A prophecy against Babylon
1A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea:
Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,
an invader comes from the desert,
from a land of terror.
2A 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.
3At 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.
4My heart falters,
fear makes me tremble;
the twilight I longed for
has become a horror to me.
5They set the tables,
they spread the rugs,
they eat, they drink!
Get up, you officers,
oil the shields!
6This is what the Lord says to me:
‘Go, post a lookout
and let him report what he sees.
7When he sees chariots
with teams of horses,
riders on donkeys
or riders on camels,
let him be alert,
8And the lookout#21:8 Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion shouted,
‘Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;
every night I stay at my post.
9Look, 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!” ’
10My 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
11A prophecy against Dumah#21:11 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?’
12The watchman replies,
‘Morning is coming, but also the night.
If you would ask, then ask;
and come back yet again.’
A prophecy against Arabia
13A prophecy against Arabia:
You caravans of Dedanites,
who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
14bring water for the thirsty;
you who live in Tema,
bring food for the fugitives.
15They flee from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and from the heat of battle.
16This 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. 17The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.’ The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.