Words Of Truth

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An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 230 – The Burden Of Babylon (Isaiah 13:1-22)

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1. In this context, who is Isaiah prophesying about?

Babylon [the Chaldean Empire]: “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see” (Isaiah 13:1).


Š     Babylon is in the Chaldean Empire (Ezra 5:12, Isaiah 47:1, Jeremiah 51:24, and Jeremiah 51:35).

Š     We will see the judgment on the kingdoms of men for the chapters to come call “burdens” in the visions Isaiah is having (Isaiah 15:1, Isaiah 17:1, Isaiah 19:1, Isaiah 21:1, Isaiah 21:11, Isaiah 21:13, etc.).


2. Concerning Babylon, was God angry with them?

Yes, He was coming in indignation: “(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” (Isaiah 13:2-5).


Š     Lift up the banner is to let them know what is coming (Isaiah 5:26, Isaiah 18:3, and Jeremiah 50:2).

Š     As we will see in verse 17, it is the Medes that God has sanctified to be the ones to bring Babylon down (Isaiah 44:27-28 and Jeremiah 51:11).

Š     God is angry, indignant and vengeful in fact (Jeremiah 51:34-46).

Š     When God is angry, destruction often follows (Isaiah 34:2).


3. Did the Lord promise destruction to the Babylonians?

Yes: “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty” (Isaiah 13:6).


Š     There are many times wherein there was a judgment day in the Scriptures (Isaiah 13:9, Isaiah 34:8, Jeremiah 46:10, Lamentations 2:2, Joel 3:14, Amos 5:18-20, Obadiah 15, Zephaniah 1:14, etc.).

Š     When it was an earthly judgment upon man, you could see those days coming (Ezekiel 30:1-6, Joel 2:1, Matthew 24:1-34, Romans 13:11-12, James 5:8, Hebrews 10:25, and I Peter 4:7).

Š     When talking about THE JUDGMENT DAY, you cannot see that coming (Matthew 24:35-42 and II Peter 3:10-14).

Š     “The day of the Lord” brought destruction (Joel 1:15).


4. Were the Babylonians going to stay strong through God’s judgment on them?

No: “(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” (Isaiah 13:7-8).


Š     Even hearing about what was to come caused the king of Babylon to weaken (Jeremiah 50:43).

Š     God causes His enemies to fear (Psalms 48:1-6).


5. Was that day of the Lord going to be “nice” (so to speak)?

No: “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” (Isaiah 13:9).


Š     God is love (I John 4:8), but He’s also cruel [terrible/harsh] (Psalms 47:2).

Š     He does not hide what He will do to the transgressors under the Old Law (Proverbs 2:22).

Š     Let’s be mindful not to miss BOTH sides of our God (Romans 11:22).


6. Were miraculous things going to occur during this judgment day of the Lord?

Yes: “(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” (Isaiah 13:10-13).


Š     Similar things happened on other judgment days (Isaiah 34:1-10 and Mark 13:14-30).


7. Were the Babylonians going to be able to stand strong against God’s judgment?

No: “(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” (Isaiah 13:14-16).


Š     They’d flee (Isaiah 17:13 and Jeremiah 50:16).

Š     Those found shall be thrust through (Jeremiah 50:35).

Š     Destruction to their children (Psalms 137:8-9).

Š     When Judah went into captivity (Lamentations 1:3), their wives were ravished (Lamentations 5:11).  Now the Babylon will have the done to them as they have done.


8. Who was God going to stir up against the Babylonians?

The Medes: “(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” (Isaiah 13:17-18).


Š     Jeremiah 50:9, Jeremiah 51:11, and Daniel 5:28-31


9. How complete was the destruction of Babylon going to be?

Total: “(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” (Isaiah 13:19-22).


Š     The imagery of Sodom and Gomorrah says it all (Genesis 19:24-25, Jeremiah 49:18, Jeremiah 50:40, and Zephaniah 2:9).





Index Of Old Testament Studies


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