Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 13:6

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Day;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Babylon;   Day;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Isaiah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Day of the lord;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Revelation, Theology of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Shaddai;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Day of the Lord;   Isaiah;   Time, Meaning of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hand;   Isaiah, Book of;   Joel, Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Almighty;   Babylon ;   Thessalonians, Epistles to the;   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 - Day of the Lord (Yahweh);   Isaiah;   Joel (2);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Day of the Lord;   Demonology;   Eschatology;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 20;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Howl ye - Ye inhabitants of Babylon, in view of the approaching destruction.

The day of the Lord - The time when Yahweh will inflict vengeance on you draws near (see the note at Isaiah 2:12; compare Isaiah 13:9).

As a destruction from the Almighty - Not as a desolation from man, but as destruction sent from him who has all power in heaven and on earth. Destruction meditated by man might be resisted; but destruction that should come from the Almighty must be final and irresistible. The word ‹Almighty‘ שׁדי shadday one of the names given to God in the Scriptures, denotes, properly, “one who is mighty,” or who has all power; and is correctly rendered Almighty, or Omnipotent; Genesis 17:1; Genesis 28:3; Genesis 48:3; Exodus 6:3; Rth 1:20 ; Job 5:17; Job 6:4, Job 6:14; Job 8:3, Job 8:5; Job 11:7; Job 13:4; Job 15:25. In the Hebrew here, there is a paronomasia or “pun” - a figure of speech quite common in the Scriptures, which cannot be retained in the translation - ‹It shall come as a destruction (כשׁד keshod ) from the Almighty (משׁדי mı̂shadday ).‘

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"Wail ye; for the day of Jehovah is at hand; as destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Therefore shall all hands be feeble, and every heart of man shall melt: and they shall all be dismayed; pangs and sorrow shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman in travail: they shall look in amazement one at another; and their faces shall be faces of flame."

"The Almighty ..." The Hebrew has the word [~Shaddai] for "The Almighty" in this passage. "This word is used frequently in the Pentateuch; it is not often found in the prophets; and, when it occurs, the severe and awful aspect of God's divine nature is the more prominent."[8]

"The day of Jehovah ..." (Isaiah 13:6,9) in the Old Testament often refers to the eternal judgment scheduled to come at the end of the Christian dispensation; although, in the prophets, there were predicted many "days of Jehovah," all of them typical of the Day of Judgment and resulting in the destruction of a succession of wicked cities and civilizations. The specific mention of Babylon in this passage is very significant, because it indicates that Babylon would be in some special way an archetype of human rebellion against God. Therefore we have overtones in this chapter of the "Mystery Babylon the Great" in the prophecy of Revelation.

The primary reference here, of course, "is to the events of 539 B.C.";[9] but this fall of Babylon is prophetically typical of the fall of the latter-day Babylon (Revelation 14:8). As we proceed in this chapter, we shall see that far more than the mere fall of ancient Babylon was here prophesied, especially, the total, permanent desolation of the once proud city took place, not immediately, but hundreds of years later. By the first century B.C., it had become a desert. Therefore, if the critics must find a post-exilic author for the first part of this prophecy, they must also find a post-60 B.C. for the author of Isaiah 13:20, below.! It is really surprising that they have not invented such an author. Nothing is too absurd for Bible enemies.

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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 13:6". "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

Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand,.... These words are an address to the Babylonians, who instead of rejoicing and feasting, as Belshazzar and his nobles were the night that Babylon was taken, had reason to howl and lament; seeing the day that the Lord had fixed for their destruction was very near, and he was just about to come forth as a judge to take vengeance on them; for though it was about two hundred and fifty years from the time of this prophecy, to the taking of Babylon, yet it is represented as at hand, to show the certainty of it, both for the comfort of the Jewish captives, when they should be in it, and for the awakening of the sluggish inhabitants, who were secure, and thought themselves out of danger:

it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty: suddenly, swiftly, and irresistibly: there is a beautiful paronomasia in the Hebrew text, "ceshod mishaddai"F3כשוד משדי. ; as destruction from the destroyer; from God, who is able to save, and to destroy; he is almighty and all sufficient, so some render the word; the hand of God was visible in it.

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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 13:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Wail f ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

(f) You Babylonians.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

day of the Lord — day of His vengeance on Babylon (Isaiah 2:12). Type of the future “day of wrath” (Revelation 6:17).

destruction — literally, “a devastating tempest.”

from the Almighty — not from mere man; therefore irresistible. “Almighty,” Hebrew, {Shaddai}.

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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 13:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-13.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Ver. 6. Howl ye.] "For the evils that are coming upon you" (as in James 5:1). We may well say the same to mystical Babylon.

For the day of the Lord is at hand.] And yet it came not till over two hundred years after. Think the same of the day of judgment, and reckon that a thousand years with God is but as one day.

It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.] Heb., Cleshod Mishaddai, an elegance that cannot be translated. Shaddai (God’s name) signifieth a conqueror, say some; a destroyer, say others, which a conqueror must needs be, - Eundem victorem et vastatorem esse oportet. Here is threatened a devastation from the devastator.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-13.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 13:6. Howl ye, &c.— We have here, in this latter member of the first part of the discourse, a premonition to the Babylonians concerning their approaching calamity; Isaiah 13:6. Secondly, the effects of the expedition of their enemies against them are set forth; the stupor, consternation, and despair of the Babylonians, Isaiah 13:7-8 the highest calamity, joined with the greatest evils, falling upon the Babylonians, and the utter subversion of their state; with the causes, namely, their grievous crimes; which calamity is first proposed, Isaiah 13:9-12 and then heightened by new figures and sentences indicating its greatness; Isaiah 13:13-16. It has been observed by Bishop Lowth, that the prophetic writings seem peculiarly excellent in exciting terror; and, though Isaiah generally employs his pen in representing images of pleasure and joy; yet this apostrophe, beginning with the present verse, and ending with the 13th, shews that no one is superior to him in exciting the passion of terror. See his 21st Prelection.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-13.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

It shall come as a destruction; or rather, a destruction or devastation shall come, as the LXX. and vulgar Latin render it. For this was not

as a destruction, but was a destruction indeed. And the particle as is not seldom used to express, not the likeness, but the reality of the thing, as John 1:14.

From the Almighty; who fighteth for your adversaries, and against you, and therefore your destruction is unavoidable.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". 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

6.Howl ye — Ye Babylonians.

Day of the Lord — See Isaiah 2:12; also Joel 1:15.

At hand — Soon to befall; also, to be of long continuance; this from the perspective nature of the prophecy.

As a destruction — The fall of Babylon was a judgment, and was accompanied with judgments upon all thereafter through the ages under Babylonian rule.

From the Almighty — Hebrew, Shaddai; most powerful, omnipotent: an epithet of Jehovah, used by the prophets only here and Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 10:5; and Joel 1:15.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-13.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XIII.

Near. Though one hundred and seventy-two years distant.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the day. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), for the events (or judgments) which shall take place in it.

day of the Lord. . See note on Isaiah 2:12. Occurs in fifteen other places in O.T. : (Isaiah 13:9. Ezekiel 13:5. Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1, Joel 2:11, Joel 2:31; Amos 5:18, Amos 5:18, Amos 5:20. Obadiah 1:15. Zephaniah 1:7, Zephaniah 1:14, Zephaniah 1:14. Malachi 4:5 (total 4x4, App-10).

destruction . . . ALMIGHTY. Note Figure of speech Paronomasia. Hebrew. keshod. . . mishshaddai.

the ALMIGHTY = the All-bountiful One. Hebrew. Shaddai (App-4).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "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

Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

The day of the Lord is at hand - the day of His vengeance on Babylon (Isaiah 2:12). Type of the future "great day of His wrath" (Revelation 6:17).

It shall come as a destruction - literally, a devastating tempest; Hebrew, Shod.

From the Almighty - not from mere man; therefore irresistible: "Almighty." There is a play on similar sounds: Hebrew, Shod (Hebrew #7701), Shaday (Hebrew #7706).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "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

(6) Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand.—The verse is an almost verbal reproduction of Joel 1:15. On the “day of Jehovah,” see Note on Isaiah 2:12.

As a destruction from the Almighty.—The Hebrew shodmish-Shaddai comes with the emphasis of assonance, possibly coupled with that of etymology, the Hebrew Shaddai being derived by many scholars from the verb Shadad =to destroy. On this assumption, “destruction from the destroyer” would be a fair equivalent. The name, occurring frequently in the earlier books of the Old Testament (twenty-three times in Job and eight in the Pentateuch), was characteristic of the pre-Mosaic creed of Israel (Exodus 6:3), and occurs but seldom in the prophets: here, and in Joel 1:15; Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 10:5.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Howl ye
14:31; 23:1; 52:5; 65:14; Jeremiah 25:34; 49:3; 51:8; Ezekiel 21:12; 30:2; Joel 1:5,11,13; Zephaniah 1:14; James 5:1; Revelation 18:10
for the day
9; 34:8; Ezekiel 30:3; Joel 2:11,31; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:7; 2:2,3; Malachi 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3
as a
Job 31:23; Joel 1:15
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 7:23 - shall destroy;  Joshua 5:1 - neither was;  Psalm 48:6 - Fear;  Psalm 76:12 - terrible;  Isaiah 2:12 - the day;  Jeremiah 4:8 - howl;  Jeremiah 4:20 - upon destruction;  Jeremiah 16:15 - that brought;  Jeremiah 30:6 - every;  Jeremiah 46:10 - the day;  Jeremiah 50:3 - which;  Jeremiah 50:43 - king;  Jeremiah 51:54 - GeneralEzekiel 13:5 - the day;  Daniel 5:9 - changed;  Nahum 3:10 - her young;  Zechariah 14:1 - GeneralRevelation 4:8 - Lord God Almighty;  Revelation 6:17 - the great;  Revelation 22:10 - for

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-13.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

THE DAY OF THE LORD

Isa . Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand.

Sad and unnatural is the condition of those to whom the coming of "the day of the Lord" is a cause for dismay. But this is the condition of the wicked. They can think of God prevailing and asserting Himself only with dread. Dread must take possession of them whenever they think of the future, for the profoundest and most ineradicable instincts of their nature assure them that the "day of the Lord"—a day of judgment and retribution—must come.

Thus far all is plain. But when we read and think about what is to take place on "the day of the Lord" (Isa ; Isa 13:15-16; Isa 13:18), astonishment takes possession of us, and we feel disposed to call it "the day of the devil." How can a day like this be called "the day of the Lord"? Note—

1. That all the cruelties here described were inflicted by men.

2. That these men were moved to inflict these cruelties by their own passions; that they acted as free agents, and without any thought of fulfilling a Divine purpose.

3. That the supreme passion by which they were moved was the passion of revenge—of revenge for cruelties equally frightful inflicted by the sufferers of that day. Nothing can exceed in horror the picture which the Babylonians themselves drew of the enormities perpetrated by them on conquered nations.

4. That, consequently, the Babylonians were reaping as they had sown. The day that was coming upon them was a day of retribution, and in this sense emphatically "a day of the Lord." As a matter of fact, retribution is one of the laws under which we live (H. E. I., 4609, 4611, 4612), and it is a Divine law, a law worthy of God. It is an ordinance of mercy, for the tendency of it is to restrain men from sin. By their knowledge of its existence and the certainty of its operation (P. D., 2995), wicked men are undoubtedly greatly restrained from wickedness. Were it not for the days when it is manifestly seen in operation, when great transgressors are overwhelmed with great sufferings, atheism would prevail; a reign of terror and of unrestrained cruelty would begin, and every day would be a day of the devil.

5. This day, with all its horrors, was an essential preliminary to the accomplishment of God's purposes of mercy in regard to His people. For them it was emphatically "a day of the Lord," for it was the day of their deliverance from bondage, a day of exultant thanksgiving that the power of their relentless oppressors was for ever broken (chap. Isa ). In the history of our race there have been many such days, e.g., the French Revolution of 1789, the American Civil War; days when the worst passions of humanity were manifested without restraint; but days when the wisdom of God was displayed in bringing good out of evil, in punishing the iniquities of the past, in ushering in a brighter and better era of freedom and justice.

The record of such "days of the Lord" should be eminently instructive to us.

1. They should teach us the true characters of those statesmen who use national power for purposes of unrighteous national aggrandisement. They are patriots but traitors, rendering inevitable a bitter harvest of national shame and sorrow.

2. They show the folly of supposing that the great power of any nation justifies it in the hope that it may safely deal unjustly with other and weaker nations. Guilty nations set in operation forces mightier and surer in their operation than any they can command—those forming the instrumentality by which God governs the earth, and in spite of human passions, maintains the existence and carries forward the development of the human race; these, combining, bring on a "day of the Lord," in which, by the overthrow of the haughtiest wrongdoers, His existence and authority, and the folly of the practical atheism to which great nations are prone, are demonstrated (P. D., 2544).

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-13.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

6.Howl ye. He continues the same argument, and bids the inhabitants of Babylon howl. Not that he directs instruction to them, as if he hoped that it would be of any advantage, but, in foretelling what shall be their condition, he emphatically employs this form of direct address.

For the day of the Lord is at hand. He calls it the day of the Lord, according to the usual custom of Scripture, because when the Lord delays his judgment, he appears to cease from the discharge of his office, like judges when they do not ascend the judgment-seat. This mode of expression deserves notice, for we would gladly subject God to our disposal, that he might immediately pass sentence against the wicked. But he has his own appointed time, and knows the seasons when it is proper both to punish the bad and to assist the good.

It shall come as destruction from the Strong One. (200) He threatens that the severity of judgment will be such that the inhabitants of Babylon will have good reason not only to cry but to howl; because God displays his power to waste and destroy them. שדד (shadad) signifies to lay waste and plunder. From this verb is derived שדי, (Shaddai,) one of the names of God, which some render Almighty. There is therefore an elegant allusion to the derivation of the word; as if he had said, that the inhabitants of Babylon shall learn by their own destruction how appropriately God is called שדי, (Shaddai,) that is, strong and powerful to destroy. (201)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 13:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-13.html. 1840-57.