Ruin Imminent and Inevitable
1Ah! City of bloodshed,
utterly deceitful, full of booty—
no end to the plunder!
2The crack of whip and rumble of wheel,
galloping horse and bounding chariot!
flashing sword and glittering spear,
piles of dead,
heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
they stumble over the bodies!
4Because of the countless debaucheries of the prostitute,
gracefully alluring, mistress of sorcery,
who enslaves3.4 Heb sells nations through her debaucheries,
and peoples through her sorcery,
5I am against you,
says the LORD of hosts,
and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will let nations look on your nakedness
and kingdoms on your shame.
6I will throw filth at you
and treat you with contempt,
and make you a spectacle.
7Then all who see you will shrink from you and say,
‘Nineveh is devastated; who will bemoan her?’
Where shall I seek comforters for you?
8Are you better than Thebes3.8 Heb No-amon
that sat by the Nile,
with water around her,
her rampart a sea,
water her wall?
9Ethiopia3.9 Or Nubia; Heb Cush was her strength,
Egypt too, and that without limit;
Put and the Libyans were her3.9 Gk: Heb your helpers.
10Yet she became an exile,
she went into captivity;
even her infants were dashed in pieces
at the head of every street;
lots were cast for her nobles,
all her dignitaries were bound in fetters.
11You also will be drunken,
you will go into hiding;3.11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
you will seek
a refuge from the enemy.
12All your fortresses are like fig trees
with first-ripe figs—
if shaken they fall
into the mouth of the eater.
13Look at your troops:
they are women in your midst.
The gates of your land
are wide open to your foes;
fire has devoured the bars of your gates.
14Draw water for the siege,
strengthen your forts;
trample the clay,
tread the mortar,
take hold of the brick-mould!
15There the fire will devour you,
the sword will cut you off.
It will devour you like the locust.
Multiply yourselves like the locust,
multiply like the grasshopper!
16You increased your merchants
more than the stars of the heavens.
The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
17Your guards are like grasshoppers,
your scribes like swarms3.17 Meaning of Heb uncertain of locusts
settling on the fences
on a cold day—
when the sun rises, they fly away;
no one knows where they have gone.
18Your shepherds are asleep,
O king of Assyria;
your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
with no one to gather them.
19There is no assuaging your hurt,
your wound is mortal.
All who hear the news about you
clap their hands over you.
For who has ever escaped
your endless cruelty?
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.