21 This is a message about a desert beside the sea:[b]
Enemies from a hostile nation attack like a whirlwind from the Southern Desert. 2 What a horrible vision was shown to me— a vision of betrayal and destruction. Tell Elam and Media[c] to surround and attack the Babylonians. The Lord has sworn to end the suffering they caused.
3 I’m in terrible pain like a woman giving birth. I’m shocked and hurt so much that I can’t hear or see.
21.1Babylonia: King Cyrus and his army of Medes and Persians captured the city of Babylon in 539 B.C.
21.1This. . . sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The prophet may be speaking of Babylonia as a desert, because of the terrible punishment God will bring on it. The southern part of Babylonia on the Persian Gulf was sometimes called “the land beside the sea.”
21.2Elam and Media: People from the Iranian highlands; the capital of Elam was Susa, in the hill country east of Babylon.
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