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Isaiah 21:13

ESV The oracle concerning Arabia. In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge, O caravans of Dedanites.
NIV A prophecy against Arabia: You caravans of Dedanites, who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
NASB The pronouncement about Arabia: In the thickets of Arabia you must spend the night, You caravans of Dedanites.
CSB A pronouncement concerning Arabia: In the desert brush you will camp for the night, you caravans of Dedanites.
NLT This message came to me concerning Arabia: O caravans from Dedan, hide in the deserts of Arabia.
KJV The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.

What does Isaiah 21:13 mean?

This chapter records another oracle following prophecies against Babylon (Isaiah 21:1–10) and Dumah (Isaiah 21:11–12). Dumah was an oasis town in northern Arabia. This oracle from the Lord is against the larger region of Arabia itself. Arabia was made up of a collection of towns and scattered tribes in the wilderness territory between Babylon and Judah.

This prophecy appears to describe the refugees of the various conflicts with the Assyrians. It seems to especially focus on those fleeing the Assyrian defeats of Babylon to the south. Dedan was in an area of northwestern Arabia called Kedar. The Dedanites (Genesis 25:3) were known as merchants who moved goods through the region to trade with others.

Now the prophet says caravans of Dedan will be forced to spend nights off the main roads. They will need to hide in underbrush to avoid the conflict surging in the region. Apparently unable to travel to any nearby oasis, the following verse reveals the Dedanites as desperately thirsty and calls on others to help them (Isaiah 21:14).
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