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A Prophecy concerning Babylon

21 Here is a prophecy concerning Babylon, the Desert by the Sea:[a]

    As whirlwinds rushing in from the southland,
    an invader[b] comes in from the desert, from a land to be feared.
A terrifying revelation has been given to me:
    The betrayer betrays; the destroyer destroys.
    Arise, you Elamites![c] Lay siege you Medes![d]
    I will put an end
    to all the grief she brought to the nations.
There’s a churning deep inside me,
    like labor pains of a woman about to give birth.
    I’m too anguished by what I hear
    and too frightened by what I see.[e]

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  1. Isaiah 21:1 That is, by the Persian Gulf.
  2. Isaiah 21:1 Or “disaster.”
  3. Isaiah 21:2 Elam (“hidden, concealed”) is the modern-day coastal area of Iran. Media (“middle-land”) is the north-central region of Iran. Both regions made up a major portion of the Persian empire, which destroyed Babylon in 539.
  4. Isaiah 21:2 It is as though God is commanding Babylon’s enemies to betray and destroy her. This prophecy was given to Isaiah two hundred years before it took place.
  5. Isaiah 21:3 Or “too anguished to hear, too frightened to see.”