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Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia


The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.


As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,

it comes from the desert,

from a terrible land.


A stern vision is told to me;

the betrayer betrays,

and the destroyer destroys.

Go up, O Elam,

lay siege, O Media;

all the sighing she has caused

I bring to an end.


Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;

pangs have seized me,

like the pangs of a woman in labor;

I am bowed down so that I cannot hear,

I am dismayed so that I cannot see.


My mind reels, horror has appalled me;

the twilight I longed for

has been turned for me into trembling.


They prepare the table,

they spread the rugs,

they eat, they drink.

Rise up, commanders,

oil the shield!


For thus the Lord said to me:

“Go, post a lookout,

let him announce what he sees.


When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,

riders on donkeys, riders on camels,

let him listen diligently,

very diligently.”


Then the watcher called out:

“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,

continually by day,

and at my post I am stationed

throughout the night.


Look, there they come, riders,

horsemen in pairs!”

Then he responded,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon;

and all the images of her gods

lie shattered on the ground.”


O my threshed and winnowed one,

what I have heard from the L ord of hosts,

the God of Israel, I announce to you.


11 The oracle concerning Dumah.


One is calling to me from Seir,

“Sentinel, what of the night?

Sentinel, what of the night?”


The sentinel says:

“Morning comes, and also the night.

If you will inquire, inquire;

come back again.”


13 The oracle concerning the desert plain.


In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge,

O caravans of Dedanites.


Bring water to the thirsty,

meet the fugitive with bread,

O inhabitants of the land of Tema.


For they have fled from the swords,

from the drawn sword,

from the bent bow,

and from the stress of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few; for the L ord, the God of Israel, has spoken.


12. The morning cometh. This means that the anxiety will not last merely for a single day, or for a short time, as if the watchman had replied, “What I tell you to-day, I will tell you again to-morrow; if you are afraid now, you will also be afraid to-morrow.” It is a most wretched condition when men are tortured with anxiety, in such a manner that they hang in a state of doubt between death and life; and it is that dismal curse which the Lord threatens against wicked men by Moses,

“Would that I lived till the evening; and in the evening, would that I saw the dawn!” (Deuteronomy 28:67.)

The godly indeed are beset with many dangers, but they know that they and their life are committed to the hand of God, and even in the jaws of death they see life, or at least soothe their uneasy fears by hope and patience. But the wicked always tremble, and not only are tormented by alarm, but waste away in their sorrows.

Return, come. These words may be explained in two ways; either that if they run continually, they will lose their pains, or in this way, “If any among you be more careful, let them go to Dumah, and there let them tremble more than in their native country, for nowhere will they be safe.” But since God always takes care of his Church, nowhere shall we find a safer retreat, even though we shall compass sea and land.

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