21 The [a]oracle concerning the [b]wilderness of the sea.
As windstorms in the [c]Negev sweep on, It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land. 2 A harsh vision has been shown to me; The treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys. Go up, Elam, lay siege, Media; I have made an end of all [d]the groaning she has caused. 3 For this reason my loins are full of anguish; Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in labor. I am so bewildered I cannot hear, so terrified I cannot see. 4 My [e]mind reels, [f]horror overwhelms me; The twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling. 5 They set the table, they [g]spread out the cloth, they eat, they drink; “Rise up, captains, oil the shields,”
6 For thus the Lord says to me,
“Go, station the lookout, let him report what he sees. 7 “When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, A train of donkeys, a train of camels, Let him pay close attention, very close attention.”
“O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower, And I am stationed every night at my guard post. 9 “Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.” And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; And all the images of her gods [i]are shattered on the ground.” 10 O my threshed people, and my [j]afflicted of the threshing floor! What I have heard from the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel, I make known to you.
One keeps calling to me from Seir, “Watchman, [m]how far gone is the night? Watchman, [n]how far gone is the night?” 12 The watchman says, “Morning comes but also night. If you would inquire, inquire; Come back again.”
In the thickets of Arabia you [p]must spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. 14 Bring water [q]for the thirsty, O inhabitants of the land of Tema, Meet the fugitive with bread. 15 For they have fled from the swords, From the drawn sword, and from the bent bow And from the press of battle.
16 For thus the Lord said to me, “In a year, as [r]a hired man would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will terminate;17 and the remainder of the number of bowmen, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few; for the Lord God of Israel has spoken.”
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