|Is 21:1 The [mournful, inspired] oracle (a burden to be carried) concerning the Desert of the Sea (the seasonally flooded plains just south of Babylon):
As windstorms in the Negev (the South) sweep through,
So it (God's judgment) comes from the desert, from [the hostile armies of] a terrifying land.
|Is 21:2 A harsh vision has been shown to me;
The treacherous one deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, Elam! Lay siege, Media!
All the groaning [caused by Babylon's ruthless oppressions] I [the LORD] have brought to an end. [Is 11:11; 13:17]
|Is 21:3 Therefore [continues Isaiah] my loins are filled with anguish;
Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in childbirth;
I am so bent and bewildered that I cannot hear, I am so terrified that I cannot see.
|Is 21:4 My mind reels, horror overwhelms me;
The twilight I longed for has been turned into fear and trembling for me. [Dan 5:1-4]
|Is 21:5 They set the table [for the doomed banquet], they spread out the cloth, they eat, they drink;
"Rise up, captains [of Belshazzar's court], oil your shields [for battle, for your enemy is at the gates]!"
|Is 21:6 This is what the Lord says to me,
"Go, station the lookout, let him report what he sees.
|Is 21:7 "When he sees a chariot, horsemen in pairs,
A train of donkeys and a train of camels,
Let him pay attention and listen closely, very closely."
|Is 21:8 And the lookout called like a lion,
"O Lord, I stand continually on the watchtower by day,
And I am stationed every night at my guard post.
|Is 21:9 "Now look! Here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs."
And one said, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
And all the carved images of her gods are shattered on the ground."
|Is 21:10 O my threshed people [Judah, who must be judged and trampled down by Babylon], my afflicted of the threshing floor.
What I have heard from the LORD of hosts,
The God of Israel, I have [joyfully] announced to you [that Babylon is to fall].
|Is 21:11 ¶ The [mournful, inspired] oracle (a burden to be carried) concerning Dumah (Edom):
Someone keeps calling to me from Seir (Edom),
"Watchman, what is left of the night [of Assyrian oppression]?
Watchman, what is left of the night? [How long until morning?]"
|Is 21:12 The watchman says,
"The morning comes [only briefly], but also [comes] the night [of Babylonian oppression].
If you would ask [of me then], ask [again, if Edom really wishes to know];
Come back again."
|Is 21:13 ¶ The [mournful, inspired] oracle (a burden to be carried) concerning Arabia:
In the thickets of Arabia you must spend the night,
Caravans of Dedanites.
|Is 21:14 Bring water for the thirsty [Dedanites],
O inhabitants of the land of Tema [in Arabia];
Meet the fugitive with bread.
|Is 21:15 For they have fled from the swords,
From the drawn sword, from the bent bow
And from the press of battle and grief of war.
|Is 21:16 ¶ For the Lord has said this to me, "Within a year, according to the years of a hired man [who will work no longer than was agreed], all the splendor of [the tribe of] Kedar will end;|
|Is 21:17 and the remainder of the number of archers, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken."|