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Isaiah 13

The burden of Babylon

Isaiah 13:2

The Lord is commanding his saints to do missionary work, to bring them into the gates of the nobles.

D&C 133:1-14 has really similar language to that found in Isaiah 1:2-5

Isaiah 13:2-5

The Lord is amassing his armies against Babylon

Isaiah 13:6-22

The Lord attacks Babylon, destroying them completely.

Isaiah 13:10

  • Things that are fixed and are great constants, or assurances, that provide for a great multitude (armies, governments, churches), shall fail.
  • An idol is something that distracts us from God.

Commentary: The Lord's Army

Isaiah 13:2-5 describes the imagery and majesty of the Lord gathering his army. These verses describe the types of people that he uses in the battle, and how he assembles an army.

First of all (v2), he sets a standard in a high mountain – there is a place that is difficult to achieve, but there is a banner there so that you may know without doubt that it is where the Lord's camp is gathered. It could be a reference to the temples.

"They come from a far country, from the end of heaven" (v5), and the Lord leads them. These are the most choice of his followers that will participate.

"The day of the Lord" (v6) is pretty extreme:

  • Everyone will lose faith and courage (v7)
  • Total shock and dismay (v8)
  • The heavens will shake and be moved in the battle (v10,13)
  • The union will cease, and they (the Lord's enemies) will flee all of them to their own ways (v14)
  • Those who aligned with them (lived as they did), shall also fall (v15)
  • The destruction of their civilization (and way of life) will be complete genocide, there will be no heir, no man, woman or child left standing (no subsets or branches of the lifestyles) (v16,18)
  • The invading army will not be swayed by their riches (v17)
  • It will be so desolated and worthless (for a time), that only the desert animals will possess it (v21-22)
  • There will be no growth or prosperity. Even a resourceful Arabian will not take it up, nor raise flocks there (v20).

The destruction will be complete. It will leave neither root nor branch. He will "destroy the whole land." (v5)

I'm not sure why he says "howl ye" here (v6) and 14:31. The only scripture that comes to mind is "O ye ought to begin to howl and mourn" (Helaman 9:22). It occurs to me that it may be more accurate to read it as "you will be howling." Maybe it's more of a call to repentance, though, as in a commandment to recognize the evil you've done.

13:7 - It seems like such a general chaos and loss of control would be caused by an entire group of people being acutely aware that something is about to befall them.

13:9 - It seems interesting to me how the Lord's wrath compares to that of other kings and armies. He does not come seeking to conquer, but rather to execute justice. He comes in righteous anger.

13:9, 11, 17 - Again, on that same theme, look at his quest on a conquering crusade. He isn't seeking riches, but to put down His real enemies, which are forms of rebelliousness against God: evil, iniquity, arrogance and haughtiness. He's destroying the pride of the world, and it is the wicked who possess it.

The sin The owner
evil the world
iniquity the wicked
arrogance the proud
haughtiness the terrrible (Hebrew: tyrants)

I can almost see a gradiation in seriousness there, regarding the sin and the influence. For example, the collective evil of all the world in their designs; the iniquity or populace of sin brought into society by the wickedness of rulers; the arrogance of those who are not in such a high position, but still retain a measure of power, and their pride; and finally, the petty and the small, the bullies and the brothers who are haughty in their own small circle of influence.

That is totally fascinating. The real enemies that He is subduing are the unrighteous emotions and actions.

I love Isaiah 13:10. In the last days, great powers which seem immovable shall fall and fail. It is easy for me, even now, to scoff at the idea that some nations and armies could meet their demise, but the Lord has decreed it. I trust the Lord, however. Bro. Call has said occasion that the world in turmoil may make it seem as if everything is out of control, but really it shows that He is in control.

Ezekiel 32:7 explains the situation of Isaiah 13:10 a bit differently. I also find it interesting that there are a few references to that. I wonder sometimes about the actual order of these events. I'm not sure I understand how they will happen in sequence.

Isaiah 13:12 - I always thought this had purely a spiritual application, but the reference in Isa. 24:6 made it click. In there he says that there will be "few men left." So, that, men will be more rare than precious jewels in those days. That's how few will be left.

Isaiah 13:13 - I like the reference in Haggai 2:6 where the prophet records that the Lord will shake not only the heavens, but the earth, the sea, and the dry land.

isaiah_13.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/16 11:46 by steve