key verse: 9
Finally, Babylon will fall. The nations of the earth were shocked that she would fall. The prophet Isaiah announces it solemnly.
1. Babylon has fallen (1-10)
The Elamites and Medianites will attack and surpise the watchmen of Babylon in the midst of their festivities (5). Isaiah saw a vision with great treason and devastation in the land brought by the Lord of armies, just like grains winnowed in the fields (10). This vision overwhelmed Isaiah's heart, so that he was filled with suffering and the pangs of a woman in labor. His heart is terrified. Soldiers from all nations get drunk the night before the attack (4). The Lord orders Isaiah to post a watchman to observe what will happen. The watchman then cries aloud at what he sees. It's a mighty cavalry invading. The watchman says, "She has fallen, Babylon". The fall of Babylon is accompanied by the fall of its idols. Babylon is always considered as representing the world without God (Rev. 18:2).
2. Dumah and Arabia (11-17)
Dumah, a city of Edom, means "silence". The verse asks how much time is left until the morning, which indicates suffering. All rest will be temporary. Three verbs: inquire, convert, come back. These represent the divine call to seek, repent and come. Next, Arabia is dealt with. The purpose of this oracle is to give warning to the most free and inaccessible of the tribes. Even that one will be caught by the long arm of Assyria when the Lord orders it. The cities of Dedan and Tema will have to bring aid to the tribe of Kedar. Its glory will disappear, being ravaged by war and its people will return with empty hands, dying of hunger. In 715 B.C., Arabia was invaded by Sargon. The fugitives of this city then faced a direct attack.