ISAIAH - Chapter 21 - ELAM/IRAN - A Terrible Land Print E-mail

ISAIAH – Chapter 21

ELAM/IRAN- A Terrible Land

Tuesday, November 11, 2013, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom



Chapter 21:1:The burden of the desert of the sea.  As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it comes from the desert from a terrible land.  A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the spoiler spoils.  Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.”


The ancient nation of Elam’s location is mainly in modern-day Iran with a small section in Iraq.  The actual location of Elam would be the very northern end of the Persian Gulf and down along the west coast of Iran.  Today one of the main sections of ancient Elam would include Bushehr Province.  The capital city of Bushehr is very important today because it is the location of Iran’s nuclear facility and has the attention of the world.


As we know it is very possible Israel will attack Iran to destroy this nuclear complex at Bushehr.  Thus ancient Elam is a focal point in dealing with Israel and fits directly into God’s prophetic plan.


Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel all write blistering judgments against Elam. 


“Jeremiah 49:34-39:  Elam is now Iran and means “hidden”; “distant”; “to veil from sight, to conceal; remove time, a young man, puberty”.   Elman, was a son of Shem and an ancestor of Mohammed, the father of Islam.  This is the principle of immaturity.


It is the strong man that opposes the work of Christ in the earth.  It is the darkness that the light of Christ has come forth to expose---the gross darkness that only the glory of God can overcome.  It is the false and deceptive governing system that sets itself up against the true government of God.  It normally becomes most evident when God’s divine order is about to be established.” (The Political Spirit by: Faisal Malick, published by Destiny Image)


This brief prophecy was perhaps part of a warning to Zedekiah against siding with the rebellions which were spreading throughout the Babylonian empire.  According to the Babylonian Chronicle, Elam, the ancient kingdom east of Babylonia, attacked Nebuchadnezzar but when he advanced against them the king of Elam fled in panic in 596 B.C.


The Elamites were long famous as bowmen against the western kingdoms.  They have been called the anti-church militant.  They were dispersed among other nations by Persians and Medes as well as by the Babylonians. 


Jer. 49:38 is a promise I receive that the Lord will one day redeem Iran.  Others think it could mean judgment.  It is probably both judgment unto redemption:  And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes, says the Lord.”


I believe the Lord will destroy the kings and princes of the powers and principalities of the strong men over these nations and He will set up His Throne and turn this nation to Him.”  (Quote from Judgment of the 9-nations by: Carolyn Sissom – – Bible Studies – page 4).


The judgment against Elam prophesied by Jeremiah has not yet been fulfilled, but will be in the future.  The prophecy speaks of the people being driven off the land and scattered into the entire world.  This has never happened in recorded history. 


According to Obadiah 1:15-16, God judges nations in relation to what the nation does to Israel.  The day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen; as you have done, it shall be done unto you.  Your reward shall return upon your own head.  For as you have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually.  Yes, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”


Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Son of God born a Jew in the land of Israel.  Therefore, this scripture not only applies to the land where Christ chose to be born, but to His Christian nation, the Kingdom of God.


The Medes are also an ancient Iranian people, who lived in an area known as Media.  The Kurds (Russia) have intermingled and inter-married with the Medes through the centuries.


This chapter is an oracle against Babylon describing by vision of a mighty army passing through like a whirlwind that leaves destruction everywhere,   the army that destroyed Babylon came out of the desert and mountainous country of the Medes and Elamites or Persians.   The name Babylon is withheld so that the oracle seems particularly obscure.  It was probably intended to be cryptic even to the prophet’s first hearers.


Modern day Babylon is Mystery Babylon or the spirit of Babylon that covers the whole earth.


As the vision of these things passed by, the prophet saw such indescribably and great suffering in Babylon that he was appalled and pained with sympathetic feelings.


21: 3-4: “Therefore are my loins filled with pain; pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travails; I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.  My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me; the night of my pleasure has he turned into fear unto me.”


Babylon, all unconscious, is described as given over unto carousal.  The prophet at the command of Jehovah as been on the watch tower, and saw the foe coming against Babylon. 


21:5 “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower (prayer), eat, drink; arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.” (Anoint the shield of faith.)


21:6-9:  For thus has the Lord said unto me, go, set a watchman, and let him declare what he sees.  He saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of mules, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed.  He cried, ‘A lion; My Lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the day time, and I am set in my ward whole nights; behold here comes a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen.  He answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he has broken unto the ground.”


The prophet seems to be in Babylon by vision.  The Lord commands him to set a watchman in the tower to announce what was to come to pass.  The watchman discovered a chariot with horsemen, in which the commander-in-chief rides.  He saw another chariot drawn by mules which were used by the Persians.  He also saw a chariot drawn by camels, much in use among the Medes.  These two chariots signify the two nations combined against Babylon.  He cried a lion (Satan).  This word, coming out of a watchman’s mouth would signify the situation was urgent.


Notice is given to the people of God, who were then captives in Babylon.  The title the prophet gives them in God’s name:  O my threshing, and the corn of my floor!


1l: 10:  Oh my threshing and the corn of my floor; that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.”


The prophet calls them his, but he is speaking that they are God’s.  The church is God’s floor.  True believers are the corn of God’s floor. Hypocrites are but as the chaff and straw.  The corn of God’s floor must expect to be threshed by afflictions and persecutions.  Even then God owns it for his threshing; it is His still.


The prophet gives them this assurance.  That which I have heard of the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.


Ps. 72:16:  There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon; and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.


Isaiah 52:8 “Your watchmen shall lift up the voice, with their voices together shall they sing; for they shall “see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.”


Isaiah 62:6: “I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night; you that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence”


Verses 11-17 are two brief oracles concerning Dumah, a city in Edom, then northern Arabia.  It is also very cryptic.  Dumah was the sixth son of Ishmael.  The present day location again represents nations in the same neighborhood as Israel and a warning to Israel not to depend upon them, but upon God only.  Someone called out of Seir as the man of Macedonia, in a vision, desired Paul to come over and help them (Acts 9).


The burden of Dumah, he calls to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night?  Watchman, what of the night?  The watchman said, ‘the morning comes, and also the night; if you will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.


Logic would indicate this is Jesus or the Holy Spirit calling from Mt. Seir.  The voice could also be the voice of an angel.


The question is serious or it would not be written so forcefully by the prophet.  What of the night?  It is put to a proper person, the watchman.  He repeats the question again.  God’s prophets and ministers are appointed to be watchmen.  They are as watchman in the city in a time of peace, to see that all be safe.  They are as watchmen in the camp in time of war.  They are to take notice of the enemy and give warning.  It is our duty to ask again and again, ‘What of the night?’  After a long dark night is there any hope of the day dawning?  What vision did the prophet receive tonight?  The morning comes, he answers.  The morning is the emphasis of a new day and the night describes judgment.   Enquire, return, come, be inquisitive, be penitent, and obedient.




Verses 13-17 are an oracle concerning Arabia.  It is plain enough.  The heat of battle threatens the rich caravans of the Arabian traders, and even the more warlike Arabian tribes will be decimated.  Arabia was a large country eastward and southward of Canaan.  Today part of ancient Arabia is Saudia Arabia, Iraq and Jordan. 


The Jews depended upon them as a wall between them and the more warlike eastern nations like Elam (Iran).  Modern Jordan, Saudia Arabia and Iraq are equally concerned about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.


“Today much of the world has fallen under the spell of the new Iranian president Hassan Rohani…His record on nuclear weapons is troubling.  In 2003-2005, Rohani was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.  This was the critical period in which Iran deceived the world with soothing words while launching into a nuclear weapons program…Prime Minister Netanyahu laid out Rohani’s plan” “first smile a lot.  Smiling never hurts.  Second, pay lip service to peace, democracy and tolerance.  Third, offer meaningless concessions in exchange for lifting sanctions.  Fourth and the most important, insure that Iran retains sufficient nuclear material and sufficient nuclear infrastructure to race to the bomb at a time it chooses to do so.”  (Barry and Batya Segal – Vision for Israel)


Verse 13: Dedanim: descendants of Dedan, son of Abraham by Katurah

Verse 14: Tema: Descendants of Abraham through Hagar and Ishmael.

Verse 16: Kedar: Descendants of Abraham through Hagar and Ishmael. “All the glory Kedar shall fail…the mighty men of the children in Kedar shall be diminished; for the Lord God of Israel has spoken it.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from K.J.V.;


Scripture K.J.V.

Principles of Present Truth by:  Kelly Varner

F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary by: David F. Payne

Matthew Henry Bible Commentary

Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible

Judgment of the 9-Nations- Carolyn Sissom (Bible Studies-page 4 on website)

Vision for Israel – Barry and Batya Segal

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