+     Text Size    

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Commentary for Isaiah 13

The armies of God's wrath. (1-5) The conquest of Babylon. (6-18) Its final desolation. (19-22)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.

6-18 We have here the terrible desolation of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. Those who in the day of their peace were proud, and haughty, and terrible, are quite dispirited when trouble comes. Their faces shall be scorched with the flame. All comfort and hope shall fail. The stars of heaven shall not give their light, the sun shall be darkened. Such expressions are often employed by the prophets, to describe the convulsions of governments. God will visit them for their iniquity, particularly the sin of pride, which brings men low. There shall be a general scene of horror. Those who join themselves to Babylon, must expect to share her plagues, #Re 18:4|. All that men have, they would give for their lives, but no man's riches shall be the ransom of his life. Pause here and wonder that men should be thus cruel and inhuman, and see how corrupt the nature of man is become. And that little infants thus suffer, which shows that there is an original guilt, by which life is forfeited as soon as it is begun. The day of the Lord will, indeed, be terrible with wrath and fierce anger, far beyond all here stated. Nor will there be any place for the sinner to flee to, or attempt an escape. But few act as though they believed these things.

19-22 Babylon was a noble city; yet it should be wholly destroyed. None shall dwell there. It shall be a haunt for wild beasts. All this is fulfilled. The fate of this proud city is a proof of the truth of the Bible, and an emblem of the approaching ruin of the New Testament Babylon; a warning to sinners to flee from the wrath to come, and it encourages believers to expect victory over every enemy of their souls, and of the church of God. The whole world changes and is liable to decay. Wherefore let us give diligence to obtain a kingdom which cannot be moved; and in this hope let us hold fast that grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Isaiah 13

  • Thomas on Isaiah 13
    19. America is latter-day Babylon, America is the glory of earth's known kingdoms, She is the beauty of excellency. America has become like the overthrown "Sodom and Gomorrah".

    20. This is not a verse about America. This is the place of Sodom and Gomorrah, a place burned to the bedrock, a place of sulfur balls, a place of desolation. That which was once the most furtle and green is the most desolate, ever since this destruction at the time of Abraham, it has been a place incapable to feed goat of sheep. This is the land of the Arab and even he doesn't use it. This is what America resembles in her destruction.
  • Thomas on Isaiah 13
    13. This is an ominous time, within the awful presence of wars terrors, come the shaking of the whole earth causing the heavens to have the appearance of shaking. This is not an earthquake, it's "pole shift", the moment of 2 mile deep sea's becoming unleashed on the seacoasts and covering all the lower ground till the incomparable 2 mile high waves run out of inertia. This is absolute devastation of everything in its path. It is recurrent in this shifting likened to shaking.

    So the oceans will be thrown from their sea beds repeatably to cover the landmasses. Its of interest to see that maps have been created to show this eventuality for America and the whole of the world.
  • Obbie Beal on Isaiah 13
    on that day the trial is over; he / she / they is found guilty by GOD and HE announce the sentence; (on that day ...Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me; thank GOD for the SAVING BLOOD.
  • John F on Isaiah 13
    this the time spoken of at the end of Chapter 6 of Revelation it is the wrath of God not to be confused with the tribulation , its the day of the Lord , it happens after the tribulation , so many Christians will be surprised that there is no Pre Trib rapture , rather a Pre Wrath rapture , we need to study the bible rather then listen to popular book writers .
  • A disciple on Isaiah 13
    "The noise of a multitude in the mountains (high places), like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts musters the host of the battle." The heavens shall be rolled back like a scroll, and He shall call with a great shout to all His holy angels; first to gather up His Elect, and immediately after to utterly take away all the wicked.
  • Lisa on Isaiah 13
    The chapter refers to the last days, looking at world events of the day makes this chapter pretty scary.
  • PEARL SANDOVAL on Isaiah 13:12
    I think the scripture refers to the refinement and the purity of a human being in Jesus Christ. It is He who purifies us and refines us in mind, spirit and soul to be used for His honor and glory and to praise Him. He is God. He came to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and sin, iniquities and transgressions. Thus we become pure and refined through Him for Him, through Him
  • Gregory J. on Isaiah 13
    Couple this verse with Isiah 21, Jeremiah 50 51 and you get the whole picture of a future event. Babylon is Saudi Arabia more specific Mecca. Elam Iran will attack and destroy Mecca because of the two different sects of Islam, Shiite Muslims against Sunni Muslim.
  • Caro on Isaiah 13
    I am thinking this is possibly Babylon but the future Babylon and not the one that existed in Daniels Day....maybe even mystery Babylon that the book of Revelation speaks about...a city filled with sin, wealth and the Word calls her that grerat whore. She will be destroyed in one hour...maybe this is Mecca because the world did trade with her...but she shall fall in one hour....I don 't think America figures in this prophecy because we are not near the desert ..nor are we the center where man goes to worship...this is an Arabic Babylon
  • Lolita c bhatia on Isaiah 13:8
    GOD gives us always a very clear view of all HIS messages to us. I'm a mother, who gave birth and a follower of Christ. It's always in my prayer that people around the world would come and understand the meaning of having the true RELATIONSHIP to our GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS our LORD and SAVIOUR.


Do you have a Bible comment or question?

2000 characters remain...

Bible Options

Bible Trivia

In Isaiah chapter 13, who does God say He will destroy?
  • Babylon
  • Assyria
  • Samaria
  • Israel