21 This is a ·message [prophecy; oracle; burden] about the Desert by the Sea [C probably Babylon (v. 9), though an unusual description of it]:
·Disaster [or An invader; L It] is coming from the desert like ·wind [whirlwinds] blowing in the ·south [or Negev]. It is coming from a terrible country. 2 I have seen a ·terrible [terrifying; dire; distressing] vision. ·I see traitors turning against you [L The betrayer betrays] ·and people taking your wealth [the destroyer destroys; or the looter loots].
Elam, ·attack the people [L go up; C Elam sounds like the Hebrew for “go up”]! Media, ·surround the city and attack it [besiege]! I will bring an end to ·the pain the city causes [L all the groaning].
3 ·I saw those terrible things, and now [L For this reason; At this] ·I am in pain [my loins/stomach are filled with pain]; my pains ·are [seize me] like the pains of giving birth. What I hear ·makes me very afraid [distresses/staggers me]; what I see ·causes me to shake with fear [bewilders/horrifies me]. 4 ·I am worried [My heart reels/falters/wanders], and I am shaking with fear. ·My pleasant evening [L The twilight/evening I longed for] has become a night of ·fear [trembling].
5 They ·set [prepared] the table; they ·spread the rugs [or post a watchman]; they eat and drink. Leaders, ·stand up [arise]. ·Prepare the shields for battle [L Anoint/oil the shield; C preparation for battle]!
6 The Lord said to me, “Go, place a ·lookout [guard; watchman] for the city and have him report what he sees. 7 ·If [or When] he sees chariots and teams of horses, riders on donkeys, or riders on camels, he should ·pay very close attention [L be alert, very alert].”
8 Then the lookout[a] called out, “My master, each day I stand in the watchtower watching; every night I ·have been on guard [stand at my post]. 9 Look, I see a man coming in a chariot with a team of horses.” The man gives back the answer, “Babylon has fallen. It has fallen [Jer. 51:8; Rev. 14:8; 18:2]! All the ·statues [idols; carved images] of her gods lie ·broken [shattered] on the ground.” 10 My ·people are crushed like grain on the threshing floor [L trampled one, and son of the threshing floor]. My people, I tell you what I have heard from the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], from the God of Israel.
God’s Message to Edom
11 This is a ·message [prophecy; oracle; burden] about Dumah [C another name for Edom, meaning “silence” or “stillness”]:
Someone calls to me from ·Edom [L Seir], “Watchman, how much of the night is left? Watchman, how much longer will it be night?” 12 The watchman answers, “Morning is coming, but then night will come again. If you ·have something to ask [wish to ask], then come back and ask.”
God’s Message to Arabia
13 This is a ·message [prophecy; oracle; burden] about Arabia:
You ·traders [caravans] from Dedan who spent the night ·near some trees in [in the thickets of] Arabia. 14 Bring water to thirsty travelers; you people of Tema, give food to ·those who were escaping [the fugitives]. 15 They ·were running [flee] from swords, from ·swords ready to kill [L the drawn sword], from ·bows ready to shoot [the bent bow], from ·a hard [the distress/terrors/hardship of] battle.
16 This is what the Lord said to me: “Within a year all the ·glory [splendor] of the country of Kedar will be gone. (This is a year as a hired helper counts time [C carefully calculated; 16:14].) 17 ·At that time [L In that day] only a few of the archers, the ·soldiers [warriors; mighty men] of [L the sons of] Kedar, will be left alive.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
Isaiah 21:8lookout The Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac copies read “lookout.” Some Hebrew copies read “the lion.”
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