Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 13:4

A sound of tumult on the mountains, Like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, Of nations gathered together! The Lord of hosts is mustering the army for battle.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Muster;   War;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Babylon;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Isaiah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Religion;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Prophecy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Isaiah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Isaiah, Book of;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Medes;   Rebels;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Messiah;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Isaiah;   Like;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ararat;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Names of God;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 20;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Of the battle "For the battle" - The Bodleian MS. has למלחמה lemilchamah . Cyrus's army was made up of many different nations. Jeremiah calls it an "assembly of great nations from the north country," Jeremiah 50:9. And afterwards mentions the kingdoms of "Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz, (i.e. Armenia, Corduene, Pontus or Phrygia, Vitring.), with the kings of the Medes," Jeremiah 51:27, Jeremiah 51:28. See Xenophon. Cyrop.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The noise of a multitude in the mountains - The prophet here represents himself as hearing the confused tumult of the nations assembling to the standard reared on the mountains Isaiah 13:2. This is a highly beautiful figure - a graphic and vivid representation of the scene before him. Nations are seen to hasten to the elevated banner, and to engage in active preparations for the mighty war. The sound is that of a tumult, an excited multitude hastening to the encampment, and preparing for the conquest of Babylon.

Like as of a great people - Hebrew, ‹The likeness of a great people.‘ That is, such a confused and tumultuous sound as attends a great multitude when they collect together.

A tumultuous noise - Hebrew, ‹The voice of the tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together.‘

The Lord of hosts - Yahweh, the God of hosts, or armies (note Isaiah 1:9).

Mustereth - Collects; puts in military array. Over all this multitude of nations, hastening with confused sounds and tumult like the noise of the sea, putting themselves in military array, God, unseen, presides, and prepares them for his own great designs. It is not easy to conceive a more sublime image than these mighty hosts of war, unconscious of the hand that directs them, and of the God that presides over them, moving as he wills, and accomplishing his plans.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"The noise of a multitude in the mountains, as of a great people! the noise of the tumult of the nations of the kingdoms gathered together! Jehovah of hosts is mustering the host for the battle. They come from a far country, from the uttermost part of heaven, even Jehovah and the weapons of his indignation to destroy the whole land."

"The host for the battle ..." "This means, `a multitude of men, armed and prepared for war.'"[7] Note the type of signals employed to bring together this vast host: a flag on a bare hill, a vocal call, and the wave of a hand. It was no trouble at all for Almighty God to muster whatever was needed against Babylon.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people,.... That is, like the noise of a very numerous people; this noise was heard either on the mountains of Media, where they flocked in vast numbers to the standard set; or on the mountains upon the borders of Chaldea, when the army under Cyrus was marching towards Babylon:

a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together; for Cyrus's army consisted of several kingdoms and nations; for besides the thirty thousand Persians he brought with him into Media, where he was made general of the Medes also, and was sent with the joint forces of both nations against Babylon, the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz, were prepared, gathered together, and called forth against it, Jeremiah 51:27,

the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle; or the warlike army: it was the Lord, that has the armies of heaven and earth at his command, who in his providence caused such a numerous army to be formed, directed them where to march, and put them in battle array, and gave them the victory.

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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 13:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-13.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the mountains — namely, which separate Media and Assyria, and on one of which the banner to rally the hosts is supposed to be reared.

tumultuous noise — The Babylonians are vividly depicted as hearing some unwonted sound like the din of a host; they try to distinguish the sounds, but can only perceive a tumultuous noise.

nations — Medes, Persians, and Armenians composed Cyrus‘ army.

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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 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-13.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

Nations — The Medes and Persians and other nations, which served under them in this war.

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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 13:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 13:4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

Ver. 4. The noise of the multitude.] The Medes that come against Babylon are both numerous and streperous, as is here graphically described by an elegant hypotyposis. (a)

The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.] No marvel, then, that the forces are so many and mighty, for if he but stamp with his foot, all creatures are up in arms immediately.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The kingdoms of nations; the Medes and Persians, and other nations which served under them in this war; of which see Jeremiah 25:14 27:7 50:41.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". 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

4.Noise of a multitude — No sooner summoned than aroused. Armies in the mountains gather instantly. The noise of preparation sounds afar.

In the mountains — The Median mountains.

Kingdoms of nations — Medes, Persians, Armenians, possibly also Parthians, if the vision be of prophetic space, not of time, which, judging from the next verse, is probable.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-13.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Kings. Darius styles himself king of the Medes and Persians, Daniel vi. 12. Many princes and nations composed his army.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-13.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

The noise of a multitude in the mountains - namely, which separate Media and Assyria, and on one of which the banner to rally the hosts is supposed to be reared.

A tumultuous noise. The Babylonians are vividly depicted as hearing some unwonted sound like the din of a host: they try to distinguish the sounds, but can only perceive a tumultuous noise.

Of the kingdoms of the nations - Medes, Persians, and Armenians, composed Cyrus' army.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "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

(4) The noise of a multitude . . .—The prophet hears, as it were, the tramp of the armies gathering on the mountains north of Babylonia (possibly the Zagros range, or the plateau of Iran, or the mountains of Armenia; but the prophet’s geography was probably vague) before they descend to the plain, and march against the haughty city. (Comp. Jeremiah 51:27.)

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
noise
22:1-9; Jeremiah 50:2,3,21-46; 51:11,27,28; Ezekiel 38:3-23; Joel 3:14; Zechariah 14:1-3,13,14; Revelation 19:11-21
like as
Heb. the likeness of.
Joel 2:4-11; Revelation 9:7-19
the Lord
10:5,6; 45:1,2; Jeremiah 50:14,15; 51:6-25; Joel 2:1-11,25; Revelation 18:8
Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 14:15 - for God;  Isaiah 9:5 - confused noise;  Isaiah 18:3 - see ye;  Isaiah 21:1 - from;  Isaiah 48:14 - he will do;  Jeremiah 21:4 - and I;  Joel 2:11 - utter

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

4.The noise of a multitude in the mountains. He adds a still more lively representation, ( ὑποτύπωσιν,) that is, a description by which he places the event as it were before our eyes. The prophets are not satisfied with speaking, without also giving a bold picture of the events themselves. Words uttered plainly, and in the ordinary manner, do not strike us so powerfully or move our hearts so much as those figures which delineate a lively resemblance of the events. As if he had said, “Now, indeed, you hear a man speaking, but know that this voice will be so powerful that at the sound of it nations shall be roused, peoples shall make a noise, and in vast crowds shall shout and roar to bring destruction on the inhabitants of Babylon. This proclamation, therefore, will be as efficacious, even after that I am dead, as if you now saw what I foretell to you.”

In this event, therefore, we see how great is the efficacy of the word, which all the creatures both in heaven and in earth obey. We ought to be more strongly confirmed in the belief of this doctrine, by perceiving that every one of the events which had been predicted many centuries before has taken place. For this reason he declares that the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle, that the various nations are moved by God’s direction, and that, although nothing was farther from their intention than to inflict the punishment which he had appointed, still they do nothing but according to his command, as if some earthly general were to draw up his forces.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-13.html. 1840-57.