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Isaiah 21 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

A Judgment on Babylon

21 A pronouncement concerning the desert by the sea:

Like storms that pass over the Negev,
it comes from the desert, from the land of terror.
A troubling vision is declared to me:
“The treacherous one acts treacherously,
and the destroyer destroys.
Advance, Elam! Lay siege, you Medes!
I will put an end to all the groaning.”
Therefore I am[a] filled with anguish.
Pain grips me, like the pain of a woman in labor.
I am too perplexed to hear,
too dismayed to see.
My heart staggers;
horror terrifies me.
He has turned my last glimmer of hope[b]
into sheer terror.
Prepare a table, and spread out a carpet!
Eat and drink!
Rise up, you princes, and oil the shields!
For the Lord has said to me,
“Go, post a lookout;
let him report what he sees.
When he sees riders—
pairs of horsemen,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels—
he must pay close attention.”
Then the lookout[c] reported,
“Lord, I stand on the watchtower all day,
and I stay at my post all night.
Look, riders come—
horsemen in pairs.”
And he answered, saying,
“Babylon has fallen, has fallen.
All the images of her gods
have been shattered on the ground.”
10 My people who have been crushed
on the threshing floor,
I have declared to you
what I have heard from the Lord of Armies,
the God of Israel.

A Pronouncement against Dumah

11 A pronouncement concerning Dumah:[d]

One calls to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman said,
“Morning has come, and also night.
If you want to ask, ask!
Come back again.”

A Pronouncement against Arabia

13 A pronouncement concerning Arabia:

In the desert[e] brush
you will camp for the night,
you caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water for the thirsty.
The inhabitants of the land of Tema
meet[f] the refugees with food.
15 For they have fled from swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bow that is strung,
and from the stress of battle.

16 For the Lord said this to me: “Within one year, as a hired worker counts years, all the glory of Kedar will be gone. 17 The remaining Kedarite archers will be few in number.” For the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:3 Lit my waist is, or my insides are
  2. 21:4 Lit my twilight
  3. 21:8 DSS, Syr; MT reads Then a lion
  4. 21:11 Some Hb mss, LXX read Edom
  5. 21:13 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read desert at evening
  6. 21:14 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read meet as a command
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Isaiah 21 New International Version (NIV)

A Prophecy Against Babylon

21 A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea:

Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,
    an invader comes from the desert,
    from a land of terror.

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.

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

They set the tables,
    they spread the rugs,
    they eat, they drink!
Get up, you officers,
    oil the shields!

This is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, post a lookout
    and have him report what he sees.
When he sees chariots
    with teams of horses,
riders on donkeys
    or riders on camels,
let him be alert,
    fully alert.”

And the lookout[a] shouted,

“Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;
    every night I stay at my post.
Look, here comes a man in a chariot
    with a team of horses.
And he gives back the answer:
    ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen!
All the images of its gods
    lie shattered on the ground!’”

10 My people who are crushed on the threshing floor,
    I tell you what I have heard
from the Lord Almighty,
    from the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11 A prophecy against Dumah[b]:

Someone calls to me from Seir,
    “Watchman, what is left of the night?
    Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman replies,
    “Morning is coming, but also the night.
If you would ask, then ask;
    and come back yet again.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13 A prophecy against Arabia:

You caravans of Dedanites,
    who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
14     bring water for the thirsty;
you who live in Tema,
    bring food for the fugitives.
15 They flee from the sword,
    from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
    and from the heat of battle.

16 This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17 The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 21:8 Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion
  2. Isaiah 21:11 Dumah, a wordplay on Edom, means silence or stillness.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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