The Vision of Isaiah

Chapter 21

The prophet, bewailing the captivity of his people, sees in a vision the fall of Babylon by the Medes and Persians, 1-10. Edom, scorning the prophet, is moved to repentance, 11, 12. The set time of Arabia's calamity, 13-17.

1 [The burden of the desert of the sea.]

As whirlwinds in the south pass through,/
so it comes from the desert, from a terrible land.

A grievous vision is declared to me./
The treacherous dealer deals treacherously/
and the destroyer destroys./
Go up, O Elam. Besiege, O Media./
All her sighing I have made to cease.

Therefore, my loins are filled with pain./
Pangs have taken hold upon me/
as the pangs of a woman who travails./
I was bowed down when I heard it./
I was dismayed when I saw it.

My heart panted, fearfulness terrified me./
The night of my pleasure/
he has turned into fear for me.

Prepare the table,/
watch in the watch-tower,/
eat, drink./
Arise, you princes,/
and anoint the shield.

For thus the Lord has said to me:/
"Go, set a watchman,/
let him declare what he sees.

And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen,/
a chariot of donkeys and a chariot of camels,/
and he listened diligently with much heed."

Then he cried as a lion,/
"My lord, I stand continually/
upon the watch-tower in the day time,/
and I am set in my ward whole nights.

And behold, here comes a chariot of men/
with a couple of horsemen."/
And he answered and said,/
"Babylon has fallen, has fallen,/
and all the engraved images of her gods/
he has broken to the ground."

10 O my threshing and the grain of my floor,/
that which I have heard from the LORD of hosts,/
the God of Israel, I have declared to you.

11 [The burden of Dumah.]

He calls to me out of Seir,/
"Watchman, what of the night?/
Watchman, what of the night?"

12 The watchman said,/
"The morning comes, and also the night./
If you will inquire, inquire. Return, come."

13 [The burden upon Arabia.]

In the forest in Arabia you shall lodge,/
O you traveling companies of Dedanim.

14 The inhabitants of the land of Tema/
brought water to him who was thirsty,/
they met with their bread him who fled.

15 For they fled from the swords,/
from the drawn sword,/
from the bent bow,/
and from the grievousness of war.

16 For thus the Lord has said to me: "Within a year, according to the years of a hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail. 17 And the remainder of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished. For the LORD God of Israel has spoken it."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 21[➚]


[v.9] - Quoted in Revelation 14:8, 18:2.