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Isaiah 13:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— The oracle on Babylon,—of which Isaiah, son of Amoz, had vision:—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— The burden of Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz hath seen:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The burden of Babylon which Isaias the son of Amos saw.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the sonne of Amoz did see.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— The burden of Bavel, which Yeshayah the son of Amotz did see.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
The burden 4853
{4853} Prime
From H5375; a burden; specifically tribute, or (abstractly) porterage; figuratively an utterance, chiefly a doom, especially singing; mental, desire.
of Bvel בָּבֶל, 894
{0894} Prime
From H1101; confusion; Babel (that is, Babylon), including Babylonia and the Babylonian empire.
which x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
Ya`y יְשַׁעיָה 3470
{3470} Prime
From H3467 and H3050; Jah has saved; Jeshajah, the name of seven Israelites.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of mx אָמוֹץ 531
{0531} Prime
From H0553; strong; Amots, an Israelite.
did see. 2372
{2372} Prime
A primitive root; to gaze at; mentally to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically to have a vision of.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 13:1

_ _ Isaiah 13:1-22. The thirteenth through twenty-third chapters contain prophecies as to foreign nations. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and twenty-seventh chapters contain prophecies as to Babylon and Assyria.

_ _ The predictions as to foreign nations are for the sake of the covenant people, to preserve them from despair, or reliance on human confederacies, and to strengthen their faith in God: also in order to extirpate narrow-minded nationality: God is Jehovah to Israel, not for Israel’s sake alone, but that He may be thereby Elohim to the nations. These prophecies are in their right chronological place, in the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign; then the nations of Western Asia, on the Tigris and Euphrates, first assumed a most menacing aspect.

_ _ burdenweighty or mournful prophecy [Grotius]. Otherwise, simply, the prophetical declaration, from a Hebrew root to put forth with the voice anything, as in Numbers 23:7 [Maurer].

_ _ of Babylonconcerning Babylon.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 13:1-5

_ _ The general title of this book was, The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, Isaiah 1:1. Here we have that which Isaiah saw, which was represented to his mind as clearly and fully as if he had seen it with his bodily eyes; but the particular inscription of this sermon is the burden of Babylon. 1. It is a burden, a lesson they were to learn (so some understand it), but they would be loth to learn it, and it would be a burden to their memories, or a load which should lie heavily upon them and under which they should sink. Those that will not make the word of God their rest (Isaiah 28:12; Jeremiah 6:16) shall find it made a burden to them. 2. It is the burden of Babylon or Babel, which at this time was a dependent upon the Assyrian monarchy (the metropolis of which was Nineveh), but soon after revolted from it and became a monarchy of itself, and a very potent one, in Nebuchadnezzar. This prophet afterwards foretold the captivity of the Jews in Babylon, Isaiah 39:6. Here he foretels the reprisals God would make upon Babylon for the wrongs done to his people. In these verses a summons is given to those powerful and warlike nations whom God would make us of as the instruments of his wrath for the destruction of Babylon: he afterwards names them (Isaiah 13:17) the Medes, who, in conjunction with the Persians, under the command of Darius and Cyrus, were the ruin of the Babylonian monarchy.

_ _ I. The place doomed to destruction is Babylon; it is here called the gates of the nobles (Isaiah 13:2), because of the abundance of noblemen's houses that were in it, stately ones and richly furnished, which would invite the enemy to come, in hopes of a rich booty. The gates of nobles were strong and well guarded, and yet they would be no fence against those who came with commission to execute God's judgments. Before his power and wrath palaces are no more than cottages. Nor is it only the gates of the nobles, but the whole land, that is doomed to destruction (Isaiah 13:5); for, though the nobles were the leaders in persecuting and oppressing God's people, yet the whole land concurred with them in it.

_ _ II. The persons brought together to lay Babylon waste are here called, 1. God's sanctified ones (Isaiah 13:3), designed for this service and set apart to it by the purpose and providence of God, disengaged from other projects, that they might wholly apply themselves to this, such as were qualified for that to which they were called, for what work God employs men in he does in some measure fit them for. It intimates likewise that in God's intention, though not in theirs, it was a holy war; they designed only the enlargement of their own empire, but God designed the release of his people and a type of the destruction of the New Testament Babylon. Cyrus, the person principally concerned, was justly called a sanctified one, for he was God's anointed (Isaiah 45:1) and a figure of him that was to come. It is a pity but all soldiers, especially those that fight the Lord's battles, should be in the strictest sense sanctified ones; and it is a wonder that those dare be profane ones who carry their lives in their hands. 2. They are called God's mighty ones, because they had their might from God and were now to use it for him. It is said of Cyrus that in this expedition God held his right hand, Isaiah 45:1. God's sanctified ones are his mighty ones. Those whom God calls he qualifies; and those whom he makes holy he makes strong in spirit. 3. They are said to rejoice in his highness, that is, to serve his glory and the purposes of it with great alacrity. Though Cyrus did not know God, nor actually design his honour in what he did, yet God used him as his servant (Isaiah 45:4, I have surnamed thee as my servant, though thou hast not known me), and he rejoiced in those successes by which God exalted his own name. 4. They are very numerous, a multitude, a great people, kingdoms of nations (Isaiah 13:4), not rude and barbarous, but modelled and regular troops, such as are furnished out by well-ordered kingdoms. The great God has hosts at his command. 5. They are far-fetched: They come from a far country, from the end of heaven. The vast country of Assyria lay between Babylon and Persia. God can make those a scourge and ruin to his enemies that lie most remote from them and therefore are least dreaded.

_ _ III. The summons given them is effectual, their obedience ready, and they make a very formidable appearance: A banner is lifted up upon the high mountain, Isaiah 13:2. God's standard is set up, a flag of defiance hung out against Babylon. It is erected on high, where all may see it; whoever will may come and enlist themselves under it, and they shall be taken immediately into God's pay. Those that beat up for volunteers must exalt the voice in making proclamation, to encourage soldiers to come in; they must shake the hand, to beckon those at a distance and to animate those that have enlisted themselves. And they shall not do this in vain; God has commanded and called those whom he designs to make use of (Isaiah 13:3) and power goes along with his calls and commands, which cannot be resisted. He that makes men able to serve him can, when he pleases, make them willing too. It is the Lord of hosts that musters the host of the battle, Isaiah 13:4. He raises them, brings them together, puts them in order, reviews them, has an exact account of them in his muster-roll, sees that they be all in their respective posts, and gives them their necessary orders. Note, All the hosts of war are under the command of the Lord of hosts; and that which makes them truly formidable is that, when they come against Babylon, the Lord comes, and brings them with him as the weapons of his indignation, Isaiah 13:5. Note, Great princes and armies are but tools in God's hand, weapons that he is pleased to make use of in doing his work, and it is his wrath that arms them and gives them success.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 13:1

The burden — This title is commonly given to sad prophecies, which indeed are grievous burdens to them on whom they are laid. Babylon — Of the city and empire of Babylon by Cyrus.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 13:1

The (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.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 3292, bc 712


Isaiah 14:28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.
Isaiah 15:1 The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence;
Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
Isaiah 19:1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
Isaiah 21:1 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; [so] it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.
Isaiah 21:11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?
Isaiah 21:13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.
Isaiah 22:1 The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
Isaiah 22:25 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that [was] upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken [it].
Isaiah 23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.
Jeremiah 23:33-38 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. ... But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
Ezekiel 12:10 Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden [concerneth] the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that [are] among them.
Nahum 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
Habakkuk 1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
Zechariah 9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus [shall be] the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, [shall be] toward the LORD.
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

of Babylon:

Isaiah 14:4-23 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! ... I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 21:1-10 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; [so] it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land. ... O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.
Isaiah 43:14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry [is] in the ships.
Isaiah 44:1-2 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: ... Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, [which] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
Isaiah 47:1-15 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: [there is] no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. ... Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, [even] thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.
Jeremiah 25:12-26 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. ... And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which [are] upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.
Jeremiah 50:1-51:23 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon [and] against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. ... I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.
Daniel 5:28-6:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. ... So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Revelation 17:1-18:24 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: ... And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

which Isaiah:

Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
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Is 1:1; 14:4, 28; 15:1; 17:1; 19:1; 21:1, 11, 13; 22:1, 25; 23:1; 43:14; 44:1; 47:1. Jr 23:33; 25:12; 50:1. Ezk 12:10. Dn 5:28. Na 1:1. Hab 1:1. Zc 9:1; 12:1. Mal 1:1. Rv 17:1.

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