Isaiah 21
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Babylon is Fallen

1This 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.

2A 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.”

3Therefore 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.

4My heart staggers;

fear makes me tremble.

The twilight of my desire

has turned to horror.

5They prepare a table, they lay out a carpet,

they eat, they drink!

Rise up, O princes, oil the shields!

6For this is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, post a lookout to report what he sees.

7When he sees chariots with teams of horsemen,

riders on donkeys, riders on camels,

he must be alert, fully alert.”

8Then the lookouta shouted, “Day after day, O lord,

I stand on the watchtower;

night after night

I stay at my post.

9Look, 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.”

10O 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

11This is an oracle concerning Dumah:b

One calls to me from Seir,c

“Watchman, what is left of the night?

Watchman, what is left of the night?”

12The watchman replies,

“Morning has come, but also the night.

If you would inquire, then inquire!

Come back yet again.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13This is an oracle concerning Arabia:

In the thickets of Arabia you must lodge,

O caravans of Dedanites.

14Bring water for the thirsty,

O dwellers of Tema,

meet the refugees with food.

15For they flee from the sword,

the sword that is drawn,

from the bow that is bent,

and from the stress of battle.

16For 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. 17The remaining archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” For the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.

Footnotes:

8 a DSS and Syriac; MT lion
11 b Dumah is a wordplay on Edom meaning silence
11 c Seir is another name for Edom.

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