Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror.
2 A 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.
3 At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see. 4 My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me.
5 They set the tables, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink! Get up, you officers, oil the shields!
6 This is what the Lord says to me:
“Go, post a lookout and have him report what he sees. 7 When he sees chariots with teams of horses, riders on donkeys or riders on camels, let him be alert, fully alert.”
“Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post. 9 Look, 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!’”
10 My people who are crushed on the threshing floor, I tell you what I have heard from the Lord Almighty, from the God of Israel.
Someone calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” 12 The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but also the night. If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.”
A Prophecy Against Arabia
13 A prophecy against Arabia:
You caravans of Dedanites, who camp in the thickets of Arabia, 14 bring water for the thirsty; you who live in Tema, bring food for the fugitives. 15 They flee from the sword, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow and from the heat of battle.
16 This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end.17 The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
Isaiah 21:8Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion
Isaiah 21:11Dumah, a wordplay on Edom, means silence or stillness.
What troubles you now, that you have all gone up on the roofs, 2 you town so full of commotion, you city of tumult and revelry? Your slain were not killed by the sword, nor did they die in battle. 3 All your leaders have fled together; they have been captured without using the bow. All you who were caught were taken prisoner together, having fled while the enemy was still far away. 4 Therefore I said, “Turn away from me; let me weep bitterly. Do not try to console me over the destruction of my people.”
5 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, has a day of tumult and trampling and terror in the Valley of Vision, a day of battering down walls and of crying out to the mountains. 6 Elam takes up the quiver, with her charioteers and horses; Kir uncovers the shield. 7 Your choicest valleys are full of chariots, and horsemen are posted at the city gates.
8 The Lord stripped away the defenses of Judah, and you looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest. 9 You saw that the walls of the City of David were broken through in many places; you stored up water in the Lower Pool. 10 You counted the buildings in Jerusalem and tore down houses to strengthen the wall. 11 You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.
12 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth. 13 But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!”
14 The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: “Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for,” says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
15 This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:
“Go, say to this steward, to Shebna the palace administrator: 16 What are you doing here and who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock?
17 “Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, you mighty man. 18 He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die and there the chariots you were so proud of will become a disgrace to your master’s house. 19 I will depose you from your office, and you will be ousted from your position.
20 “In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah.21 I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah.22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.23 I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat[a] of honor for the house of his father.24 All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots—all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.
25 “In that day,” declares the Lord Almighty, “the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.” The Lord has spoken.
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