|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 7. - Therefore shall all hands be faint (comp. Jeremiah 1:43; Ezekiel 7:17; Zephaniah 3:16). There shall be a general inaction and apathy. Recently discovered accounts of the capture of Babylon by Cyrus show a great want of activity and vigor on the part of the defenders. Every man's heart shall melt (comp. Deuteronomy 20:8; Joshua 2:11; Joshua 5:1, etc.). The general inaction will spring from a general despondency. This statement agrees much better with the recently discovered documents than does the statement of Herodotus, that, safe within their walls, the Babylonians despised their assailants, and regarded themselves as perfectly secure.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore shall all hands be faint,.... Or hang down; that is, the hands of all the Babylonians, the city being taken suddenly and at once, so that they should not be able to lift them up to lay hold on a weapon, and defend themselves:
and every man's heart shall melt; like wax before the fire; be dispirited, and lose all their valour and courage, have neither power nor heart to resist their enemies, and attempt to save themselves.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. faint … melt—So Jer 50:43; compare Jos 7:5. Babylon was taken by surprise on the night of Belshazzar's impious feast (Da 5:30). Hence the sudden fainting and melting of hearts.
Isaiah 13:7 Parallel Commentaries
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