Isaiah 23:13
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Behold, the land of the Chaldeans-- this is the people which was not; Assyria appointed it for desert creatures-- they erected their siege towers, they stripped its palaces, they made it a ruin.

King James Bible
Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold the land of the Chaldeans: this people did not exist; the Assyrian founded it for the dwellers in the desert: they set up their towers, they destroyed the palaces thereof; he brought it to ruin.

World English Bible
Behold, the land of the Chaldeans. This people was not. The Assyrians founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up their towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, the land of the Chaldeans -- this people was not, Asshur founded it for the Ziim, They raised its watch-towers, They lifted up her palaces, -- He hath appointed her for a ruin!

Isaiah 23:13 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Behold the land of the Chaldeans - This is a very important verse, as it expresses the source from where these calamities were coming upon Tyre; and as it states some historical facts of great interest respecting the rise of Babylon. In the previous verses the prophet had foretold the certain destruction of Tyre, and had said that whoever was the agent, it was to be traced to the overruling providence of God. He here states distinctly that the agent in accomplishing all this would be the Chaldeans - a statement which fixes the time to the siege of Nebuchadnezzar, and proves that it does not refer to the conquest by Alexander the Great. A part of this verse should be read as a parenthesis, and its general sense has been well expressed by Lowth, who has followed Vitringa:

'Behold the land of the Chaldeans;

This people was of no account;

(The Assyrian founded it for the inhabitants of the desert;

They raised the watch towers, they set up the palaces thereof;)

This people hath reduced her to a ruin.'

Behold - Indicating that what he was about to say was something unusual, remarkable, and not to be expected in the ordinary course of events. That which was so remarkable was the fact that a people formerly so little known, would rise to such power as to be able to overturn the ancient and mighty city of Tyre.

The land of the Chaldeans - Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Chaldea or Babylonia. The names Babylon and Chaldea are often interchanged as denoting the same kingdom and people (see Isaiah 48:14, Isaiah 48:20; Jeremiah 50:1; Jeremiah 51:24; Ezekiel 12:13). The sense is, 'Lo! the power of Chaldea shall be employed in your overthrow.'

This people - The people of Babylonia or Chaldea.

Was not - Was not known; had no government or power; was a rude, nomadic, barbarous, feeble, and illiterate people. The same phrase occurs in Deuteronomy 32:21, where it also means a people unknown, rude, barbarous, wandering. That this was formerly the character of the Chaldeans is apparent from Job 1:17, where they are described as a nomadic race, having no established place of abode, and living by plunder.

Till the Assyrian - Babylon was probably founded by Nimrod (see the notes at Isaiah 13), but it was long before it rose to splendor. Belus or Bel, the Assyrian, is said to have reigned at Babylon A.M. 2682, or 1322 b.c., in the time of Shamgar, judge of Israel. He was succeeded by Ninus and Semiramis, who gave the principal celebrity and splendor to the city and kingdom, and who may be said to have been its founders. They are probably referred to here.

Founded it - Semiramis reclaimed it from the waste of waters; built dikes to confine the Euphrates in the proper channel; and made it the capital of the kingdom. This is the account given by Herodotus (Hist. i.): 'She (Semiramis) built mounds worthy of admiration, where before the river was accustomed to spread like a sea through the whole plain.'

For them that dwell in the wilderness - Hebrew, לציים letsiyiym - 'For the tsiim.' This word (from צי tsiy or ציה tsiyah, a waste or desert) denotes properly the inhabitants of the desert or waste places, and is applied to people in Psalm 72:9; Psalm 74:14; and to animals in Isaiah 13:21 (notes); Isaiah 34:14. Here it denotes, I suppose, those who had been formerly inhabitants of the deserts around Babylon - the wandering, rude, uncultivated, and predatory people, such as the Chaldeans were Job 1:17; and means that the Assyrian who founded Babylon collected this rude and predatory people, and made use of them in building the city. The same account Arrian gives respecting Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who says, that 'Philip found them wandering and unsettled (πλανήτας καὶ ἀπόρους planētas kai aporous), feeding small flocks of sheep upon the mountains, that he gave them coats of mail instead of their shepherd's dress, and led them from the mountain to the plain, and gave them cities to dwell in, and established them with good and wholesome laws.' (Hist. Alex vii.)

They set up the towers thereof - That is, the towers in Babylon, not in Tyre (see the notes at Isaiah 13) Herodotus expressly says that the Assyrians built the towers and temples of Babylon (i.continued...

Isaiah 23:13 Parallel Commentaries

How those are to be Admonished who have had Experience of the Sins of the Flesh, and those who have Not.
(Admonition 29.) Differently to be admonished are those who are conscious of sins of the flesh, and those who know them not. For those who have had experience of the sins of the flesh are to be admonished that, at any rate after shipwreck, they should fear the sea, and feel horror at their risk of perdition at least when it has become known to them; lest, having been mercifully preserved after evil deeds committed, by wickedly repeating the same they die. Whence to the soul that sins and never
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

CHAPTERS I-XXXIX Isaiah is the most regal of the prophets. His words and thoughts are those of a man whose eyes had seen the King, vi. 5. The times in which he lived were big with political problems, which he met as a statesman who saw the large meaning of events, and as a prophet who read a divine purpose in history. Unlike his younger contemporary Micah, he was, in all probability, an aristocrat; and during his long ministry (740-701 B.C., possibly, but not probably later) he bore testimony, as
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Psalm 72:9
Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, And his enemies lick the dust.

Isaiah 10:5
Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,

Isaiah 10:7
Yet it does not so intend, Nor does it plan so in its heart, But rather it is its purpose to destroy And to cut off many nations.

Isaiah 13:21
But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.

Isaiah 18:6
They will be left together for mountain birds of prey, And for the beasts of the earth; And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them, And all the beasts of the earth will spend harvest time on them.

Isaiah 43:14
Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "For your sake I have sent to Babylon, And will bring them all down as fugitives, Even the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice.

Ezekiel 23:23
the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them; desirable young men, governors and officials all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses.

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Account Appointed Asshur Assyria Assyrian Assyrians Babylonians Bare Beasts Chaldeans Chalde'ans Desert Destined Destroyed Dwell Dwellers Erected Exist Fortresses Founded Overthrew Palaces Raised Razed Ruin Shipmen Siege Stripped Thereof Towers Turned Tyre Wild Wilderness Ziim
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