Isaiah 21 (New Revised Standard)

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1 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on, it comes from the desert, from a terrible land. 2 A stern vision is told to me; the betrayer betrays, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, O Elam, lay siege, O Media; all the sighing she has caused I bring to an end. 3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labor; I am bowed down so that I cannot hear, I am dismayed so that I cannot see. 4 My mind reels, horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling. 5 They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Rise up, commanders, oil the shield! 6 For thus the Lord said to me: "Go, post a lookout, let him announce what he sees. 7 When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him listen diligently, very diligently." 8 Then the watcher a called out: "Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed throughout the night. 9 Look, there they come, riders, horsemen in pairs!" Then he responded, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of her gods lie shattered on the ground." 10 O my threshed and winnowed one, what I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you. 11 The oracle concerning Dumah. One is calling to me from Seir, "Sentinel, what of the night? Sentinel, what of the night?" 12 The sentinel says: "Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again." 13 The oracle concerning the desert plain. In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge, O caravans of Dedanites. 14 Bring water to the thirsty, meet the fugitive with bread, O inhabitants of the land of Tema. 15 For they have fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the stress of battle. 16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17 and the remaining bows of Kedar's warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
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