Isaiah 13-16

Good morning! In today’s passage from Isaiah (chapters 13-16), we read a series of oracles regarding God’s judgment against the other nations that surround Judah. Chapter 13 lays out a fierce prophecy against Babylon. The writer goes into detail about the “day of the Lord”, when everything is put to right but only after a fight that illustrates how sinful human communities and societies have become. In the oracle against Babylon, we read that God will bring enemies against Babylon to unexpectedly destroy them.

Chapter 14 opens with a brief interlude to talk about the compassion and restoration that God will give to Judah, but then returns to further prophesying against Babylon. We read of the sung taunts and jeers against Babylon. All creation rejoices at the fact that Babylon’s power will soon be no more. Babylon presumed that it would be more powerful than heaven, yet it finds the limits of its power. The rest of the chapter offers other oracles against foreign powers, including Assyria, Philistia and Moab.

The oracle against Moab in chapters 15-16 catches my attention. Curiously, while there are words about the judgment of God on the Moabites, there’s also a plea for mercy toward those cast out (refugees?) from Moab. The final chapter here seems to lay out the possibility that Moab could be a place where the Hebrew God is recognized as sovereign as well. Happy reading!

Read Isaiah 13-16.

Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is Isaiah 17-21. Thanks for reading!

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