Words Of Truth

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).



An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 239 – The Burdens Of The Desert Of The Sea, Dumah, and Arabia (Isaiah 21:1-17)

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1. Did the vision of the burden of the desert of the sea present a calm picture?

No: (1) The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.  (2) A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease (Isaiah 21:1-2).


     The Scriptures talk judgments upon men using the language of a coming like a whirlwind (Proverbs 1:27, Proverbs 10:25, Isaiah 66:15, Jeremiah 23:19, Jeremiah 30:23, Nahum 1:3, and Zechariah 9:14).

     Sometimes, these visions men had were troubling (Job 7:13-15, Psalms 60:3, Daniel 2:1, Daniel 4:1-5, and Habakkuk 2:2).

     Sometimes, what God will do or has done in judgment is troubling (I Samuel 3:11, II Kings 21:12, and Jeremiah 19:3).

     Spoilers and treacherous dealers upon those who had done the same (Isaiah 33:1, Jeremiah 51:48-49, and Jeremiah 51:53).

     The Elamites were of the sons of Shem (I Chronicles 1:17).  God judged this people (Jeremiah 49:34-38).

     The kings of Media [the Medes] and Persia are what Babylon needed to worry about (Daniel 5:28 and Daniel 8:1-4; 8:20).

     The Lord was the source that calmed the sighings of the oppressed (Psalms 12:5).


2. Did this vision do anything physical to Isaiah?

Yes: (3) Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.  (4) My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me (Isaiah 21:3-4).


     We should note that, though this vision is of judgment on the oppressing city of Babylon (Isaiah 21:9), Isaiah is not happy to see it.  This says something about the prophet Isaiah (Matthew 5:7).

     Pain for this vision (Isaiah 15:5, Isaiah 16:11, Jeremiah 13:17, and Luke 19:41-44).


3. Who wanted the watchman to go and declare what he saw?

The Lord: (5) Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.  (6) For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth (Isaiah 21:5-6).


     Eat now, because its coming (Isaiah 22:13-14; cf. I Corinthians 15:32).

     Set up the watchman to see it coming (Jeremiah 51:12-13).


4. What did the watchman declare?

The fall of Babylon: (7) And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: (8) And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: (9) And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.  (10) O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you (Isaiah 21:7-10).


     The lion came from the north (Jeremiah 4:5-7; cf. Jeremiah 50:9-16).

     Destruction (Jeremiah 50:3) from merciless horsemen (Jeremiah 50:42).

     The fall of Babylon (Isaiah 13:19) and her idols (Jeremiah 50:2).

     Babylon, a threshing floor [trodden down] (Jeremiah 51:33).


5. What do we really find out about the burden of Dumah from this context?

Not much: (11) The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? (12) The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come (Isaiah 21:11-12).


     Dumah would have been the descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12-14) the son of Abraham and Hagar (Genesis 16:15-16).

     Seir would have been of the Edomites (Genesis 32:3), which become a desolate land (Ezekiel 35:1-7).

     I suppose the meaning could mean that before morning, things were over for Dumah (cf. Isaiah 17:14).


6. Were the Arabians going to take a stand against the invasion Isaiah is prophesying about?

NO, they will flee to the forest: (13) The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.  (14) The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.  (15) For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war (Isaiah 21:13-15).


     Arabia was a desert nation with Dedan and Tema (Jeremiah 25:22-24).

     Dedan was a son of Cush (Genesis 10:7) and they would be punished of God (Ezekiel 25:13).

     Tema was hospitable to those who fled.

     War, the sword, etc. is fearful (Job 19:29) especially when used by God (Isaiah 13:3-4, Isaiah 34:2-6, Jeremiah 12:12, Jeremiah 46:15-17, and Jeremiah 50:25).


7. From the time of Isaiahs prophecy, how long did God give for the fall of Kedar?

For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail (Isaiah 21:16).


     This language [year of an hireling/hired worker] is/was used to denote years in terms man can understand (Job 7:1 and Isaiah 16:14).

     Kedar was made up of descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13).

     Kedar, and Arabian city (Ezekiel 27:21), was smitten by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 49:28).


8. What was going to happen to the archers and the mighty men of the children of Kedar?

They were to be diminished: And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it (Isaiah 21:17).


     Mighty men cannot stand against Gods judgment (II Chronicles 32:21, Job 34:21-24, Jeremiah 51:25-30, and Lamentations 1:15).

     Once God said it, it was to be accomplished (Numbers 23:19, I Samuel 15:29, Isaiah 1:20, Jeremiah 44:29, Malachi 3:6, Matthew 24:35, and Titus 1:2).





Index Of Old Testament Studies


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