Isaiah 21Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia
21 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
it comes from the desert,
from a terrible land.
2 A stern vision is told to me;
the plunderer plunders,
and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, O Elam,
lay siege, O Media;
all the sighing she has caused
I bring to an end.
3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
pangs have seized me,
like the pangs of a woman in travail;
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear,
I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
4 My mind reels, horror has appalled me;
the twilight I longed for
has been turned for me into trembling.
5 They prepare the table,
they spread the rugs,
they eat, they drink.
Arise, O princes,
oil the shield!
6 For thus the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman,
let him announce what he sees.
7 When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
riders on asses, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
8 Then he who saw cried:
“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
9 And behold, here come riders,
horsemen in pairs!”
And he answered,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
and all the images of her gods
he has shattered to the ground.”
10 O my threshed and winnowed one,
what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel, I announce to you.
11 The oracle concerning Dumah.
One is calling to me from Se′ir,
“Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman, what of the night?”
12 The watchman says:
“Morning comes, and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
come back again.”
13 The oracle concerning Arabia.
In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge,
O caravans of De′danites.
14 To the thirsty bring water,
meet the fugitive with bread,
O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
and from the press of battle.
16 For thus the Lord said to me, “Within a year, according to the years of a hireling, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17 and the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.”
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.