Add parallel Print Page Options

The Fall of Babylon

21 The oracle of the wilderness of the sea:

As storm winds passing over in the Negev,

it comes[a] from the desert,
    from a frightful land.

A hard revelation is told to me;

the treacherous deals treacherously,
    and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, Elam;
    lay siege, Media!

I put an end to all of her sighing.

Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
    pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman giving birth.
I am too bent to hear,[b]
    I am too dismayed to see.[c]
My mind[d] staggers; fear terrifies me;
    the twilight I desired[e] brought[f] me fear.
Set out the table in order!
    Spread out the rugs![g]
    Eat! drink!
Rise up, commanders;
    smear[h] the shield!

For the Lord said this to me:

“Go, set a watchman in position.
    He must announce what he sees.
When[i] he sees riders,[j]
    a pair of horsemen,
riders[k] of donkeys,[l]
    riders[m] of camels,[n]
then[o] he must listen attentively,
    paying attention, paying special[p] attention.”

Then[q] the watchman[r] called,

“Lord, I am standing on the watchtower continually by day,
    and I am standing at my post throughout[s] the night.
And look at this! A man’s a chariot is coming,
    a pair of horsemen!”

Then[t] he responded and said,

“It has fallen! Babylon has fallen!
    And all the images of her gods are[u] smashed on the ground!”
10 My downtrodden people
    and the son of my threshing floor,

I will announce to you what I have heard from Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel.

Oracle regarding Dumah

11 The oracle of Dumah:

One is calling to me from Seir,

“Watchman, what of[v] the night?
    Watchman, what of[w] the night?”

12 The watchman says,

“Morning comes,
    and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
    come back again.”[x]

Oracle against Arabia

13 An oracle concerning[y] Arabia:

You will spend the night in the thicket in a desert-plateau,[z]
    caravans of Dedanites.
14 When you happen to meet[aa] the thirsty, bring water.
    Inhabitants of the land of Tema came to meet the fugitive with his bread.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
    from the drawn sword and the bent bow,
    and from the heaviness of the battle.

16 For the Lord said this to me:

In one more year,[ab] like the years of a hired worker,

all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.
17     And the remainder of the number of the bows[ac] of the warriors of the sons of Kedar will be few.”

For Yahweh, the God of Israel, has spoken.


  1. Isaiah 21:1 Literally “to come”
  2. Isaiah 21:3 Literally “bent from hearing,” which could also mean “bent because of what I heard”
  3. Isaiah 21:3 Literally “dismayed from seeing,” which could also mean “dismayed because of what I saw”
  4. Isaiah 21:4 Literally “heart”
  5. Isaiah 21:4 Literally “of my desire”
  6. Isaiah 21:4 Literally “put”
  7. Isaiah 21:5 Hebrew “rug”
  8. Isaiah 21:5 That is, prepare with oil
  9. Isaiah 21:7 Or “And”
  10. Isaiah 21:7 Hebrew “rider”
  11. Isaiah 21:7 Hebrew “rider”
  12. Isaiah 21:7 Hebrew “donkey”
  13. Isaiah 21:7 Hebrew “rider”
  14. Isaiah 21:7 Hebrew “camel”
  15. Isaiah 21:7 Or “and”
  16. Isaiah 21:7 Literally “much”
  17. Isaiah 21:8 Or “And”
  18. Isaiah 21:8 Literally “lion”
  19. Isaiah 21:8 Literally “all of”
  20. Isaiah 21:9 Or “and”
  21. Isaiah 21:9 Hebrew “is”
  22. Isaiah 21:11 Literally “from”
  23. Isaiah 21:11 Literally “from”
  24. Isaiah 21:12 Literally “return come”
  25. Isaiah 21:13 Literally “in”
  26. Isaiah 21:13 The Hebrew for “in a desert-plateau” is the same as for “concerning Arabia” in the preceding line
  27. Isaiah 21:14 Literally “Toward encountering”
  28. Isaiah 21:16 Literally “In yet a year”
  29. Isaiah 21:17 Hebrew “bow”