The Divine Warrior Will Attack Nineveh
1One who shatters#Literally “a shatterer” has come up against you!
Guard the fortification!
Watch the road!#Or “way”
Gird your loins!
Muster#Or “Collect” all your strength!
2For Yahweh will restore the majesty of Jacob
like the majesty of Israel;
for ravagers have ravaged them
and ruined their branches.
The Enemy Army Conquers the City of Nineveh
3The shields of his warriors are dyed red;
The powerful men are dressed in scarlet.
The metal of the chariots#Hebrew “chariot” shines like fire on the day of battle,#Literally “on the day of his preparation”
and their spears quiver.
4The chariots#Hebrew “chariot” race madly through the streets;
they rush back and forth in the public squares.
Their appearance like lightning bolts,
they dart about like flashes of lightning.
5He calls his officers;
they stumble as they march;
they rush to her wall;
they set the covering#The Hebrew word describes a small portable roof to protect siege warriors from arrows and debris hurled at them from the fortified city wall in place.
6The gates of the river are opened;
the palace trembles.
7Her goddess is taken out and taken into exile;#Literally “It is decreed that she be exiled and led away.” MT reads the very enigmatic “And he is placed, she is sent into exile, she is taken up.” The BHS editors suggest the conjectural emendation “And her goddess = the idol of the patron deity of Nineveh is taken and taken into exile.” This is adopted in the translation on the basis of internal evidence
her maidservants moan like doves;
they beat on their breasts.
8Nineveh is like a pool of water without its water.#MT reads “from her days.” Greek LXX and Syriac Peshitta reflect “from her waters”
As they flee,#Literally “And they flee away” she cries, “Stop! Stop!”
But there is no one who turns back.
9Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold!
There is no end to the spoils,#Literally “the supply”
an abundance of everything one could want!#Literally “every kind of desirable object”
10Emptiness and plundering and devastation!
Their hearts faint and their knees tremble,#Or “totter”
All their loins shake#Literally “And shaking of all loins” and all their faces turn#Literally “gather” pale.
The Divine Warrior Will Hunt down the Mighty Lions
11Where now is the den of the lions
and the cave of the fierce lions?
There the lioness, the cub, and the lion once prowled,#Literally “went”
and no one disturbed them.#Literally “there is no one making them afraid”
12The lion tore apart enough prey for his cubs,
he strangled prey for his lioness;
he filled his lair#Literally “his holes” with prey
and his den with mangled carcass.
13“Look! I am against you!” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh of hosts.
“I will burn her chariots with fire;#Literally “with smoke”
the sword will devour fierce lions.
I will cut off your prey from the earth;
the voice of your messengers will no longer be heard.”