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Babylon’s Fall

47 

Go down and sit in the dust, you virgin daughter of Babylon.
Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans,
for you will never again be called delicate and pampered.
Take millstones and grind meal.
Remove your veil. Strip off your skirt.
Expose your thighs. Wade through rivers.
Let your nakedness be exposed.
Let your shame be seen!
I will take vengeance.
I will not spare anyone.

Our Redeemer—the Lord of Armies is his name—is the Holy One of Israel.

Daughter of the Chaldeans, sit silently, and enter into the darkness,
for you will never again be called queen of the kingdoms.
I was angry with my people.
I defiled my heritage.
I gave them into your hand.
You showed them no mercy.
Even on the aged you made your yoke very heavy.
You said, “I will be a lady forever.”
You did not take these things to heart.
You did not remember how this will turn out.
But now hear this, you wanton lover of pleasure,
who sits securely,
who says in her heart,
“I am the one, and there is no one except me.
I will not live as a widow.
I will not experience the loss of children.”
But these two things will come upon you in an instant, in one day:
loss of children and widowhood.
They will come to you in full measure
in spite of your many magic spells,
in spite of the great power of your magic charms.

10 You felt secure in your wickedness.
You said, “No one sees me.”
Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray.
So you said in your heart, “I am the one,
and there is not another one beside me.”
11 But disaster will come upon you.
You do not know when it will come.
Calamity will fall upon you.
You will not be able to atone for it.
A devastating blow that you did not expect will come
    upon you suddenly.
12 Go ahead, stand secure in your magic charms
    and in your many magic spells,
    with which you have been laboring since your youth.
Perhaps you will be able to profit.
Perhaps you will be able to inspire terror.
13 You are worn out by all the advice you receive.
Let them stand up and save you—
those who make charts of the skies to practice astrology,
those who gaze at the stars to obtain omens,
those who predict what will happen to you on each new moon.
14 Look, they are nothing but stubble.
Fire consumes them.
They are not able to save themselves from the power of the flame.
There are no burning coals to warm their food.[a]
There is no firelight to sit in front of.
15 They can do nothing more for you—
those who have worn you out with all their dealings with you
    from your youth.
Each one wanders in his own direction.
There is no one left to save you.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 47:14 The translation follows the standard Hebrew reading. The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and some ancient versions read to warm them up.

The Fall of Babylon

47 “Go down, sit in the dust,(A)
    Virgin Daughter(B) Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
    queen city of the Babylonians.[a](C)
No more will you be called
    tender or delicate.(D)
Take millstones(E) and grind(F) flour;
    take off your veil.(G)
Lift up your skirts,(H) bare your legs,
    and wade through the streams.
Your nakedness(I) will be exposed
    and your shame(J) uncovered.
I will take vengeance;(K)
    I will spare no one.(L)

Our Redeemer(M)—the Lord Almighty(N) is his name(O)
    is the Holy One(P) of Israel.

“Sit in silence,(Q) go into darkness,(R)
    queen city of the Babylonians;(S)
no more will you be called
    queen(T) of kingdoms.(U)
I was angry(V) with my people
    and desecrated my inheritance;(W)
I gave them into your hand,(X)
    and you showed them no mercy.(Y)
Even on the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, ‘I am forever(Z)
    the eternal queen!’(AA)
But you did not consider these things
    or reflect(AB) on what might happen.(AC)

“Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure,
    lounging in your security(AD)
and saying to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.(AE)
I will never be a widow(AF)
    or suffer the loss of children.’
Both of these will overtake you
    in a moment,(AG) on a single day:
    loss of children(AH) and widowhood.(AI)
They will come upon you in full measure,
    in spite of your many sorceries(AJ)
    and all your potent spells.(AK)
10 You have trusted(AL) in your wickedness
    and have said, ‘No one sees me.’(AM)
Your wisdom(AN) and knowledge mislead(AO) you
    when you say to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11 Disaster(AP) will come upon you,
    and you will not know how to conjure it away.
A calamity will fall upon you
    that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee
    will suddenly(AQ) come upon you.

12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells
    and with your many sorceries,(AR)
    which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
    perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!(AS)
    Let your astrologers(AT) come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
    let them save(AU) you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble;(AV)
    the fire(AW) will burn them up.
They cannot even save themselves
    from the power of the flame.(AX)
These are not coals for warmth;
    this is not a fire to sit by.
15 That is all they are to you—
    these you have dealt with
    and labored(AY) with since childhood.
All of them go on in their error;
    there is not one that can save(AZ) you.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 47:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 5

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