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Isaiah 13:18


18 Their bows [qesheth] also shall dash [ratash] the young men [na`ar] to pieces [ratash]; and they shall have no pity [racham] on the fruit [pariy] of the womb [beten]; their eye [`ayin] shall not spare [chuwc] children [ben]. KJV-Interlinear


18 And their bows will mow down the young men, They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, Nor will their eye pity children.  NASB


Their bows, is a phrase that refers to the Persian and Mede archers.

According to Herodotus, a Greek historian of around 450 B.C., Persian youth were taught three things when they’re young, to ride, to draw the bow, and to speak the truth, (1. 136).

According to Xenophon, the Greek historian of around 400 B.C., Cyrus came to Babylon with a great number of archers, (Cyrop. ii. 1).

The combined Persian and Mede army was known for its tactics in the use of archers and cavalry. Archers were stationed in large groups that were several ranks deep. They were surrounded by shield bearers so as to protect them around their perimeter.

Their bows were bent in a reverse manner that gave them the ability to shoot their arrows much farther. It was said that Persian archers could shoot targets at a distance of 200 yards, or about 180 meters.

The Persians massed their archers in large groups so as to pin down their enemies and prevent them from movement. This in turn would allow their cavalry to ride around the enemy flanks and encircle them. The distance and the accuracy and the mass of arrows gave the Persians a phenomenal advantage in battle.

So, Isaiah, is drawing a comparison between the Medes of the time from our past historical perspective, but still future to Isaiah’s day, and the peoples of the east who will be involved in the final days of history, in the Tribulation.

The use of archers was for fighting at a distance. Today, artillery and missiles would be used for that sort of combat.

Isaiah uses the phrase dashed to pieces and that is a sort of result you would expect from masses of arrows descending down on their target. Likewise in our current day as volumes of artillery shells come raining down, the result would be similarly described as being dashed to pieces, or blown to bits, as we would say.

The phrase, no pity on the womb, and the phrase, not spare children, easily describes the results of masses of arrows raining down on an enemy village or position where women and children exist. Arrows and artillery shells can’t discern between their targets. They rain down and strike where they will, and anyone and anything within their killing range is destroyed with impunity.

And so Isaiah foresaw the devastation that would occur with the fall of Babylon, even though that empire did not exist as an empire until well after Isaiah’s time. And likewise, the Medes as a people to be reckoned with, would not occur for a still greater time still in the future.

In our present day a great deal is made in combat to target only enemy combatants, and to spare the general public. We even have smart and accurate bombs that can target the nose of an enemy.

But as we see from this prophecy, that policy in sparing the general public, will not exist in the Tribulation.

The artillery and missiles and bombs of all sorts, even rifle fire, will not discern between those who are military and those who are civilian. And, the policy of trying to differentiate between the two, will also fade into unimportance, as there will be no concern as to who is being targeted and who is being killed.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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