Isaiah 13:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in, even to generation and generation; nor shall Arabian pitch tent there, nor shepherds make fold there.

World English Bible
It will never be inhabited, neither will it be lived in from generation to generation. The Arabian will not pitch a tent there, neither will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.

Young's Literal Translation
She doth not sit for ever, Nor continueth unto many generations, Nor doth Arab pitch tent there, And shepherds lie not down there.

Isaiah 13:20 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

It shall never be inhabited - This has been completely fulfilled. It is now, and has been for centuries, a scene of wide desolation, and is a heap of ruins, and there is every indication that it will continue so to be. From Rauwolff's testimony it appears, that in the sixteenth century 'there was not a house to be seen;' and now the 'eye wanders over a barren desert, in which the ruins are nearly the only indication that it had ever been inhabited. It is impossible to behold this scene and not be reminded how exactly the predictions of Isaiah and Jeremiah have been fulfilled, even in the appearance Babylon was doomed to present, "that she should never be inhabited."' - (Keppel's "Narrative," p. 234.) 'Babylon is spurned alike by the heel of the Ottoman, the Israelites, and the sons of Ishmael.' - (Mignan's "Travels," p. 108.) 'It is a tenantless and desolate metropolis.' - (Ibid. p. 235; see Keith "On Prophecy," p. 221.)

Neither shall it be dwelt in ... - This is but another form of the expression, denoting that it shall be utterly desolate. The following testimonies of travelers will show how this accomplished: 'Ruins composed, like those of Babylon, of heaps of rubbish impregnated with nitre, cannot be cultivated.' - (Rich's "Memoir," p. 16.) 'The decomposing materials of a Babylonian structure doom the earth on which they perish, to lasting sterility. On this part of the plain, both where traces of buildings are left, and where none stood, all seemed equally naked of vegetation; the whole ground appearing as if it had been washed over and over again by the coming and receding waters, until every bit of genial soil was swept away; its half-clay, half-sandy surface being left in ridgy streaks, like what is often seen on the flat shores of the sea after the retreating of the tide.' - (Sir R. K. Porter's "Travels," vol. ii. p. 392.) 'The ground is low and marshy, and presents not the slightest vestige of former buildings, of any description whatever.' - (Buckingham's "Travels," vol. ii. p. 278.) 'The ruins of Babylon are thus inundated so as to render many parts of them inaccessible, by converting the valleys among them into morasses.' - (Rich's "Memoir," p. 13.)

Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there - The Arabians dwelt chiefly in tents; and were a wandering people, or engaged in traffic which was conducted in caravans traveling from place to place. The idea here is, that Babylon, so far from being occupied as a permanent residence for any people, would be unfit even for a resting place. It would be so utterly desolate, so forsaken, and so unhealthy, that the caravan would not even stop there for a night. What a charge this from its former splendor! How different from the time when it was the place of magnificent palaces, when strangers flocked to it, and when people from all nations were collected there!

Neither shall the shepherds ... - This is an additional image of desolation. Babylon was situated in the midst of a most fertile region. It might be supposed that, though it was to be destroyed, it would still furnish pasturage for flocks. But no, says the prophet, it shall be so utterly and entirely desolate, that it shall not even afford pasturage for them. The reasons of this are:

(1) that the whole region round about Babylon was laid under water by the Euphrates after the city was taken, and became a stagnant pool, and of course an unfit place for flocks; and

(2) that Babylon was reduced to an extended scene of ruins; and on those ruins - those extended wastes of broken walls, of bricks and cement - no grass would grow.

The prophecy has been remarkably fulfilled. It is said that the Arabs cannot be persuaded to remain there even for a night. They traverse these ruins by day without fear; but at night the superstitious dread of evil spirits deters them from remaining there. 'Captain Mignan was accompanied by six Arabs completely armed, but he "could not induce them to remain toward night, from the apprehension of evil spirits. It is impossible to eradicate this idea from the minds of these people, who are very deeply imbued with superstition ... And when the sun sunk behind the Mujelibe, and the moon would have lighted his way among the ruins, it was with infinite regret that he obeyed the summons of his guides."' - (Mignan's "Travels," as quoted by Keith, pp. 221, 222.) 'All the people of the country assert that it is extremely dangerous to approach the mound' (the mound in Babylon called Kasr, or Palad) 'after nightfall, on account of the multitude of evil spirits by which it is haunted.' - (Rich's "Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon," p. 27.) The Joseph Wolff, speaking of his visit to Babylon, says, 'I inquired of them (the Yezeedes), whether the Arabs ever pitched their tents among the ruins of Babylon. No, said they, the Arabs believe that the ghost of Nimrod walks amidst them in the darkness, and no Arab would venture on so hazardous an experiment.'

Isaiah 13:20 Parallel Commentaries

A Clearing-Up Storm in the Realm
(Revelation, Chapters vi.-viii.) "God Almighty! King of nations! earth Thy footstool, heaven Thy throne! Thine the greatness, power, and glory, Thine the kingdom, Lord, alone! Life and death are in Thy keeping, and Thy will ordaineth all: From the armies of Thy heavens to an unseen insect's fall. "Reigning, guiding, all-commanding, ruling myriad worlds of light; Now exalting, now abasing, none can stay Thy hand of might! Working all things by Thy power, by the counsel of Thy will. Thou art God!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

The Unseen Watcher
[This chapter is based on Daniel 5.] Toward the close of Daniel's life great changes were taking place in the land to which, over threescore years before, he and his Hebrew companions had been carried captive. Nebuchadnezzar, "the terrible of the nations" (Ezekiel 28:7), had died, and Babylon, "the praise of the whole earth" (Jeremiah 51:41), had passed under the unwise rule of his successors, and gradual but sure dissolution was resulting. Through the folly and weakness of Belshazzar, the grandson
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
2 Chronicles 17:11
Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats.

Song of Solomon 1:7
"Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?"

Isaiah 14:23
"I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 21:1
The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As windstorms in the Negev sweep on, It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land.

Isaiah 34:10
It will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will be desolate; None will pass through it forever and ever.

Jeremiah 49:33
"Hazor will become a haunt of jackals, A desolation forever; No one will live there, Nor will a son of man reside in it."

Jeremiah 50:39
"Therefore the desert creatures will live there along with the jackals; The ostriches also will live in it, And it will never again be inhabited Or dwelt in from generation to generation.

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