Isaiah 21

Talks for Growing Christians

Judgment on Babylon, Edom, and Arabia

Isaiah 21

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Lesson Number 20

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord pronounced judgment against Babylon.
  2. The Lord pronounced judgment against Edom.
  3. The Lord pronounced judgment against Arabia.

Practical Application

  1. Watch for coming events!


  1. Where else did we read a judgment pronounced on Babylon?
  2. Most likely verses 5-9 predict the invasion of Babylon by the Medes and Persians in 539 B.C. Where do we see this prophecy fulfilled in Scripture?
  3. The titles Dumah and Seir both refer to which nation?
  4. What is the meaning of “Dumah”?
  5. What is the meaning of the phrase in verse 16 “according to the year of a hired man”?


  1. Isaiah 13-14 contained another judgment against Babylon. This second series of judgment oracles seems to be more intense and more negative than the first series.
  2. Daniel 5
  3. Edom
  4. “Dumah” is used to describe Edom here in the Hebrew text as a word play in this prophetic oracle. Dumah means “silence” and the watchman in the prophecy is silent about Edom’s ultimate fate.
  5. A hired man counts the time he works exactly, so in exactly one year Arabia and her army of tribesmen would be decimated.


  1. What is your reaction when you see wicked people judged? We see from Isaiah’s example that he praised the Lord for judging sin, because the righteousness of God is vindicated and the consequences of sin are realized in line with biblical truth. Discuss the fact that he did not glory in seeing people suffer and he didn’t enjoy seeing the horrors of judgment.
  2. One of the purposes of these judgments against foreign nations was to remind the kingdom of Judah not to make alliances with these nations in face of the coming Assyrian invasion. These nations would fall to Assyria, so any alliance with them would be futile; Judah should put her faith in the Lord. What do you find yourself putting your faith in rather than the Lord? Is it possible that those alliances are futile?


  1. We are living in a day which may indeed be the threshold of the end times. Keep your eye on the news as it relates to biblical prophecy. Watch for coming events!

Key Verses

  • “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground.” Isaiah 21:9 “For thus the LORD has said to me: ‘Within a year, according to the year of a hired man, all the glory of Kedar will fail.’” Isaiah 21:16

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