A message about the desert by the sea.*
Like storm winds passing through the Negev, something is coming from the desert, from a land of terror— 2
a horrifying vision that has been explained to me. The betrayer still betrays; the destroyer still destroys. Elamites and Medes, go ahead, attack and lay siege to Babylon,†
for I'm putting a stop to all the pain it has caused.‡
3 As a result my body is filled with agony. I'm overwhelmed with pain, like the pain of a woman giving birth. I am confused by what I hear; I am distressed by what I see. 4 My mind falters; I shake in panic. The night I looked forward to has become terrifying.
5 They set the table, they spread out the rugs, they eat and drink…
“Get up, officers! Prepare your shields for battle!”
6 This is what the Lord told me: “Go! Have a lookout keep watch, and make sure he reports what he sees. 7 When he sees chariots coming pulled by pairs of horses, riders on donkeys and on camels, he should watch very carefully, paying close attention.”
Then the lookout§
shouted “Sir, I've stood here on the watchtower day after day; night after night I've remained at my post. 9
Now look! A man in a chariot with a pair of horses is coming.”
Then he said, “Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the idols of its gods lie smashed on the ground!”
10 My poor downtrodden people, so badly mistreated, I have told you what I have heard from the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel.
A message about Edom.*
A voice is calling to me from Seir, asking, “Watchman, what time of night is it? Watchman, what time of night is it?”
12 The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but the night is coming again soon. If you want to ask again, then come back and ask.”
13 A message about Arabia. Caravans from Dedan, spend the night in the bushes. 14 People of Tema, take water to the thirsty, meet the refugees with food. 15 They're running away from a fierce battle, from swords, drawn swords, from bows and arrows.
16 This is what the Lord told me: “Within one year, just as a contract worker precisely counts years, all the glory of Kedar will be gone. 17 There will only be a few left of the archers, the warriors of Kedar.” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.