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Nineveh Will Be Defeated

The destroyer[a] is coming to attack you, Nineveh.
    Guard the defenses.
    Watch the road.
    Get ready.
    Gather all your strength!
Destroyers have destroyed God’s people
    and ruined their vines,
but the Lord will bring back Jacob’s greatness
    like Israel’s greatness.

The shields of his soldiers are red;
    the army is dressed in red.
The metal on the chariots flashes like fire
    when they are ready to attack;
    their horses are excited.
The chariots race through the streets
    and rush back and forth through the city squares.
They look like torches;
    they run like lightning.

He[b] calls his officers,
    but they stumble on the way.
They hurry to the city wall,
    and the shield is put into place.
The river gates are thrown open,
    and the palace is destroyed.
It has been announced that the people of Nineveh
    will be captured and carried away.
The slave girls moan like doves
    and beat their breasts, because they are sad.
Nineveh is like a pool,
    and now its water is draining away.
“Stop! Stop!” the people yell,
    but no one turns back.
Take the silver!
    Take the gold!
There is no end to the treasure—
    piles of wealth of every kind.
10 Nineveh is robbed, ruined, and destroyed.
    The people lose their courage, and their knees knock.
    Stomachs ache, and everyone’s face grows pale.

11 Where is the lions’[c] den
    and the place where they feed their young?
Where did the lion, lioness, and cubs go
    without being afraid?
12 The lion killed enough for his cubs,
    enough for his mate.
He filled his cave with the animals he caught;
    he filled his den with meat he had killed.

13 “I am against you, Nineveh,”
    says the Lord All-Powerful.
“I will burn up your chariots in smoke,
    and the sword will kill your young lions.
    I will stop you from hunting down others on the earth,
and your messengers’ voices
    will no longer be heard.”

Footnotes

  1. 2:1 destroyer The Babylonians, the Scythians, and the Medes destroyed Nineveh.
  2. 2:5 He This probably means the king of Assyria.
  3. 2:11 lions’ The symbol of Assyria was the lion.

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