Isaiah 21

A prophecy against Babylon

A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea:

Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,
an invader comes from the desert,
from a land of terror.
A dire vision has been shown to me:
the traitor betrays, the looter takes loot.
Elam, attack! Media, lay siege!
I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.
At this my body is racked with pain,
pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labour;
I am staggered by what I hear,
I am bewildered by what I see.
My heart falters,
fear makes me tremble;
the twilight I longed for
has become a horror to me.
They set the tables,
they spread the rugs,
they eat, they drink!
Get up, you officers,
oil the shields!

This is what the  Lord says to me:

‘Go, post a lookout
and let him report what he sees.
When he sees chariots
with teams of horses,
riders on donkeys
or riders on camels,
let him be alert,
fully alert.’

And the lookout
Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion

‘Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;
every night I stay at my post.
Look, here comes a man in a chariot
with a team of horses.
And he gives back the answer:
“Babylon has fallen, has fallen!
All the images of its gods
lie shattered on the ground!”’
10 My people who are crushed on the threshing-floor,
I tell you what I have heard
from the  Lord Almighty,
from the God of Israel.

A prophecy against Edom

11 A prophecy against Dumah:
Dumah, a word play on Edom, means silence or stillness.

Someone calls to me from Seir,
‘Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?’
12 The watchman replies,
‘Morning is coming, but also the night.
If you would ask, then ask;
and come back yet again.’

A prophecy against Arabia

13 A prophecy against Arabia:

You caravans of Dedanites,
who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
14 bring water for the thirsty;
you who live in Tema,
bring food for the fugitives.
15 They flee from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and from the heat of battle.

16 This is what the Lord says to me: ‘Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendour of Kedar will come to an end. 17 The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.’ The  Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

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