Isaiah 13, Part 1: A Mark of Individuality
What has gone before...
Following the promise of a Divine Judge Who would restore earth to Eden's perfect beginning, Isaiah assured Israel that there would come a day of joy, a time of singing. God would be praised as their Strength and Salvation, the Holy One of Israel.
To this point Isaiah's visions have concerned Israel, Syria and Assyria, with only slight mention of surrounding people groups. Now, in Chapter 13, Isaiah's perspective shifts to Babylon.
Isaiah 13:1 (ESV) The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
What, or who, was Babylon?
The first reference in the Bible to Babylon is found in the Book of Genesis:
Genesis 10:6-11 (ESV) The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD." The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Babylon was the capitol of a kingdom called the land of Shinar, which was pivotal in world history.
Genesis 11:1-2 (ESV) Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
Genesis 11:4 (ESV) Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."
The people built "with its top in the heavens" in order to "make a name for ourselves". The LORD halted the people's desire for honor and authority.
NAME: shem "shame" (a mark or memorial of individuality; honor, authority or character)
Genesis 11:6-9 (ESV) And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
What do you think?
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