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A Prophecy Against Babylon

21 Here is a prophecy against Babylon that the Lord gave me. Babylon is known as the Desert by the Sea.

An attack is coming through the desert.
    It is coming from a land of terror.
    It’s sweeping along like a windstorm blowing across the Negev Desert.

I have seen a vision about something terrible that will happen.
    People are turning against Babylon.
    Robbers are taking its goods.
Elamites, attack the city! Medes, surround it!
    The Lord will put an end to all the suffering Babylon has caused.

The vision fills my body with pain.
    Pains take hold of me.
    They are like the pains of a woman having a baby.
I am shaken by what I hear.
    I’m terrified by what I see.
My heart grows weak.
    Fear makes me tremble.
I longed for evening to come.
    But it brought me horror instead of rest.

In my vision the Babylonians set the tables.
    They spread out the rugs.
    They eat and drink.
Get up, you officers!
    Rub your shields with oil!

The Lord said to me,

“Go. Put a guard on duty on Jerusalem’s walls.
    Have him report what he sees.
Tell him to watch for chariots
    that are pulled by teams of horses.
Tell him to watch for men riding on donkeys or camels.
    Make sure he stays awake.
    Make sure he stays wide awake.”

“My master!” the guard shouts back.

“Day after day I stand here on the lookout tower.
    Every night I stay here on duty.
Look! Here comes a man in a chariot!
    It’s being pulled by a team of horses.
He’s calling out the news,
    ‘Babylon has fallen! It has fallen!
All the statues of its gods
    lie broken in pieces on the ground!’ ”

10 My people, you have been crushed
    like grain on a threshing floor.
But now I’m telling you the good news I’ve heard.
    It comes from the Lord who rules over all.
    He is the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11 Here is a prophecy against Edom that the Lord gave me.

Someone is calling out to me from the land of Seir. He says,
    “Guard, when will the night be over?
    Guard, how soon will it end?”
12 The guard answers,
    “Morning is coming, but the night will return.
If you want to ask again,
    come back and ask.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13 Here is a prophecy against Arabia that the Lord gave me.

He told me to give orders to traders from Dedan.
    They were camping in the bushes of Arabia.
14     I told them to bring water for those who are thirsty.
I also gave orders to those who live in Tema.
    I told them to bring food for those who are running away.
15 They are running away from where the fighting is heaviest.
    That’s where the swords are ready to strike.
    That’s where the bows are ready to shoot.

16 The Lord spoke to me. He said, “In exactly one year, Kedar’s splendor will come to an end. 17 Only a few of Kedar’s soldiers who shoot arrows will be left alive.” The Lord has spoken. He is the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Babylon

21 A prophecy(A) against the Desert(B) by the Sea:

Like whirlwinds(C) sweeping through the southland,(D)
    an invader comes from the desert,
    from a land of terror.

A dire(E) vision has been shown to me:
    The traitor betrays,(F) the looter takes loot.
Elam,(G) attack! Media,(H) lay siege!
    I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

At this my body is racked with pain,(I)
    pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor;(J)
I am staggered by what I hear,
    I am bewildered(K) by what I see.
My heart(L) falters,
    fear makes me tremble;(M)
the twilight I longed for
    has become a horror(N) to me.

They set the tables,
    they spread the rugs,
    they eat, they drink!(O)
Get up, you officers,
    oil the shields!(P)

This is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, post a lookout(Q)
    and have him report what he sees.
When he sees chariots(R)
    with teams of horses,
riders on donkeys
    or riders on camels,(S)
let him be alert,
    fully alert.”

And the lookout[a](T) shouted,

“Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;
    every night I stay at my post.
Look, here comes a man in a chariot(U)
    with a team of horses.
And he gives back the answer:
    ‘Babylon(V) has fallen,(W) has fallen!
All the images of its gods(X)
    lie shattered(Y) on the ground!’”

10 My people who are crushed on the threshing floor,(Z)
    I tell you what I have heard
from the Lord Almighty,
    from the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11 A prophecy against Dumah[b]:(AA)

Someone calls to me from Seir,(AB)
    “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(AC) against Arabia:(AD)

You caravans of Dedanites,(AE)
    who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
14     bring water for the thirsty;
you who live in Tema,(AF)
    bring food for the fugitives.
15 They flee(AG) from the sword,(AH)
    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(AI) would count it, all the splendor(AJ) of Kedar(AK) will come to an end. 17 The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.(AL)” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.(AM)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 21:8 Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion
  2. Isaiah 21:11 Dumah, a wordplay on Edom, means silence or stillness.

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