Isaiah 13:6 Index
"Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."
Research Material

" . . . the day of the LORD . . . "

  • This expression occurs at least 20 times in the writings of the various Old Testament prophets. It is always used in reference to a time of divine judgment upon a city or nation (rather than upon individuals), or eventually upon the inhabitants of the whole world. In contrast, what might be called "the day of man" is described in Scripture as the "day of salvation" (Isaiah 49:8; 2 Corinthians 6:2), "an acceptable time" (Psalm 69:13; Isaiah 49:8), the time when probation for men as individuals or as nations still lingers (Psalm 95:7; Psalm 95:8; Hebrews 4:7). (4BC 164)
  • Conversely, "the day of the Lord" is the time when, historically, the probation of a city or a nation closes, and ultimately when the destiny of all men is forever fixed. During the "day of salvation" (Isaiah 49:8) men and nations are free to exercise their God-given power to choose between right and wrong, but with the arrival of "the day of the Lord" God's will becomes supreme, being no long circumscribed by the exercise of the human will. (4BC 164)
  • "The day of the Lord" against Judah (Isaiah 2:12; Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1; Zephaniah 1:7) was thus the day when, as a nation, it was no longer permitted to continue on its reprobate course and divine judgment was meted out against it (Ezekiel 12:21-28). The same was true with the northern king, Israel (Amos 5:18), with Egypt (Ezekiel 30:3), with Edom (Obadiah 15), and with other nations of antiquity (Daniel 5:22-31). What happens to a city or to an entire nation when "the day of the Lord" comes to it is similar to what will happen to the whole world at the close of its probation. In (Matthew 24), for instance, Christ's description of the "day of the Lord" upon the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation is manifestly similar in many respects to what will also be true of the entire world at the time of Christ's "coming, and of the end of the world" (Matthew 24:3; Luke 21:20; Matthew 24:30). Thus, principles that apply when the "day of the Lord" comes to any, city or nation also apply when "the day of the Lord" comes upon the wold as a whole, and and Old Testament prophetic description of the fate of some ancient city or nation in terms of "the day of the Lord" applies also in principle to "the great day of the Lord" (Zephaniah 1:14) at the end of time. In view of the fact that New Testament writers make of the fate of ancient Babylon a figure of the fate of spiritual Babylon (Isaiah 13:4), and because they apply the expression, "the day of the Lord," to the time when Christ returns to earth in judgment (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10), "the day of the Lord" upon Babylon, as described in (Isaiah 13) is, in many respects, also descriptive of "the great day of the Lord" at the end of time. (4BC 164-165)

" . . . it shall come as a destruction . . . "

  • "The day of the Lord" is never referred to in Scripture as a time when men will have a second chance, another opportunity to accept salvation. "The day of the Lord" is always without exception, a day of judgment, a day of destruction, a day of darkenss (Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1; Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18; Amos 5:19; Amos 5:20). (4BC 165)
  • Thick clouds still cover the sky; yet the sun now and then breaks through, appearing like the avenging eye of Jehovah.Fierce lightnings leap from the heavens, enveloping the earth in a sheet of flame. Above the terrific roar of thunder, voices, mysterious and awful, declare the doom of the wicked. The words spoken are not comprehended by all; but they are distinctly understood by the false teachers. Those who a little before were so reckless, so boastful and defiant, so exultant in their cruelty to God's commandment-keeping people, are now overwhelmed with consternation and shuddering in fear. Their wails are heard above the sound of the elements. Demons acknowledge the deity of Christ and tremble before His power, while men are supplicating for mercy and groveling in abject terror.
    • Said the prophets of old, as they beheld in holy vision the day of God: “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty” (Isaiah 13:6). “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty (Isaiah 2:10). The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day (Isaiah 2:11). For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone that is lifted up; and he shall be brought lowIsaiah 2:12). “In that day a man shall cast the idols of his silver, and the idols of his gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats (Isaiah 2:20); to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isaiah 2:21). (GC 638)