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Isaiah 21:1-3 The Voice (VOICE)

Isaiah is given a vision of a frightening event. It comes roaring at him like a sandstorm blowing across the Negev. The vision is harsh and violent, but very real. The prophet describes this vision and the others like it as “burdens,” for it is hard to bear such bad news. This particular vision is given to the “sea of Wilderness” or Babylon; it is the second prophecy predicting Babylon’s punishment (chapters 13–14). He addresses a series of burdensome messages to other cities, nations, and peoples. What is common to all of these prophecies is that God is angry with these nations for the harsh way they treat His covenant people, and He will not just let it go. So God has decided to punish them, and He warns his prophet ahead of time what is about to happen. This message is welcome news to the Judeans who suffered beneath the cruel tyranny of these foreign powers. On the one hand, God used Judah’s enemies to accomplish His purpose. On the other, they have overstepped the limit.

21 A message about the Sea of Wilderness (Babylon):

From the desert, from a frightening land it comes
    like a raging tempest, a sandstorm in the Negev.

A vision most harsh came to me:
    The deceiver deceives,
    and the abuser abuses.
Get up and go, Elam;
    and Media, cut off supplies!
All groaning will cease; I’ve put an end to the sounds of misery.
My stomach sinks. My gut churns with pain.
    As a woman in labor wrenches and writhes, I can hardly bear the news.
I cannot hear because I’m bent over with agony.
    I cannot see because I’m deep in the fog of depression.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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