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Prophecies against foreign nations

1BABYLON: an oracle which Isaiah son of Amoz received in a vision.

2On a wind-swept height hoist the standard, sound the call to battle, wave on the advance towards the Nobles' Gate.

3I have issued this order to my fighting men, and summoned my warriors, all eager for my victory, to give effect to my anger.

4A tumult is heard on the mountains, the sound of a vast multitude; it is the clamour of kingdoms, of nations assembling. The LORD of Hosts is mustering a host for war.

5They come from a distant land, from beyond the horizon, the LORD with the weapons of his wrath, to lay the whole earth waste.

6Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand, devastation coming from the Almighty!

7Because of it every hand will hang limp, every man's courage melt away;

8they will writhe with terror; agonizing pangs will grip them, like a woman in labour. They will look aghast at each other, their faces livid with fear.

9The day of the LORD is coming, that cruel day of wrath and fierce anger, to reduce the earth to desolation and destroy all the wicked there.

10The stars of heaven in their constellations will give no light, the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

11I shall bring disaster on the world and due punishment on the wicked. I shall cut short insolent pride and bring down ruthless arrogance.

12I shall make human beings scarcer than fine gold, more rare than gold of Ophir.

13Then I shall make the heavens shudder, and the earth will be shaken to its foundations at the wrath of the LORD of Hosts, on the day of his blazing anger.

14Like a gazelle pursued by a hunter or like a flock with no shepherd to round it up, every man will head back to his own people, each one will flee to his own land.

15All who are found will fall by the sword, all who are taken will be thrust through;

16their babes will be battered to death before their eyes, their houses looted and their wives raped.

17I shall stir up the Medes against them; they cannot be bought off with silver, nor be tempted by gold;

18they have no pity on little children and spare no mother's son.

19Babylon, fairest of kingdoms, proud beauty of the Chaldaeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when overthrown by God.

20Never again will she be inhabited, no one will live in her throughout the ages; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherds fold their flocks.

21But marmots will have their lairs in her, and porcupines will overrun her houses; desert-owls will dwell there, and there he-goats will gambol;

22jackals will occupy her mansions, and wolves her luxurious palaces. Her time draws very near; her days have not long to run.

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