Isaiah 21:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

King James Bible
The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.

Darby Bible Translation
The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through, so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.

World English Bible
The burden of the wilderness of the sea. As whirlwinds in the South sweep through, it comes from the wilderness, from an awesome land.

Young's Literal Translation
The burden of the wilderness of the sea. 'Like hurricanes in the south for passing through, From the wilderness it hath come, From a fearful land.

Isaiah 21:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The desert of the sea - This plainly means Babylon, which is the subject of the prophecy. The country about Babylon, and especially below it towards the sea, was a great flat morass, overflowed by the Euphrates and Tigris. It became habitable by being drained by the many canals that were made in it.

Herodotus, lib. 1:184, says that "Semiramis confined the Euphrates within its channel by raising great dams against it; for before it overflowed the whole country like a sea." And Abydenus, (quoting Megasthenes, apud Euseb. Praep. Evang. 9:41), speaking of the building of Babylon by Nebuchadonosor, says, "it is reported that all this part was covered with water and was called the sea; and that Belus drew off the waters, conveying them into proper receptacles, and surrounded Babylon with a wall." When the Euphrates was turned out of its channel by Cyrus, it was suffered still to drown the neighboring country; and, the Persian government, which did not favor the place, taking no care to remedy this inconvenience, it became in time a great barren morassy desert, which event the title of the prophecy may perhaps intimate. Such it was originally; such it became after the taking of the city by Cyrus; and such it continues to this day.

As whirlwinds in the south "Like the southern tempests" - The most vehement storms to which Judea was subject came from the desert country to the south of it. "Out of the south cometh the whirlwind," Job 37:9. "And there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house," Job 1:19. For the situation of Idumea, the country (as I suppose) of Job, see Lamentations 4:21 compared with Job 1:1, was the same in this respect with that of Judea: -

"And Jehovah shall appear over them,

And his arrow shall go forth as the lightning;

And the Lord Jehovah shall sound the trumpet;

And shall march in the whirlwinds of the south."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the burden. The first ten verses of this chapter contain a prediction of the taking of Babylon by the Medes and Persians; which is here denominated 'the desert of the sea,' because the country around it, and especially towards the sea, was a great morass, often overflowed by the Tigris and Euphrates, and only rendered habitable by being drained by a number of canals.

Isaiah 13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

the desert

Isaiah 13:20-22 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelled in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there...

Isaiah 14:23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction...

Jeremiah 51:42 The sea is come up on Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.

as whirlwinds

Job 37:9 Out of the south comes the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.

Daniel 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind...

Zechariah 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the LORD God shall blow the trumpet...


Isaiah 13:4,5,17,18 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together...

Ezekiel 30:11 He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land...

Ezekiel 31:12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him...

The Morning Breaketh
TEXT: "Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night."--Isaiah 21:11-12. It is very interesting to note that, whether we study the Old Testament or the New, nights are always associated with God's mornings. In other words, he does not leave us in despair without sending to us his messengers of hope and cheer. The Prophet Isaiah in this particular part of his prophecy seems to be almost broken-hearted because of the sin of the people. As one of the Scotch
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

CHAPTERS I-XXXIX Isaiah is the most regal of the prophets. His words and thoughts are those of a man whose eyes had seen the King, vi. 5. The times in which he lived were big with political problems, which he met as a statesman who saw the large meaning of events, and as a prophet who read a divine purpose in history. Unlike his younger contemporary Micah, he was, in all probability, an aristocrat; and during his long ministry (740-701 B.C., possibly, but not probably later) he bore testimony, as
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Isaiah 5:28
Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses' hooves seem like flint, their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.

Isaiah 13:1
A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:

Isaiah 13:20
She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents, there no shepherds will rest their flocks.

Isaiah 14:23
"I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty.

Jeremiah 51:42
The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her.

Ezekiel 1:4
I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north--an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal,

Ezekiel 38:9
You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

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