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Isaiah 13:2-5

Context

13:2 1 On a bare hill raise a signal flag,

shout to them,

wave your hand,

so they might enter the gates of the princes!

13:3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers; 2 

I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger, 3 

my boasting, arrogant ones. 4 

13:4 5 There is a loud noise on the mountains –

it sounds like a large army! 6 

There is great commotion among the kingdoms 7 

nations are being assembled!

The Lord who commands armies is mustering

forces for battle.

13:5 They come from a distant land,

from the horizon. 8 

It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment, 9 

coming to destroy the whole earth. 10 

1 sn The Lord is speaking here (see v. 3).

2 tn Heb “my consecrated ones,” i.e., those who have been set apart by God for the special task of carrying out his judgment.

3 tn Heb “my warriors with respect to my anger.”

4 tn Heb “the boasting ones of my pride”; cf. ASV, NASB, NRSV “my proudly exulting ones.”

5 sn In vv. 4-10 the prophet appears to be speaking, since the Lord is referred to in the third person. However, since the Lord refers to himself in the third person later in this chapter (see v. 13), it is possible that he speaks throughout the chapter.

6 tn Heb “a sound, a roar [is] on the mountains, like many people.”

7 tn Heb “a sound, tumult of kingdoms.”

8 tn Heb “from the end of the sky.”

9 tn Or “anger”; cf. KJV, ASV “the weapons of his indignation.”

10 tn Or perhaps, “land” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NLT). Even though the heading and subsequent context (see v. 17) indicate Babylon’s judgment is in view, the chapter has a cosmic flavor that suggests that the coming judgment is universal in scope. Perhaps Babylon’s downfall occurs in conjunction with a wider judgment, or the cosmic style is poetic hyperbole used to emphasize the magnitude and importance of the coming event.



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