1An oracle about Babylon, which Isaiah, Amoz’s son, saw.
2On a bare mountain raise a signal;
cry aloud to them;
wave a hand;
let them enter the officials’ gates.
3I have commanded my holy ones;
I have called my warriors,
my proud, jubilant ones,
to execute my wrath.
4Listen!#Heb lacks Listen! A roar on the mountains like that of a great crowd.
Listen! An uproar of kingdoms,
of nations coming together.
The LORD of heavenly forces is mustering an army for battle.
5They are coming from a distant land,
from the faraway heavens,
the LORD and the instruments of his fury, to destroy the whole land.
6Wail, for the day of the LORD is near.
Like destruction from the Almighty#Heb Shaddai or Mountain One it will come.
7Then all hands will fall limp;
every human heart will melt,
8and they will be terrified.
Like a woman writhing in labor,
they will be seized by spasms and agony.
They will look at each other aghast,
their faces blazing.
9Look, the day of the LORD is coming with cruel rage and burning anger,
making the earth a ruin,
and wiping out its sinners.
10Heaven’s stars and constellations won’t show their light.
The sun will be dark when it rises;
the moon will no longer shine.
11I will bring disaster upon the world for its evil,
and bring their own sin upon the wicked.
I will end the pride of the insolent,
and the conceit of tyrants I will lay low.
12I will make humans scarcer than fine gold;
people rarer than the gold of Ophir.
13I will rattle the heavens;
the earth will shake loose from its place—because of the rage
of the LORD of heavenly forces
on the day his anger burns.
14They will be like hunted gazelles, like sheep without a shepherd;
all will turn to their own people
and flee to their own lands.
15Whoever is found will be stabbed;
whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16Their infants will be crushed before their eyes;
their houses plundered, their women raped.
17Look! I’m rousing the Medes against them;
the Medes pay no mind to silver, no desire for gold.
18Their bows will smash youths;
they will be merciless to newborns, pitiless to children.
19So Babylon, a jewel among kingdoms,
the Chaldeans’ splendor and pride,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah,
destroyed by God.
20No one will ever resettle
or live there for generations.
No Arab will camp there;
no shepherds will rest flocks there.
21Wildcats will rest there;
houses will be filled with owls.
Ostriches will live there,
and goat demons will dance there.
22Hyenas will howl in its strongholds,
and jackals in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s#Heb Its time is coming soon;
its days won’t drag on.