Isaiah 21

Babylon's Fall Predicted

.1 ¶ The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.
 2  A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.
.3  Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.
.4.My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
 5  Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
  1-10 - Babylon's double fall See  re1408d-is.
  1 - Burden See on is1301.
  1 - Desert of the sea Babylon, not mentioned, was in a desert area as an island in the sea.
  2 - Elam Which became Persia. Median-Persia was the nation which was to follow Babylon as represented in the statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream da0239, da0820.
  3 - Loins ... pain The prophet is shown not only by vision (what he saw) v2 but by pain, dismay, and fear. On other occasions the Holy Spirit communicated with prophets in ways like these re1010, re0504, da10-intro.
  4 - Night of my pleasure ... fear Whose experience was revealed by the feelings given the prophet? Remember that we are discussing an attack on Babylon. v5 continues the idea.
 6  For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
 7  And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:
 8  And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
 9  And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
.10  O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.
  - Much of this is explained in connection with Daniel 5. See da05-is.
.11 ¶ The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?
 12  The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.
 13 ¶ The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.
.14  The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.
 15  For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.
 16  For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail:
 17  And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it.
11 - Dumah "A tribe and country of the Ishmaelites in Arabia, Ge 25:14; 1Ch 1:30.  This is doubtless the same which is still called by the Arabs 'Duma the stony' and 'the Syrian Duma,' situated on the confines of the Arabian and Syrian desert, with a fortress." (American Tract Society Dictionary)
  11 - Watchman For whatever meaning this scene has for the time it was written, it is certainly an appeal to us who live at the end of our time on earth. Our world is changing rapidly and not for the better.

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