Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 13:3

I have commanded My consecrated ones, I have even called My mighty warriors, My proudly exulting ones, To execute My anger.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - War;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Babylon;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Isaiah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jael;   Nimrod;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Isaiah;   Judgment Day;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Isaiah, Book of;   Sacrifice and Offering;   Sanctification, Sanctify;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Medes;   Rebels;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Messiah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - War;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Isaiah;   War;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ararat;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Pharisees;   War;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 20;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I have commanded my sanctified ones - מקדשי mekuddashai, the persons consecrated to this very purpose. Nothing can be plainer than that the verb כדש kadash, "to make holy," signifies also to consecrate or appoint to a particular purpose. Bishop Lowth translates, "my enrolled warriors." This is the sense.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have commanded - This is the language of God in reference to those who were about to destroy Babylon. “He” claimed the control and direction of all their movements; and though the command was not understood by “them” as coming from him, yet it was by his direction, and in accordance with his plan (compare the notes at Isaiah 10:7; Isaiah 45:5-6). The “command” was not given by the prophets, or by an audible voice; but it was his secret purpose and direction that led them to this enterprise.

My sanctified ones - The Medes and Persians; not called ‹sanctified because they were holy, but because they were set apart by the divine intention and purpose to accomplish this. The word ‹sanctify‘ (קדשׁ qâdash ) often means “to set apart” - either to God; to an office; to any sacred use; or to any purpose of religion, or of accomplishing any of the divine plans. Thus, it means to dedicate one to the office of priest Exodus 28:41; to set apart or dedicate an altar Exodus 39:36; to dedicate a people Exodus 19:10-14; to appoint, or institute a fast Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15; to sanctify a war Joel 3:9, that is, to prepare one‘s-self for it, or make it ready. Here it means, that the Medes and Persians were set apart, in the purpose of God, to accomplish his designs in regard to Babylon (compare the note at Isaiah 10:5-6).

My mighty ones - Those who are strong; and who are so entirely under my direction, that they may be called mine.

For mine anger - To accomplish the purposes of my anger against Babylon.

Even them that rejoice in my highness - It cannot be supposed that the Medes and Persians really exulted, or rejoiced in God or in his plans, for it is evident that, like Sennacherib Isaiah 47:6). The word rendered ‹my highness‘ (גאותי ga'ăvāthı̂y ) means, properly, “my majesty,” or “glory.” When applied to people, as it often is, it means pride or arrogance. It means here, the high and exalted plan of God in regard to Babylon. It was a mighty undertaking; and one in which the power, the justice, and the dominion of God over nations would be evinced. In accomplishing this, the Medes and Persians would rejoice or exult, not as the fulfilling of the plan of God; but they would exult as if it were their own plan, though it would be really the glorious plan of God. Wicked people often exult in their success; they glory in the execution of their purposes; but they are really accomplishing the plans of God, and executing his great designs.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-13.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have commanded my sanctified ones,.... The Medes and Persians, so called, not because sanctified by the Spirit of God, or made holy persons, through the regenerating and renewing grace of God, or purified by the blood of Christ, and prepared for glory; but because they were set apart in the mind and counsel of God for a special work and service, and were qualified by him with courage and strength to perform it, and therefore said to be his; and this command that was given them was not by a voice from heaven, or in a message by one of his prophets; but by a secret instinct, and, by the power of his providence, stirring them up to engage in such an enterpriseF26Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 8. 2. & Gloss. in ib. .

I have also called my mighty ones; meaning Cyrus and Darius, and the officers of their armies, with the common soldiers, who were furnished with might and strength to do his will, to which they were called in his providence:

for mine anger; to execute his wrath upon the Babylonians; so the Targum,

"that they may avenge my wrath upon them:'

or, "in mine anger"; which being stirred up, put him upon calling those mighty ones to his service, and fitting them for it: literally it is, "to my nose"F1לאפי "in ira mea", Vatablus; "ad iram meam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in naso meo", Montanus. ; to be before him, to be at his beck and will, and to minister his wrath and vengeance:

even them that rejoice in my highness; in doing that which tended to the exaltation and glory of God; they went cheerfully about the work, and exulted and triumphed in their success: or, "that rejoice my highness"F2עליזי גאותי "exultantis celsitudinis meae", Montanus. ; make me glad, because I am glorified by them. So seven angels, the Lord's holy and mighty ones, will be employed in pouring out the vials of his wrath on mystical Babylon, Revelation 15:1.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I have commanded my c sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for my anger, [even] them that rejoice in my d highness.

(c) That is, prepared and appointed to execute my judgments.

(d) Who willingly go about to the work to which I appoint them, but how the wicked do this, read (Isaiah 10:6).

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

sanctified ones — the Median and Persian soldiers solemnly set apart by Me for the destruction of Babylon, not inwardly “sanctified,” but designated to fulfil God‘s holy purpose (Jeremiah 51:27, Jeremiah 51:28; Joel 3:9, Joel 3:11; where the Hebrew for prepare war is “sanctify” war).

for mine anger — to execute it.

rejoice in my highness — “Those who are made to triumph for My honor” [Horsley]. The heathen Medes could not be said to “rejoice in God‘s highness” Maurer translates, “My haughtily exulting ones” (Zephaniah 3:11); a special characteristic of the Persians [Herodotus, 1.88]. They rejoiced in their own highness, but it was His that they were unconsciously glorifying.

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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 13:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-13.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

“I have summoned my sanctified ones, also called my heroes to my wrath, my proudly rejoicing ones.” “To my wrath” is to be explained in accordance with Isaiah 10:5. To execute His wrath He had summoned His “sanctified ones” ( m e kuddâshim ), i.e., according to Jeremiah 22:7 (compare Jeremiah 51:27-28), those who had already been solemnly consecrated by Him to go into the battle, and had called the heroes whom He had taken into His service, and who were His instruments in this respect, that they rejoiced with the pride of men intoxicated with victory (vid., Zephaniah 1:7, cf., Isaiah 3:11). עליז is a word peculiarly Isaiah's; and the combination גאוה עליזי is so unusual, that we could hardly expect to find it employed by two authors who stood in no relation whatever to one another.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/isaiah-13.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

Sanctified ones — The Medes and Persians, so called, because they were set apart by God, for this holy work of executing his just vengeance.

Mighty ones — Those whom I have made mighty for this work.

Highness — Or, as others render it, in my glory, in the doing of that work which tends to the advancement of my glory. Tho' the Medes had no regard to God, but only to their own ends.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even] them that rejoice in my highness.

Ver. 3. I have commanded my sanctified ones,] i.e., I have by my secret instinct stirred up and set on my Medes and Persians, [Isaiah 13:17] whom in my decree I have set apart for this holy work of executing vengeance on the Babylonians.

I have also called my mighties.] My heroes, armed with my might.

Even them that rejoice in my highness.] Heb., Exultantes superbiae meos; my brave soldiers, whom I render victorious and triumphant.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

My sanctified ones; the Medes and Persians, fitly so called, because they were solemnly designed and set apart by God for his own service, and for this holy work of executing his just vengeance upon them.

My mighty ones; those whom I have made mighty for this work.

In my highness; or, as others render it, in my glory, materially considered, to wit, in the doing of that work which tends much to the advancement of my glory, in destroying of the Babylonian empire. For otherwise the Medes had no regard to God nor to his glory, but only to their own carnal ends.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". 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

3.My sanctified ones — Not inwardly and consciously belonging to God as designated for this work, but in God’s order actually but unconsciously executing divine retribution on the Babylonian power. See Joel 3:9-10; Jeremiah 22:7. The Persians destroyed idolatry. They were morally much in advance of the highest civilized powers in Mesopotamia. And it is quite probable, that at this conquest of Babylon, and their settlement over that country, the great moral recoil against idolatry was made complete among the exiled Jews.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-13.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sanctioned. The Medes and Persians were appointed by God to punish Babylon. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sanctified ones = separated ones. Here = the armies of the Medes and Persians. Compare Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1.

mighty ones = heroes. Hebrew. gibbor. App-14.

them that rejoice in My highness = my proudly exulting ones.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "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

I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

I have commanded my sanctified ones - the Median and Persian soldiers solemnly set apart by me for the destruction of Babylon, not inwardly "sanctified," but designated to fulfill God's holy purpose (Jeremiah 51:27-28; Joel 3:9; Joel 3:11; where the Hebrew for prepare war is sanctify war).

For mine anger - to execute it

(Even) them that rejoice in my highness - `those who are made to triumph for my honour' (Horsley). The pagan Medes could not be said to 'rejoice in God's highness.' Maurer translates, 'My haughtily exulting ones' (Zephaniah 3:11): a special characteristic of the Persians (Herodotus, 1: 88, 'The Persians being haughtily-insolent by nature'). They rejoiced in their own highness, but it was His that they were unconsciously glorifying-literally, 'the rejoicing ones of my highness.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "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

(3) I have commanded my sanctified ones . . .—The word is applied even to the fierce tribes of the future destroyers, as being appointed, or consecrated, by Jehovah for that special work. The thought and the words (there translated “prepare”) appear in Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 22:7; Jeremiah 51:27. So in the later prophecies Cyrus appears as “the anointed” of the Lord (Isaiah 45:1).

Even them that rejoice in my highness.—In Zephaniah 3:11 the same phrase occurs in a bad sense. Here, apparently, it denotes the proud consciousness of the invaders that they are doing God’s work.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
commanded
23:11; 44:27,28; 45:4,5; Jeremiah 50:21-46
mighty ones
Jeremiah 51:20-24; Joel 3:11; Revelation 17:12-18
them that
Ezra 1:1-11; 6:1-22; 7:12-26; Psalms 149:2,5-9; Revelation 18:4-8,20-24; 19:1-7
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 14:45 - he hath;  2 Chronicles 36:22 - the Lord stirred;  Job 15:24 - anguish;  Psalm 50:5 - my saints;  Psalm 137:8 - happy;  Isaiah 13:17 - I will;  Isaiah 29:20 - the terrible;  Isaiah 45:1 - to his;  Jeremiah 22:7 - I;  Jeremiah 25:9 - Nebuchadrezzar;  Jeremiah 34:22 - I will command;  Jeremiah 47:7 - the Lord;  Jeremiah 49:14 - Gather;  Jeremiah 51:1 - I will;  Jeremiah 51:46 - a rumour shall;  Amos 6:11 - the Lord

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.I have commanded my sanctified ones. (198) Here the Prophet introduces the Lord as speaking and issuing his commands. He calls the Medes and Persians sanctified ones, that is, those whom he has prepared. The verb קדש (kadash) is used in various senses; for sometimes it refers to the spirit of regeneration, and this belongs peculiarly to the elect of God. But sometimes it means to wish or prepare, and that meaning is more appropriate to this passage. All who are created by the Lord are likewise appointed by him for a fixed purpose. He does not throw down men at random on the earth, to go wherever they please, but guides all by his secret purpose, and regulates and controls the violent passions of the reprobate, so as to drive them in whatever manner he thinks fit, and to check and restrain them according to his pleasure. He therefore calls them sanctified ones, “set apart and prepared to execute his will,” though they had no such intention. Hence also we are taught to ascribe to the secret judgment of God all violent commotions, and this yields wonderful consolation; for whatever attempts may be made by wicked men, yet they will accomplish nothing but what the Lord has decreed.

I have also called my mighty ones. The phrase, I have called, conveys more than the phrase, I have commanded, which he had used in the former clause. It means that they will be roused to action, not only at the bidding of God, but by the very sound of his voice; as if I were to call a person to me, and he were immediately to follow. He threatens, therefore, that Babylon shall be destroyed by the Medes and Persians, in the same manner as if they obeyed the call of God; for though they were prompted to battle by their own ambition, pride, and cruelty, yet God directed them, without knowing it, to execute his judgment.

FT190 The LORD and the weapons of his indignation. — Eng. Ver.

FT191 From the Almighty. — Eng. Ver.

FT192שד משדי (shod mishshaddai). This title of God is here employed for the sake of the alliteration, destruction from the destroyer, from him who is all-powerful to destroy ( שדד) (shadad) as well as to save.” — Rosenmuller

FT193 By a happy coincidence, the English word panic conveys exactly the meaning of the Latin adjective Panicus , which is here said to be derived from the name of the heathen God Pan, the god of the mountains, cattle, &c. — Ed

FT194 Their faces shall be as flames. (Heb. faces of the flames.) — Eng. Ver. “Faces of flames shall be their faces. ” — Stock

FT195 See Xen. Cyr., book 7, chapter 5.

FT196 Jarchi quotes the words, to add the drunken to the thirsty, (Deuteronomy 29:19,)add year to year, (Isaiah 29:1,) and add burnt-offerings to your sacrifices, (Jeremiah 7:21,) and his annotator Breithaupt translates the verb ספה (saphah) by a word in his native French, accueillir , which means togather, or flock together. — Ed

FT197 Which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. — Eng. Ver.

FT198 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces. — Eng. Ver.

FT199Shall be as when God overthrew. (Heb. as the overthrowing.)--Eng. Ver.

FT200 But wild beasts of the desert (Heb. Ziim) shall lie there. — Eng. Ver.

FT201 It is a gratifying proof of the progress of knowledge and of the decay of superstition, that such words as Hobgoblins, Hob-thrushes, Robin-goodfellows, and even Fairies, answering to the grotesque names which Calvin has brought from his own vernacular, have grown antiquated, and are not likely to be replaced by terms of modern date. Howell’s definition of Loup-garou is a curious record of superstitious belief. “A mankind Wolfe, such a one as once being flesht on men, and children, will rather starve than feed on any thing else; also, one that, possessed with an extream and strange melancholy, beleeves he is turned Wolfe, and as a Wolfe behaves himselfe,” etc. — Ed

FT202 And the wild beasts of the islands (Heb. Iim) shall cry. — Eng. Ver.

FT203 And hyoenas shall cry in their palaces, and jackals in their tabernacles of delight. — Stock

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-13.html. 1840-57.