Isaiah 13:3 MEANING

Isaiah 13:3
(3) I have commanded my sanctified ones . . .--The word is applied even to the fierce tribes of the future destroyers, as being appointed, or consecrated, by Jehovah for that special work. The thought and the words (there translated "prepare") appear in Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 22:7; Jeremiah 51:27. So in the later prophecies Cyrus appears as "the anointed" of the Lord (Isaiah 45:1).

Even them that rejoice in my highness.--In Zephaniah 3:11 the same phrase occurs in a bad sense. Here, apparently, it denotes the proud consciousness of the invaders that they are doing God's work.

Verse 3. - I have commanded my sanctified ones. The pronoun "I" is emphatic - "I myself." Not only will an external summons go forth, but God will lay his own orders on them whom he chooses for his instruments, and bid them come to the muster. All who carry out his purposes are, in a certain sense, "sanctified ones" (comp. Jeremiah 22:7; Jeremiah 51:27; Zephaniah 1:7, etc.). Here the Modes and Persians are specially in. tended (see ver. 17). For mine anger; i.e. "for the purpose of executing my anger." Even them that rejoice in my highness; rather, my proudly exultant ones (Cheyne, Rosenmüller, Gesenius). AEschylus calls the Persians ὑπερκόμπους ('Persae,' 1. 827); Herodotus, ὑβριστάς (1. 41). The high spirits, however, natural to gallant soldiers on going out to war, rather than any special haughtiness or arrogancy, are intended.

13:1-5 The threatenings of God's word press heavily upon the wicked, and are a sore burden, too heavy for them to bear. The persons brought together to lay Babylon waste, are called God's sanctified or appointed ones; designed for this service, and made able to do it. They are called God's mighty ones, because they had their might from God, and were now to use it for him. They come from afar. God can make those a scourge and ruin to his enemies, who are farthest off, and therefore least dreaded.I have commanded my sanctified ones,.... The Medes and Persians, so called, not because sanctified by the Spirit of God, or made holy persons, through the regenerating and renewing grace of God, or purified by the blood of Christ, and prepared for glory; but because they were set apart in the mind and counsel of God for a special work and service, and were qualified by him with courage and strength to perform it, and therefore said to be his; and this command that was given them was not by a voice from heaven, or in a message by one of his prophets; but by a secret instinct, and, by the power of his providence, stirring them up to engage in such an enterprise (z).

I have also called my mighty ones; meaning Cyrus and Darius, and the officers of their armies, with the common soldiers, who were furnished with might and strength to do his will, to which they were called in his providence:

for mine anger; to execute his wrath upon the Babylonians; so the Targum,

"that they may avenge my wrath upon them:''

or, "in mine anger"; which being stirred up, put him upon calling those mighty ones to his service, and fitting them for it: literally it is, "to my nose" (a); to be before him, to be at his beck and will, and to minister his wrath and vengeance:

even them that rejoice in my highness; in doing that which tended to the exaltation and glory of God; they went cheerfully about the work, and exulted and triumphed in their success: or, "that rejoice my highness" (b); make me glad, because I am glorified by them. So seven angels, the Lord's holy and mighty ones, will be employed in pouring out the vials of his wrath on mystical Babylon, Revelation 15:1.

(z) Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 8. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (a) "in ira mea", Vatablus; "ad iram meam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in naso meo", Montanus. (b) "exultantis celsitudinis meae", Montanus.

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