Isaiah 21

The Lord Will Judge Babylon

21:1 Here is a message about the Desert by the Sea:1

Like strong winds blowing in the south,2

one invades from the desert,

from a land that is feared.

21:2 I have received a distressing message:3

“The deceiver deceives,

the destroyer destroys.

Attack, you Elamites!

Lay siege, you Medes!

I will put an end to all the groaning!”4

21:3 For this reason my stomach churns;5

cramps overwhelm me

like the contractions of a woman in labor.

I am disturbed6 by what I hear,

horrified by what I see.

21:4 My heart palpitates,7

I shake in fear;8

the twilight I desired

has brought me terror.

21:5 Arrange the table,

lay out9 the carpet,

eat and drink!10

Get up, you officers,

smear oil on the shields!11

21:6 For this is what the sovereign master12 has told me:

“Go, post a guard!

He must report what he sees.

21:7 When he sees chariots,

teams of horses,13

riders on donkeys,

riders on camels,

he must be alert,

very alert.”

21:8 Then the guard14 cries out:

“On the watchtower, O sovereign master,15

I stand all day long;

at my post

I am stationed every night.

21:9 Look what’s coming!

A charioteer,

a team of horses.”16

When questioned, he replies,17

“Babylon has fallen, fallen!

All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”

21:10 O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor,18

what I have heard

from the Lord who commands armies,

the God of Israel,

I have reported to you.

Bad News for Seir

21:11 Here is a message about Dumah:19

Someone calls to me from Seir,20

“Watchman, what is left of the night?

Watchman, what is left of the night?”21

21:12 The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but then night.22

If you want to ask, ask;

come back again.”23

The Lord Will Judge Arabia

21:13 Here is a message about Arabia:

In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night,

you Dedanite caravans.

21:14 Bring out some water for the thirsty.

You who live in the land of Tema,

bring some food for the fugitives.

21:15 For they flee from the swords –

from the drawn sword

and from the battle-ready bow

and from the severity of the battle.

21:16 For this is what the sovereign master24 has told me: “Within exactly one year25 all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 21:17 Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.”26 Indeed,27 the Lord God of Israel has spoken.

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