A Message about Babylon
1Isaiah son of Amoz received this message concerning the destruction of Babylon:
2“Raise a signal flag on a bare hilltop.
Call up an army against Babylon.
Wave your hand to encourage them
as they march into the palaces of the high and mighty.
3I, the Lord, have dedicated these soldiers for this task.
Yes, I have called mighty warriors to express my anger,
and they will rejoice when I am exalted.”
4Hear the noise on the mountains!
Listen, as the vast armies march!
It is the noise and shouting of many nations.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has called this army together.
5They come from distant countries,
from beyond the farthest horizons.
They are the Lord’s weapons to carry out his anger.
With them he will destroy the whole land.
6Scream in terror, for the day of the Lord has arrived—
the time for the Almighty to destroy.
7Every arm is paralyzed with fear.
Every heart melts,
8and people are terrified.
Pangs of anguish grip them,
like those of a woman in labor.
They look helplessly at one another,
their faces aflame with fear.
9For see, the day of the Lord is coming—
the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger.
The land will be made desolate,
and all the sinners destroyed with it.
10The heavens will be black above them;
the stars will give no light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
and the moon will provide no light.
11“I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil
and the wicked for their sin.
I will crush the arrogance of the proud
and humble the pride of the mighty.
12I will make people scarcer than gold—
more rare than the fine gold of Ophir.
13For I will shake the heavens.
The earth will move from its place
when the Lord of Heaven’s Armies displays his wrath
in the day of his fierce anger.”
14Everyone in Babylon will run about like a hunted gazelle,
like sheep without a shepherd.
They will try to find their own people
and flee to their own land.
15Anyone who is captured will be cut down—
run through with a sword.
16Their little children will be dashed to death before their eyes.
Their homes will be sacked, and their wives will be raped.
17“Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon.
They cannot be tempted by silver
or bribed with gold.
18The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows.
They will have no mercy on helpless babies
and will show no compassion for children.”
19Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.
20Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
21Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
and wild goats will go there to dance.
22Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
its time of destruction will soon arrive.