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. 4 My head spins; I’m horrified! Early evening, my favorite time, has become a nightmare.
5 In Babylon the high officials were having a feast. They were eating and drinking, when someone shouted, “Officers, take your places! Grab your shields.”
6 The Lord said to me, “Send guards to find out what’s going on. 7 When they see cavalry troops and columns of soldiers on donkeys and camels, tell them to be ready!”
8 Then a guard[d] said, “I have stood day and night on this watchtower, Lord. 9 Now I see column after column of cavalry troops.”
Right away someone shouted, “Babylon has fallen! Every idol in the city lies broken on the ground.”
10 Then I said, “My people, you have suffered terribly, but I have a message for you from the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel.”
How Much Longer?
11 This is a message about Dumah: From the country of Seir,[e] someone shouts to me, “Guard, how much longer before daylight?”
12 From my guard post, I answered, “Morning will soon be here, but night will return. If you want to know more, come back later.”
13 This is a message for Arabs who live in the barren desert in the region of Dedan:[f] You must order your caravans 14 to bring water for those who are thirsty. You people of Tema[g] must bring food for the hungry refugees. 15 They are worn out and weary from being chased by enemies with swords and arrows.
16 The Lord said to me:
A year from now the glory of the people of Kedar[h] will all come to an end, just as a worker’s contract ends after a year. 17 Only a few of their warriors will be left with bows and arrows. This is a promise that I, the Lord God of Israel, have made.
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.
21.8guard: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text has “lion.”
21.11Dumah. . . Seir: Dumah was an oasis in the Arabian desert. One ancient translation has “Edom,” which may be what is meant. Seir is a mountainous region of Edom southwest of the Dead Sea.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!