Isaiah 47
Babylon will fall
The LORD said:
1City of Babylon,#Is 13.1—14.23; Jr 50.1—51.64.
you are delicate
and untouched,
but that will change.
Surrender your royal power
and sit in the dust.
2Start grinding grain!
Take off your veil.
Strip off your fine clothes
and cross over rivers.#47.2 Strip…rivers: This may be a command to get ready for work that requires wading in the river, or it may be a warning that they are going to be taken away as slaves.
3You will suffer the shame
of going naked,
because I will take revenge,
and no one can escape.#47.3 escape: Or “oppose me”.
4I am the LORD All-Powerful,
the holy God of Israel.
I am their Saviour.
5Babylon, be silent!
Sit in the dark.
No longer will nations
accept you as their queen.
6I was angry with my people.
So I let you take their land
and bring disgrace on them.
You showed them no mercy,
but were especially cruel
to those who were old.
7You thought that you
would be queen for ever.
You didn't care what you did;
it never entered your mind
that you might get caught.
8You think that you alone#Rev 18.7,8.
are all-powerful,
that you won't be a widow
or lose your children.
All you care about is pleasure,
but listen to what I say.
9Your magic powers and charms
will suddenly fail,
then you will be a widow
and lose your children.
10You hid behind evil
like a shield and said,
“No one can see me!”
You were fooled by your wisdom
and your knowledge;
you felt sure that you alone
were in full control.
11But without warning,
disaster will strike—
and your magic charms
won't help at all.
12Keep using your magic powers
and your charms
as you have always done.
Perhaps—just perhaps—
you will frighten somebody!
13You have worn yourself out,
asking for advice
from those who study the stars
and tell the future
month after month.
Go and ask them how to be saved
from what will happen.
14People who trust the stars
are as helpless as straw
in a flaming fire.
No one can even keep warm,#47.14 keep warm: Or “cook food”.
sitting by a fire
that feeds only on straw.
15These are the fortune-tellers
you have done business with
all your life.
But they don't know
where they are going,
and they can't save you.