The movement of the king of the North against the world and against the king of the West (Babylon) during the day of the Lord judgments.

Hebrew pronunciation:
For accuracy in pronunciation of the Hebrew words, the following guide should be used.
The capital letter A, represents the vowel sign, qamets, and should be pronounced as the "a" in father.
The letter ā with the symbol over it, represents the vowel sign, sere, and should be pronounced as a LONG A.
The lower case letter "a" represents the vowel sign, patach, and should be pronounced as the "a" in path.
The lower case letter "e" represents the vowel sign, segol, and should be pronounced as a short "e" like in let.
The lower case letter "o" represents the vowel sign, cholem, and should be pronounced as a long "o" as in hope.


There are many discourses concerning Babylon throughout the Old Testament Prophets. Some of these refer specifically to a future judgment on Babylon using the Medes and Persians, at the end of Israel's Babylonian captivity of 605 to 536 BC. Others look beyond that to an eschatological application during the day of the Lord. The scriptures teach that there will be a "restored" Babylon that will have impact on the world during the 7-year time period known as Daniel's 70 week (Revelation 17-18). This geographical location should be identified as the Kingdom of the West, which will be headed up by the beast out of the sea of Revelation 13 (also know as the man of lawlessness of 2 Thessalonians 2, and traditionally as the antichrist).

The kingdom of the west will be the beast kingdom that is described as having "authority over every tribe and people and language and nation" (Rev. 13:7). During the day of the Lord judgments, the King of the North will rebel against the beast's authority and begin a worldwide conquering campaign, which will ultimately come to the footsteps of the beast's throne in Jerusalem. The end of this campaign will find both armies face to face in Palestine at the battle of Armageddon to confront the angelic armies of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-19).

Isaiah 13:1-16, summarizes this attack of the king of the North on the king of the West, with special focus on the arrival of the day of the Lord, during which time, the North's movements begin (via the 6th trumpet judgment of the book of The Revelation).

In these verses, the focus is not on historical Babylon, but on "prophetic" Babylon; nor is it on the historical Media/Persian empire (which would be located as a Northern kingdom to Chaldea), but rather on a "prophetic" king of the North, which we will see to be mentioned in many other passages.

However, at verses 17-22, the focus IS on the historical Babylon which was conquered by the Media/Persian Empire under Cyrus. Then over the course of time the city continued to decline until in 25 AD, it was said by the Greek historian, Strobo, that the city was practically deserted.

This is how the Old Testament prophets received their information; "in bulk" as it were, with several historical settings often in view all within the same discourse. However, with proper diligence in letting the language speak literally and normative to us, there should be little confusion, which is an understatement considering there are dozens of viewpoints on the significance of Old Testament prophetic details.

This communication phenomenon has been labeled, foreshortening.
Concerning the principle of foreshortening, Pentecost writes:

As has previously been pointed out, events that are widely separated as to the time of their fulfillment may be treated within one prophecy. This is particularly true in the prophecies concerning Christ, where events of the first and second advents are spoken of together as though taking place at the same time. In like manner the second and third dispersions of the Jews are viewed in prophecy as taking place without interruption. Feinberg refers to this principle by saying:

Another rule of prophetic interpretation is what is known as foreshortening which, according to Dr. Arthur T. Pierson, may assume any one of several forms. Two or more events of a like character may be described by a common ......... Furthermore, a common and important example of foreshortening is evident where future events are placed side by side whereas in the fulfillment there is a great gap. . . .

It is important to observe that the prophet may view widely separated events as continuous, or future things as either past or present (Things to Come, page 62).


The context for this passage is established at verse 6, "the day of the Lord is near."

Verse one (The base translation is the NASB)
"The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw."

This simply identifies the following information as a new discourse. It is a discourse OF or about Babylon, which is indicated by the construct form of the word oracle, which is massAh. This noun comes from the verb nAsA, which means to lift, carry, take, and indicates what is lifted up as a divine utterance or message from God to the people. So, it is a MESSAGE of or about Babylon. In verses 2-16, it only has "prophetic" Babylon in view as an indirect participant in the world wide invasion of the king of the North. However, at verse 17-22, the oracle shifts gears and is addressed AGAINST the historical Babylon as is indicated by the preposition al, at verse 17.


Verse 2

"Lift up a standard on the bare hill, Raise your voice to them, Wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles."

This refers to a divine CALL or INFLUENCE upon a great military machine that will rise in the end times, and have impact on the world during the day of the Lord. It is further described at verse 4, "The LORD of hosts is mustering the army for battle."

This INFLUENCE is mentioned at Revelation 9:13-16, where at the 6th trumpet judgment we see the restraint lifted on four angels who were apparently "holding back" the movement of a great military machine in the area of the Euphrates river.

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

This INFLUENCE is further seen at Ezekiel 38:4-10, as a "summoning" from God.

"And I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company {with} buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords;. . .from the remote parts of the north with all its troops--many peoples with you. . . After many days you will be summoned; . . . It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan."

This is the same Northern army that is described at Joel 2:1-11, 20, 25, as "His army," and "My great army which I sent among you," that comes against Israel during the day of the Lord.
This is consistent with Isaiah 13:3 as well, where God proclaims,

"I have commanded My consecrated ones, I have even called My mighty warriors, My proudly exulting ones, To {execute} My anger."

The invasion of the Northern army begins as a worldwide attack against Babylon (the king of the west), as Isaiah will reveal, but eventually, the focus of the campaign will center in Palestine with the intent of the king of the North to plunder all the economic resources to be found in Israel.

Daniel 11:40 gives us details about this attack indicating that "the king of the North will storm against him (king of the West) with chariots, with horsemen, and with many ships; and he (king of the North) will enter countries, overflow them, and pass through."

(It is probable that the "he" and "him" of verses 41-45 also refer to the king of the North instead of the King of the West.)

This passage then supports what we have here in Isaiah 13, as being a worldwide invasion even though it is directed against the king of the West. The reason for that is because the king of the West (the beast kingdom) will have control over the vast material resources of the Middle East (probably OIL mostly) and will be attempting to bring the whole world under his economic and religious control. He will promise economic stability to all who will align with him via the overt worship of taking the mark and worshipping the beast image.

According to Revelation 13:3-8, that INTENT to control, basically extends to "the whole earth," and "all who dwell on the earth." But the beast's ability to carry out his promises will have been seriously interrupted by the trumpet judgments that come from God after the day of the Lord begins. The king of the North and his allies, will thus rebel against the beast kingdom in an attempt to gain their own economic security. This begins with a "push against" the beast's army in various parts of the world, and then ultimately be an attack on Israel, where the resources and the beast's throne are centered (Ezekiel 38:11-12).

Verse 4

"A sound of tumult on the mountains, Like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, Of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts is mustering the army for battle."

Again, we have a focus on NATIONS gathered together, which refers to the Northern alliance of Ezekiel 38:3-6, and as mentioned above, another reference to the Divine INFLUENCE upon them.

For more details on the Armageddon campaign: see WHEN ARMIES MOVE

Verse 5

"They are coming from a far country From the farthest horizons, The LORD and His instruments of indignation, To destroy the whole land. "



Gog is either a personality or a dynasty that dominates the land of Magog and rules over three chief cities or peoples.
These descendants of Japheth are clearly mentioned at Gen. 10:2,

"The sons of Jepheth were, Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Mesheck and Tiras."

The identification of Magog and Rosh is summarized by Pentecost, after quoting several sources:

"Thus the identification of Rosh as modern Russia would seem to be well authenticated and generally accepted." (Things to Come, page 328).

"Meshek and Tubal have been identified as Phrygia and Cappadocia. They appear to be the Moschi and Tibareni of the classical writers. They lived in the neighborhood of Magog." (Charles Feinberg, Ezekiel, page 220)

This places them in the land area we know as Turkey.
Associated with Gog, we have five other nations which need to be identified.
At Ezekiel 38:5, we have three mentioned, Persia (paras), Ethiopia (kush) and Libya (phut).

Persia is unanimously identified as Iran.
Ethiopia and Libya, however, do not fair as well. There are some who would limit both of these groups to those Arabic nations North and East of Israel. Others, associate Kush with modern day Ethiopia, and associate Libya with the nations of North Africa; Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

At Daniel 11:43, there is mention of the Libyans, but the Hebrew is different than what we find at Ezekiel. At Daniel, the word, lubhiym, clearly refers to the Libyans in North Africa. Accordingly, phut might refer to a different people and perhaps a different geographical area.

However, Phut is consistently mentioned with other names identified with North Africa (Jer. 46:9 and Nahum 3:9, in Pharaoh's army), especially at Ezekiel 30:5, where we see a group of nations that the context suggests would all be within the same "southern" area around Egypt.

Furthermore, at Daniel 11:43, after the king of the West counterattacks against Egypt, he continues into both Ethiopia (Kush) AND Libya. It seems most probable that the Kush mentioned here is the same as mentioned at Ezekiel 38:5. And since it is also quite probable that the Ethiopia in Daniel is South of Palestine, it is best to take the Ethiopia of Ezekiel as also being South of Palestine. This should prove that there are Southern nations in Gog's Northern alliance, and it might even include Egypt since it appears that the king of the South and the King of the North at Daniel 11:40, push against the king of the West at the same time.

This makes it much easier to associate Phut (Libya) with North Africa instead of limiting the Northern alliance to those areas North and East of Palestine.

At Ezekiel 38:6, the final two members of this alliance are mentioned.

Gomer is universally identified as the Germanic land area.
Beth-togarmah is equally identified as the area of upper Turkey and Armenia.

Keep in mind that these general geographical distributions overlap with several different nations or cultures in existence today, similar to how the former Soviet Union embraced so many smaller nations. The best that we can do is to recognize the general geographical areas involved and not be too rigid in assigning nations their allegiance until the actual alliance is established. However, that reality may not be ours to discern since the rapture will occur BEFORE the Northern alliance actually moves in resistance to the king of the West (the beast). The prewrath view, teaches that the rapture occurs at the 6th seal, before any of the trumpet judgments. It is the 6th trumpet, which refers to this great worldwide invasion by a large military body.


Verse 6

"Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. "

The term "day of the Lord," identifies the time frame for this worldwide invasion.

The day of the Lord is a time of judgment that will begin during the last half of the 7-year period known as Daniel's 70th week, and will extend at least through the final evaluation of people just before the Messiah sets up His 1000 year earthly kingdom.

Although, it is primarily a time of judgment, since it includes the salvation and evaluation of humanity for entrance into the Messiah's kingdom, it does carry with it a degree of blessing for those who get right with God during the course of its administration.

The phrase, "destruction from the Almighty" refers to all the judgments that come upon the earth during the day of the Lord. There are three stages to these judgments. They begin with the 7 trumpets of the Book of The Revelation (Rev. 8-9), which come upon the earth almost immediately after the Lord returns, and can be designated as God's "initial" end times wrath upon the world. The second stage to this judgment occurs within the 30 days after the end of Daniel's 70th week and comprises the 7 bowls of the "final" end times wrath of God, which will culminate with the battle of Armageddon. The third stage, the "evaluation" judgment, occurs after Armageddon, when for 45 days, Jesus will evaluate all living Jews and Gentiles and escort the believers into His earthly kingdom (Ezekiel 34:11-22; Matthew 25:14-46).


Verses 7-8

"Therefore all hands will fall limp, And every man's heart will melt.
And they will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of {them}; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame."

This reaction COULD refer to what happens DURING the destruction, for certainly the victims of this judgment will be in great pain, especially in connection with trumpet #5 (Revelation 9:1-11). However, it seems to coincide better with the previous verse which is the announcement of the arrival of the day of the Lord, and subsequent verses which have the same focus.

Verse 6 focuses on the ARRIVAL of the day.
Verse 9 focuses on the ARRIVAL of the day.
Verse 10 refers to the signs that immediately precede the day.
Verse 13 refers to the initial shaking of the heavens during the signs that precede the day.

Furthermore, it is consistent with what we find in other passages describing the initial reaction when the signs of the day of the Lord are seen.

Matthew 24:29-30

"But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, AND THEN ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH WILL MOURN, and they will see the son of man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (emphasis mine)."

Luke 21:25-27

"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth DISMAY AMONG NATIONS, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, MEN FAINTING FROM FEAR AND THE EXPECTATION OF THE THINGS WHICH ARE COMING UPON THE WORLD; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (emphasis mine)."

Revelation 6:12-17

And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth {made} of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, HID THEMSELVES IN THE CAVES AND AMONG THE ROCKS OF THE MOUNTAINS; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and HIDE US FROM THE PRESENCE OF HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand (emphasis mine)?"

Isaiah 2:12, 19

"For the LORD of hosts will have A DAY against everyone who is proud and lofty, and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased. . . AND {MEN} WILL GO INTO CAVES OF THE ROCKS, AND INTO HOLES OF THE GROUND BEFORE THE TERROR OF THE LORD, AND BEFORE THE SPLENDOR OF HIS MAJESTY, WHEN HE ARISES TO MAKE THE EARTH TREMBLE (emphasis mine)."

These unbelievers will fall into two categories.

(1) Those who have already taken the mark of the beast. For these, it is hopeless (Rev. 14:9-11). There is no recovery; no reversal of that decision, and the implication at 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, is that they are so deceived, they would not be inclined to change even if they could.

(2) Those who have not taken the mark of the beast. For these, there is still hope. In fact, there will be many converts after the inception of the day of the Lord from among both the Jews (Rev. 7:1-7) and the Gentiles (Zechariah 14:16; Matthew 25:32-40).


Verse 9

1. Behold, the day of the LORD is coming:
Again we have an announcement that the day of the Lord is on its way.

2. Cruel, with fury and burning anger: we have three words that describe its NATURE.

A. cruel: This adjective is akzAriy, and refers to the hurtful things that result from one's passion (anger, jealousy, bitterness). In this case, the severe judgments of the day express God's passion and the uncompromising standards of His righteousness, which must be enforced by His justice.

B. with fury: This is the noun ebhrAh, which means a very intense emotional rage. It occurs also at verse 13 and at Zephaniah 1:15, 18.

C. burning anger: this is the combination of two nouns.

1. The word chAron (burning), which means a very intense anger that is like fire that burns.

2. anger: aph, which means nostril, and refers to the blowing and snorting of anger. Aph is the most common Hebrew word for anger and occurs also at verse 13, 30:27, 30; 63:3, 6; 66:15; Jeremiah 25:37-38; 30:24; Ezekiel 38:18; Zephaniah 2:2-3; 3:8

3. These two words together communicate a very intense and passionate expression of displeasure.

D. It is knowledge of this quality of WRATH that will come from God, that initially frightens the unbelievers who see the signs.


3. To make the land a desolation: The land in view is the whole world according to verse 11, "visit upon the world," (tābhāl).

This refers to the judgments on the physical environment as is described at Revelation 7:1-3, hurting "the earth, the sea and the trees." This is initially fulfilled during the first 3 trumpet judgments of chapter 8,

Verse 7, Trumpet #1: 1/3 Earth Destroyed
Verses 8-9, Trumpet #2: 1/3 Sea Destroyed
Verses 10-11, Trumpet #3: 1/3 River & Lakes Destroyed

And then continued after the 70th week with the second and third bowl judgments described in Revelation 16.

Verse 3, Bowl #2: Seas Totally Destroyed
Verses 4-7, Bowl #3: Rivers Totally Destroyed


4. And He will exterminate its sinners from it: Sinners refers to the unbelievers who continue in their spiritual rebellion after the return of the Lord. The verb here is shAmad, which means to totally destroy, annihilate, exterminate. With the phrase, "from the land," then the idea is REMOVAL through physical death. The day-of-the-Lord judgments will result in the death of millions of people through the actual trumpets and bowls. But it will also include the "removal" of all surviving unbelievers after Armageddon through the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew 25:32-46.

The death toll from the trumpets is in two categories.

(1) Those who die during the first 4 trumpet judgment, which is not stated, although the nature of those judgments would suggest death. However, in reference to the 3rd trumpet judgment, Revelation 8:11 tells us that "many men died from the waters."

(2) Those who die from the 6th trumpet judgment, which is the death wrought by the worldwide attack of the King of the North, and is described at Revelation 9:18 as "a third of mankind was killed."

Now whatever the population of the world might be at that time, this certainly amounts to a vast number of people.


The death toll from the bowls is also in two categories.

(1) Those who die from the plagues prior to Armageddon (Revelation 16:1-21), of which there is no mention, but the very nature of these plagues almost DEMANDS a great amount of physical death.

(2) Those who are slain during and at the end of the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:21; Isaiah 34:1-6; 66:24; Ezekiel 38:21-23; 39:6, 11; Zechariah 12:6; 14:12-15).


Verse 10

Here Isaiah backs up again to the time just before the day of the Lord arrives, when there will be the triple signs to announce its coming.

1. For: The conjunction, kiy, simply explains something that has just been mentioned in the context. In this case, it goes back to the beginning of verse 9, and the phrase, "Behold, the day of the Lord is coming." The explanation in verse 10 is given then, not to explain the nature of the judgments, but the fact of its arrival, and the signs that will announce it.

The signs that precede the arrival of the day of the Lord, and announce not only its arrival, but the second coming of the Messiah at its inception, are described in three other passages (Joel 2:31, quoted at Acts 2:20; The Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-26, Luke 21:25-27; and Revelation 6:12-13).

2. the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises; And the moon will not shed its light.

The verb for "will not flash forth" is a hiphil IMPERFECT of hAlal.
The verb for "will be dark" is a qal PERFECT of chAshak = became dark.
The verb for "will not shed" is a hiphil IMPERFECT of nAgah.

The phrase, "when it rises," should literally read, "in its going." The NASB, is misleading, given the impression that this could be a "daily" occurrence, that is, every time it rises. The verb here is yAtsa, which means to go forth or simply to go. The actual rising of the sun is better expressed by other words (yArach and mizrach). The noun, mAtsa, which comes from Yatsa, is used one time for the rising of the sun at Psalm 19:6. The only other place the sun is used in connection with the sun is at Judges 5:31. There we read, "But let those who love Him, be like the rising of the sun in its might."

However, literally, this should read, "like the going forth of the sun in its might," and that would refer to the sun at its height rather than its rising. Accordingly, the issue here at verse 10, is that the sun will be dark IN ITS GOING, that is, all of a sudden, it will go dark, just like the other passages indicate.

There is a grammatical emphasis found in the verse that is usually not preserved in our modern translations. Isaiah uses the imperfect tense (future) for, "the stars WILL NOT FLASH forth their light," and then switches to the perfect tense for the sun, as though he sees it happening, "the sun BECAME DARK in its going forth." And then returns to the imperfect tense (future) for the moon, "and the moon WILL NOT SHED its light." What this does in the Hebrew, is effectively communicates the suddenness of the event so that there is no mistake made in thinking that it is a "dawn" event, or even a gradual event.

J. A. Alexander writes,

". . .the Prophet's vivid description, which is not that of transient obscuration but of sudden and total extinction. --The abrupt change from the future to the preterite and back again, has been retained in the translation, although most modern versions render all the verbs as presents. From simply foretelling the extinction of the stars, the Prophet suddenly describes that of the sun as if he saw it, and then adds that of the moon as a necessary consequence (The Prophecies of Isaiah, page 275)."


A. These signs PRECEDE the day of the Lord (Joel 2:10, 30-31).
B. These signs occur immediately AFTER the tribulation (Mat. 24:29).
C. They occur just BEFORE the return of Jesus (Mat. 24:29-31).
D. They occur just BEFORE the arrival of God's wrath (Rev. 6:12-17).

A point of confusion arises from Ezekiel 32:7-11.

"And when {I} extinguish you, I will cover the heavens, and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, And the moon shall not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you And will set darkness on your land," Declares the Lord GOD. I will also trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into lands which you have not known. And I will make many peoples appalled at you, and their kings shall be horribly afraid of you when I brandish My sword before them; and they shall tremble every moment, every man for his own life, on the day of your fall. For thus says the Lord GOD, The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you."

This language is not identical to the "triple sign" passages that announce the day of the Lord, but it is similar enough to suggest a parallel.

First, the time frame is clearly identified in this passage as referring to the continued oppression by Chaldea, which will have its final and most devastating destruction in 586 BC when the city and temple are destroyed. The time frames in the other passages are post Chaldean captivity, so clearly refer to a different event.

Second, this passage clearly talks about a CLOUD that will cover the light from the sun and moon and stars, and that it will occur at the time that their destruction occurs. It is very likely that this image communicates the effects of the burning of the city and temple rather than the supernatural signs that occur as announcements to the day of the Lord. Here, this effect is not called a sign, but at the day of the Lord, it is clearly proclaimed as a sign that declares the arrival of God's specialized end-time judgment.

Verse 11

1. Thus I will punish the world for its evil:

The word, world, is tābhāl, which clearly gives us a worldwide focus for this judgment. The word punish, is the verb, pAqad, which means to visit. Literally, this says, "I will visit upon the world evil, and upon the wicked their iniquity." To visit upon someone their evil, means to render justice because of what they have done. In this case, God is expressing His divine righteousness in pouring out the day-of-the-Lord judgments.

The word evil, is rAAH and refers to the harm that is done by violating divine standards. At this future time, the evil will be the embracing of the religious worship system of the beast, worshipping both Satan and the man of lawlessness (2 Thes. 2:11-12; Rev. 13:4, 8).

2. And the wicked for their iniquity: this is simply poetic repetition to emphasize the thoroughness of God's judgment.

3. I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud:
The verb, put an end to, is shAbhat, which means to cease or to rest.

It occurs as a hiphil, which means to cause to cease, or put an end to something. The arrogance of the proud refers to the creature independence that rejects God's standards and authority. At Isaiah 2:12ff, this judgment is expressed "against everyone who is proud and lofty; and against everyone who is lifted up" with the result that "the pride of man will be weakened, and the loftiness of men will be humiliated" (Isaiah 2:17). This then refers to the general population who worship the beast and his image (Rev. 13:3-4, 8).

4. And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.

The word ruthless is Ariyts, which means one who causes great awe and terror in others because of their actions. Sometimes the emphasis is on the attitude of the people. Notice at Revelation 13:3-4, "the whole world was AMAZED . . . who is able to wage war with him?" Sometimes on the actions of the ruthless one. In this case, the focus is on the quality of deeds that produces this great terror in the people.

It refers to the ruthlessness of the man of lawlessness, the false prophet and those who carry out their policies. That ruthlessness is described at Revelation 13:7, 15-17.

Both the people and the leaders will be judged.

Once man's pride and independence from God is exposed and shamed through the whole progression of judgments during the day of the Lord, then "Yahweh alone will be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:17).

Verse 12

"I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, And mankind than the gold of Ophir."

This is simply imagery that communicates the extensive loss of life.
There will not be very many people left - only those who have trusted in Christ as the Messiah.


Verse 13

1. Therefore: This word is a combination of al and kān, upon this, for this reason, therefore. It introduces again, what God is going to do to get the attention of the world BEFORE the day of the Lord begins.

Some think that this fits better with what happens DURING the judgments based on comparing with Revelation 9:7-10. I suggest that it correlates better with the signs that announce the arrival of the day of the Lord as developed below.

2. I shall make the heavens tremble:
This is described at Matthew 24:29 (and Luke 21:26) as part of the signs prior to the coming of the Son of Man, "and the powers of the heaven will be shaken."

At Revelation 6:13, "the stars of the sky fell to the earth."
At Joel 2:10, "Before IT (not "them") the earth quakes, the heavens tremble."

So not only will there be a great darkening of the sun, moon and stars, but there will be a great meteor shower that pelts the earth, and then, the sign of the Son of Man will appear, and then they will actually see Jesus coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30-31).

3. And the earth will be shaken from its place:

This obviously communicates a great earthquake, which also occurs in conjunction with the triple signs to announce the arrival of the second coming and the day of the Lord.

At Revelation 6:14, "and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."
At Luke 21:25 we have, "the roaring of the sea and the waves."
At Joel 2:10, "before IT (the day of the Lord, v.1) the earth quakes."

4. At the fury of the LORD of hosts in the day of His burning anger.

The noun, fury, is preceded by the preposition, be, which indicates either IN or AT. It also precedes the noun day.
These signs will occur AT the time of His fury and AT the time of the day of His burning anger. That "time" is specifically identified as BEFORE, and thus gives announcement that the time is at hand; that the second coming of the Messiah is here and that the day of God's judgment is here.


Verses 14-16

"And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, Or like sheep with none to gather {them,} They will each turn to his own people, And each one flee to his own land.
Anyone who is found will be thrust through, And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces Before their eyes; Their houses will be plundered And their wives ravished."

This section describes what is going to happen during the course of the advance of the king of the North. People will be running away; running home, but the army will pursue, and as Revelation 9:18 indicates, 1/3 of the earth's population will be killed by this action. I already discussed the advance of the king of the North under verse two.


Verses 17-22
Returns to an historical focus on the current Babylonian Empire.

"Behold, I am going to stir up the Medes against them, Who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold. And {their} bows will mow down the young men, They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, {Nor} will their eye pity children. And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans' pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch {his} tent there, Nor will shepherds make {their flocks} lie down there. But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls, Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there. And hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her {fateful} time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged."

The focus here is on the historical Babylon which was conquered by the Media/Persian Empire under Cyrus. Then over the course of time the city continued to decline until in 25 AD, it was said by the Greek historian, Strobo, that the city was practically deserted. The disposition of the city as it is described here was literally fulfilled over time.

To summarize:

1. The city of Babylon was captured in 539 BCE by Cyrus, but it was not destroyed.

2. When the city revolted against Darius in 516 BCE, he reconguered it destroying all but about 50 cubits of the wall.

3. In 478 BCE, Xerxes plundered the temple of Bel, and effectively wielded the final blow of the city's decline.

4. In 331 BC, Alexander was welcomed by the citizens of Babylon. He would have rebuilt the ruined temple, and made the city the metropolis of his kingdom except that he died before completing it.

5. In C. 293 BC, Seleucus built Seleucia in the area of Babylon, and soon everyone left Babylon for the newer city. This effectively fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 13:20-22, which relegates the city to a desert villa occupied primarily by wild animals.

6. Thus, in 25 AD, Strobo, a Greek historian wrote of a Babylon which is practically deserted.

7. In 60 AD, there was still a large Jewish population and it is possible that Peter wrote his first letter from here (1 Peter 5:13).

8. In c. 450 AD, Theodoret, a Syrian theologian, says that Babylon was inhabited only by Jews and that they had 3 universities there.

9. In 917 AD, it was called an insignificant city.

10. In 1100 AD, it was called the 2 Mosques.

11. In 1898, it was called Hillah and contained 10,000 people.

12. Today, the old site cannot even be excavated because the water level is too high. The only thing really left from the old city is The Hanging Gardens.


Comments and Questions are Always Welcome.

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