1 This is the message Isaiah, son of Amoz, received* Literally, “saw.” about Babylon.
2 Set up a banner on a bare hilltop; shout out to them; wave your hand to encourage them to enter the palaces of princes.† “Palaces of princes”: literally, “gates of the nobles.” 3 I have ordered the ones I have chosen to attack; I have called my warriors to execute my furious judgment and to celebrate my triumph.
4 A noise comes from the mountains, sounding like that of a huge crowd! It's the roaring sound from the kingdoms, from nations gathering together! The Lord Almighty is calling up an army for war. 5 They are coming from distant lands, from beyond the far horizons—the Lord and the weapons of his fury—coming to destroy the whole country.
6 Howl in fear, for the day of the Lord is approaching—the time when the Almighty destroys. 7 Everyone's hands will fall limp, and everyone will lose their minds in panic. 8 They will be terrified; pain and anguish will seize them; they will suffer like a woman giving birth. They will look in shock at each other, their faces burning in fear. 9 Look! The day of the Lord is coming—cruel, with fury and fierce anger—to devastate the land and to wipe out its sinners. 10 The stars in the constellations of heaven above will not shine. When the sun rises it will stay dark. The moon will give no light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their sin, says the Lord.‡ “Says the Lord.” Supplied for clarity. I will put an end to the conceit of the arrogant, and I will humiliate tyrants and their pride. 12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold, rarer than the gold of Ophir. 13 So I will shake the heavens and make the earth jump out of its place because of the fury of the Lord Almighty, at the time when his anger burns.
14 Like a gazelle being hunted, or like sheep without a shepherd, the Babylonians§ “The Babylonians”: supplied for clarity. will return to their own people, they will run away to their own land. 15 Anyone who is captured will be stabbed to death; anyone who is caught will be killed by the sword. 16 Their little children will be dashed to pieces as they watch, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be raped.
17 I'm going to get the Medes to attack them, people who don't care about silver or gold. 18 Their bows will slaughter their young men; they will show no mercy to babies; they will have no pity on children. 19 Babylon, the most marvelous city of any kingdom, the greatest pride of the Babylonian people, will be demolished by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 No one will ever live in Babylon again. It will be deserted—no desert nomad will set up a tent there, no shepherd will bring a flock to rest there. 21 Only desert animals will make their homes there, and the ruined houses will be inhabited by wild dogs. Owls will live there, and wild goats will leap around. 22 Hyenas will howl in her fortresses and jackals in her lavish palaces. Babylon's time is coming soon—they will not last much longer.
*13:1 Literally, “saw.”
†13:2 “Palaces of princes”: literally, “gates of the nobles.”
‡13:11 “Says the Lord.” Supplied for clarity.
§13:14 “The Babylonians”: supplied for clarity.