2 “Raise a standard upon a bare hill, Cry aloud to them; Wave a hand, and let them enter The gates of the nobles!
AL har nish-PEH s’-u NAYS ha-REE-mu KOL la-HEM ha-NEE-fu YAD v’-ya-VO-u pit-KHAY n’-dee-VEEM
ב עַל הַר־נִשְׁפֶּה שְׂאוּ־נֵס הָרִימוּ קוֹל לָהֶם הָנִיפוּ יָד וְיָבֹאוּ פִּתְחֵי נְדִיבִים׃
13:2 Raise a standard upon a bare hill
Yeshayahu begins a series of prophecies against the nations (chapters 13-23) with a message to Babylon. He calls on Hashem’s army to assemble on a mountaintop against the Babylonians. The word that describes the mountain is nishpeh (נשפה), which means ‘bare.’ The selected mountaintop is bare and empty of trees — most likely so that the nays (נס), the ‘standard’ or signal for the warriors to gather, might be better seen from it. Yeshayahu contrasts the barren mountain of Babylon (which means ‘gates of gods’ in Ugaritic) with the genuine mountain of Hashem in Yerushalayim described in chapter 2, which is the source of knowledge and righteousness for the world.