The Judgement of Babylon
1The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
2On a bare hill raise a signal;
cry aloud to them;
wave the hand for them to enter
the gates of the nobles.
3I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
my proudly exulting ones.13:3 Or those who exult in my majesty
4The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
as of a great multitude!
The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
of nations gathering together!
The LORD of hosts is mustering
a host for battle.
5They come from a distant land,
from the end of the heavens,
the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
to destroy the whole land.13:5 Or earth; also verse 9
6Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
as destruction from the Almighty13:6 The Hebrew words for destruction and almighty sound alike it will come!
7Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every human heart will melt.
8They will be dismayed:
pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labour.
They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.
9Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
10For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light.
11I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
12I will make people more rare than fine gold,
and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the LORD of hosts
in the day of his fierce anger.
14And like a hunted gazelle,
or like sheep with none to gather them,
each will turn to his own people,
and each will flee to his own land.
15Whoever is found will be thrust through,
and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16Their infants will be dashed in pieces
before their eyes;
their houses will be plundered
and their wives ravished.
17Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
who have no regard for silver
and do not delight in gold.
18Their bows will slaughter13:18 Hebrew dash in pieces the young men;
they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
their eyes will not pity children.
19And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
the splendour and pomp of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.
20It will never be inhabited
or lived in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there;
no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21But wild animals will lie down there,
and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches13:21 Or owls will dwell,
and there wild goats will dance.
22Hyenas13:22 Or foxes will cry in its towers,
and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
and its days will not be prolonged.
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