1 The watchmen of Nineveh shout:
“An enemy who will scatter you is marching out to attack you!”
“Guard the rampart!
Watch the road!
Prepare yourselves for battle!
Muster your mighty strength!”
2 For the Lord will restore the majesty of Jacob,
as well as the majesty of Israel,
though their enemies have plundered them
and have destroyed their fields.
Prophetic Vision of the Fall of Nineveh
3 The shields of his warriors are dyed red;
the mighty soldiers are dressed in scarlet garments.
The metal fittings of the chariots shine
like fire on the day of battle;
the soldiers brandish their spears.
4 The chariots race madly through the streets,
they rush back and forth in the broad plazas;
they look like lightning bolts,
they dash here and there like flashes of lightning.
5 The commander orders his officers;
they stumble as they advance;
they rush to the city wall
and they set up the covered siege tower.
6 The sluice gates are opened;
the royal palace is deluged and dissolves.
7 Nineveh is taken into exile and is led away;
her slave girls moan like doves while they beat their breasts.
8 Nineveh was like a pool of water throughout her days,
but now her people are running away;
she cries out: “Stop! Stop!” –
but no one turns back.
9 Her conquerors cry out:
“Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold!”
There is no end to the treasure;
riches of every kind of precious thing.
10 Destruction, devastation, and desolation!
Their hearts faint,
their knees tremble,
each stomach churns, each face turns pale!
Taunt against the Once-Mighty Lion
11 Where now is the den of the lions,
the feeding place of the young lions,
where the lion, lioness, and lion cub once prowled
and no one disturbed them?
12 The lion tore apart as much prey as his cubs needed
and strangled prey to provide food for his lionesses;
he filled his lairs with prey
and his dens with torn flesh.
Battle Cry of the Divine Warrior
13 “I am against you!” declares the Lord who commands armies:
“I will burn your chariots with fire;
the sword will devour your young lions;
you will no longer prey upon the land;
the voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.”