Chapter 13

1The harsh prophecy of Babylon which Isaiah son of Amoz prophesied.   אמַשָּׂ֖א בָּבֶ֑ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר חָזָ֔ה יְשַׁעְיָ֖הוּ בֶּן־אָמֽוֹץ:
The harsh prophecy of Babylon: The prophecy of the retribution which [will fall] upon Babylon.  
2On a tranquil mountain raise a banner, raise your voice to them; wave your hand that they may enter the gates of the nobles.   בעַ֚ל הַר־נִשְׁפֶּה֙ שְׂאוּ־נֵ֔ס הָרִ֥ימוּ ק֖וֹל לָהֶ֑ם הָנִ֣יפוּ יָ֔ד וְיָבֹ֖אוּ פִּתְחֵ֥י נְדִיבִֽים:
On a tranquil mountain raise a banner: to gather. On a tranquil, trusting, undisturbed mountain, raise a banner to the nations and raise your voice to those gathering, that they come upon it.  
wave your hand: Wave your hand to the distant ones who cannot hear, and let them see the waving of the hand and enter the gates of the nobles, of the princes of Babylon.  
the gates: Heb. פִּתְחֵי. As though it would say, בְּפִתְחֵי, into the gates. Comp. (Gen. 38:11) “Stay as a widow in your father’s house (בֵּיתאָבִי),” interpreted as בְּבֵיתאָבִי. Menachem ben Seruk (Machbereth Menachem p. 147) interpreted it as swords. Comp. (Psalms 55:22) “And they are drawn swords (פְּתִיחוֹת).”  
3I commanded My prepared ones; I summoned My heroes to [execute] My wrath, those who rejoice in My pride.   גאֲנִ֥י צִוֵּ֖יתִי לִמְקֻדָּשָׁ֑י גַּ֣ם קָרָ֚אתִי גִבּוֹרַי֙ לְאַפִּ֔י עַלִּיזֵ֖י גַּֽאֲוָתִֽי:
I commanded My appointed ones: that they come and commence to incite them, and they are Persia and Media, the men of Cyrus and Darius, whom I appointed for this.  
I summoned My heroes to [execute] My wrath: To execute My wrath upon them, for they rejoice in My pride that I boast of them.  
4The sound of a multitude in the mountains, the likeness of a numerous people, the sound of the stirring of kingdoms of nations gathering; the Lord of Hosts appoints officers over the warring host.   דק֥וֹל הָמ֛וֹן בֶּֽהָרִ֖ים דְּמ֣וּת עַם־רָ֑ב ק֠וֹל שְׁא֞וֹן מַמְלְכ֚וֹת גּוֹיִם֙ נֶֽאֱסָפִ֔ים יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת מְפַקֵּ֖ד צְבָ֥א מִלְחָמָֽה:
5They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens; the Lord and the weapons of His fury, to destroy all the land.   הבָּאִ֛ים מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מֶרְחָ֖ק מִקְצֵ֣ה הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם יְהֹוָה֙ וּכְלֵ֣י זַעְמ֔וֹ לְחַבֵּ֖ל כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ:
and the weapons of His fury: They are the mighty men of Media and Persia.  
to destroy all the land: of Babylonia.  
6Lament, for the day of the Lord is near; like a raid from the Almighty it shall come.   והֵילִ֕ילוּ כִּ֥י קָר֖וֹב י֣וֹם יְהֹוָ֑ה כְּשֹׁ֖ד מִשַּׁדַּ֥י יָבֽוֹא:
like a raid: Like a day of plunder, from the Holy One, blessed be He, it shall come.  
7Therefore, all hands shall grow feeble, and the heart of every mortal shall melt.   זעַל־כֵּ֖ן כָּל־יָדַ֣יִם תִּרְפֶּ֑ינָה וְכָל־לְבַ֥ב אֱנ֖וֹשׁ יִמָּֽס:
all hands: of the Babylonians.  
8And they shall panic; pangs and throes shall seize them; like a woman in confinement they shall writhe; each man shall be amazed at his fellow; their faces are faces of flames.   חוְנִבְהָ֓לוּ | צִירִ֚ים וַֽחֲבָלִים֙ יֹֽאחֵז֔וּן כַּיּוֹלֵדָ֖ה יְחִיל֑וּן אִ֚ישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ יִתְמָ֔הוּ פְּנֵ֥י לְהָבִ֖ים פְּנֵיהֶֽם:
pangs and throes: (צִירִים וַחֲבָלִים) These are expressions of pains of a woman who kneels to give birth, for the hinges (צִירִים) of her womb break apart to open.  
they shall writhe: Heb. יְחִילוּן. חִיל, חַלְחָלָה are expressions of shivering.  
each man shall be amazed at his fellow: The Babylonians will be amazed at those who advanced against them, for they are peculiar.  
their faces are faces of flames: A nation whose faces are red and very frightful, [or alternatively, because they are a pensive people, and he compares the Babylonians to them because of the amazement.]  
9Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, cruel with wrath and burning anger, to make the land desolate, and its sinners He shall destroy from it.   טהִנֵּ֚ה יֽוֹם־יְהֹוָה֙ בָּ֔א אַכְזָרִ֥י וְעֶבְרָ֖ה וַֽחֲר֣וֹן אָ֑ף לָשׂ֚וּם הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ לְשַׁמָּ֔ה וְחַטָּאֶ֖יהָ יַשְׁמִ֥יד מִמֶּֽנָּה:
and its sinners: Heb. וְחַטָּאֶיהָ, similar to חוֹטְאֶיהָ.  
10For the stars of the heavens and its constellations shall not allow their light to illuminate, the sun has become dark in its going forth, and the moon shall not shine its light.   יכִּי־כֽוֹכְבֵ֚י הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ וּכְסִ֣ילֵיהֶ֔ם לֹ֥א יָהֵ֖לּוּ אוֹרָ֑ם חָשַׁ֚ךְ הַשֶּׁ֙מֶשׁ֙ בְּצֵאת֔וֹ וְיָרֵ֖חַ לֹֽא־יַגִּ֥יהַּ אוֹרֽוֹ:
and its constellations: Similar to מַזָּלוֹתֵיהֶם.  
illuminate: Heb. יָהֵלּוּ. They shall illuminate, and so (Job 29:3), “When his lamp shone,” (בְּהִלּוֹ)" (ibid. 31:26). The light when it shone brightly (יָהֵל).  
the sun has become dark: Because of their distress, it seems to them as though the sun has become dark.  
11And I will visit evil upon the earth, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cut off the pride of the presumptuous, and the arrogance of the tyrants I will humble.   יאוּפָֽקַדְתִּ֚י עַל־תֵּבֵל֙ רָעָ֔ה וְעַל־רְשָׁעִ֖ים עֲו‍ֹנָ֑ם וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי֙ גְּא֣וֹן זֵדִ֔ים וְגַֽאֲוַ֥ת עָֽרִיצִ֖ים אַשְׁפִּֽיל:
upon the earth: On their land.  
12I will make mortal man dearer than fine gold, and man [dearer] than the collection of the gold of Ophir.   יבאוֹקִ֥יר אֱנ֖וֹשׁ מִפָּ֑ז וְאָדָ֖ם מִכֶּ֥תֶם אוֹפִֽיר:
I will make mortal man dearer than fine gold: On that night I will honor Daniel more than fine gold. When they brought him to read the writing (Dan. 5:25): “Mene mene tekel ufarsin” ; (ibid. 5: 25) “Then Belshazzar ordered, and they dressed Daniel in purple…”  
more than a collection of the gold of Ophir: Heb. אוֹפִיר מִכֶּתֶם, a collection of the gold of Ophir.  
13Therefore, I will make heaven quake, and the earth will quake out of its place, because of the anger of the Lord of Hosts, and on the day of His burning wrath.   יגעַל־כֵּן֙ שָׁמַ֣יִם אַרְגִּ֔יז וְתִרְעַ֥שׁ הָאָ֖רֶץ מִמְּקוֹמָ֑הּ בְּעֶבְרַת֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וּבְי֖וֹם חֲר֥וֹן אַפּֽוֹ:
I will make heaven quake: All their host will quake when I cast down the prince of Babylon, for the Holy One, blessed be He, does not punish the nations until He punishes their heavenly princes first, as Scripture states (infra 24:21): “The Lord shall visit upon the heavenly host on high,” and afterwards, “on the kings of the earth on the earth.” Scripture states further (infra 14:12): “How have you fallen from heaven, Lucifer, the morning star?” And then, “You have been cut down to the ground, you who cast lots on nations.” Here too, first, “I will make heaven quake,” and afterwards, “the earth will quake.” Its inhabitants shall quake at the news of its downfall, for they shall be astonished at the event.  
14And he shall be like a roving deer, and like sheep who have no one to gather [them]; each man shall turn to his people, and each man shall flee to his land.   ידוְהָיָה֙ כִּצְבִ֣י מֻדָּ֔ח וּכְצֹ֖אן וְאֵ֣ין מְקַבֵּ֑ץ אִ֚ישׁ אֶל־עַמּוֹ֙ יִפְנ֔וּ וְאִ֥ישׁ אֶל־אַרְצ֖וֹ יָנֽוּסוּ:
And he shall be: i.e., every inhabitant of Babylon.  
like a roving deer: i.e., like a deer roving from its place.  
15Everyone who is found shall be stabbed, and anyone who takes refuge shall fall by the sword.   טוכָּל־הַנִּמְצָ֖א יִדָּקֵ֑ר וְכָל־הַנִּסְפֶּ֖ה יִפּ֥וֹל בֶּחָֽרֶב:
Everyone who is found: outside, shall be stabbed.  
and anyone who takes refuge: with the people of the city to be included with them in the siege, shall fall by the sword when the city capitulates. נִסְפֶּה is an expression similar to (Deut. 29: 18): “To add the unintentional sins to the lustful ones (סְפוֹת) ” ; (infra 29:1) “Add year upon year (סְפוּ) ” ; (Jer. 7:21) “Add (סְפוּ) to your sacrifices.” [akojjlir in O.F.], to join.  
16And their babes shall be dashed before their eyes; their houses pillaged, and their wives ravished.   טזוְעֹֽלְלֵיהֶ֥ם יְרֻטְּשׁ֖וּ לְעֵֽינֵיהֶ֑ם יִשַּׁ֙סּוּ֙ בָּֽתֵּיהֶ֔ם וּנְשֵׁיהֶ֖ם תִּשָּׁכַֽבְנָה (כתיב תִּשָּׁגַֽלְנָה) :
shall be dashed: Heb. יְרֻטָּשׁוּ. Comp. (verse 18) “Shall dash (תְּרַטַּשְׁנָה) youths.”  
17Behold I stir up Media against them, who do not value silver, and do not desire gold.   יזהִנְנִ֛י מֵעִ֥יר עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם אֶת־מָדָ֑י אֲשֶׁר־כֶּ֙סֶף֙ לֹ֣א יַחְשֹׁ֔בוּ וְזָהָ֖ב לֹ֥א יַחְפְּצוּ־בֽוֹ:
Behold I stir up Media against them: Darius the Mede assassinated Belshazzar. So Scripture states (Dan. 5:30): “On that very night, Belshazzar… was slain” ; (ibid. 6:1) “And Darius the Mede acquired the kingdom.”  
and do not desire gold: They do not care [for anything,] but to kill and to avenge the harm the kings of Babylon did to all the peoples.  
18And the bows shall dash youths, and on the newborn they shall not have mercy; on children their eye shall not look with pity.   יחוּקְשָׁת֖וֹת נְעָרִ֣ים תְּרַטַּ֑שְׁנָה וּפְרִי־בֶ֙טֶן֙ לֹ֣א יְרַחֵ֔מוּ עַל־בָּנִ֖ים לֹֽא־תָח֥וּס עֵינָֽם:
And the bows: of the peoples of Media.  
youths: of Babylon.  
shall dash: shall split with their arrows that they shoot with their bows.  
newborn: [lit. fruit of the womb] Frail infants.  
19And Babylon, the beauty of the kingdoms, the glory of the pride of the Chaldees, shall be like God's overturning of Sodom and Gemorrah.   יטוְהָיְתָ֚ה בָבֶל֙ צְבִ֣י מַמְלָכ֔וֹת תִּפְאֶ֖רֶת גְּא֣וֹן כַּשְׂדִּ֑ים כְּמַהְפֵּכַ֣ת אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־סְדֹ֖ם וְאֶת־עֲמֹרָֽה:
And Babylon… shall be: Two calamities befell her in two years. Darius assassinated Belshazzar and ruled a year, and in the second year it was turned over like Sodom from heaven. And so we learned in Seder Olam (ch. 28). And in that year the news came concerning Darius, and after him, in the year, the news, and Babylon that was the beauty of the kingdoms… that was the leader and the head of the kingdoms and that was the glory of the pride of the Chaldees now, shall be like the overturning of Sodom.  
20It shall not be settled forever, and it shall not be occupied from generation to generation, and no Arab shall pitch his tent there, neither shall shepherds rest their flocks there.   כלֹֽא־תֵשֵׁ֣ב לָנֶ֔צַח וְלֹ֥א תִשְׁכּ֖וֹן עַד־דּ֣וֹר וָד֑וֹר וְלֹֽא־יַהֵ֥ל שָׁם֙ עֲרָבִ֔י וְרֹעִ֖ים לֹֽא־יַרְבִּ֥צוּ שָֽׁם:
and no Arab shall pitch his tent there: Heb. יַהֵל, like יַאֲהֵל. Even Arabs, who customarily dwell in tents and move their livestock from place to place, will not be pleased with Babylon, to set up their tents there, for it will not even be fit for pasture for flocks. And do not wonder about לֹא יַהֵל, which is explained like לֹא יַאֲהֵל, for there are many places in which the sound of the letter is substituted for the letter, and so (Job 35:11), “He teaches us (מַלְפֵנוּ) from the beasts of the earth,” like מְאַלְפֵנוּ, and so, (Prov. 17:4), “A liar hearkens (מֵזִין) to a destructive tongue,” like מַאֲזִין.  
21And martens shall dwell there, and their houses shall be filled with ferrets, and ostriches shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.   כאוְרָֽבְצוּ־שָׁ֣ם צִיִּ֔ים וּמָֽלְא֥וּ בָֽתֵּיהֶ֖ם אֹחִ֑ים וְשָׁ֚כְנוּ שָׁם֙ בְּנ֣וֹת יַֽעֲנָ֔ה וּשְׂעִירִ֖ים יְרַקְּדוּ־שָֽׁם:
martens: Heb. צִיִּים. Jonathan translates: תַּמְוָן, identical with נִמִּיּוֹת [found in the Talmud] martrines in O.F.  
ferrets: Heb. אֹחִים. I do not know what kind of animal they are. [אֹחִים is an expression of thorns, thistles, and briars.]  
and satyrs: demons.  
22And cats shall dwell in his palaces, and serpents in the temples of pleasure, and her time is soon coming, and her days shall not be extended.   כבוְעָנָ֚ה אִיִּים֙ בְּאַלְמְנוֹתָ֔יו וְתַנִּ֖ים בְּהֵ֣יכְלֵי עֹ֑נֶג וְקָר֚וֹב לָבוֹא֙ עִתָּ֔הּ וְיָמֶ֖יהָ לֹ֥א יִמָּשֵֽׁכוּ:
And cats shall dwell in his palaces: Heb. וְעָנָה אִיִּים בְּאַלְמְנוֹתָיו. And cats shall dwell in his palaces. וְעָנָה is similar to (Hosea 2:17) “And she shall dwell (וְעָנְתָה) there.” Also (Nahum 2:13) “And his dens (וּמְעוֹנוֹתָיו) with what he had torn.” וְעָנָה may also be interpreted as an expression of raising the voice.  
and serpents: shall dwell [or howl] in their temples of pleasure.  
and her days: The days of her flourishing shall not be extended, for Israel was promised (Jer. 29: 10): “When seventy years of Babylon are over, I will remember you.” And that remembering will be through Cyrus king of Persia, who will take the kingdom from Babylon after Darius the Mede, for they both, Media and Persia, joined over it, [i.e., over Babylon,] and stipulated between themselves, if the kings are from us, the governors are from you.