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Isaiah 21

21
XXI
1THE ORACLE CONCERNING THE DESERT OF THE SEA.
Like the southern tempests violently rushing along,
From the desert he cometh, from a terrible land.
2A dreadful vision hath been revealed unto me:
The plunderer plundereth, and the spoiler spoileth!
Go up, O Elam; form the siege, O Media!
All her sighing have I made to cease.
3Therefore are my loins filled with dreadful pain;
Pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman in travail:
I am convulsed, so that I cannot hear; I am astonished, so that I cannot see.
4My heart is bewildered; terror hath come upon me:
The night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
5The table is prepared, the watch is set; they eat, they drink;
Arise, ye princes; anoint the shield.
6For thus hath the Lord said unto me:
Go, set a watchman on his station;
What he shall see, he shall report.
7And he beheld riders, a couple of horsemen,
Riders on asses, riders on camels:
And he hearkened diligently with much heed.
8Then he cried out like a lion:
O my lord, I keep my station on the watch all the day long;
And on my ward have I continued every night.
9And, behold, there come men riding, a couple of horsemen.
Then he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen;
And all the sculptured images of her gods have they broken in pieces against the ground.
10O my threshing, and the corn of my floor!
What I have heard of Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel,
That I have declared unto you.
11THE ORACLE CONCERNING DOMAH.
A voice crieth unto me from Seir:
Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman, what of the night?
12The watchman said;
The morning cometh, and also the night.
If ye will inquire, inquire ye: come again and again.
13THE ORACLE AGAINST ARABIA.
In the thickets of Arabia shall ye lodge,
O ye travelling companies of Dedan!
14To meet the thirsty they brought water,
They the inhabitants of the land of Tema;
With his bread they approached the wanderer.
15For from the face of the sword have they fled,
From the face of the drawn sword;
And from the face of the bended bow;
And from the face of the grievousness of war.
16For thus hath the Lord said unto me:
Within yet a year, as the years of a hireling,
All the glory of Kedar shall fail:
17And the residue of the number of the mighty bow men of the sons of Kedar, shall be diminished:
For Jehovah, the God of Israel, hath spoken it.

Isaiah 21

21
A Message about Babylon
1This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the sea#21:1 Hebrew concerning the desert by the sea.:
Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert,
like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.
2I see a terrifying vision:
I see the betrayer betraying,
the destroyer destroying.
Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes,
attack and lay siege.
I will make an end
to all the groaning Babylon caused.
3My stomach aches and burns with pain.
Sharp pangs of anguish are upon me,
like those of a woman in labor.
I grow faint when I hear what God is planning;
I am too afraid to look.
4My mind reels and my heart races.
I longed for evening to come,
but now I am terrified of the dark.
5Look! They are preparing a great feast.
They are spreading rugs for people to sit on.
Everyone is eating and drinking.
But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle.
You are being attacked!
6Meanwhile, the Lord said to me,
“Put a watchman on the city wall.
Let him shout out what he sees.
7He should look for chariots
drawn by pairs of horses,
and for riders on donkeys and camels.
Let the watchman be fully alert.”
8Then the watchman#21:8 As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac version; Masoretic Text reads a lion. called out,
“Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord.
Night after night I have remained at my post.
9Now at last—look!
Here comes a man in a chariot
with a pair of horses!”
Then the watchman said,
“Babylon is fallen, fallen!
All the idols of Babylon
lie broken on the ground!”
10O my people, threshed and winnowed,
I have told you everything the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has said,
everything the God of Israel has told me.
A Message about Edom
11This message came to me concerning Edom#21:11a Hebrew Dumah, which means “silence” or “stillness.” It is a wordplay on the word Edom.:
Someone from Edom#21:11b Hebrew Seir, another name for Edom. keeps calling to me,
“Watchman, how much longer until morning?
When will the night be over?”
12The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but night will soon return.
If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”
A Message about Arabia
13This message came to me concerning Arabia:
O caravans from Dedan,
hide in the deserts of Arabia.
14O people of Tema,
bring water to these thirsty people,
food to these weary refugees.
15They have fled from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and the terrors of battle.
16The Lord said to me, “Within a year, counting each day,#21:16 Hebrew Within a year, as a servant bound by contract would count it. Some ancient manuscripts read Within three years, as in 16:14. all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. 17Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the Lord, the God of Israel, have spoken!”