1 Here is a message about the Desert by the Sea: Like strong winds blowing in the south, one invades from the desert, from a land that is feared. 2 I have received a distressing message: "The deceiver deceives, the destroyer destroys. Attack, you Elamites! Lay siege, you Medes! I will put an end to all the groaning!"
3 For this reason my stomach churns; cramps overwhelm me like the contractions of a woman in labor. I am disturbed by what I hear, horrified by what I see. 4 My heart palpitates, I shake in fear; the twilight I desired has brought me terror. 5 Arrange the table, lay out the carpet, eat and drink! Get up, you officers, smear oil on the shields!
6 For this is what the sovereign master has told me: "Go, post a guard! He must report what he sees. 7 When he sees chariots, teams of horses, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, he must be alert, very alert." 8 Then the guard cries out: "On the watchtower, O sovereign master, I stand all day long; at my post I am stationed every night. 9 Look what's coming! A charioteer, a team of horses." When questioned, he replies, "Babylon has fallen, fallen! All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!"
10 O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor, what I have heard from the Lord who commands armies, the God of Israel, I have reported to you.
11 Here is a message about Dumah: Someone calls to me from Seir, "Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?" 12 The watchman replies, "Morning is coming, but then night. If you want to ask, ask; come back again."
13 Here is a message about Arabia: In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night, you Dedanite caravans. 14 Bring out some water for the thirsty. You who live in the land of Tema, bring some food for the fugitives. 15 For they flee from the swords -- from the drawn sword and from the battle-ready bow and from the severity of the battle.