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Isaiah 21 (The Message)

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1 A Message concerning the desert at the sea: As tempests drive through the Negev Desert, coming out of the desert, that terror-filled place, 2 A hard vision is given me: The betrayer betrayed, the plunderer plundered. Attack, Elam! Lay siege, Media! Persians, attack! Attack, Babylon! I'll put an end to all the moaning and groaning. 3 Because of this news I'm doubled up in pain, writhing in pain like a woman having a baby, Baffled by what I hear, undone by what I see. 4 Absolutely stunned, horror-stricken, I had hoped for a relaxed evening, but it has turned into a nightmare. 5 The banquet is spread, the guests reclining in luxurious ease, Eating and drinking, having a good time, and then, "To arms, princes! The fight is on!" 6 The Master told me, "Go, post a lookout. Have him report whatever he spots. 7 When he sees horses and wagons in battle formation, lines of donkeys and columns of camels, Tell him to keep his ear to the ground, note every whisper, every rumor." 8 Just then, the lookout shouted, "I'm at my post, Master, Sticking to my post day after day and all through the night! 9 I watched them come, the horses and wagons in battle formation. I heard them call out the war news in headlines: 'Babylon fallen! Fallen! And all its precious god-idols smashed to pieces on the ground.'" 10 Dear Israel, you've been through a lot, you've been put through the mill. The good news I get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, I now pass on to you. 11 A Message concerning Edom: A voice calls to me from the Seir mountains in Edom, "Night watchman! How long till daybreak? How long will this night last?" 12 The night watchman calls back, "Morning's coming, But for now it's still night. If you ask me again, I'll give the same answer." 13 A Message concerning Arabia: You'll have to camp out in the desert badlands, you caravans of Dedanites. 14 Haul water to the thirsty, greet fugitives with bread. Show your desert hospitality, you who live in Tema. 15 The desert's swarming with refugees escaping the horrors of war. 16 The Master told me, "Hang on. Within one year - I'll sign a contract on it! - the arrogant brutality of Kedar, those hooligans of the desert, will be over, 17 nothing much left of the Kedar toughs." The God of Israel says so.
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