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,
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 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
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