About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Prophecy Against Babylon
(ch. 13:1 14:24)
13 and 14 concerns God's judgment on Babylon. The thing we need to
understand is that when Isaiah spoke and wrote these words, Babylon
was not an empire. It was
just a city cut in half by the Euphrates
River. The city had a
double wall, 87 feet thick and 350 feet high. It was wide enough to race
6 chariots side by side on it.
There are two main cities
that thread their way through the Bible.
I believe that most of
chapter 13 and 14 have yet to happen.
They are in reference to the end of this age.
did fall to the Medes and Persians, as can be seen here, but once you
look into these chapters, it becomes clear that this is end time
prophecy. God often used
events in human history, like, the fall of
It's also important to
point out that some believe that Babylon
is merely a symbolic city. Others
say it's a real city or empire, and, among those who believe this, there
are different ways to think about who Babylon
is. Some say it's America. Some say
came to power, Roman paganism adopted much, if not most, of the
Babylonian paganism and culturalism.
The Christmas tree and the Easter bunny that was adopted by
Christianity find its roots in
Verse 1 in the NIV opens
with the words, "an oracle concerning Babylon". The KJV better
reflects the Hebrew text in my opinion when it reads, "the burden
The word "them"
in verse 2 refers to the Medes and the Persian army that would be used
as a tool of God to attack Babylon. The Medes and the Persian
were enemies of each other, but, for the sake of conquering
So, when verses 2 and 3
say, "raise a banner on a hilltop", (banner meaning flag)
"shout to them
to enter the gates of the nobles ... I have
commanded my holy ones
", Isaiah is speaking of the Medo-Persian
army. They are considered
God's holy ones, not because they are holy but because they are being
used by God. The word
"holy" being used in the sense that God has separated this
army until Himself and for His purpose.
As verse 3 states, the
Medo-Persian army was instrumental in carrying out God's wrath on
Verse 4 begins to show
things of a much wider scale than the invasion of the Medo-Persians upon
When verse 4 says
"listen to the noise
among the kingdoms (plural)"
massing of the nations, (plural) this suggests a number of nations
coming to battle. This gives
an end time bent to this passage. We
know that at the end of this age, all the nations will be dragged into
war in the
The argument against this
being an end time prophecy because of the word "nations",
translated from the Hebrew word "gowy", could be that nations
could well be translated as ethnic peoples.
There were a number of different ethnic peoples who comprised the
Verse 6 says, "Wail
for the day of the Lord is near".
Throughout the Bible, when you see the term, "the day of the
Lord", this always refers to the day God institutes judgment, and
in this case, I believe the judgment is against the nations of the
earth, as seen symbolically in Babylon.
I say "symbolically" because this text speaks of
Verse 6 says that the day
of the Lord "will come as destruction from the Almighty".
The final battle of the ages is between the nations of the world
and God Himself.
Verses 7 and 8 speak of
how man will respond to the judgment of God.
It's interesting to note that the examples given here are all
found in the New Testament as well.
Jesus said that "man's hearts will fail them for fear of the
things coming on earth. (Luke 21:26)
Isaiah says that "every man's heart will melt
will seize them".
Isaiah speaks of
"women in labour". Jesus
speaks of "birth pains" in relation to the things happening on
earth. (Matthew 24:8)
"aghast" in verse 8 suggests total amazement, being
dumbfounded, not being able to figure out or comprehend what is
happening. This is the way
the New Testament speaks of the end of this age.
Verse 9 shows us a
picture of God that modern man knows little about when it uses such
words as "God's wrath, fierce anger, and cruel days".
Many Christians steer clear of these types of verses, but do so
at their own peril.
When verse 10 speaks of
the star, the sun, and the moon not giving their light, this imagery is
seen in a number of places in the New Testament.
Peter on the day of Pentecost uses such terminology. (Acts 2:19
-20) This shows very clearly
that what we are really seeing in this passage is more than the invasion
of the Medes and the Persians against Babylon. It's the invasion of God
and His heavenly host against the nations of the world.
Verse 11 even says that
God "will punish the world'. We're
talking about the world here not just Babylon.
is simply a symbol of the world in the passage.
Thus the reason why many people think that the fall of
Note that in verse 11 the
reason for God's punishment of the nations of the world is because of
their pride and arrogance, especially as it relates to their defiance of
God. I believe that in the
last seven years of this age, in the tribulation period, the nations of
the world will come to know that they are actually fighting against God.
They believe they can win the war.
This is pure pride, along with a good measure of stupidity.
Verse 12 states that God
will make man "scarcer than gold".
This simply means, as the book of Revelation makes clear, many
men and women will be killed in the day of the Lord.
Some suggest the day of the Lord is the last seven years.
Others suggest it is the exact day Jesus returns.
It's my thinking that the term "day of the Lord is used in
both ways in the Bible.
In verse 13 words that
can only be understood as cataclysmic, show this passage to be speaking
of the end of this age. There's
no way around this. Isaiah
13 and 14 clearly speak of end time events.
These events take place because of God's "burning
anger", something that modern peoples both ignore and reject.
Christians must have the knowledge of God's burning anger burned
into their hearts. I believe
that to the degree we understand God's sense of justice and His anger
towards injustice and sin, will be the degree to which we will begin to
understand His love.
In verse 14 we see people
being so haunted that they try to flee to their own nations, to the
lands from which they have come. Note
that we're talking about people from many nations.
Again, this has to be talking about the end of this age.
The reason why people flee back to their nations is that God
dragged them to the
Verses 15 and 16 speak of
numerous horrors that will come upon Babylon
in the last days. It's not a
Notice the mention of the
Medes in verses 17 and 18who do not care for silver.
When the Medes and the Persians attacked Babylon, they did not take a spoil. They
weren't interested in Babylon's riches. They just wanted
the Babylonians killed. They
simply wanted revenge.
Verse 19 speaks "of
the jewel that is
Verse 20 speaks of
Some feel that the city
Most commentators believe
the wild animals mentioned in verses 21 and 22 refer to demonic activity
that takes place in and around the city of Babylon, which by the way, is
just south of the modern day city of Bagdad.
There certainly has been a lot of demonic activity in that part
of the world, or so I think.