Isaiah 21

Isaiah 21

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1 This message came to me concerning the land of Babylonia*: Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert, like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.1

2 I see an awesome vision: I see you plundered and destroyed. Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes, take part in the siege. Babylon will fall, and the groaning of all the nations she enslaved will end.

3 My stomach aches and burns with pain. Sharp pangs of horror are upon me, like the pangs of a woman giving birth. I grow faint when I hear what God is planning; I am blinded with dismay.

4 My mind reels; my heart races. The sleep I once enjoyed at night is now a faint memory. I lie awake, trembling.

5 Look! They are preparing a great feast. They are spreading rugs for people to sit on. Everyone is eating and drinking. Quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle! You are being attacked!

6 Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, "Put a watchman on the city wall to shout out what he sees.

7 Tell him to sound the alert when he sees chariots drawn by horses and warriors mounted on donkeys and camels."

8 Then the watchman* called out, "Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord. Night after night I have remained at my post.2

9 Now at last--look! Here come the chariots and warriors!" Then the watchman said, "Babylon is fallen! All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!"

10 O my people, threshed and winnowed, I have told you everything the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, has said.

11 This message came to me concerning Edom*: Someone from Edom* keeps calling to me, "Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?"3

12 The watchman replies, "Morning is coming, but night will soon follow. If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask."

13 This message came to me concerning Arabia: O caravans from Dedan, hide in the deserts of Arabia.

14 O people of Tema, bring food and water to these weary refugees.

15 They have fled from drawn swords and sharp arrows and the terrors of war.

16 "But within a year,"* says the Lord, "all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.4

17 Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the LORD, the God of Israel, have spoken!"

Read Isaiah 22


1: Hebrew the desert of the sea.

2: As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac version; Masoretic Text reads a lion.

3: Hebrew Dumah, which means “silence” or “stillness.” It is a wordplay on the word Edom.

4: Hebrew Within a year, like the years of a hired hand. Some ancient manuscripts read Within three years, as in 16:14.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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