God Commands That Babylon Be Taken

21 The [a](A)oracle concerning the [b](B)wilderness of the sea.

As (C)windstorms in the [c]Negev sweep on,
It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land.
A (D)harsh vision has been shown to me;
The (E)treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys.
Go up, (F)Elam, lay siege, Media;
I have made an end of all [d]the groaning she has caused.
For this reason my (G)loins are full of anguish;
Pains have seized me like the pains of a (H)woman in labor.
I am so bewildered I cannot hear, so terrified I cannot see.
My [e]mind reels, [f]horror overwhelms me;
The twilight I longed for has been (I)turned for me into trembling.
They (J)set the table, they [g]spread out the cloth, they eat, they drink;
“Rise up, captains, oil the shields,”

For thus the Lord says to me,

“Go, station the lookout, let him (K)report what he sees.
“When he sees (L)riders, horsemen in pairs,
A train of donkeys, a train of camels,
Let him pay close attention, very close attention.”

Then [h]the lookout called,

(M)O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower,
And I am stationed every night at my guard post.
“Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.”
And one said, “(N)Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
And all the (O)images of her gods [i]are shattered on the ground.”
10 O my (P)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.

Oracles about Edom and Arabia

11 The [k]oracle concerning [l](Q)Edom.

One keeps calling to me from (R)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.”

13 The [o]oracle about (S)Arabia.

In the thickets of Arabia you [p]must spend the night,
O caravans of (T)Dedanites.
14 Bring water [q]for the thirsty,
O inhabitants of the land of (U)Tema,
Meet the fugitive with bread.
15 For they have (V)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 (W)year, as [r]a hired man would count it, all the splendor of (X)Kedar will terminate; 17 and the (Y)remainder of the number of bowmen, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few; for the Lord God of Israel (Z)has spoken.”


  1. Isaiah 21:1 Or burden of
  2. Isaiah 21:1 Or sandy wastes, sea country
  3. Isaiah 21:1 I.e. South country
  4. Isaiah 21:2 Lit her groaning
  5. Isaiah 21:4 Lit heart has wandered
  6. Isaiah 21:4 Lit shuddering
  7. Isaiah 21:5 Or spread out the rugs or possibly they arranged the seating
  8. Isaiah 21:8 So DSS; M.T. he called like a lion
  9. Isaiah 21:9 Lit he has shattered to the earth
  10. Isaiah 21:10 Lit son
  11. Isaiah 21:11 Or burden
  12. Isaiah 21:11 So the Gr; Heb Dumah, silence
  13. Isaiah 21:11 Lit what is the time of the night?
  14. Isaiah 21:11 Lit what is the time of the night?
  15. Isaiah 21:13 Or burden
  16. Isaiah 21:13 Or will spend
  17. Isaiah 21:14 Lit to meet
  18. Isaiah 21:16 Lit the years of a hireling

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