“The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.
A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.
Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.
My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:
And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.
The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?
The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.
The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.
The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.
For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.
For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail:
And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it.” – Isaiah 21 (KJV)
21 An oracle about the Wilderness by the Sea.
Like windstorms that sweep through the Negev,
it comes from the wilderness,
from a terrifying place.
2 An ominous vision has been shown to me.
The betrayer betrays; the destroyer destroys.
Elam, attack! Media, lay siege![a]
I will bring all her groaning to an end.
3 That is why I am full of anguish.
Pain has taken hold of me,
like the pain of a woman in labor.
I am stunned by what I hear,
terrified by what I see.
4 My heart pounds!
I am shaking with fear.
The twilight that I longed for is making me quake with terror.
5 They prepare the table.
They spread out the luxurious carpets.
They eat. They drink.
“Officers! Get up and oil your shields!”
6 Yes, this is what the Lord said to me:
Go, post a watchman.
Have him declare what he sees.
7 When he sees chariots pulled by teams of horses,
riders on donkeys, and riders on camels,
have him listen carefully—very carefully.
8 The lookout[b] cried out:
Lord,[c] I stand on the watchtower day after day,
and every night I stay at my post.
9 Now, look! Here come men in chariots pulled by teams of horses.
Then he announced:
Fallen, fallen is Babylon!
All the images of her gods lie broken on the ground.
10 O my people, you who have been threshed like grain on my threshing floor, everything I have heard from the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, I have proclaimed to you.
A Prophecy Against Edom
11 The oracle against Dumah.[d]
Someone calls out to me from Seir,
Watchman, how much of the night remains?
Watchman, how much of the night remains?
12 The watchman said:
Morning is coming, but night is coming again.
If you want to ask, go ahead and ask.
Then return! Come back again.
A Prophecy Against Arabia
13 An oracle against Arabia.
You spend the night among the thickets of Arabia,
you caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water for the thirsty,
you who live in Tema.
Bring bread for the refugees.
15 They fled from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
and from the heat of battle.
16 This is what the Lord said to me: “Within a year, as a worker bound by contract would count it, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end, 17 and the archers who survive, the strong warriors of Kedar, will be few.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken. – Isaiah 21 (EHV)
[a] Isaiah 21:2 These countries are in present-day Iran.
[b] Isaiah 21:8 The translation follows the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and the Syriac. The Hebrew reads a lion.
[c] Isaiah 21:8 The divine name Adonai
[d] Isaiah 21:11 Dumah is a pun on the name Edom. In Hebrew dumah means silence.