1 An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.
3 I have commanded my holy ones; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath– those who rejoice in my triumph.
4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war.
5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens– the LORD and the weapons of his wrath– to destroy the whole country.
6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man’s heart will melt.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming –a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger– to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, each will return to his own people, each will flee to his native land.
15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished.
17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.
18 Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children.
19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there.
21 But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about.
22 Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.