Isaiah 13 Commentary

Isaiah 13 Commentary

I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. Verse 11. This is our starting point.

The Assyrian empire rose but was quickly destroyed by the LORD because of her pride. Babylon faced the same fate. Judah, alongside her sister Israel, faced the same fate. We shall see more prophecies against Moab, Syria, and a lot more other nations. Small or big; powerful or otherwise weak and insignificant; the only common denominator is wickedness.

The LORD will punish the world for its evil. Both the oppressor and the oppressed will be punished as long as they share the same wickedness. Assyria oppressed Israel as God’s tool but Assyria will be punished for her pride. Judah is flattened by Babylon but Babylon has her own day for God’s justice. Her wickedness won’t go unpunished.

The chapter mentions the Medes as God’s tool to inflict punishment on Babylon. But the Medes will face their own end, the Book of Daniel says. Wickedness is never a permanent feature, not even here under the sun.

Yet, chapter 13 hints at God’s final judgment – the day of the LORD. Could this be a reference to the day of Immanuel – the son born to us, the Branch? Probably yes. And why not? “But with righteousness, he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips, he will slay the wicked. Isaiah 11 verse 4.

The coming of the LORD Jesus Christ cannot be a small day in history. Check it and behold the greatness!

But the world is warned: “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53.

The great day of the LORD is actually the tender root in a manger – yes a tender root but with the government on His shoulders, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – and we can guess it, “Of the greatness of His government and peace, there will be no end.”

It all started from there! The saint can reflect on all these images and appreciate the grand plan of salvation. An individual can check it for himself or herself and see the blessing of the LORD.

The immediate context has Babylon as its subject. But really, it is about the world and the nations – all peoples. The day of the LORD is God’s special gift. It is a day of justice but importantly for someone, it is a day of God’s compassion. You can get it in salvation.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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