Isaiah 21 NIV

A Prophecy Against Babylon

1 An oracle1 concerning the Desert2 by the Sea: Like whirlwinds3 sweeping through the southland,4 an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror.

References for Isaiah 21:1

2 A dire5 vision has been shown to me: The traitor betrays,6 the looter takes loot. Elam,7 attack! Media,8 lay siege! I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

References for Isaiah 21:2

3 At this my body is racked with pain,9 pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor;10 I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered11 by what I see.

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4 My heart12 falters, fear makes me tremble;13 the twilight I longed for has become a horror14 to me.

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5 They set the tables, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink!15 Get up, you officers, oil the shields!16

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6 This is what the Lord says to me: "Go, post a lookout17 and have him report what he sees.

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7 When he sees chariots18 with teams of horses, riders on donkeys or riders on camels,19 let him be alert, fully alert."

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      8 And the lookouta20 shouted, "Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post.

      References for Isaiah 21:8

        • a 21:8 - Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text "A lion"
          9 Look, here comes a man in a chariot21 with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: 'Babylon22 has fallen,23 has fallen! All the images of its gods24 lie shattered25 on the ground!' "

          References for Isaiah 21:9

          10 O my people, crushed on the threshing floor,26 I tell you what I have heard from the LORD Almighty, from the God of Israel.

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          A Prophecy Against Edom

          11 An oracle concerning Dumahb:27 Someone calls to me from Seir,28 "Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?"

          References for Isaiah 21:11

            • b 21:11 - "Dumah" means "silence" or "stillness," a wordplay on "Edom."
              12 The watchman replies, "Morning is coming, but also the night. If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again."

              A Prophecy Against Arabia

              13 An oracle29 concerning Arabia:30 You caravans of Dedanites,31 who camp in the thickets of Arabia,

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              14 bring water for the thirsty; you who live in Tema,32 bring food for the fugitives.

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              15 They flee33 from the sword,34 from the drawn sword, from the bent bow and from the heat of battle.

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              16 This is what the Lord says to me: "Within one year, as a servant bound by contract35 would count it, all the pomp36 of Kedar37 will come to an end.

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              17 The survivors of the bowmen, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.38" The LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.39

              References for Isaiah 21:17