Isaiah 13:11
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Isaiah 13:11-16. I will punish the world — The Babylonish empire, which is called the world, as the Roman empire afterward was, (Luke 2:1,) because it was extended to a great part of the world, and because it was very populous, and Babylon itself looked more like a world than one city. I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible — Of them who formerly were very terrible for their great power and cruelty. I will make a man more precious, &c. — The city and nation shall be so depopulated, that few men shall be left in it. I will shake the heavens, &c. — A poetical and prophetical description of great confusions and terrors, as if heaven and earth were about to meet together. And it shall be as the chased roe — That Babylon, which used to be like a roaring lion and a raging bear to all about her, shall become like the timid, frighted roe, pursued by the hunter, and as a sheep which no man taketh up — In a most forlorn and neglected condition. And the army they shall bring into the field, consisting of troops from divers nations, as great armies usually do, shall be so dispirited by their own fears, and so dispersed by their enemies’ sword, that they shall turn every man to his own people — Shall each shift for his own safety. Or the prophet may refer to those inhabitants of Babylon who were originally of different nations, but had settled there: as many of these, he signifies, as can, shall flee out of it, and endeavour to escape to their own countries. Every one that is found — In Babylon, at the taking of it; shall fall by the sword — The fear of which shall make them flee away with all speed. Their children also shall be dashed, &c. — As a just recompense for the like cruelty acted by them upon the Jews, 2 Chronicles 36:17, which was also foretold Psalm 137:9.13:6-18 We have here the terrible desolation of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. Those who in the day of their peace were proud, and haughty, and terrible, are quite dispirited when trouble comes. Their faces shall be scorched with the flame. All comfort and hope shall fail. The stars of heaven shall not give their light, the sun shall be darkened. Such expressions are often employed by the prophets, to describe the convulsions of governments. God will visit them for their iniquity, particularly the sin of pride, which brings men low. There shall be a general scene of horror. Those who join themselves to Babylon, must expect to share her plagues, Re 18:4. All that men have, they would give for their lives, but no man's riches shall be the ransom of his life. Pause here and wonder that men should be thus cruel and inhuman, and see how corrupt the nature of man is become. And that little infants thus suffer, which shows that there is an original guilt, by which life is forfeited as soon as it is begun. The day of the Lord will, indeed, be terrible with wrath and fierce anger, far beyond all here stated. Nor will there be any place for the sinner to flee to, or attempt an escape. But few act as though they believed these things.And I will punish the world - By the 'world' here is evidently meant the Babylonian empire, in the same way as 'all the world' in Luke 2:1, means Judea; and in Acts 11:28, means the Roman empire. Babylonia, or Chaldea, was the most mighty empire then on earth, and might be said to comprehend the whole world.

And I will cause the arrogancy - This was the prevailing sin of Babylon, and it was on account of this pride mainly that it was overthrown (see the notes at Isaiah 14; notes at Isaiah 47:1-7; compare Daniel 4:22, Daniel 4:30).

11. world—the impious of the world (compare Isa 11:4).

arrogancy—Babylon's besetting sin (Da 4:22, 30).

the terrible—rather, tyrants [Horsley].

The world; the Babylonish empire, which is called the world, as the Roman empire afterward was, Luke 2:1, because it was extended to a great part of the world, and because it was vastly populous, and Babylon itself looked more like a world than one city.

Of the terrible; of them who formerly were very terrible for their great power and cruelty. And I will punish the world for their evil,.... Not the whole world, but the kingdom of Babylon, so called because of its large extent, and the number of its inhabitants, just as the Roman empire is called the whole world, Luke 2:1 "evil" may be meant, either of the evil of sin, which was the cause of punishment, or else of the evil of punishment itself; and the sense be this, I will visit, or, in a way of visitation, I will bring evil, or evils, upon the world; so the Targum,

and the wicked for their iniquity, or "on the wicked their iniquity"; that is, I will visit on them, or inflict upon them, the punishment of their iniquity; meaning the notorious and abandoned sinners among them, see Isaiah 13:9,

and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible: such as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, famous for their pride, arrogance, and haughtiness, tyranny and oppression, whereby they became terrible to others.

And 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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11, 12. Jehovah is again the speaker, as in Isaiah 13:3. The prophet has already in Isaiah 13:9 intimated the purpose of the judgment; here the thought is added that in its execution the existing generation will be all but exterminated; so wide-spread is the wickedness and tyranny of the world.Verse 11. - I will punish the world for their evil. Here the prophecy certainly goes beyond the destruction of Babylon, and becomes a general warning to the wicked of all court-tries. Each country is to feel that its turn will come. Punishment will fall especially on the unjust, the proud, and the haughty (comp. Isaiah 1:28; Isaiah 2:11-17, etc.). The command of Jehovah is quickly executed. The great army is already coming down from the mountains. "Hark, a rumbling on the mountains after the manner of a great people; hark, a rumbling of kingdoms of nations met together! Jehovah of hosts musters an army, those that have come out of a distant land, from the end of the heaven: Jehovah and His instruments of wrath, to destroy the whole earth." Kōl commences an interjectional sentence, and thus becomes almost an interjection itself (compare Isaiah 52:8; Isaiah 66:6, and on Genesis 4:10). There is rumbling on the mountains (Isaiah 17:12-13), for there are the peoples of Eran, and in front the Medes inhabiting the mountainous north-western portion of Eran, who come across the lofty Shahu (Zagros), and the ranges that lie behind it towards the Tigris, and descend upon the lowlands of Babylon; and not only the peoples of Eran, but the peoples of the mountainous north of Asia generally (Jeremiah 51:27) - an army under the guidance of Jehovah, the God of hosts of spirits and stars, whose wrath it will execute over the whole earth, i.e., upon the world-empire; for the fall of Babel is a judgment, and accompanied with judgments upon all the tribes under Babylonian rule.
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