Isaiah 13 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Isaiah 13 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.

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

(13:3-5) "I have commanded my sanctified ones ... to destroy the whole land."
God has his holy ones do his dirty work for him.
Sanctified means separated. God has separated them, set them apart. for his work: the destruction of Babylon. And on the phrase “dirty work”: does the author of the SAB belief that empires who have done much evil, will not be punished, but could be everlasting?

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.

5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

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

(13:6-9) On God's day he will kill sinners with great anger, wrath, and cruelty. Those who die will have their faces consumed by flames.
The key phrase here is “sinners”, those who have done evil, see verse 11.

7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:

8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

According to the Bible, the moon produces its own light and the earth does not move.
Right. Or perhaps we should consult Sir Isaac Newton on this one (Matthew 24:29).

11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

When God gets really angry, he causes earthquakes.
Even earthquakes are in God's hand, that is true.

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.

15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.

(13:15-18) If God can find you, he will "thrust you through," smash your children "to pieces" before your eyes, and rape your wife.
This is all still part of the prophesy of how Babylon would come to its end. They had done these things to the nations they conquered. Now these things would come upon their own head.

16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.

19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

(13:19-20) These verses falsely predict that Babylon will never again be inhabited.
And Babylon has never been inhabited again, despite the author of the SAB playing the science card:

All that remains today of the ancient famed city of Babylon is a mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now Iraq.

Saddam Hussein wanted to rebuilt the city. And started doing so. Isn't it interesting that he was toppled before he could complete the project?

21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.

(13:21-22) Dragons will live in Babylonian palaces and satyrs will dance there.
The Hebrew word that is translated with satyr is usually translated with goat. But given the desolation in this place, the translators might have in mind a demon possessed goat, like the swine of Gadara (Matthew 8:32), and therefore have used the word satyr.

22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

The word dinosaur was only coined in 1842, by creationist Richard Owen. Before that people used the word dragon. And one might ask : how could the Bible authors know about dinosaurs if they had died 60 million years ago?