God’s Message to Babylon
13 God showed Isaiah son of Amoz this message[a] about Babylon:
2 “Raise a flag on that mountain[b] where nothing grows.
Call out to the men.
Wave your arms to let them know
they should enter through the gates for important leaders.
3 “I have separated these men from the people,
and I myself will command them.
I have gathered these proud, happy soldiers of mine
to show how angry I am.
4 “Listen to that loud noise in the mountains.
It sounds like crowds of people.
People from many kingdoms are gathering together.
The Lord All-Powerful is calling his army together.
5 They are coming from a faraway land.
They are coming from beyond the horizon.
The Lord will use this army as a weapon to show his anger.
They will destroy the whole country.”
6 The Lord’s special day is near. So cry and be sad for yourselves. A time is coming when the enemy will steal your wealth. God All-Powerful will make that happen.[c] 7 People will lose their courage. Fear will make them weak. 8 Everyone will be afraid. They will stare at each other with shock on their faces. Fear will grip them like the pains of a woman in childbirth.
God’s Judgment Against Babylon
9 Look, the Lord’s special day is coming! It will be a terrible day. God will be very angry. He will destroy the country and wipe out the sinful people who live there. 10 The skies will be dark. The sun, the moon, and the stars will not shine.
11 The Lord says, “I will cause bad things to happen to the world. I will punish the evil people for their sin. I will make proud people lose their pride. I will stop the bragging of cruel people. 12 There will be only a few people left. They will be as rare as pure gold. 13 In my anger I will shake the sky, and the earth will be moved from its place.”
That will happen on the day the Lord All-Powerful shows his anger. 14 Then the people from Babylon will run away like wounded deer or sheep that have no shepherd. Everyone will turn and run back to their own country and people. 15 Anyone caught by the enemy will be killed with a sword. 16 Everything in their houses will be stolen. Their wives will be raped, and their little children will be beaten to death while they watch.
17 The Lord says, “Look, I will cause the armies of Media to attack Babylon. Nothing will stop them, even if someone offers them gold and silver. 18 They will walk on the bows of the young soldiers of Babylon. The enemy soldiers will not show any kindness or mercy even to the babies and young children. 19 Babylon will be destroyed like the time God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
“Babylon is the most beautiful of all kingdoms. The Babylonians[d] are very proud of their city. 20 But Babylon will not continue to be beautiful. People will not continue to live there in the future. Arabs will not put their tents there. Shepherds will not bring their sheep to let them eat there. 21 The only animals living there will be wild animals from the desert. People will not be living in their houses in Babylon. The houses will be full of owls and large birds. Wild goats[e] will play in the houses. 22 Wild dogs and wolves will howl in the great and beautiful buildings. Babylon will be finished. The end is near, and it will not be delayed.”
- Isaiah 13:1 message Or “burden.”
- Isaiah 13:2 mountain This probably means Babylon.
- Isaiah 13:6 A time … happen This is a wordplay in Hebrew. The word meaning “stealing things in war” sounds like the word meaning “God All-Powerful.”
- Isaiah 13:19 Babylonians Literally, “Chaldeans.”
- Isaiah 13:21 Wild goats The Hebrew word means “hairy,” “goat,” or “goat-demon.”