Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 13:14

And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, Or like sheep with none to gather them, They will each turn to his own people, And each one flee to his own land.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Punishment;   World;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Babylon;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Isaiah;   Roe and Roebuck;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Antelope;   Isaiah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gazelle;   Isaiah, Book of;   Persia, Persians;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Medes;   Rebels;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Messiah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Roe, Roebuck;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gazelle;   Isaiah;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 20;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

"And the remnant" - Here is plainly a defect in this sentence, as it stands in the Hebrew text; the subject of the proposition is lost. What is it that shall be like a roe chased? The Septuagint happily supply it, οἱ καταλελειμμενοι, שאר shear, the remnant. A MS. here supplies the word יושב yosheb, the inhabitant; which makes a tolerably good sense; but I much prefer the reading of the Septuagint.

They shall - turn "They shall look" - That is, the forces of the king of Babylon, destitute of their leader, and all his auxiliaries, collected from Asia Minor, and other distant countries, shall disperse and flee to their respective homes.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And it shall be - Babylon shall be.

As the chased roe - Once so proud. lofty, arrogant, and self-confident; it shall be as the trembling gazelle, or the timid deer pursued by the hunter, and panting for safety. The word (צבי tsebı̂y ) denotes a deer of the most delicate frame; the species that is most fleet and graceful in its movements; properly the “gazelle” (see Bochart‘s “Hieroz.” i. 3. 25). ‹To hunt the antelope is a favorite amusement in the East, but which, from its extraordinary swiftness, is attended with great difficulty. On the first alarm, it flies like an arrow from the bow, and leaves the best-mounted hunter, and the fleetest dog, far behind. The sportsman is obliged to call in the aid of the falcon, trained to the work, to seize on the animal, and impede its motions, to give the dogs time to overtake it. Dr. Russel thus describes the chase of the antelope: “They permit horsemen, without dogs, if they advance gently, to approach near, and do not seem much to regard a caravan that passes within a little distance; but the moment they take the alarm, they bound away, casting from time to time a look behind: and if they find themselves pursued, they lay their horns backward, almost close on the shoulders, and flee with incredible swiftness. When dogs appear, they instantly take the alarm, for which reason the sportsmen endeavor to steal upon the antelope unawares, to get as near as possible before slipping the dogs; and then, pushing on at full speed, they throw off the falcon, which being taught to strike or fix upon the cheek of the game, retards its course by repeated attacks, until the greyhounds have time to get up.”‘ - (Burder‘s “Orient. Cus.”)

As a sheep - Or like a scattered flock of sheep in the wilderness that has no shepherd, and no one to collect them together; an image also of that which is timid and defenseless.

That no man taketh up - That is astray, and not under the protection of any shepherd. The meaning is, that that people, once so proud and self-confident, would become alarmed, and scattered, and be afraid of everything.

They shall every man turn unto his own people - Babylon was the capital of the pagan world. It was a vast and magnificent city; the center of many nations. It would be the place, therefore, where numerous foreigners would take up a temporary residence, as London and other large cities are now. Jeremiah Jeremiah 50:37 describes Babylon as containing a mingled population - ‹and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her‘ - that is, “the colluvies gentium,” as Tacitus describes Rome in his time. Jeremiah also Jeremiah 50:28 describes this mingled multitude as fleeing and escaping out of the land of Babylon, when these calamities should come upon them. The idea in Isaiah is, that this great and mixed multitude would endeavor to escape the impending calamities, and flee to their own nations.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-13.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it shall be as the chased roe,.... That is, Babylon, and the inhabitants thereof, shall be like a roe when hunted by the dogs; which is a very fearful creature, and at the sight and noise of the dogs flies here and there for safety; just so should be the most courageous of the Babylonians, when their city should be taken. The Syriac version renders it, "they shall be"; and the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "they that are left shall be as the fleeing roe", such who fall not by the sword. Kimchi interprets it of people of other nations that should be in Babylon when taken, which agrees with the latter part of the verse:

and as a sheep that no man taketh up; the Septuagint and Arabic versions read, "as a straying sheep", that flees from the wolf; and there being none to fetch it back, and bring it to the flock, it wanders about and perishes:

they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee everyone into his own land; this is to be understood of such foreigners, who were called in by the king of Babylon to his assistance, and the defence of the city; who perceiving it to be taken, or in danger, fled to their own countries, from whence they came, and so left the city naked and defenceless, see Jeremiah 50:16.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And m it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one to his own land.

(m) Meaning the power of Babylon with their hired soldiers.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

it — Babylon.

roe — gazelle; the most timid and easily startled.

no man taketh up — sheep defenseless, without a shepherd (Zechariah 13:7).

every man  …  to his own people — The “mingled peoples” of foreign lands shall flee out of her (Jeremiah 50:16, Jeremiah 50:28, Jeremiah 50:37; Jeremiah 51:9).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-13.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

“And it comes to pass as with a gazelle which is scared, and as with a flock without gatherers: they turn every one to his people, and they flee every one to his land.” The neuter v'hâyâh affirms that it will then be as described in the simile and the interpretation which follows. Babylon was the market for the world in central Asia, and therefore a rendezvous for the most diverse nations (Jeremiah 50:16, cf., Isaiah 51:9, 44) - for a πάμμικτος ὄχλος, as Aeschylus says in his Persae, v. 52. This great and motley mass of foreigners would now be scattered in the wildest flight, on the fall of the imperial city. The second disaster is violent death.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/isaiah-13.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.

It — Babylon.

A roe — Fearful in itself, especially when it is pursued by the hunter.

A sheep — In a most forlorn condition.

Every man — Those soldiers of other nations, whom she had hired to assist her.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 13:14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.

Ver. 14. And it shall be as the chased roe.] Or, "She," that is, Babylon, "shall be," when drunk with security, that usher of destruction, she shall be suddenly surprised. So strong were her walls and bulwarks, that she feared no irruption of the enemy; and so bold she bore herself upon her twenty years’ provision laid in beforehand that she feared no famine by the straitness of a long siege. Herodotus telleth us that when Babylon was taken by Cyrus, some part of the city knew not of their condition till the third day after: the suddenness of their surprise must needs be very dreadful. (a)

They shall every man,] i.e., All her confederates and presidiaries.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And it, to wit, Babylon,

shall be as the chased roe; fearful in itself, especially when it is pursued by the hunter.

As a sheep that no man taketh up; in a most forlorn and neglected condition.

Every man; those soldiers of other and more warlike nations whom she had hired to assist her; which she used to do at other times, but especially upon this great occasion; of which See Poole "Jeremiah 50:16"; See Poole "Jeremiah 51:9".

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.It shall be — That is, Babylon shall be.

As the chased roe — The figure is, Babylon shall be as timid and panting when seeking an escape as a “chased” gazelle. Swift enemies from the east shall play the falcon and the dogs upon her, just as does the huntsman upon the trembling gazelle in the chase.

As a sheep — Strayed in the wilderness.

That no man taketh up Alone, bereft of its shepherd, exposed to wild beasts, afraid of every thing.

They shall’ turn — Literally, Each to his people they shall turn, and each to his country they shall flee. Babylon was a great capital whither transient trading peoples gathered. And these are probably meant here. On the fall of the imperial city, this motley mass would scatter in wildest flight. Those who remained would be treated as described in the next verse.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-13.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Land. Baltassar shall be abandoned by his allies. Crœsus had been already defeated, before Cyrus invested Babylon.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.

It - Babylon.

Shall be as the chased roe - gazelle: the most timid and easily startled.

And as a sheep that no man taketh up sheep defenseless without a shepherd (Zechariah 13:7) And as a sheep that no man taketh up - sheep, defenseless, without a shepherd (Zechariah 13:7).

They shall every man turn to his own people - the 'mingled peoples' of foreign lands shall flea out of her (Jeremiah 50:16; Jeremiah 50:28; Jeremiah 50:37; Jeremiah 51:9).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) And it shall be as the chased roe.—Better, as with a chased roe . . . . as with sheep . . . The roe and the sheep represent the “mixed multitude” (Ӕsch., Pers. 52) of all nations who had been carried into Babylon, and who would naturally take to flight, some, though without a leader, returning to their own lands on the approach of the invader.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
as the
17:13; 1 Kings 22:17,36
they shall
47:15; Jeremiah 50:16; 51:9; Revelation 18:9,10
Reciprocal: Job 9:6 - shaketh;  Isaiah 14:6 - is persecuted;  Isaiah 16:2 - as;  Jeremiah 51:29 - the land;  Nahum 2:8 - Stand;  Nahum 3:18 - thy people;  Luke 21:25 - signs

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.And it shall be as the chased roe. He shows that auxiliary troops will be of no avail to the Babylonians, and by these comparisons he describes the fear which shall seize the soldiers. Babylon employed not only her own soldiers, but likewise foreign and hired soldiers. He says that they will all be like roes, which are timorous creatures, and like scattered sheep, so that they will neither repair to their standards or their post, nor preserve any order.

Every one to his own land. Hence it is easily seen that the Prophet speaks, not only of the natives, or even of the strangers who had formerly dwelt there, but of foreigners who had been brought for the protection of the city. We have formerly said that the hearts of men are in the hand of God in such a manner that, according to his pleasure, either those who formerly were timid or cowardly persons suddenly acquire fresh courage, or those who formerly boasted loudly of being bold and daring lose their fierceness and become effeminate.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-13.html. 1840-57.