Dave Burnette's Commentary

Isaiah Chapter 13

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Isaiah
Date Penned: (700-681 BC)
Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)
Theme: Words of Judgment (c 1-39)
Message: Prophecy Against Babylon (v 1-22)

Isaiah 13 Commentary 

(13:1) Babylon - Isaiah 1 through 12 speak of judgment against the southern kingdom and, to a lesser extent, against the northern kingdom. Isaiah 13 through 23 are about the judgment against other nations. Isaiah 13 is a prophecy from God concerning Babylon. Long before Babylon became a world power and threatened Judah, Isaiah spoke of its destruction. Babylon was the rallying point of rebellion against God after the Flood (Genesis 11). Revelation 17 and 18 use Babylon as a symbol of God's enemies. At the time of this prophecy, Babylon was still part of the Assyrian Empire. Isaiah communicated a message of challenge and hope to God's people, telling them not to rely on other nations but to rely on God alone. He also let them know that their greatest enemies would receive the punishment they deserved from God. 

(13:12) Ophir - Ophir was known for its rare and valuable gold. It is thought to have been located on the southwestern coast of Arabia. 

(13:19) God's Covenant - God would eventually destroy Babylon as judgment for its sin. He destroyed Israel and Judah for their sin, too, but he also promised to rescue and restore the remnant of his covenant people (i.e., those who remained faithful to him). His process of restoring his rebellious people followed several steps: (1) Because his chosen people rebelled and sinned against him, God used others, even pagan nations, to punish them. (2) These nations were themselves wicked, and God punished them as well. (3) Because God does not break his promises, he will keep his promise to bless and restore Israel. (4) God will make Israel an essential part of his work in blessing all people through the Messiah, Jesus. 

(13:19-20) Babylon's Destruction - Even before Babylon became a world power, Isaiah prophesied that, though it would shine for a while, Babylon's destruction would be so complete the land would never again be inhabited. The city of Babylon, in present-day Iraq, still lies in utter ruin, buried under mounds of dirt and sand. Though parts of it have been excavated for historical study, it remains uninhabited to this day.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Repent Before Judgment Comes

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 13. Today's text shows judgment against heathen nations, including the Prophecy against Babylon. This nation rose to power but was taken down by the Lord as judgment for its evil. In making application, we see how we need not get upset when we see the wicked prosper, for in due season, they will see the judgment of God. It is the Lord's will that all would come to repentance, but the truth is there is a time for all to face judgment. Will you be ready? Let us learn from our text today and the testimony of Babylon to see that God will judge evil in due season, so let us reach out to those who go astray, encouraging them to repent before it is eternally too late. 


Isaiah 13

Isaiah 13

 1The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

 2Lift 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.

 3I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

 4The 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.

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

 6Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

 7Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:

 8And 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.

 9Behold, 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.

 10For 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.

 11And 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.

 12I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

 13Therefore 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.

 14And 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.

 15Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.

 16Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

 17Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

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

 19And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

 20It 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.

 21But 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.

 22And 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.