Isaiah 21:3-4 NIV
3 At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see.
4 My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me.
Isaiah 21:3-4 ESV
3 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.
4 My heart staggers; horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling.
Today we look at the Prophecy Against Babylon moving past the Prophecy Against Egypt and Cush in chapter twenty. Today we also look at two versions of the same two verses and see how close, yet how different they are as the translators place words in different phrases and location. Still the meaning becomes clear in both. Consider the latter part of verse three.
I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see. NIV
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear; I am dismayed so that I cannot see. ESV
Next consider verse four, the heart falters and the heart staggers …
My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me. NIV
My heart staggers; horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling. ESV
The prophecies of Isaiah we are reading take place in approximately 725 BC while Babylon was actually conquered by Cyrus in approximately 539 BC, about 186 years later. No wonder Isaiah is quoted directly fifty-five times in the New Testament, only Psalms is quoted more often. The story of the actual conquering of Babylon is told in Daniel chapter five where the hand appeared and wrote on the wall.
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them…
30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain
31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.
Whose heart faltered or staggered? Is was Isaiah who foresaw the fall of Babylon and such destruction it was a horror to him even though the Jews would be freed to return to Israel. Sometimes, especially in a war, even seeing your own side win can be incredibly dreadful. This is how it was for the prophet Isaiah.
There will be destruction, great destruction, as foretold in the book of Revelation in the end times. Thankfully those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior will be spared the tribulation told of there and in the book of Daniel.