Isaiah 13:1-11 à the Day of the LORD through Babylon
With the help of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, both of whom were Tribulation Prophets during the Babylonian Captivities of Judah, we can discern what Isaiah is describing in Isaiah 13:1-11. This can be nothing else but the Day of the LORD through Babylon, historically speaking, in that the prophet is describing what God will do through Babylon as a punishment to the Kingdom of Judah. For, the destruction herein foretold is said to “destroy the whole Land” (Isa. 13:5), or, “to lay the Land desolate” (Isa. 13:9), in the fulfillment of a divine purpose: “He shall destroy the sinners out of it” (Isa. 13:9). In fact, this purpose has already been explicitly declared in Isaiah 1:21-33, describing in verse 28, “the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners”, and for well rendered reasons. No other land possessed by any other people or nation on earth would be dealt with thus by God, except the Jews. Why? Well, this is God’s expressed desire for His people because they are the redeemed of the Lord, the Church (“afterward thou shalt be called, The City of Righteousness, the Faithful City” – Isa. 1:26). Take, for example, the stated purpose of God in the Babylonian Captivities described in Ezekiel 20:38, as follows,
“And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the Country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the Land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” – [For more information, see “”.]
Certainly, God would judge many heathen nations through Babylon, and did (Isa. 14:4-6, 12-17), even as Jeremiah and Ezekiel did bear witness (Jer. 46-49, Ezek. 25-32), but the standards of judgment employed on behalf of heathen peoples is arbitrary and irregular, much to the contrary to how God deals with His people, the Church (for more information, see “”). In fact, most of the time God judges the heathen within time, it is for what they have done to the Church, in how they have evilly affected or dealt injuriously with her, and not for simply being sinners. On the contrary, God will not allow the people of God to be sinners (for more information, see “”). If they live contrary to the holy conduct that is required of them, judgment hastens to intercept them and correct them… or else. Thus, every significant outbreak of divine judgment that befell the Jews throughout the centuries was for the selfsame purpose, namely: “He shall destroy the sinners out of it” (Isa. 13:9; for more information, see “”); and, if nothing else worked then God has a last resort in store: BABYLON.
All the verses of Isaiah 13:1-11 have real and genuine fulfillments in historical Babylon, all of which are inferior senses of the full scope of the words as they will be fulfilled in future Babylon. The Day of the LORD through Babylon is greatly enlarged upon by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, but nowhere close to the scope of vision foreseen in the Book of Revelation. The historically legitimate words are taken to new glories of greatness and terribleness in the future scenario, meanwhile the words which transcend history (the words which had no inferior fulfillment in history) will be manifested in real time in ways unimaginable and indiscernible to the ancient readers. Ah! Without the revelation given to John, how shall such verses like Isaiah 13:3 be interpreted? How hardly could such prophecies be understood, I mean, without understanding who is, or, what is, and the paramount difference enacted in , and, how nevertheless. The fullness of the work of God through Babylon was yet to be declared until John was taken up into Heaven (Rev. 4:1) to behold the full scope of the matter introduced by the former prophets. Truly! This is a mysterious and is foretold to undertake, hence brought into full view in Revelation 9:1-19.
Another profound demonstration of how Isaiah 13:1-11 applies exclusively to the future scenario becomes evident in a literal fulfillment of Isaiah 13:11. This is in the turning of God’s countenance upon Babylon to punish her for what she did to the Jews, as described in Isaiah 13:1-10. The LORD said, “And I will punish the world for their evil, and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isa. 13:11). However, the historical Empire of Babylon wasn’t even close to encompassing “the world” in its dominion, nor did the judgment of God upon Babylon through the Medes (Isa. 13:17) amount to the foretold humiliation of Babylon. Rather, the promised humiliation of Babylon herein foreseen is reminiscent of that which was spoken in Isaiah 2:10-22 & 11:4 describing nothing short of . Then, in the days of future Babylon, the Empire is worldwide and therefore to punish it the LORD will effectively “punish the world for their evil” (Isa. 13:11).