New Defender's Study Bible Notes
13:1 did see. Isaiah 13–23 consists of a series of “burdens” or “prophecies of doom” against various pagan nations. This introductory verse says Isaiah “did see” these things, though they were all far in the future. Evidently, God gave him a series of visions, projecting him into the future, so he could see the events as actually taking place before his eyes.
13:10 sun shall be darkened. This prophecy of fearful signs in the heavens (Matthew 24:29) with darkening of the sun (Revelation 6:12) is to be fulfilled in the future days of tribulation judgment on the earth. As often the case in these prophecies of the Old Testament, the vision blends both precursive and ultimate judgments together.
13:13 earth shall remove. The ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy has to do with the final destruction of rebuilt Babylon in the last days (Revelation 16:17-21; Haggai 2:6).
13:19 Sodom and Gomorrah. Again, there is a near and far fulfillment. Babylon was first defeated by the Medes (Isaiah 13:17) around 540 B.C. (Daniel 5:30,31), some 175 years after Isaiah’s prophecy. However, Babylon continued as an important city until well after the time of Christ.
13:20 never be inhabited. Although Babylon eventually fell into ruins, it has never been completely uninhabited and has been at least partially rebuilt by the Iraqi government. The final fulfillment of this prophecy will be during the tribulation period (Revelation 18), with utter desolation during the millennium following.
13:21 satyrs shall dance. See note on Isaiah 34:14.
13:22 beasts of the islands. This part of Babylon’s “burden” will probably be fulfilled after the rebuilt Babylon sinks beneath the sea (Jeremiah 51:42,64; Revelation 18:21). The previous verse describes its habitation by “wild beasts of the desert,” this portion being fulfilled in the long centuries following her first collapse into ruins.
13:22 dragons. The “dragons” (Hebrew tannin) are the “sea monsters,” probably marine dinosaur-like reptiles, or great sea serpents (note Isaiah 27:1), that still survive in the deep ocean. It is nothing but evolutionary fantasy that assumes such monsters died out aeons before man appeared on the earth.