Isaiah 13:13
Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Therefore I will shake.—The description of the great day of the Lord meets us in like terms in Haggai 2:6, Hebrews 12:26, carried in both instances beyond the overthrow of Babylon or any particular kingdom to that of every world-power that resists the righteousness of God.

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.Therefore I will shake the heavens - A strong, but common figure of speech in the Scriptures, to denote great commotions, judgments, and revolutions. The figure is taken from the image of a furious storm and tempest, when the sky, the clouds, the heavens, appear to be in commotion; compare 1 Samuel 22:8 :

Then the earth shook and trembled,

The foundation of heaven moved and shook,

Because he was wroth.

See also Isaiah 24:19-20; Haggai 2:6-7.

And the earth shall remove out of her place - A common figure in the Scriptures to denote the great effects of the wrath of God; as if even the earth should be appalled at his presence, and should tremble and flee away from the dread of his anger. It is a very sublime representation, and, as carried out often by the sacred writers, it is unequalled in grandeur, probably, in any language. Thus the hills, the mountains, the trees, the streams, the very heavens, are represented as shaken, and thrown into consternation at the presence of God; see Habakkuk 3:6, Habakkuk 3:10 :

He stood and measured the earth;

He beheld and drove asunder the nations;

And the everlasting mountains were scattered.

The perpetual hills did bow;

His ways are everlasting.

The mountains saw thee and they trembled;

The overflowing of the water passed by;

The deep uttered his voice,

continued...

13. Image for mighty revolutions (Isa 24:19; 34:4; Hab 3:6, 10; Hag 2:6, 7; Re 20:11). I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place; a poetical and prophetical description of great errors and confusions, as if heaven and earth were about to meet together. Therefore will I shake the heavens,.... Some think this was literally fulfilled at the taking of Babylon, when the heavens were shook with dreadful thunders and lightnings; as well as what is said above of the sun, moon, and stars, not giving their light; and so is likewise what follows,

and the earth shall remove out of her place; and that there was a violent shock by an earthquake at the same time; but rather all this is to be understood figuratively, as expressive of the great confusion men would then be in, it being as if all nature was convulsed, and heaven and earth were coming together, or rather dissolving:

in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger; when that should be; or through it, or because of it, as the Septuagint, see Isaiah 13:6 compare with this Revelation 16:18 which expresses the destruction of mystical Babylon in much such language.

Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. By the outbreak of Jehovah’s wrath the material universe is shaken to its foundations. Such representations are common in the descriptions of the day of the Lord, and are not to be dismissed as merely figurative. Cf. ch. Isaiah 2:12 ff.Verse 13. - I will shake the heavens (comp. Joel 3:16; Haggai 2:7; Matthew 24:29). In general, this sign is mentioned in connection with the end of the world, when a "new heaven and a new earth" are to supersede the old (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Revelation 21:1). Isaiah may, perhaps, pass here from signs connected with the fall of Babylon to those which will announce the last (lay - each "day of the Lord" being, as already observed, a type of the final and great day (see the comment on ver. 6). Or, possibly, the allusion may be to some "shaking" by God of a supra-mundane kingdom as preliminary to his passing judgment on Babylon (so Dr. Kay; comp. Isaiah 24:21). Then all sink into anxious and fearful trembling. "Howl; for the day of Jehovah is near; like a destructive force from the Almighty it comes. Therefore all arms hang loosely down, and every human heart melts away. And they are troubled: they fall into cramps and pangs; like a woman in labour they twist themselves: one stares at the other; their faces are faces of flame." The command הילילוּ (not written defectively, הלילוּ) is followed by the reason for such a command, viz., "the day of Jehovah is near," the watchword of prophecy from the time of Joel downwards. The Caph in ceshod is the so-called Caph veritatis, or more correctly, the Caph of comparison between the individual and its genus. It is destruction by one who possesses unlimited power to destroy (shōd, from shâdad, from which we have shaddai, after the form chaggai, the festive one, from châgag). In this play upon the words, Isaiah also repeats certain words of Joel (Joel 1:15). Then the heads hang down from despondency and helplessness, and the heart, the seat of lift, melts (Isaiah 19:1) in the heat of anguish. Universal consternation ensues. This is expressed by the word venibhâlu, which stands in half pause; the word has shalsheleth followed by psik (pasek), an accent which only occurs in seven passages in the twenty-one prose books of the Old Testament, and always with this dividing stroke after it.

(Note: For the seven passages, see Ewald, Lehrbuch (ed. 7), p. 224.)

Observe also the following fut. paragogica, which add considerably to the energy of the description by their anapaestic rhythm. The men (subj.) lay hold of cramps and pangs (as in Job 18:20; Job 21:6), the force of the events compelling them to enter into such a condition. Their faces are faces of flames. Knobel understands this as referring to their turning pale, which is a piece of exegetical jugglery. At the same time, it does not suggest mere redness, nor a convulsive movement; but just as a flame alternates between light and darkness, so their faces become alternately flushed and pale, as the blood ebbs and flows, as it were, being at one time driven with force into their faces, and then again driven back to the heart, so as to leave deadly paleness, in consequence of their anguish and terror.

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