Isaiah 21

A Prophecy Against Babylon

1A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea:

Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,

an invader comes from the desert,

from a land of terror.

2A dire vision has been shown to me:

The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot.

Elam, attack! Media, lay siege!

I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

3At this my body is racked with pain,

pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor;

I am staggered by what I hear,

I am bewildered by what I see.

4My heart falters,

fear makes me tremble;

the twilight I longed for

has become a horror to me.

5They set the tables,

they spread the rugs,

they eat, they drink!

Get up, you officers,

oil the shields!

6This is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, post a lookout

and have him report what he sees.

7When he sees chariots

with teams of horses,

riders on donkeys

or riders on camels,

let him be alert,

fully alert.”

8And the lookout shouted,

“Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;

every night I stay at my post.

9Look, here comes a man in a chariot

with a team of horses.

And he gives back the answer:

‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen!

All the images of its gods

lie shattered on the ground!’ ”

10My people who are crushed on the threshing floor,

I tell you what I have heard

from the Lord Almighty,

from the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11A prophecy against Dumah:

Someone calls to me from Seir,

“Watchman, what is left of the night?

Watchman, what is left of the night?”

12The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but also the night.

If you would ask, then ask;

and come back yet again.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13A prophecy against Arabia:

You caravans of Dedanites,

who camp in the thickets of Arabia,

14bring water for the thirsty;

you who live in Tema,

bring food for the fugitives.

15They flee from the sword,

from the drawn sword,

from the bent bow

and from the heat of battle.

16This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.