1 This is a message about Babylon that God revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz: 2
On a bare hill raise a signal flag,
shout to them,
wave your hand,
so they might enter the gates of the princes!
3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers;
I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger,
my boasting, arrogant ones. 4
There is a loud noise on the mountains –
it sounds like a large army!
There is great commotion among the kingdoms –
nations are being assembled!
The Lord who commands armies is mustering
forces for battle.
5 They come from a distant land,
from the horizon.
It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment,
coming to destroy the whole earth.
6 Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near;
it comes with all the destructive power of the sovereign judge.
7 For this reason all hands hang limp,
every human heart loses its courage.
8 They panic –
cramps and pain seize hold of them
like those of a woman who is straining to give birth.
They look at one another in astonishment;
their faces are flushed red.
9 Look, the Lord’s day of judgment is coming;
it is a day of cruelty and savage, raging anger,
destroying the earth
and annihilating its sinners.
10 Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations
no longer give out their light;
the sun is darkened as soon as it rises,
and the moon does not shine. 11
I will punish the world for its evil,
and wicked people for their sin.
I will put an end to the pride of the insolent,
I will bring down the arrogance of tyrants.
12 I will make human beings more scarce than pure gold,
and people more scarce than gold from Ophir.
13 So I will shake the heavens,
and the earth will shake loose from its foundation,
because of the fury of the Lord who commands armies,
in the day he vents his raging anger.
14 Like a frightened gazelle
or a sheep with no shepherd,
each will turn toward home,
each will run to his homeland.
15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed;
everyone who is seized will die by the sword.
16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes;
their houses will be looted
and their wives raped.
17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them;
they are not concerned about silver,
nor are they interested in gold.
18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons;
they have no compassion on a person’s offspring,
they will not look with pity on children.
19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms,
the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride,
will be destroyed by God
just as Sodom and Gomorrah were.
20 No one will live there again;
no one will ever reside there again.
No bedouin will camp there,
no shepherds will rest their flocks there.
21 Wild animals will rest there,
the ruined houses will be full of hyenas.
Ostriches will live there,
wild goats will skip among the ruins.
22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses,
jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces.
Her time is almost up,
her days will not be prolonged.