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Isaiah 21 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

21 1 Of the destruction of Babylon by the Persians and Medes. 11 The ruin of Idumea,  13 and of Arabia.

The burden of the [a]desert sea. As the whirlwinds in the South used to pass from the wilderness, so shall it [b]come from the horrible land.

A grievous vision was showed unto me, The [c]Transgressor against a transgressor, and the destroyer against a destroyer. Go up [d]Elam, besiege Media: I have caused all the mourning [e]thereof to cease.

Therefore are my [f]loins filled with sorrow: sorrows have taken me as the sorrows of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down when I heard it, and I was amazed when I saw it.

Mine heart failed: fearfulness troubled me: the night [g]of my pleasures hath he turned into fear unto me.

Prepare thou the table: watch in the watch tower: eat, drink: [h]arise, ye princes, anoint the shield:

For thus hath the [i]Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, to tell what he seeth.

And he saw a chariot with two horsemen: [j]a chariot of an ass, and a chariot of a camel: and he hearkened and took diligent heed.

And he cried, A [k]lion: my Lord, I stand continually upon the watch tower in the daytime, and I am set in my watch every night:

And behold, this man’s chariot cometh with two horsemen. And [l]he answered and said, Babel is fallen: it is fallen, and all the images of her gods hath he broken unto the ground.

10 O [m]my threshing, and the [n]corn of my floor. That which I have heard of the Lord of hosts the God of Israel, have I showed unto you.

11 ¶ The burden of [o]Dumah, he calleth unto me out of [p]Seir, Watchman, what was in the night? Watchman, what was in the night?

12 The watchman said, The [q]morning cometh, and also the night. If ye will as he, inquire: return and come.

13 ¶ The burden against Arabia. In [r]the forest of Arabia shall ye tarry all night, even in the ways of Dedanites.

14 O inhabitants of the land of Tema, bring forth [s]water to meet the thirsty, and prevent him that fleeth with his bread.

15 For they flee from the drawn swords, even from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.

16 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Yet a year [t]according to the years of an [u]hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail.

17 And the residue of the number of the strong archers of the sons of [v]Kedar shall be few: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it.


  1. Isaiah 21:1 On the seaside between Judea and Chaldea was a wilderness, whereby he meaneth Chaldea.
  2. Isaiah 21:1 That is, the ruin of Babylon by the Medes and Persians.
  3. Isaiah 21:2 The Assyrians and Chaldeans, which had destroyed other nations, shall be overcome of the Medes and Persians: and this he prophesied an hundred years before it came to pass.
  4. Isaiah 21:2 By Elam he meaneth the Persians.
  5. Isaiah 21:2 Because they shall find no succor, they shall mourn no more, or, I have caused them to cease mourning, whom Babylon had afflicted.
  6. Isaiah 21:3 This the Prophet speaketh in the person of the Babylonians.
  7. Isaiah 21:4 He prophesieth the death of Belshazzar, as Dan. 5:30, who in the midst of his pleasures was destroyed.
  8. Isaiah 21:5 While they are eating and drinking, they shall be commanded to run to their weapons.
  9. Isaiah 21:6 To wit, in a vision by the spirit of prophecy.
  10. Isaiah 21:7 Meaning, chariots of men of war, and others that carried the baggage.
  11. Isaiah 21:8 Meaning, Darius, which overcame Babylon.
  12. Isaiah 21:9 The watchman whom Isaiah set up, told him who came toward Babylon, and the Angel declared that it should be destroyed: all this was done in a vision.
  13. Isaiah 21:10 Meaning, Babylon.
  14. Isaiah 21:10 Hebrew, son.
  15. Isaiah 21:11 Which was a city of the Ishmaelites, and was so named of Dumah, Gen. 25:14.
  16. Isaiah 21:11 A mountain of the Idumeans.
  17. Isaiah 21:12 He describeth the unquietness of the people of Dumah, who were night and day in fear of their enemies, and ever ran to and fro to inquire news.
  18. Isaiah 21:13 For fear, the Arabians shall flee into the woods, and he appointeth what way they shall take.
  19. Isaiah 21:14 Signifying, that for fear they shall not tarry to eat nor drink.
  20. Isaiah 21:16 He appointeth them respite for one year only, and then they should be destroyed.
  21. Isaiah 21:16 Read Isa. 16:14.
  22. Isaiah 21:17 Which was the name of a people of Arabia: and by the horrible destruction of all these nations, he teacheth the Jews that there is no place for refuge or to escape God’s wrath, but only to remain in his Church, and to live in his fear.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Isaiah 21 New International Version (NIV)

A Prophecy Against Babylon

21 A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea:

Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,
    an invader comes from the desert,
    from a land of terror.

A dire vision has been shown to me:
    The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot.
Elam, attack! Media, lay siege!
    I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

At this my body is racked with pain,
    pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor;
I am staggered by what I hear,
    I am bewildered by what I see.
My heart falters,
    fear makes me tremble;
the twilight I longed for
    has become a horror to me.

They set the tables,
    they spread the rugs,
    they eat, they drink!
Get up, you officers,
    oil the shields!

This is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, post a lookout
    and have him report what he sees.
When he sees chariots
    with teams of horses,
riders on donkeys
    or riders on camels,
let him be alert,
    fully alert.”

And the lookout[a] shouted,

“Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;
    every night I stay at my post.
Look, here comes a man in a chariot
    with a team of horses.
And he gives back the answer:
    ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen!
All the images of its gods
    lie shattered on the ground!’”

10 My people who are crushed on the threshing floor,
    I tell you what I have heard
from the Lord Almighty,
    from the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11 A prophecy against Dumah[b]:

Someone calls to me from Seir,
    “Watchman, what is left of the night?
    Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman replies,
    “Morning is coming, but also the night.
If you would ask, then ask;
    and come back yet again.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13 A prophecy against Arabia:

You caravans of Dedanites,
    who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
14     bring water for the thirsty;
you who live in Tema,
    bring food for the fugitives.
15 They flee from the sword,
    from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
    and from the heat of battle.

16 This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17 The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.


  1. Isaiah 21:8 Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion
  2. Isaiah 21:11 Dumah, a wordplay on Edom, means silence or stillness.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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