Isaiah 21:4

4 My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me.

Isaiah 21:4 in Other Translations

4 My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
4 My heart staggers; horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling.
4 My mind reels and my heart races. I longed for evening to come, but now I am terrified of the dark.
4 Absolutely stunned, horror-stricken, I had hoped for a relaxed evening, but it has turned into a nightmare.
4 My heart staggers; horror terrifies me. He has turned my last glimmer of hope into sheer terror.

Isaiah 21:4 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 21:4

My heart panted
Fluttered about, and could hardly keep its place: or, "my mind wandered" F18; like a person in distraction and confusion, that knew not what to think say or do: fearfulness affrighted me;
the terror of Cyrus's army seized him, of its irruption into the city, and of his being destroyed by it; the writing on the wall threw him into a panic, and the news of the Medes and Persians being entered the city increased it: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me;
in which he promised himself so much pleasure, at a feast he had made for his princes, wives, and concubines; either in honour of his god, as some think F19, being an annual one; or, as Josephus ben Gorion F20 says, on account of the victory he had obtained over the Medes and Persians; and so was quite secure, and never in the least thought of destruction being at hand; but in the midst of all his revelling, mirth, and jollity, the city was surprised and taken, and he slain, ( Daniel 5:1 Daniel 5:30 ) . So mystical Babylon, in the midst of her prosperity, while she is saying that she sits a queen, and knows no sorrow, her judgment and plagues shall come upon her, ( Revelation 18:7 Revelation 18:8 ) .


F18 (ybbl het) "erravit cor meum", Montanus; "errat animus meus", Junius & Tremellius; "errat cor meum", Piscator.
F19 Vid. Herodot. l. 1. c. 191. Xenophon. l. 7. c. 23.
F20 L. 1. c. 5. p. 24. Ed. Braithaupt.

Isaiah 21:4 In-Context

2 A 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.
3 At 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.
4 My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me.
5 They set the tables, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink! Get up, you officers, oil the shields!
6 This is what the Lord says to me: “Go, post a lookout and have him report what he sees.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Isaiah 7:4; Isaiah 35:4
  • 2. S Isaiah 13:8; Daniel 5:9
  • 3. S Psalms 55:5
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