Isaiah 21

Oracle of the Fall of Babylon

21:1-10
What vision did Isaiah receive regarding the fate of Babylon?
Isaiah received an awesome and harsh vision regarding the fall of Babylon (21:1-2). Babylon, identified as the “treacherous one” and “destroyer” and the nation which caused the world to groan, will be destroyed at the hands of Elam and Media (21:2). This is a reference to the armies of Cyrus, king of the Medes and Persians, who conquered Babylon in 538 B.C. The vision of Babylon’s destruction was horrifying to Isaiah (21:3-4) and imminent (21:5-9), but would mean the end of oppression and suffering for God’s people (21:10).

Various Warnings and Judgments

21:11-12
What word did God give regarding Edom?
Edom is pictured as urgently requesting a report from the watchman (Isaiah) regarding the international situation. The watchman asked the people to come back and inquire again at a later time. Edom, who had cooperated with the Babylonians in their attack upon Jerusalem in 587 B.C., would however, fall.

21:13-17
What word did God give regarding Arabia?


Arabia and its nomadic tribes would suffer defeat at the hands of their more powerful enemies (the Assyrians). In light of this, Judah certainly had no business looking to Arabia for any help against Assyria or any other threat.

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