Isaiah 21

Babylon is Fallen

[This is] an oracle concerning the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the Negev, [an invader] comes from the desert, from a land of terror. A dire vision is declared to me: “The traitor still betrays, and the destroyer still destroys. Go up, O Elam! Lay siege, O Media! I will put an end to all her groaning.” Therefore my body is filled with anguish. Pain grips me, like the pains of a woman in labor. I am bewildered to hear, I am dismayed to see. My heart staggers; fear makes me tremble. The twilight of my desire has turned to horror. They prepare a table, they lay out a carpet, they eat, they drink! Rise up, O princes, oil the shields! For this [is what] the Lord says to me: “Go, post a lookout to report what he sees. When he sees chariots with teams of horsemen, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, he must be alert, fully alert.” Then the lookout
DSS and Syriac; MT lion
shouted, “Day after day, O lord, I stand on the watchtower; night after night I stay at my post.
Look, here come the riders, horsemen in pairs.” And one answered, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon! All the images of her gods lie shattered on the ground.” 10  O My people, crushed on the threshing floor, I tell you what I have heard from the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel.

An Oracle Concerning Edom

11  [This is] an oracle concerning Dumah:
Dumah is a wordplay on Edom meaning silence
One calls to me from Seir,
Seir is another name for Edom.
“Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12  The watchman replies, “Morning has come, but also the night. If you would inquire, then inquire! Come back yet again.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13  [This is] an oracle concerning Arabia: In the thickets of Arabia you must lodge, O caravans of Dedanites. 14  Bring water for the thirsty, O dwellers of Tema, meet the refugees with food. 15  For they flee from the sword, the sword that is drawn, from the bow that is bent, and from the stress of battle. 16  For this [is what] the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a hired worker would count [it] , all the glory of Kedar will be gone. 17  The remaining archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” For the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.
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