most of the prophetic judgments have already been fulfilled. They are now facts of history. Each of these nations had some contact with Israel, and most of them joined to her borders or were not very far away. Israel suffered at the hands of some of them, and is still suffering today, and she will suffer again in the future (Zec.12:2-3).
Some names in this chapter are familiar to us, Egypt being one of them. While some of these judgments will take place in the future, the chief characteristic of this section is that much has been fulfilled and stands today as an evidence of fulfilled prophecy. All of this adds remarkable interest and importance to these eleven chapters. In this section, Assyria is no longer the oppressor; for another set of nations headed by Babylon takes her place.
It was not a pleasant chore for the prophet to deliver this type of message, but God's prophets were not given the job to win a popularity contest. Babylon is the subject of the first burden. The literal city of Babylon is the primary consideration. This is indeed amazing, since Babylon in Isaiah's day was not an important or noteworthy place. It was not until 100 years later that Babylon became a world power. God pronounced judgment on Babylon, even BEFORE it became a nation!
This section does not end with the burdens of the surrounding nations but extends through the six woes in chapters 28-33 and concludes with the calm and blessing after the storm in chapters 34 and 35, which give us a picture of the Millennium.
In chapter 13 we will see the punishment of Babylon in the Day of the Lord. I believe this looks forward to the Great Tribulation Period for its final fulfillment.
The problem that comes up with Chapter 13, is the fact that in the first twelve chapters of Isaiah, the nation that was the threatening country has been Assyria, not Babylon. Babylon did not directly threaten Israel until more than 100 years later. But suddenly at the beginning of chapter 13, it is Babylon that is in view, not Assyria. And strangely enough, there is no single prophecy in this entire section against Assyria. There are only a few verses at the end of the Babylonian prophecy (14:24-27). Assyria had already been dealt with sufficiently in the earlier chapters. And the few verses about Assyria at the end of the Babylonian oracle served to remind Isaiah’s readers that Assyria was the historical threat.
In verses 13:1-5, God issues a call to arms. This is God’s army, and the soldiers come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens. This army will glorify God and carry out His judgments. God can and does use any and all people and things to carry out His will.
Punishment of Babylon in the Day of the Lord (13:1-12)
Isaiah 13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. (KJV)
The burden of Babylon . . . meaning a prophecy of judgment concerning Babylon, and pronouncing a heavy sentence on it, such a one that would sink it into utter destruction; which will be the case of mystical Babylon, when it shall be as a millstone cast into the sea, never to be brought up again (Rev.18:21). This prophecy which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see: was by a spirit of prophecy. He did not see it with his physical eyes, although it was as clear and certain to him as if he had.
The literal city of Babylon in history is in view in this chapter and also in chapter 14. It became one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. In fact, it became the first great world power and is so recognized in Daniel's prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold of Babylon. He was the king of the first great world power. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch2.htm
The city of Babylon will be rebuilt in the future, but not in the same place. Babylon is the symbol of united rebellion against God, which started long ago at the Tower of Babel (Gen.11:4-5), and will end in the Great Tribulation (Rev.17-18), where we will see religious Babylon and political Babylon ruling the world. During the Great Tribulation period Babylon will go down by a great judgment from God. This possibly is the first mention of it in Scripture.
Isaiah 13:2 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. (KJV)
Lift ye up a banner . . . to gather soldiers together for this mission.
Upon the high mountain . . . where it may be seen for a long way. It seems that Isaiah is hinting that their enemies would come from the mountain area of the Medes.
Unto them . . . to the Medes, who are named in verse 17.
Shake the hand . . . summon them with your hand that they may come.
That they may go into the gates of the nobles . . . that they may go and fight against Babylon, and take it, as they enter into the palaces of the king and of his princes, and spoil them at their pleasure; which the Medes and Persians did. This indicates how easily and quickly they did this.
Isaiah 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. (KJV)
I have commanded my sanctified ones . . . My sanctified ones; the Medes and Persians, so called because they were set apart by God for His own service, and for His Holy work of executing His just vengeance upon them. In this verse the word sanctified means set apart for a specific use by God. God sanctified or raised up Babylon for a specific purpose. He did the same thing with Assyria. Isaiah 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. (KJV) . . . God used Assyria to punish Israel, and then He judged Assyria. This is what He is going to do with Babylon. Anything can be sanctified if it is set apart for God. Assyria and Babylon were set aside to punish Israel. They were instruments in His Hands for a specific purpose. Babylon will come against the southern kingdom of Judah (as Assyria did against the ten northern tribes of Israel) and take it into captivity.
I have also called my mighty ones . . . meaning Cyrus and Darius, and the officers of their armies, with the common soldiers, who were provided with might and strength to do His will, to which they were called in His providence (Dan.5:31).
Even them that rejoice in my highness . . . in doing that which exalted and glorified God; they went cheerfully about the work, and rejoiced and triumphed in their success. The Medes shall rejoice in destroying the Babylonian Empire, for other than that, the Medes had no regard whatsoever to God or His glory. They were concerned only with their own carnal lusts, which is the concern of the vast majority of all people (Mat.7:13-14), then and now.
Isaiah 13:4 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. (KJV)
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people . . . like the noise of many people; this noise was heard either on the mountains of Media, where they flocked in vast numbers, or on the mountains on the borders of Chaldea, when the army under Cyrus was marching towards Babylon (Jer.50-51).
A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together . . . Cyrus's army consisted of several kingdoms and nations; for besides the thirty thousand Persians he brought with him into Media, where he was made general of the Medes also, and was sent with the joint forces of both nations against Babylon, the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashchenaz, were prepared, gathered together, and called forth against it (Jer.51:27). The kingdoms of nations . . . the Medes and Persians, and other nations which served under them in this war; of which are seen in (Jer.25:14; 27:7; 50:41).
The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle . . . it was the Lord, that has the armies of heaven and earth at His command, who in His providence caused such a numerous army to be formed, directed them where to march, and put them in battle array, and gave them the victory.
Isaiah 13:5 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. (KJV)
They come from a far country . . . they . . . meaning God’s armies which are the weapons of His indignation. Far country . . . is Media and Persia, stretching to the far north and east.
From the end of heaven . . . from the ends of the Earth under Heaven (Mat.24:20) . . . end of heaven (Ps.19:6).
The weapons of his indignation . . . the Medes and Persians who were but a rod in God's Hand, and the instruments of His anger, as was said of the Assyrian (Isa.10:5).
To destroy the whole land . . . of Babylon, of which he is now speaking.
Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. (KJV)
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand . . . this prophecy looks beyond anything that now is in history and sees the Great Tribulation Period.
It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty . . . a devastating destruction shall come from God, for the day of the LORD is near, when Almighty God brings destruction. Babylon’s destruction is unavoidable.
Isaiah 13:7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: (KJV)
Everyone will be paralyzed with fear, their hands will hang limp because their courage is gone far from them.
Isaiah 13:8 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. (KJV)
And they shall be afraid . . . fear is a mighty tool of the devil! The people will be terrified.
Pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them . . . the pain of the suffering shall grip them.
They shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth . . . they will be as a woman with labor pains.
They shall be amazed one at another. . . they will look helplessly at one another in fear.
Their faces shall be as flames . . . their faces will burn with the shame of their disobedience to God (Ezra 9:6; Jer.3:25), and/or be inflamed with rage and torment that He has caused them (Joel 2:6; Nah.2:10).
Isaiah 13:9 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. (KJV)
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh . . . during the Great Tribulation, God will again use His awesome power to judge Israel, just as He did in the past. The Tribulation is spoken of as a time of horrible suffering. Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (KJV) . . . The Day of the Lord opens with this time of travail . . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/books_the_great_tribulation.html
Cruel both with wrath and fierce anger . . . different words are joined together, to show just how angry God shall be in the Tribulation Period. God is a very patient God, but His patience will come to an end one day. I hope that you are one of His True children, so that when Jesus comes at the Rapture, you will meet Him in the air (1 Thes.4:13-18), and not have to go through the Great Tribulation (Rev.3:10; Phil.3:20; 1 Thes.1:10; Jn.5:24)
And he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it . . . the inhabitants of that city (mystical Babylon), who were guilty of so much idolatry and cruelty, and all sorts of luxury (Rev. 18).
The next verse identifies it as being in the Great Tribulation.
Isaiah 13:10 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. (KJV)
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light . . . this is prophesied again by the Lord Jesus Himself. Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (KJV) . . . And the Book of Revelation tells us: Revelation 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (KJV) . . . The constellations consist of many stars, and therefore give great light.
The sun shall be darkened in his going forth . . . either, #1. Properly and really, by an eclipse; for wonders in heaven do sometimes go before or accompany great and public calamities upon earth. Or, #2. Symbolically, and in appearance. All things shall look dark and dismal; men shall have no comfort nor hope. See similar descriptions of a most calamitous state: (Isa.5:30; 34:4; Joel 2:10, 31).
And the moon shall not cause her light to shine . . . Many unnatural things will happen during the Great Tribulation Period. God’s wrath because of sin, shall bring about His awesome and divine power! Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. (KJV) . . . Also see: (Isa.24:23; 60:19; Eze.32:7; Joel 2:2, 31; 3:15; Mat.24:29; Mk.13:24; Lk.21:25; Rev.8:12).
Isaiah 13:11 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. (KJV)
And I will punish the world for their evil . . . not the whole world, but the kingdom of Babylon, so called because of its large extent, and the number of its inhabitants, just as the Roman empire is called the world (Lk.2:1). Evil means the evil of sin, which God so hates because He is so holy and pure.
And the wicked for their iniquity . . . I will visit (punish) them, and inflict upon them, the punishment of their iniquity; meaning the notorious sinners among them (verse 9).
And I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease . . . and I will lay low the pride and self-importance of the proud: such as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar who were famous for their pride, arrogance and superiority, cruelty and oppression, whereby they became so terrible and hated to others.
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible . . . God will punish ALL the wicked rulers who oppress the people. He will cause the arrogance of the proud to stop, for they were dreadful as they exercised their great power and cruelty. God will punish the world for their evil. We are living in a world today that is quickly moving toward this judgment.
Isaiah 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. (KJV)
I will make a man more precious than fine gold . . . this seems to mean the scarcity of men in Babylon, because of the slaughter of them, for things that are scarce and rare are said to be precious (1 Sam.3:1). The city and nation shall be so deserted, that few men shall be left.
Even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir . . . Ophir was known for its gold: (1 Ki.22:48; 1 Chron.29:4; 2 Chron.8:18; 9:10; Isa.4:1; 24:6). It will be so desolate that a man will be as hard to find as a golden wedge of Ophir.
Isaiah 13:13 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. (KJV)
Therefore will I shake the heavens . . . some think this was literally fulfilled at the taking of Babylon, when the heavens shook with dreadful thunders and lightnings; as well as what is said above of the sun, moon, and stars, not giving their light; and so is that which follows.,
And the earth shall remove out of her place . . . there was a violent shock by an earthquake at the same time. Rather all this is to be understood symbolically, as expressing the great confusion men would then be in, it shall be as if all nature was shaken, and heaven and earth seemed to be meeting, or dissolving. This describes great confusions that shall be.
In the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger . . . this expresses the destruction of mystical Babylon in plain language. (Isa.13:6; Rev.16:18-21).
Isaiah 13:14 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. (KJV)
And it shall be as the chased roe . . . meaning that Babylon and its inhabitants shall be like a scared rabbit being hunted by dogs; which is afraid of the slightest noise of the dogs . . . so too will be the most courageous of the Babylonians, when their city would be taken.
And as a sheep that no man taketh up . . . as a straying sheep trying to run away from a wolf, with none to bring it back to the flock, it perishes.
They shall every man turn to his own people, and flee everyone into his own land . . . this seems to mean foreigners, who were called in by the king of Babylon to help him, and defend the city; who seeing they were in danger to be taken, ran back to their own countries, and in doing so left the city naked and defenseless (Jer.46:16; 50:16; 51:9).
The prophet here seems to mean the greedy soldiers that would come to help, would have stayed to help Babylon, but now see that there was no healing for her; so they returned each one to his own country, for her punishment was very great, her case too sad for them to help. Jer. 51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. (KJV)
The reaching of things to the heavens, and lifting them up to the skies, are phrases used to mean high and great measures of sin. (Gen.11:4; 28:12; Deut.1:28; 1 Sam.5:12; 2 Chron.28:9; Ps.107:26).
Isaiah 13:15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. (KJV)
Every one that is found shall be thrust through . . . everyone that is found in the city of Babylon will be killed with a sword, spear or lance. The orders of Cyrus were, that those that were found in the streets would be slain; and to proclaim in the Syriac language, that those that were indoors should stay there, and if they were found outside, they would be put to death; which orders were executed, and well agrees with this prophecy.
And everyone that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword . . . those of other nations that come to their assistance shall be cut off with the inhabitants, and shall fall by the sword. It is a very dangerous thing to be in bad company, trying to help those whom God is about to destroy. Those especially that join themselves to Babylon must expect to share in her plagues (Rev.18:4).
Isaiah 13:16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. (KJV)
Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished . . . all this would be a just reward for their similar cruelty done by them to the Jews (2 Chron.36:17; 2 Ki.8:12; 15:16; Ps.137:8-9; Hos.10:4, 14-15; 13:16; Amos 1:13; Nah.3:10; Zec.14:2). Even though the most sacred laws of nature and of humanity are silenced by the violence of war . . . war keeps on, and where the conquerors shall in the most cruel and barbarous manner, dash little children to pieces and ravish the wives. It was especially foretold (Ps.137:9; Hos.10:4; 13:16; Zec.14:2), that the little ones of Babylon would be killed by smashing them against the stones. The cruelty of mankind is worse than a rabid and raging animal. The houses which they had filled with the spoil of Israel would now be spoiled and plundered. What is gotten by the violent seizure of property, is often lost in the same way. Wickedness shall have a free course in the last days. If we look around, we can see that it has already started. . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/2_tim_ch3.htm
Isaiah 13:13-16 tell us that the Great Tribulation will be a time of worldwide destruction when no flesh would survive except for the fact that God will preserve a remnant for Himself.
Destruction of Babylon in the Day of Man (13:17-22)
Isaiah 13:17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. (KJV)
Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them . . . who are the Medes? Media and Persia became a dual nation and a mighty empire that conquered Babylon. Isaiah is speaking of that which was going to take place in the immediate future. He identifies those who will destroy Babylon . . . the Medes (Dan.5:31). http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch5.htm
Darius the Median took the kingdom. These are mentioned by name some hundreds of years before the thing came to pass, as Cyrus their general (Isa.45:1), is a strong proof of the truth of prophecy, and of divine revelation to Isaiah. Whatever the moving causes of this expedition were, the matter was of God. It was Almighty God that put it into the hearts of the Medes, and stirred up their spirits to make war against Babylon; and although God is NOT the author of sin, He allowed the things to be done just as He revealed them to Isaiah. It was by His providence that He ordered them as just punishments on a sinful people. God can and does use whatever means He so chooses to fulfill His purposes.
Which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it . . . not that the Medes had a regard for gold and silver, as appears by their spoiling of the houses of the Babylonians (vs.16), but they had no regard for these things as to spare the lives of any for the sake of them. They were so intent upon taking away their lives, that they overlooked their wealth. Their first work of the Medes was to slay, and then to spoil and plunder. No man with his gold and silver could obtain a ransom of his life from them.
Isaiah 13:18 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. (KJV)
Their bows also shall dash their young men to pieces . . . the bows of the Medes would smash in pieces the young men of Babylon. Their bows . . . which is understood to be their arrows and possibly other weapons of war; for sometimes the bow is used this way in Scripture (2 Sam. 1:18; Job 20:24; Ps.18:34; 78:9; 41:2). Cyrus came to Babylon with many archers and slingers (2 Ki.3:25).
And they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb . . . even of those that were still in the womb were not safe, they would rip open women with child, and cut them in pieces (Isa.13:16; 2 Ki.8:12; Hos.13:16; Zec.14:2).
Their eyes shall not spare children . . . children in the arms of their parents, or running to them, screaming in fear, their tender and innocent age would meet with no mercy. The Medes were notorious for their cruelty, and which ended at last in the ruin of their empire.
Isaiah 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. (KJV)
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms . . . Babylon was once the most noble and excellent of all the kingdoms then in being, and was more glorious than any of the empires that followed . . . so it was represented by the head of gold (Dan.2:32). http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch2.htm
The beauty of the Chaldees' excellency . . . the famous and beautiful seat of the Chaldean monarchy.
Shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah . . . shall be totally and irrecoverably destroyed, as is more fully expressed in the following verses; which yet was not done immediately upon the taking of the city by Darius and Cyrus, but was fulfilled by degrees, as is stated by historians.
This prophecy has been fulfilled. Babylon was the greatest kingdom that has ever existed upon this Earth. The Macedonian Empire was great; the Egyptian Empire was great, and too the Roman Empire. But I don't think anything can compare to the glory of Babylon. God's Word calls it the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, and that excellency God overthrew . . . just as He did Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.19:24-28). All you have to do is to look at the ruins of ancient Babylon to recognize that did happened.
Babylon was a great city that was never rebuilt. Other great cities have been rebuilt. This is especially true of Jerusalem. Rome was destroyed and rebuilt. Cities in Germany were bombed out, absolutely obliterated, and were rebuilt. Frankfurt, Germany, was leveled, and it arose out of the ashes a great city. But Babylon did not rise up. God said that it would never again be inhabited. It is true that Babylon will be rebuilt in the future, but NOT on the ancient site of Babylon. It will be built in a different place.
Babylon represents confusion, and the future Babylon will be a great commercial center, a great religious center, a great political center, a power center, and the educational center of the world again.
Isaiah 13:20 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. (KJV)
It shall never be inhabited . . . God’s Word is true! The Babylon of old has not been in existence since it was totally destroyed. Babylon, the greatest city that ever was, has nothing left of it but a wall. What is now called Babylon is a new city, and built in another place.
Neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation . . . this is the same thing repeated in other and stronger terms, to confirm it. God does NOT lie! (Tit.1:2).
Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there . . . there were some Arabians who dwelled in tents, and moved from place to place with their flocks, but where Babylon stood, they would no more pitch their tents there.
Neither shall the shepherds make their folds there . . . as shepherds used to do in the pastures adjoining it, which were before very good, now would be barren and unfruitful; and since there would be no shepherds in the city, neither would there be any neighboring ones to come there, mainly because of the unfruitfulness of the place, and partly because of fear of wild beasts, which made their homes there. It was reduced to a mere desert. Sheep folds: (Isa.13:20; 65:10; Eze.34:14; Mic.2:12; Hab.3:17).
How can Babylon be destroyed and yet appear in the last days as a literal city again? The site of the ancient Babylon is less than 10 miles from the Euphrates River. The river ran in a canal right through the ancient city of Babylon. The ancient site will never be rebuilt, but Babylon will be rebuilt on another site. The ruins of ancient Babylon stand as a monument to the accuracy of fulfilled prophecy. God NEVER lies! http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch5.htm
Several archaeologists of the past who have excavated Babylon say that they were never able to get the Arabians to stay in the camp beside the ruins. The Arabians would always go outside the area and stay. They were superstitious. It is interesting indeed that God said they would not pitch their tents in Babylon.
Isaiah 13:21 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. (KJV)
But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there . . . what sort of creatures are meant is not certain. The Targum renders it by a word which means monstrous, astonishing creatures; another interpretation calls them apes. Others say these should be called martens or sables, a creature of the weasel kind. The Hebrew word does not much differ from the Arabic one used for wild cats.
Wild beasts: (Isa.14:23; 34:11-15; Zep.2:14; Rev.18:2, 21-23). Whatever these wild beasts are, I too would want to stay clear of that area.
And their houses shall be full of doleful creatures . . . the voices of these creatures are very mournful and unpleasant. Some say that such creatures are meant, that those that see them are amazed at them. Others say they are a kind of creatures similar to ferrets or weasels. The phrase
doleful creatures mean a howling animal, and is found only here and refers to the yells of wild animals, and seems not any particular kind.
And owls shall dwell there . . . owls in the Hebrew could mean owls or ostriches. Both give doleful (mournful) sounds at night; the ostrich gives a hideous noise and even groans as if in great agony.
And satyrs shall dance there . . . I have found different interpretations of satyrs. #1. They are a sort of monstrous creatures with the ancients. Different paintings show them as half men and half goats, the upper part of them like men, except the horns on their heads, and the lower parts like goats, and hairy all over. #2. They are half man and half horse. #3. Satyrs are demons. #4. Satyrs are a class of woodland deities (gods, idols), represented as part human, part horse, and sometimes part goat and noted for riotousness and lasciviousness (Rev.18:2). Take your pick. I certainly do not know what they are.
Isaiah 13:22 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. (KJV)
And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses . . . wild beasts here seem to mean jackals, called by the Arabs sons of howling; and is an animal midway between a fox and a wolf. Cry . . . or possibly call or respond to each other, as wolves do at night, producing a most repelling (stay away) effect.
And dragons in their pleasant palaces . . . dragons most likely mean serpents of various species, which hiss and utter sad, sorrowful sounds (Jer.51:37-38). Fable (fiction, myth) gave them wings, because they stand with much of the body elevated and then move swiftly. One commentator thinks this is some kind of jackal.
And her time is near to come . . . so it was, although not according to man's foolish judgment and impatient expectation, but according to God's timing, and to the eye of faith, whereby Abraham saw Christ's day as present (Jn.8:56), many centuries before it came. It was the same with the apostles, they spoke of Judgment Day of as near in their time, though it was at many years distant.
For her days shall not be prolonged . . . not go beyond the time planned and appointed by God.
Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (KJV) . . . Her time . . . near . . . although many years distant, yet it was near to Isaiah, who is supposed to be speaking to the Jews as if they were now captives in Babylon (Isa,14:1-2). It is intimated that this destruction would come shortly. Her time is near to come. This prophecy of the destruction of ancient Babylon was intended for the support and comfort of the people of God when they were captives there and grievously oppressed; yet the accomplishment of the prophecy was nearly 200 years after the time when Isaiah delivered it; yet it was fulfilled at the exact time that God had planned. When the people of Israel were groaning under the heavy yoke of Babylon’s oppression, when their brazen oppressors were most proud and arrogant (vs.11), then let them know, for their comfort, that Babylon's time, her day to fall, is near to come, and the days of her prosperity shall not be prolonged, as they have been for so long. When God begins with her judgment, He will make an end of it. So too it is said of the destruction of the New Testament Babylon, where the former was a type, in one hour will her judgment come (Rev.18:10, 17,19).
The future Babylon will become a great center on Earth in the Great Tribulation Period. The Man of Sin, the willful king (Dan.11:36-45), the son of perdition (2 Thes.2:3-9), the Antichrist will reign in that place. Mystical Babylon will be utterly destroyed just as the ancient Babylon was destroyed. Babylon is a memorial to the fact of the accuracy of fulfilled prophecy and a testimony to the fact that God will also judge the future Babylon.
If Babylon is ever to be destroyed in the same way that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, meaning completely, this has to be in the future, for no such thing has happened in the recent past (Isa.13:19; Jer.50:40). This is one reason for connecting Isaiah’s prophecy with the future destruction of the mystical Babylon in the Book of Revelation (Rev.14:8; 16:17-21. 18:1-24).
Nine Points of Similar Destruction . . . Babylon and Sodom & Gomorrah
- Both destroyed for the same sins (Gen.19:5; Lk.17:28-29; Rev.18:2-5).
- Both were miraculous (Isa.13:5-16, 19; Jer.50:40; 51:42, 64; Rev.16:17-21; 18:8).
- Both destroyed by fire (Isa.13:19; Gen.19:24; Rev.18:8).
- Both destroyed by an earthquake causing both to sink (Jer.51:64; Rev.16:17-21). There are claims that the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have recently been discovered under the Dead Sea.
- All inhabitants destroyed in both (Isa.13:19-22; Gen.19:24; Jer.51:37; Lk.17:29; Rev.16:17-21; 18:1-24).
- Both destroyed in vengeance (Isa.13:5-16, 19-22; Jer.50:28; Rev.18:1-24; 19:2).
- Both destroyed suddenly (Isa.13:19; Gen.19:24; Jer.51:8; Rev.18:8-10, 17, 19).
- God's people commanded to come out in both instances so they would not be destroyed (Gen.18:21-33; 19:15-24; Isa.48:20; Jer.51:6, 45; Rev.18:4).
- Neither one to ever be rebuilt . . . both to remain desolate and uninhabited forever (Isa.13:19-22; Gen.19:24; Jer.50:13, 23, 39-40; 51:26, 62; Rev.18).
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page