Isaiah 21
Babylon Has Fallen
1 This is the divine revelation about the desert by the sea.
Like a storm sweeping through the Negev,
an invader will come from the desert,
from a terrifying land.
2 I was shown a harsh vision.
The traitor betrays.
The destroyer destroys.
Go to war, Elam!
Surround them, Media!
I will put an end to all the groaning.
3 That is why my body is full of trembling.
Pain grips me like the pain of childbirth.
I’m disturbed by what I hear.
I’m terrified by what I see.
4 I’m confused.
I’m shaking with terror.
The twilight hours I longed for make me tremble.
5 Set the table.
Spread the rugs ⌊by the table⌋.
Eat. Drink.
Get up, you leaders!
Prepare your shields for battle!
6 This is what the Lord says to me:
Post a watchman.
Have him report whatever he sees.
7 He will see chariots, pairs of horsemen,
riders on donkeys, and riders on camels.
Let him watch carefully, very carefully.
8 The watchman #Syriac, Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text, Targum “lion”; Greek “Uriah.” called,
“Sir, I stand on the watchtower every day.
Every night, I stand guard at my post.
9 Look! Here come chariots and horsemen in pairs.”
Then he said,
“Babylon has fallen! It has fallen!
All the idols they worship lie shattered on the ground.”
10 You, my people, have been threshed and winnowed.#Threshing is the process of beating stalks to separate them from the grain. Winnowing is the process of separating husks from grain.
I make known to you what I heard from the Lord of Armies,
the God of Israel.
Someone Calling from Seir
11 This is the divine revelation about Dumah.#The exact location of Dumah is unknown.
Someone is calling to me from Seir,
“Watchman, how much of the night is left?
Watchman, how much of the night is left?”
12 The watchman answers,
“Morning is coming, and night will come again.
If you need to ask, come back and ask.”
Arabia Will Be Punished
13 This is the divine revelation about Arabia.
You caravan of travelers from the people of Dedan
will spend the night in the forest of Arabia.
14 Bring water for the thirsty,
you inhabitants of the land of Tema.
Bring food to the fugitives.
15 They flee from swords,
from swords ready to kill,
from bows ready to shoot,
and from the thick of battle.
16 This is what the Lord says to me: All of Kedar’s honor will be gone in another year. I will count it like workers count the years left on their contracts.#Hebrew meaning of this sentence uncertain.17 The remaining number of archers, Kedar’s mighty archers, will be few. The Lord God of Israel has spoken.
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