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Isaiah 13:19-21


13:19 Babylon, the most admired 1  of kingdoms,

the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride, 2 

will be destroyed by God

just as Sodom and Gomorrah were. 3 

13:20 No one will live there again;

no one will ever reside there again. 4 

No bedouin 5  will camp 6  there,

no shepherds will rest their flocks 7  there.

13:21 Wild animals will rest there,

the ruined 8  houses will be full of hyenas. 9 

Ostriches will live there,

wild goats will skip among the ruins. 10 

1 tn Or “most beautiful” (NCV, TEV).

2 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.

3 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.

4 tn Heb “she will not be inhabited forever, and she will not be dwelt in to generation and generation (i.e., forever).” The Lord declares that Babylon, personified as a woman, will not be inhabited. In other words, her people will be destroyed and the Chaldean empire will come to a permanent end.

5 tn Or “Arab” (NAB, NASB, NIV); cf. CEV, NLT “nomads.”

6 tn יַהֵל (yahel) is probably a corrupted form of יֶאֱהַל (yeehal). See GKC 186 §68.k.

7 tn The words “their flocks” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Hebrew text does not supply the object here, but see Jer 33:12.

8 tn The word “ruined” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

9 tn The precise referent of this word in uncertain. See HALOT 29 s.v. *אֹחַ. Various English versions translate as “owls” (e.g., NAB, NASB), “wild dogs” (NCV); “jackals” (NIV); “howling creatures” (NRSV, NLT).

10 tn Heb “will skip there.”

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