The Judgment of Babylon
13 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
On a bare hill raise a signal;
cry aloud to them;
wave the hand for them to enter
the gates of the nobles.
I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
my proudly exulting ones.
The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
as of a great multitude!
The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
of nations gathering together!
The LORD of hosts is mustering
a host for battle.
They come from a distant land,
from the end of the heavens,
the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
to destroy the whole land.
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come!
Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every human heart will melt.
They will be dismayed:
pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.
Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light.
I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
I will make people more rare than fine gold,
and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the LORD of hosts
in the day of his fierce anger.
And like a hunted gazelle,
or like sheep with none to gather them,
each will turn to his own people,
and each will flee to his own land.
Whoever is found will be thrust through,
and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed in pieces
before their eyes;
their houses will be plundered
and their wives ravished.
Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
who have no regard for silver
and do not delight in gold.
Their bows will slaughter the young men;
they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
their eyes will not pity children.
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.
It will never be inhabited
or lived in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there;
no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
But wild animals will lie down there,
and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches will dwell,
and there wild goats will dance.
Hyenas will cry in its towers,
and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
and its days will not be prolonged.
Isaiah 13 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Babylon. Within prophecy, this ancient city is always equated to the hedonistic people who are antagonistic toward God. Old Testament prophets would speak of their destruction and within Revelation is used as a symbol of God’s enemies.
The interesting thing to consider in the words of God here is long before Babylon became a world power and destroyed Judah, Isaiah prophesied of their fall. In fact, it would be 100 years later from these words spoken that what was said would come to be. Babylon was a significant nation at this time but were still behind in status of the Assyrians. The point being, God knew and knows the end of all things even before there’s an inkling in our own thoughts. These words spoken were given long before Babylon was a superpower.
God’s words of judgment ring loud through these words. I was struck by this…
“I will put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.”Isaiah 13:11
Arrogance and pride are 2 things which are perpetual roadblocks of finding God. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what He does, how His grace and extended hand of mercy reach toward someone. If a heart is proud and an individual is filled with arrogance it is difficult for the Lord to breakthrough. A heart won’t surrender if these are part of the person.
I think of the people in our lives today who are resistant to the ways of God. I think of the many who have burdens for their children and grandchildren, friends who have set their faces like flint against the God of all; those who reject Jesus. Sometimes a mighty fall is all that will reach them. And then, it still depends on the makeup of their heart if they will raise their hands in curses toward God or bow in submission.
Consider your own burdens. Consider the faces of these whom you love but are heavy of heart that are resistant to the ways of God. Maybe, just maybe it is time to change your prayers for God to do whatever it takes to break their pride and arrogance. Maybe it’s time to intercede that everything but losing their life, all they’ve clung to which is blocking their relationship with Jesus must crumble.
What would those prayers look like? How would that change your perspective? Maybe it’s time to release them for God to have His way so they will come to Jesus completely broken.
Isaiah 13 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Chapters 7-12 were Messianic in nature and now in Chapter 13 of Isaiah turns to the surrounding Gentile regions. Isaiah reiterates that God knows of the destiny of Babylon, Assyria, and every nation in between until the Day of the Lord.
Verses 19-22 are an example of the two-fold prophecy that Isaiah commonly uses. Babylon would be destroyed in the near future, but it would be built up and destroyed once again in the distant future. Revelation 17 and 18 describe the final judgment of the future Babylon.
The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, 5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”Revelation 17:4-5 NASB
And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.Revelation 18:2 NASB
The complete fulfillment of these prophecies has not yet been seen. However, as history will repeat itself, the Lord will deliver on His promise and glorify Himself over all things. What an amazing spectacle it will be!