Holman Christian Standard Bible
An Oracle against Babylon
2 Lift up a banner on a barren mountain.(C)
Call out to them.
Wave your hand, and they will go
through the gates of the nobles.
3 I have commanded My chosen ones;
I have also called My warriors,
who exult in My triumph,
to execute My wrath.(D)
4 Listen, a tumult on the mountains,
like that of a mighty people!
Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
like nations being gathered together!
The Lord of Hosts is mobilizing an army for war.
5 They are coming from a far land,
from the distant horizon—
the Lord and the weapons of His wrath—
to destroy the whole country.[a]
6 Wail! For the day of the Lord is near.(E)
It will come like destruction from the Almighty.(F)
7 Therefore everyone’s hands will become weak,
and every man’s heart will melt.
8 They will be horrified;
pain and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.(G)
They will look at each other,
their faces flushed with fear.
9 Look, the day(H) of the Lord is coming—
cruel, with rage and burning anger—
to make the earth a desolation
and to destroy the sinners on it.(I)
10 Indeed, the stars of the sky and its constellations[b]
will not give their light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
and the moon will not shine.(J)
11 I will bring disaster on the world,
and their own iniquity,(K) on the wicked.
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant(L)
and humiliate the insolence of tyrants.
12 I will make man scarcer than gold,
and mankind more rare than the gold of Ophir.(M)
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will shake from its foundations(N)
at the wrath of the Lord of Hosts,
on the day of His burning anger.
14 Like wandering gazelles
and like sheep without a shepherd,(O)
each one will turn to his own people,
each one will flee to his own land.
15 Whoever is found will be stabbed,
and whoever is caught will die by the sword.
16 Their children will be smashed to death before their eyes;(P)
their houses will be looted,
and their wives raped.
17 Look! I am stirring up the Medes against them,(Q)
who cannot be bought off with[c] silver
and who have no desire for gold.
18 Their bows will cut young men to pieces.
They will have no compassion on little ones;
they will not look with pity on children.
19 And Babylon, the jewel of the kingdoms,
the glory of the pride of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.(R)
20 It will never be inhabited
or lived in from generation to generation;(S)
a nomad will not pitch his tent there,
and shepherds will not let their flocks rest there.
21 But desert creatures will lie down there,
and owls will fill the houses.
Ostriches will dwell there,
and wild goats will leap about.(T)
22 Hyenas will howl in the fortresses,
and jackals, in the luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s time is almost up;
her days are almost over.