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Chapter 21

Fall of Babylon[a]

    Oracle on the wastelands by the sea:[b]
Like whirlwinds sweeping through the Negeb,
    it comes from the desert,
    from the fearful land.(A)
A harsh vision has been announced to me:
    “The traitor betrays,
    the despoiler spoils.(B)
Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media;[c]
    put an end to all its groaning!”(C)
Therefore my loins are filled with anguish,
    pangs have seized me like those of a woman in labor;
I am too bewildered to hear,
    too dismayed to look.(D)

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  1. 21:1–10 This oracle against Babylon is probably to be dated to the period just before the fall of Babylon to the Persians in 539 B.C. (v. 9).
  2. 21:1 Wastelands by the sea: Babylonia. Negeb: the wilderness south of Judah.
  3. 21:2 Elam…Media: nations which, under the leadership of Cyrus, captured Babylon in 539 B.C. End to all its groaning: those who were captive of Babylon will be freed.