21 A message[a] concerning the pasture[b] by the Sea.
“Like whirlwinds in the Negev[c] sweep on, it comes from the desert, from a distant[d] land. 2 A dire vision has been announced to me: the traitor betrays, and the plunderer takes loot. Get up, Elam! Attack, Media! I am putting a stop to all the groaning she has caused. 3 Therefore my body is[e] racked with pain; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labor; I am so upset that I cannot hear; I am so frightened that I cannot see while I’m reeling around.[f] 4 And as for my heart,[g] horror has terrified me; the twilight I longed for has started to make me tremble. 5 They set the tables; they spread the carpets;[h] they eat, they drink!
Get up, you officers! Oil the shields!”
The Fall of Babylon
6 For this is what the Lord told me:
“Go post a lookout. Have him report what he sees. 7 When he sees chariots, each man[i] with a pair of horses, riders on donkeys or riders on[j] camels, let him pay attention, full attention.”
8 Then the lookout[k] shouted: “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and I am stationed at my post throughout the night.
9 Look! Here come riders,[l] each man with a pair of horses!” They’re shouting out the answer: “Babylon has fallen, has fallen, and they have shattered all the images of her gods[m] on the ground! 10 O my downtrodden people,[n] my wall![o] I’ll tell you what I have heard from the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel.”
“Someone is calling to me from Seir: ‘Watchman, what is left of the night?[q] Watchman, what is left of the night?’[r] 12 The watchman replies: ‘Morning is coming, but also the night. If you want to ask, then ask; come back again.’”
“You will camp in the thickets in Arabia, you caravans of the Dedanites. 14 Bring water for the thirsty, you who live in the land of Tema. Meet the fugitive with bread,[t] 15 For he has fled[u] from swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the heat of battle.”
16 For this is what the Lord[v] is saying to me: “Within three years,[w] according to the years of a contract worker,[x] the pomp[y] of Kedar will come to an end. 17 And there will be few archers, those who are descendants of Kedar, who survive, because the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.”
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