The Humiliation of Babylon
1Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chalde'ans!
For you shall no more be called
tender and delicate.
2Take the millstones and grind meal,
put off your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
pass through the rivers.
3Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
and your shame shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
and I will spare no man.
4Our Redeemer-the Lord of hosts is his name-
is the Holy One of Israel.
5Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chalde'ans;
for you shall no more be called
the mistress of kingdoms.
6I was angry with my people,
I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand,
you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke
7You said, "I shall be mistress for ever,"
so that you did not lay these things to heart
or remember their end.
8Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
"I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children":
9These two things shall come to you
in a moment, in one day;
the loss of children and widowhood
shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
and the great power of your enchantments.
10You felt secure in your wickedness,
you said, "No one sees me";
your wisdom and your knowledge
led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
"I am, and there is no one besides me."
11But evil shall come upon you,
for which you cannot atone;
disaster shall fall upon you,
which you will not be able to expiate;
and ruin shall come on you suddenly,
of which you know nothing.
12Stand fast in your enchantments
and your many sorceries,
with which you have labored from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed,
perhaps you may inspire terror.
13You are wearied with your many counsels;
let them stand forth and save you,
those who divide the heavens,
who gaze at the stars,
who at the new moons predict
whata shall befall you.
14Behold, they are like stubble,
the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
no fire to sit before!
15Such to you are those with whom you have labored,
who have trafficked with you from your youth;
they wander about each in his own direction;
there is no one to save you.