1 An oracle concerning Babylon,
1 seen by Isaiah, son of Amoz:
2 On a bare hilltop raise a banner;
2 cry aloud to them,
2 wave a hand for them
2 to enter the Gates of the Nobles.
3 I have ordered my sacred knights,
3 I have summoned my mighty war riors
3 all those who rejoice in my triumph
3 I have commanded them to carry out my wrath.
4 Listen, a rumbling on the mountains
4 as of a great multitude!
4 Listen, a tumultuous uproar
4 as of kingdoms massing together!
4 Yes, Yahweh Sabaoth is mustering his army.
5 From faraway lands,
5 from the ends of the heavens
5 they come Yahweh
5 and the instruments of his wrath
5 to destroy the whole earth.
6 Wail, for the day of Yahweh is near;
6 it will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 All arms will go limp,
7 every human heart will fail him.
8 Everyone will be gripped with terror.
8 Pain and sorrow taking hold of them,
8 men will be in anguish
8 like women in travail.
8 They will look aghast at each other,
8 their faces aflame as with fever.
9 See how th e day of Yahweh comes:
9 it is a cruel day
9 coming with wrath and fierce anger.
9 It will make the earth desolate;
9 it will destroy sinners within it.
10 The stars and constellations at night
10 will send forth no light, the moon
10 will not shine; in the morning the sun
10 will be dark as it rises.
11 I punish the world for the evil it does,
11 and the wicked for their sins.
11 I make the arrogance of the proud cease.
11 I end the haughtiness of the ruthless.
12 I will make mortals scarcer than gold
12 and humans more rare than the gold of Ophir.
13 This is why the heavens tremble
13 and the earth shakes its foundation,
13 at the wrath of Yahweh Sabaoth
13 on the day of his burning anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle,
14 or like a flock without a shepherd
14 everyone returns to his own people,
14 each one flees to his native land.
15 Whoever is captured will be butch ered,
15 whoever is caught will be slaughtered.
16 Their babies will be dashed to pieces before their eyes,
16 their houses will be looted,
16 their wives raped.
17 Against them I will stir up the Medes,
17 who dont crave for money
17 and are not interested in gold.
18 Their bows and arrows will strike down young men
18 without mercy or compassion.
18 They do not spare infants and children.
19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms,
19 pride and glory of the Chaldeans,
19 will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
19 when overthrown by God.
20 She will never be inhabited,
20 nor dwelt in from age to age.
20 There no Arab will pitch his tent,
20 no shepherd will tend his flock.
21 There wild beasts of the desert will lie,
21 howling creatures will fill the houses,
21 owls and ostriches will dwell there
21 and wild goats will leap about.
22 There mad dogs will cry out in her strongholds,
22 and jackals in her palaces.
22 Her time is close at hand;
22 her days are now numbered.