Proclamation against 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,
have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
my proudly exulting ones.
4Hark, a tumult on the mountains
as of a great multitude!
Hark, 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 earth.
6Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come!
7Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every man's heart will melt,
8and they will be dismayed.
Pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in travail.
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 earth 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 pride of the arrogant,
and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.
12I will make men 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,
every man will turn to his own people,
and every man 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 slaughter 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 splendor and pride of the Chalde'ans,
will be like Sodom and Gomor'rah
when God overthrew them.
20It will never be inhabited
or dwelt in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there,
no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21But wild beasts will lie down there,
and its houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches will dwell,
and there satyrs will dance.
22Hyenas will cry in its towers,
and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
and its days will not be prolonged.