Isaiah 13:6-9

6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[a]
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.

Isaiah 13:6-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 13

This chapter contains a prophecy of the destruction of Babylon, literally understood as a type and exemplar of the destruction of the mystical Babylon, so often spoken of in the book of the Revelation: an account is given of the persons that should be the instruments of it, and of the desolation they should make; which would issue in the utter ruin of that once famous city. The title of the prophecy, and the person that had it, and brought it, are expressed, Isa 13:1 orders are given to the Medes and Persians to prepare for war, Isa 13:2 and are described as the Lord's sanctified ones, his mighty ones, and who rejoiced in his highness, Isa 13:3 by the multitude of them, by the length of the way they came, and the end of their coming, by divine direction, and as the instruments of God's wrath, to destroy the land of the Chaldeans, Isa 13:4,5 wherefore the inhabitants of it are called to howling, because that destruction from the Lord was at hand, Isa 13:6,9 the effects of which were fainting, fear, consternation, pain, and sorrow, without the least relief and comfort, Isa 13:7,8,10 the causes of which were their sin and iniquity, particularly their arrogance, pride, and haughtiness, Isa 13:11 which destruction is further described by the fewness of men that should be left in the land, Isa 13:12 by the strange revolution made in it, and the confusion it should be in, Isa 13:13 by the fear and flight of men, both of their own and other nations, that should be among them, Isa 13:14 by the slaughter of men and children, the plunder of their houses, and the ravishing of their wives, Isa 13:15,16 the persons that should be employed as instruments are mentioned by name, and represented as not to be bribed with gold and silver; and as merciless and uncompassionate, that should spare neither young men nor children, Isa 13:17,18 and the chapter is concluded with a particular account of the destruction of Babylon; which is aggravated, by observing its former glory; by comparing its ruin to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah; by its being no more to be inhabited by men within, nor to have Arabian shepherds pitching their tents without it; and by being the habitation of wild beasts, satyrs, dragons, and doleful creatures, Isa 13:19-22.

Isaiah 13:6-9 In-Context

4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war.
5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens— the LORD and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country.
6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.

Cross References 14

  • 1. Isaiah 14:31; Isaiah 15:2; Isaiah 16:7; Isaiah 23:1; Ezekiel 30:2; James 5:1
  • 2. S Isaiah 2:12; Joel 1:15
  • 3. S Isaiah 10:3; S Isaiah 14:15
  • 4. S Genesis 17:1
  • 5. S 2 Kings 19:26; S Job 4:3; S Jeremiah 47:3
  • 6. S Joshua 2:11; Ezekiel 21:7
  • 7. S Psalms 31:13; S Psalms 48:5; S Isaiah 21:4
  • 8. Exodus 15:14
  • 9. S Genesis 3:16; S John 16:21
  • 10. Joel 2:6; Nahum 2:10
  • 11. S Isaiah 2:12; Jeremiah 51:2
  • 12. Jeremiah 6:23
  • 13. S Isaiah 9:19
  • 14. Isaiah 26:21; Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:31; Joel 3:2

Footnotes 1

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