The burden of Dumah. Unto me is one calling from Seir 'Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?'
Isaiah 21:11 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The burden of Dumah "The oracle concerning Dumah" - Pro דומה Dumah, Codex R. Meiri habet אדום Edom; and so the Septuagint, Vid. Kimchi ad h. 50. Biblia Michaelis, Halae, 1720, not. ad 50. See also De Rossi. Bishop Lowth translates the prophecy thus: -
11. The Oracle Concerning Dumah.
A voice crieth to me from Seir:
Watchman, what from the night?
Watchman, what from the night?
12. The watchman replieth: -
The morning cometh, and also the night.
If ye will inquire, inquire ye: come again.
This differs very little from our common Version. One of Kennicott's MSS., and one of my own, omit the repetition, "Watchman, what from the night?"
This prophecy, from the uncertainty of the occasion on which it was uttered, and from the brevity of the expression, is extremely obscure. The Edomites as well as the Jews were subdued by the Babylonians. They inquire of the prophet how long their subjection is to last: he intimates that the Jews should be delivered from their captivity; not so the Edomites. Thus far the interpretation seems to carry with it some degree of probability. What the meaning of the last line may be, I cannot pretend to divine. In this difficulty the Hebrew MSS. give no assistance. The MSS. of the Septuagint, and the fragments of the other Greek Versions, give some variations, but no light. This being the case, I thought it best to give an exact literal translation of the whole two verses, which may serve to enable the English reader to judge in some measure of the foundation of the various interpretations that have been given of them.
The burden of Dumah. - R. D. Kimchi says, "His father understood this of the destruction of Dumah (one of the cities of the Ishmaelites) by the inhabitants of Seir; and that they inquired of the prophet to know the particular time in which God had given them a commission against it. The prophet answered: The morning - the time of success to you, cometh, is just at hand; and the night - the time of utter destruction to the inhabitants of Dumah, is also ready." I have heard the words applied in the way of general exhortation.
1. Every minister of God is a watchman. He is continually watching for the safety and interests of his people, and looking for the counsel of God that he may be properly qualified to warn and to comfort.
2. Such are often called to denounce heavy judgments; they have the burden of the word of the Lord to denounce against the impenitent, the backslider, the lukewarm, and the careless.
3. When the watchman threatens judgments, some are awakened, and some mock: Watchman, what of the night? "What are the judgments thou threatenest, and when are they to take place?"
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Dumah. Dumah is probably the same as Dumatha, a city of Arabia, mentioned by Stephanus, and the modern Dumah and Dumathalgandel, on the borders of Arabia and Syria, in a rocky valley. The Edomites, says Bp. Lowth, as well as Jews, were subdued by the Babylonians. They enquire of the prophet how long their subjection is to last; he intimates that the Jews should be delivered from their captivity; not so the Edomites. 'The morning cometh, and also the night'.
Genesis 25:14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,
1 Chronicles 1:30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema,
Isaiah 34:1 Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, you people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein...
Isaiah 63:1-6 Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel...
Numbers 24:18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
Deuteronomy 2:5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth...
Psalm 137:7 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof.
Jeremiah 49:7-22 Concerning Edom, thus said the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent...
Ezekiel 35:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Joel 3:19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah...
Amos 1:6,11,12 Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof...
Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus said the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the LORD...
Malachi 1:2-4 I have loved you, said the LORD. Yet you say, Wherein have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? said the LORD...
Isaiah 21:6 For thus has the LORD said to me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees.
Jeremiah 37:17 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD?...
Isaiah 21:11 Parallel CommentariesBurden Calls Dumah Edom Far Keeps Night Oracle Seir Se'ir Someone Voice Watchman WordBurden Calls Dumah Edom Far Keeps Night Oracle Seir Se'ir Someone Voice Watchman WordTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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