Fallen, fallen is Babylon

An oracle about the wilderness near the sea.
Like whirlwinds sweeping through the arid southern plain,
it comes from the desert, from a fearsome land.
A harsh vision was proclaimed to me:
The betrayer betrays, and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, Elam! Lay siege, Media!
Put an end to all her groaning.
Therefore, I’m shaken to my core in anguish.
Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in labor.
I’m too bent over to hear,
too dismayed to see.
My heart pounds; convulsions overpower me.
He has turned my evening of pleasure into dread—
setting the table, spreading the cloth, eating, drinking.
“Arise, captains!
Polish the shields.”
The Lord said this to me:
“Go, post a lookout to report what he sees.
When he sees chariots, pairs of horsemen,
donkey riders, camel riders,
he should listen carefully,
carefully, very carefully.”
Then the seer[a] called out:
“Upon a watchtower, Lord,
I’m standing all day;
and upon my observation post
I’m stationed throughout the night.
Here they come:
charioteers, pairs of horsemen!”
One spoke up and said,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon,
and all the images of her gods
are shattered on the ground!”
10 Oh, my downtrodden people, threshed on my threshing floor,
what I heard from the Lord of heavenly forces,
the God of Israel, I reported to you.

A mysterious dialogue

11 An oracle about Dumah.[b]
Someone is calling to me from Seir:
“Guard, how long is the night?
Guard, how long is the night?”
12 The guard said,
“Morning has come, but it is still night.
If you must inquire, inquire;
come back again.”
13 An oracle about the desert.
In the woods, in the desert where you camp,
caravans of the Dedanites 14 meet the thirsty with water;
inhabitants of the land of Tema greet the refugees with bread.
15 They have fled from swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and from the intensity of battle.

16 So the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the number of years for which a laborer is hired, all the glory of Kedar will end; 17 there will be few Kedarite archers remaining. The Lord God of Israel has spoken.


  1. Isaiah 21:8 DSS (1QIsaa), Syr; MT a lion
  2. Isaiah 21:11 LXX Edom