13:1 The a burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
(a) That is, the great calamity which was prophesied to come on Babel, a grievous burden which they were not able to bear. In these twelve chapters following he speaks of the plagues with which God would smite the strange nations (whom they knew) to declare that God chastised the Israelites as his children and these others as his enemies: and also that if God does not spare these who are ignorant, they must not think strange if he punishes them who have knowledge of his Law, and do not keep it. 13:2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice to them, shake the b hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
(b) That is, the Medes and Persians. 13:3 I have commanded my c sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for my anger, [even] them that rejoice in my d highness.
(c) That is, prepared and appointed to execute my judgments. 13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the e weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
(d) Who willingly go about to the work to which I appoint them, but how the wicked do this, read ( Isaiah 10:6 ).
(e) The army of the Medes and the Persians against Babylon. 13:6 Wail f ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
(f) You Babylonians. 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] g flames.
(g) The Babylonians anger and grief will be so much that their faces will burn as fire. 13:10 For the h stars of heaven and its constellations shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
13:11 And I will punish the i world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the k proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
(h) They who are overcome will think that all the powers of heaven and earth are against them, ( Ezekiel 32:7 ; Joel 3:15 ; Matthew 24:29 ).
(i) He compares Babylon to the whole world because they so esteemed themselves by reason of their great empire. 13:12 I will make a l man more rare than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
(k) He notes the principal vice, to which they are most given as are all that abound in wealth.
13:14 And m 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 to his own land.
(l) He notes the great slaughter that will be, seeing the enemy will neither for gold or silver spare a mans life as in ( Isaiah 13:17 ).
(m) Meaning the power of Babylon with their hired soldiers. 13:16 Their n children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be plundered, and their wives ravished.
(n) This was not accomplished when Cyrus took Babylon, but after the death of Alexander the great. 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the o Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
(o) Who used to go from country to country to find pasture for their beasts, but they will find none. 13:21 But p 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.
(p) Who were either wild beasts or fools, or wicked spirits, by which Satan deluded man, as by the fairies, goblins, and such like fantasies.