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Unfulfilled Prophecies About Babylon

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CHAPTER 13 May 23 
God Will Punish Babylon
The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw: 2Set up a banner on the bare mountain! Lift up your voice to them! Wave your hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. 3I have commanded My consecrated ones; yes, I have called My mighty men for My anger, even My proudly exulting ones. 4The noise of a multitude is in the mountains, as of a great people; the noise of an uproar of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! Yahweh of Armies is mustering the army for the battle. 5They come from a far country, from the uttermost part of heaven, even Yahweh, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land. 6Wail; for the day of Yahweh is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. 7Therefore all hands will be feeble, and everyone’s heart will melt. 8They will be dismayed. Pangs and sorrows will seize them, they will be in pain like a woman in labour. They will look in amazement one at another, their faces will be faces of flickering flame. 9Behold, the day of Yahweh comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land a desolation, and to destroy its sinners out of it. 10For the stars of the sky and its constellations will not give their light, the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. 11I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will humble the arrogance of the terrible. 12I will make people more valuable than fine gold, even a person than the pure gold of Ophir. 13Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place in the wrath of Yahweh of Armies, and in the day of His fierce anger. 14It will happen that like a hunted gazelle, and like sheep that no one gathers, they will each turn to their own people, and will each flee to their own land. 15Everyone who is found will be thrust through. Everyone who is captured will fall by the sword. 16Their infants also will be dashed in pieces before their eyes. Their houses will be ransacked, and their wives raped. 17Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver, and as for gold, they will not delight in it. 18Their bows will dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb. Their eyes will not spare children. 19Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20It will never be inhabited, neither will it be lived in from generation to generation. The Arabian will not pitch a tent there, neither will shepherds make their flocks lie down there. 21But wild animals of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of jackals. Ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will frolic there. 22Wolves will cry in their castles, and jackals in the pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged.


13:1 Prophesying like this against a city like Babylon would’ve been as bizarre as declaring that the world’s great cities such as London, Moscow or New York will soon become deserted wasteland because God is angry with their pride (:19). Isaiah’s faith, and that of his hearers, would’ve been sorely tested in preaching and believing this message; just as our proclamation of Christ’s return is a challenge to our faith when we consider its’ real implications for our current world.
13:12 I will make people more valuable than fine gold- The value and meaning of persons will be the principle which is to be enforced upon this earth by the destruction of all those systems which mean otherwise.
13:13 Heavens and earth are used figuratively here to describe a system of things- see on 1:2. There is nothing imperfect in Heaven which needs judgment or destruction. 
13:20-22 Much has been made of the fact that the historical site of Babylon has been deserted for long periods. But there have been attempts to rebuild it at times and some dwelling there. This prophecy must therefore have its final fulfilment when Christ returns, which suggests there will be a literal Babylon in existence, persecuting God’s people as did the historical Babylon. Perhaps the fall of Babylon at Christ’s return which is described in Revelation has a literal element to it. Bible students therefore watch the situation in Iran and Iraq, the areas of historical Babylon and Assyria, with great interest.