The confrontation (Isa 63:1-63:1)

“Who is this that comes from Edom?

Who comes from Bozrah

In garments stained in crimson?

Who is this so splendidly robed?

Who is marching in his great might?

‘It is I!

I announce vindication!

I am mighty to save!’”

The sentinel or the prophet is standing on the wall or guarding the city. Thus he wants to know who was coming from Edom and its capital city of Bozrah, that was south of Judah on the other side of the Jordan River. Here we have an unusual dialog. The people from Edom were wearing splendid stained crimson robes. They were marching with a great army. After these questions, there is a response. The response is in the first personal singular as if it is Yahweh himself announcing and seeking vindication, while trying to save his people.

The sentinel announces the attack (Isa 21: 6-21:10)

“Thus Yahweh said to me.

‘Go!

Post a lookout!

Let him announce

What he sees!

When he sees riders,

Horsemen in pairs,

Riders on donkeys,

Riders on camels,

Let him listen diligently,

Very diligently!’

Then the watcher cried out.

‘Upon a watchtower

I stand!

O Lord!

Continually by day!

At my post

I am stationed

Throughout the night.

Look!

There they come

Riders,

Horsemen in pairs!’

Then he responded.

‘Fallen!

Fallen is Babylon!

He has shattered on the ground

All the images of her gods!’

O my threshed one!

O my winnowed one!

What I have heard

From Yahweh of hosts,

The God of Israel,

I announce to you.”

Isaiah continues with what Yahweh had said to him. Yahweh wanted a lookout posted so that he could announce what he saw coming. This lookout person was to watch for riders on horses, camels, and donkeys as well as listen very carefully. He was to stand there during the day and the night. Then he saw the riders coming, as Babylon had fallen with all its gods shattered on the ground. This is what Isaiah had heard from Yahweh in his vision, as he announced this to all. The sentinel watchtower man was a main theme of the later 20th century Jehovah’s Witnesses with their Watchtower magazine.