New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 21

A Prophecy Against Babylon

1Here is a prophecy against Babylon that the Lord gave me. Babylon is known as the Desert by the Sea.

An attack is coming through the desert.
    It is coming from a land of terror.
    It’s sweeping along like a windstorm blowing across the Negev Desert.

I have seen a vision about something terrible that will happen.
    People are turning against Babylon.
    Robbers are taking its goods.
Elamites, attack the city! Medes, surround it!
    The Lord will put an end to all the suffering Babylon has caused.

The vision fills my body with pain.
    Pains take hold of me.
    They are like the pains of a woman having a baby.
I am shaken by what I hear.
    I’m terrified by what I see.
My heart grows weak.
    Fear makes me tremble.
I longed for evening to come.
    But it brought me horror instead of rest.

In my vision the Babylonians set the tables.
    They spread out the rugs.
    They eat and drink.
Get up, you officers!
    Rub your shields with oil!

The Lord said to me,

“Go. Put a guard on duty on Jerusalem’s walls.
    Have him report what he sees.
Tell him to watch for chariots
    that are pulled by teams of horses.
Tell him to watch for men riding on donkeys or camels.
    Make sure he stays awake.
    Make sure he stays wide awake.”

“My master!” the guard shouts back.

“Day after day I stand here on the lookout tower.
    Every night I stay here on duty.
Look! Here comes a man in a chariot!
    It’s being pulled by a team of horses.
He’s calling out the news,
    ‘Babylon has fallen! It has fallen!
All the statues of its gods
    lie broken in pieces on the ground!’ ”

10 My people, you have been crushed
    like grain on a threshing floor.
But now I’m telling you the good news I’ve heard.
    It comes from the Lord who rules over all.
    He is the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11 Here is a prophecy against Edom that the Lord gave me.

Someone is calling out to me from the land of Seir. He says,
    “Guard, when will the night be over?
    Guard, how soon will it end?”
12 The guard answers,
    “Morning is coming, but the night will return.
If you want to ask again,
    come back and ask.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13 Here is a prophecy against Arabia that the Lord gave me.

He told me to give orders to traders from Dedan.
    They were camping in the bushes of Arabia.
14     I told them to bring water for those who are thirsty.
I also gave orders to those who live in Tema.
    I told them to bring food for those who are running away.
15 They are running away from where the fighting is heaviest.
    That’s where the swords are ready to strike.
    That’s where the bows are ready to shoot.

16 The Lord spoke to me. He said, “In exactly one year, Kedar’s splendor will come to an end. 17 Only a few of Kedar’s soldiers who shoot arrows will be left alive.” The Lord has spoken. He is the God of Israel.