Isaiah 13:16

Hebrew Bible

14 Like a frightened gazelle or a sheep with no shepherd, each will turn toward home, each will run to his homeland. 15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed; everyone who is seized will die by the sword. 16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives raped. 17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them; they are not concerned about silver, nor are they interested in gold. 18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons; they have no compassion on a person’s offspring; they will not look with pity on children.

Nahum 3:10

Hebrew Bible

8 You are no more secure than Thebes—she was located on the banks of the Nile; the waters surrounded her—her rampart was the sea, the water was her wall. 9 Cush and Egypt had limitless strength; Put and the Libyans were among her allies. 10 Yet she went into captivity as an exile; even her infants were smashed to pieces at the head of every street. They cast lots for her nobility; all her dignitaries were bound with chains. 11 You too will act like drunkards; you will go into hiding; you too will seek refuge from the enemy. 12 All your fortifications will be like fig trees with first-ripe fruit: If they are shaken, their figs will fall into the mouth of the eater.

 Notes and References

"... In the third strophe (Psalm 137:7-8), which is an impreca­tion, God is addressed (“Remember, O Lord, ... the Edomites”). After the events of 587 BC when Jerusalem had already been destroyed by the Babylonians, the Edomites, the brother nation of Israel, continued to plunder the city and even killed the fugitives (compare Ezekiel 25:12-14; Obadiah 10-16). This is why the Lord is asked to ex­ecute his judgment on Edom (137:7). The judgment on Edom is, however, merely the prelude to the actual judgment on Babylon (verses 8-9). Babylon, the mighty world power that destroyed all the other nations, has itself been destroyed. Even Babylon’s hope for the future (“your little ones”) has been destroyed. The poet uses the military terminology characteristic of the Old Testament (compare, e.g., 2 Kings 8:12; Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 10:14; Nahum 3:10) to describe the destruction of Babylon. Babylon will suffer the same fate as it inflicted on other nations. In this description of the destruction of Babylon the motive is not unbridled cruelty but a concern that justice should be done and the Lord’s honor maintained. This strophe is given an ironi­cal tone by the use of a blessing. This blessing does not, as one might expect, herald prosperity and happiness; ironically, it introduces a terrible curse. The psalm begins with Babylon (137:1) and ends with Babylon as well (verse 8). In verse 1 Babylon was still the mighty conqueror, but in verse 8 Babylon itself has been destroyed. The roles have been reversed ..."

Dunn, James D. G., and J. W. Rogerson Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (p. 430) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003

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