Isaiah 13:21

Hebrew Bible

19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms, the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride, will be destroyed by God just as Sodom and Gomorrah were. 20 No one will live there again; no one will ever reside there again. No bedouin will camp there, no shepherds will rest their flocks there. 21 Wild animals will rest there, the ruined houses will be full of hyenas. Ostriches will live there, wild goats will skip among the ruins. 22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses, jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces. Her time is almost up, her days will not be prolonged.

LXX Isaiah 13:21


19 And Babylon, which is called glorious by the king of the Chaldeans, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorra. 20 It will not be inhabited forever, nor will they enter it for many generations, nor will Arabs pass through it, nor will shepherds rest in it. 21 But wild animals will rest there, and the houses will be filled with noise; there sirens will rest, and there demons will dance. 22 Donkey-centaurs will dwell there, and hedgehogs will build nests in their houses; it is coming quickly and will not delay.

 Notes and References

"... Part of our discussion in the preceding chapter exposed how biblical writers used terms for preternatural creatures to convey the idea of unholy ground—territory associated with evil spirits. Two of the most important passages in that regard were Isaiah 13:21–22 and Isaiah 34:14. The LXX translator used the plural of daimonion in both instances ... The choice of “sirens” (seirēnes) for Hebrew ʾōḥîm (“howling creatures”) in Isaiah 13:21 indicates that something other than the animal kingdom was in view to the translator. In Greek mythology, sirens were beings who lured sailors to their deaths with their beautiful singing. In their earliest depictions in Greek art, they are shown with a woman’s head and a bird’s wings and body ... What is meant by “donkey centaur” must remain speculative. In both passages (Isaiah 13:22; 34:14) this odd creature corresponds to ʾiyyîm. Again, the choice makes it evident that the writer did not have the normative animal world in view ..."

Heiser, Michael S. Demons: What the Bible Really Says about the Powers of Darkness (p. 54) Lexham Press, 2020

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