Study Guide

Book of Isaiah Chapter 21

Chapter 21

Two Riders Were Approaching…

  • Next comes an oracle about "the wilderness of the sea."
  • Isaiah talks about how he received a vision from the desert brought by a whirlwind. He says that the vision relates to how "the betrayer betrays and the destroyer destroys."
  • Isaiah tells Elam to "go up," and tells Media to lay siege, bringing the pain this land (Babylon) has caused to an end.
  • Isaiah said that he felt full of anguish, like a woman about to give birth. He's discombobulated, unable to hear or see or understand what's going on, his mind reeling in terror.
  • While in this metaphorical labor, he tries to get everyone else amped up and ready for action: before he had the watchmen relaxing, eating, and drinking, but now, he squawks that it's time for combat.
  • Isaiah says that they (the people of Judah) should post a look-out on a watchtower, and the watch-man will tell them when he sees pairs of riders coming.
  • When the watchman says he sees the pairs of riders coming, he'll cry out to God telling him what he sees. God will respond by saying that Babylon has fallen.

Quizzical Queries

  • Then, there is a cryptic oracle about the land of Dumah. A person from Seir asks the watchman "What of the night?"
  • The sentinel just says that morning comes and so does the night, and tells him to keep coming back and asking more questions, if he feels like it. Not the answer our inquirer was looking for, no doubt.
  • Next, another oracular prediction says that a people called the Dedanites will take refuge from war in the land of Tema, and the people there will help support them.
  • Also, the land of Kedar will be destroyed and the number of its warriors will be reduced.