The Fall of Babylon Proclaimed

21 The [a]burden against the Wilderness of the Sea.

As (A)whirlwinds in the South pass through,
So it comes from the desert, from a terrible land.
A distressing vision is declared to me;
(B)The treacherous dealer deals treacherously,
And the plunderer plunders.
(C)Go up, O Elam!
Besiege, O Media!
All its sighing I have made to cease.

Therefore (D)my loins are filled with pain;
(E)Pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor.
I was [b]distressed when I heard it;
I was dismayed when I saw it.
My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me;
(F)The night for which I longed He turned into fear for me.
(G)Prepare the table,
Set a watchman in the tower,
Eat and drink.
Arise, you princes,
Anoint the shield!

For thus has the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman,
Let him declare what he sees.”
And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen,
A chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels,
And he listened earnestly with great care.
[c]Then he cried, “A lion, my Lord!
I stand continually on the (H)watchtower in the daytime;
I have sat at my post every night.
And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!”
Then he answered and said,
(I)“Babylon is fallen, is fallen!
And (J)all the carved images of her gods
He has broken to the ground.”

10 (K)Oh, my threshing and the grain of my floor!
That which I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
The God of Israel,
I have declared to you.

Proclamation Against Edom

11 (L)The [d]burden against Dumah.

He calls to me out of (M)Seir,
“Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman, what of the night?”
12 The watchman said,
“The morning comes, and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
Return! Come back!”

Proclamation Against Arabia

13 (N)The [e]burden against Arabia.

In the forest in Arabia you will lodge,
O you traveling companies (O)of Dedanites.
14 O inhabitants of the land of Tema,
Bring water to him who is thirsty;
With their bread they met him who fled.
15 For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword,
From the bent bow, and from the distress of war.

16 For thus the Lord has said to me: “Within a year, (P)according to the year of a hired man, all the glory of (Q)Kedar will fail; 17 and the remainder of the number of archers, the mighty men of the people of Kedar, will be diminished; for the Lord God of Israel has spoken it.


  1. Isaiah 21:1 oracle, prophecy
  2. Isaiah 21:3 Lit. bowed
  3. Isaiah 21:8 DSS Then the observer cried, “My Lord!
  4. Isaiah 21:11 oracle, prophecy
  5. Isaiah 21:13 oracle, prophecy

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