Prophecies about Babylon
1The [mournful, inspired] oracle (a burden to be carried) concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw [in a prophetic vision]:
2Lift up a signal banner on the bare mountain,
Summon them [the Medes and Persians] with a loud voice,
Wave the [beckoning] hand so that they may enter the doorways of the [Babylonian] nobles.
3I [the Lord] have commanded My consecrated ones,
I have even called My great warriors,
My proudly exulting ones [the Medes and the Persians who triumph for My honor]—
To execute My anger.
4A sound of tumult on the mountains,
Like that of many people!
A sound of the uproar of the kingdoms,
Of nations gathered together!
The Lord of hosts is mustering an army for battle.
5They are coming from a distant country,
From the end of heaven [the farthest horizon]—
The Lord and the weapons of His indignation—
To destroy the whole land.
Judgment on the Day of the Lord
6Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty (All Sufficient One—Invincible God)!
7Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man’s heart will melt.
8They [of Babylon] will be shocked and terrified,
Pains and anguish will grip them;
They will be in pain like a woman in childbirth.
They will stare aghast and horrified at one another,
Their faces aflame [from the effects of the unprecedented warfare].
9Listen carefully, the day of the Lord is coming,
Cruel, with wrath and raging anger,
To make the land a horror [of devastation];
And He shall exterminate its sinners from it.
10For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash with their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises,
And the moon will not shed its light.
11In this way I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing];
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And will abase the arrogance of the tyrant.
12I will make mortal man more rare than fine gold,
And mankind [scarcer] than the pure gold of Ophir.
13Therefore I will make the heavens tremble;
And the earth will be shaken from its place
At the wrath of the Lord of hosts
In the day of His burning anger.
14And like the hunted gazelle,
Or like sheep that no man gathers,
Each [foreign resident] will turn [and go back] to his own people,
And each one flee to his own land.
15Anyone who is found will be pierced through,
And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
16Their children also will be smashed to pieces
Before their eyes;
Their houses will be looted
And their wives ravished.
Babylon Will Fall to the Medes
17Listen carefully, I will put the Medes [in motion] against them,
Who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold [and therefore cannot be bribed].
18Their bows will cut down the young men [of Babylon];
They will take no pity on the fruit of the womb,
Their eyes will not look with compassion on the children.
19And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride,
Will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.
20Babylon will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there,
Nor will the shepherds let their sheep lie down there.
21But desert creatures will lie down there,
And their houses will be full of owls;
Ostriches also will live there, and wild goats will dance there.
22Hyenas will howl in their castles,
And jackals in their luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s time has nearly come,
And her days will not be prolonged.