Isaiah 21

God’s Message to Babylon

21 This is a message about the Desert by the Sea:[a]

Disaster is coming from the desert
like wind blowing in the south.
It is coming from a terrible country.
2 I have seen a terrible vision.
I see traitors turning against you
and people taking your wealth.

Elam, attack the people!
Media, surround the city and attack it!
I will bring an end to the pain the city causes.

3 I saw those terrible things, and now I am in pain;
my pains are like the pains of giving birth.
What I hear makes me very afraid;
what I see causes me to shake with fear.
4 I am worried,
and I am shaking with fear.
My pleasant evening
has become a night of fear.

5 They set the table;
they spread the rugs;
they eat and drink.
Leaders, stand up.
Prepare the shields for battle!

6 The Lord said to me,
“Go, place a lookout for the city
and have him report what he sees.
7 If he sees chariots and teams of horses,
donkeys, or camels,
he should pay very close attention.”

8 Then the lookout called out,
“My master, each day I stand in the watchtower watching;
every night I have been on guard.
9 Look, I see a man coming in a chariot
with a team of horses.”
The man gives back the answer,
“Babylon has fallen. It has fallen!
All the statues of her gods
lie broken on the ground.”
10 My people are crushed like grain on the threshing floor.
My people, I tell you what I have heard
from the Lord All-Powerful,
from the God of Israel.

God’s Message to Edom

11 This is a message about Dumah:[b]

Someone calls to me from Edom,
“Watchman, how much of the night is left?
Watchman, how much longer will it be night?”
12 The watchman answers,
“Morning is coming, but then night will come again.
If you have something to ask,
then come back and ask.”

God’s Message to Arabia

13 This is a message about Arabia:

A group of traders from Dedan
spent the night near some trees in Arabia.
14 They gave water to thirsty travelers;
the people of Tema gave food
to those who were escaping.
15 They were running from swords,
from swords ready to kill,
from bows ready to shoot,
from a hard battle.

16 This is what the Lord said to me: “In one year all the glory of the country of Kedar will be gone. (This is a year as a hired helper counts time.) 17 At that time only a few of the archers, the soldiers of Kedar, will be left alive.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.


  1. 21:1 Desert by the Sea Probably Babylon.
  2. 21:11 Dumah Another name for Edom.

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