1 THE MOURNFUL, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up) concerning Babylon which Isaiah son of Amoz saw [with prophetic insight]:
2 Raise up a signal banner upon the high and bare mountain, summon them [the Medes and Persians] with loud voice and beckoning hand that they may enter the gates of the [Babylonian] nobles.
3 I Myself [says the Lord] have commanded My designated ones and have summoned My mighty men to execute My anger, even My proudly exulting ones [the Medes and Persians]–those who are made to triumph for My honor.
4 Hark, the uproar of a multitude in the mountains, like that of a great people! The noise of the tumult of the kingdoms of the nations gathering together! The Lord of hosts is mustering the host for the battle.
5 They come from a distant country, from the uttermost part of the heavens [the far east]–even the Lord and the weapons of His indignation–to seize and destroy the whole land. [Ps. 19:4-6; Isa. 5:26.]
6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand; as destruction from the Almighty and Sufficient One [Shaddai] will it come! [Gen. 17:1.]
7 Therefore will all hands be feeble, and every man's heart will melt.
8 And they [of Babylon] shall be dismayed and terrified, pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman in childbirth. They will gaze stupefied and aghast at one another, their faces will be aflame [from the effects of the unprecedented warfare].
9 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming!–fierce, with wrath and raging anger–to make the land and the [whole] earth a desolation and to destroy out of it its sinners. [Isa. 2:10-22; Rev. 19:11-21.]
10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened at its rising and the moon will not shed its light.
11 And I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their guilt and iniquity; I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible and the boasting of the violent and ruthless.
12 I will make a man more rare than fine gold, and mankind scarcer than the pure gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth shall be shaken out of its place at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of His fierce anger.
14 And like the chased roe or gazelle, and like sheep that no man gathers, each [foreign resident] will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land.
15 Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is connected with the slain and is caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold [and thus cannot be bribed].
18 Their bows will cut down the young men [of Babylon]; and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb, their eyes will not spare children.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, shall be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.
20 [Babylon] shall never be inhabited or dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arab pitch his tent there, nor shall the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
21 But wild beasts of the desert will lie down there, and the people's houses will be full of dolefully howling creatures; and ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats [like demons] will dance there.
22 And wolves and howling creatures will cry and answer in the deserted castles, and jackals in the pleasant palaces. And [Babylon's] time has nearly come, and her days will not be prolonged.