13:20 No one will live there again;
no one will ever reside there again. 1
no shepherds will rest their flocks 4 there.
13:21 Wild animals will rest there,
Ostriches will live there,
wild goats will skip among the ruins. 7
13:22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses,
jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces. 8
Her time is almost up, 9
her days will not be prolonged. 10
1 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.
2 tn Or “Arab” (NAB, NASB, NIV); cf. CEV, NLT “nomads.”
3 tn יַהֵל (yahel) is probably a corrupted form of יֶאֱהַל (ye’ehal). See GKC 186 §68.k.
5 tn The word “ruined” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
6 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).
7 tn Heb “will skip there.”
8 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “wild dogs will yip among his widows, and jackals in the palaces of pleasure.” The verb “yip” is supplied in the second line; it does double duty in the parallel structure. “His widows” makes little sense in this context; many emend the form (אַלְמנוֹתָיו, ’almnotayv) to the graphically similar אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ (’armÿnoteha, “her fortresses”), a reading that is assumed in the present translation. The use of “widows” may represent an intentional wordplay on “fortresses,” indicating that the fortresses are like dejected widows (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 1:308, n. 1).
9 tn Heb “near to come is her time.”
10 sn When was the prophecy of Babylon’s fall fulfilled? Some argue that the prophecy was fulfilled in 689