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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
The Fall of Babylonia#21 Title Babylonia: King Cyrus and his army of Medes and Persians captured the city of Babylon in 539 b.c.
1This is a message about a desert beside the sea:#21.1 This … sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The prophet may be speaking of Babylonia as a desert, because of the terrible punishment God will bring on it. The southern part of Babylonia on the Persian Gulf was sometimes called “the land beside the sea.”
Enemies from a hostile nation
attack like a whirlwind
from the Southern Desert.
2What a horrible vision
was shown to me—
a vision of betrayal
and destruction.
Tell Elam and Media#21.2 Elam and Media: People from the Iranian highlands; the capital of Elam was Susa, in the hill country east of Babylon.
to surround and attack
the Babylonians.
The Lord has sworn to end
the suffering they caused.
3I'm in terrible pain
like a woman giving birth.
I'm shocked and hurt so much
that I can't hear or see.
4My head spins; I'm horrified!
Early evening, my favorite time,
has become a nightmare.
5In Babylon the high officials
were having a feast.
They were eating and drinking,
when someone shouted,
“Officers, take your places!
Grab your shields.”
6The Lord said to me,
“Send guards
to find out
what's going on.
7When they see cavalry troops
and columns of soldiers
on donkeys and camels,
tell them to be ready!”
8Then a guard#21.8 guard: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text has “lion.” said,
“I have stood day and night
on this watchtower, Lord.
9 # Rev 14.8; 18.2. Now I see column after column
of cavalry troops.”
At once someone shouted,
“Babylon has fallen!
Every idol in the city
lies broken on the ground.”
10Then I said, “My people,
you have suffered terribly,
but I have a message for you
from the Lord All-Powerful,
the God of Israel.”
How Much Longer?
11This is a message about Dumah:
From the country of Seir,#21.11 Dumah … Seir: Dumah was an oasis in the Arabian desert. One ancient translation has “Edom,” which may be what is meant. Seir is a mountainous region of Edom southwest of the Dead Sea.
someone shouts to me,
“Guard, how much longer
before daylight?”
12From my guard post, I answered,
“Morning will soon be here,
but night will return.
If you want to know more,
come back later.”
13This is a message for Arabs who live in the barren desert in the region of Dedan:#21.13 Dedan: A region in northwest Arabia.
You must order your caravans
14to bring water for those
who are thirsty.
You people of Tema#21.14 Tema: A region in north Arabia.
must bring food
for the hungry refugees.
15They are worn out and weary
from being chased by enemies
with swords and arrows.
16The Lord said to me:
A year from now the glory of the people of Kedar#21.16 Kedar: A region in the Arabian desert. will all come to an end, just as a worker's contract ends after a year. 17Only a few of their warriors will be left with bows and arrows. This is a promise that I, the Lord God of Israel, have made.