Isaiah 21:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A prophecy against Dumah: Someone calls to me from Seir, "Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?"

King James Bible
The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

Darby Bible Translation
The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

World English Bible
The burden of Dumah. One calls to me out of Seir, "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?"

Young's Literal Translation
The burden of Dumah. Unto me is one calling from Seir 'Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?'

Isaiah 21:11 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke'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?"

continued...

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,

me out

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...

what

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?...

Library
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

Isaiah
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
Genesis 25:14
Mishma, Dumah, Massa,

Genesis 32:3
Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

Song of Solomon 3:3
The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. "Have you seen the one my heart loves?"

Isaiah 21:12
The watchman replies, "Morning is coming, but also the night. If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again."

Jeremiah 6:17
I appointed watchmen over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, 'We will not listen.'

Obadiah 1:1
The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom-- We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, "Rise, let us go against her for battle"--

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