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Isaiah 13:15-19

Context

13:15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed;

everyone who is seized 1  will die 2  by the sword.

13:16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes;

their houses will be looted

and their wives raped.

13:17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them; 3 

they are not concerned about silver,

nor are they interested in gold. 4 

13:18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons; 5 

they have no compassion on a person’s offspring, 6 

they will not 7  look with pity on children.

13:19 Babylon, the most admired 8  of kingdoms,

the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride, 9 

will be destroyed by God

just as Sodom and Gomorrah were. 10 

1 tn Heb “carried off,” i.e., grabbed from the fleeing crowd. See HALOT 764 s.v. ספה.

2 tn Heb “will fall” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV); NLT “will be run through with a sword.”

3 tn Heb “against them”; NLT “against Babylon.”

4 sn They cannot be bought off, for they have a lust for bloodshed.

5 tn Heb “and bows cut to bits young men.” “Bows” stands by metonymy for arrows.

6 tn Heb “the fruit of the womb.”

7 tn Heb “their eye does not.” Here “eye” is a metonymy for the whole person.

8 tn Or “most beautiful” (NCV, TEV).

9 tn Heb “the beauty of the pride of the Chaldeans.”

sn The Chaldeans were a group of tribes who lived in southern Mesopotamia. The established the so-called neo-Babylonian empire in the late seventh century b.c. Their most famous king, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Judah in 605 b.c. and destroyed Jerusalem in 586 b.c.

10 tn Heb “and Babylon…will be like the overthrow by God of Sodom and Gomorrah.” On מַהְפֵּכַת (mahpekhat, “overthrow”) see the note on the word “destruction” in 1:7.



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