The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, , at sacred-texts.com
isa 13:1The (a) burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
(a) That is, the great calamity which was prophesied to come on Babel, a grievous burden which they were not able to bear. In these twelve chapters following he speaks of the plagues with which God would smite the strange nations (whom they knew) to declare that God chastised the Israelites as his children and these others as his enemies: and also that if God does not spare these who are ignorant, they must not think strange if he punishes them who have knowledge of his Law, and do not keep it.
isa 13:2Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice to them, shake the (b) hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
(b) That is, the Medes and Persians.
isa 13:3I have commanded my (c) sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for my anger, [even] them that rejoice in my (d) highness.
(c) That is, prepared and appointed to execute my judgments.
(d) Who willingly go about to the work to which I appoint them, but how the wicked do this, read (Isa 10:6).
isa 13:5They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the (e) weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
(e) The army of the Medes and the Persians against Babylon.
isa 13:6Wail (f) ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
(f) You Babylonians.
isa 13:8And 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] (g) flames.
(g) The Babylonians anger and grief will be so much that their faces will burn as fire.
isa 13:10For the (h) stars of heaven and its constellations shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
(h) They who are overcome will think that all the powers of heaven and earth are against them, (Eze 32:7; Joe 3:15; Mat 24:29).
isa 13:11And I will punish the (i) world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the (k) proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
(i) He compares Babylon to the whole world because they so esteemed themselves by reason of their great empire.
(k) He notes the principal vice, to which they are most given as are all that abound in wealth.
isa 13:12I will make a (l) man more rare than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
(l) He notes the great slaughter that will be, seeing the enemy will neither for gold or silver spare a man's life as in (Isa 13:17).
isa 13:14And (m) 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 to his own land.
(m) Meaning the power of Babylon with their hired soldiers.
isa 13:16Their (n) children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be plundered, and their wives ravished.
(n) This was not accomplished when Cyrus took Babylon, but after the death of Alexander the great.
isa 13:20It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the (o) Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
(o) Who used to go from country to country to find pasture for their beasts, but they will find none.
isa 13:21But (p) 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.
(p) Who were either wild beasts or fools, or wicked spirits, by which Satan deluded man, as by the fairies, goblins, and such like fantasies.