Woe to the city of blood,1 full of lies,2 full of plunder, never without victims!
The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots!
Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses3--
all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries,4 who enslaved nations by her prostitution5 and peoples by her witchcraft.
"I am against6 you," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will lift your skirts7 over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness8 and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth,9 I will treat you with contempt10 and make you a spectacle.117
All who see you will flee12 from you and say, 'Nineveh13 is in ruins14--who will mourn for her?'15 Where can I find anyone to comfort16 you?"
Are you better than17 Thebes,a18 situated on the Nile,19 with water around her? The river was her defense, the waters her wall.
Cushb20 and Egypt were her boundless strength; Put21 and Libya22 were among her allies.
Yet she was taken captive23 and went into exile. Her infants were dashed24 to pieces at the head of every street. Lots25 were cast for her nobles, and all her great men were put in chains.2611
You too will become drunk;27 you will go into hiding28 and seek refuge from the enemy.
All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe fruit;29 when they are shaken, the figs30 fall into the mouth of the eater.
Look at your troops-- they are all women!31 The gates32 of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has consumed their bars.3314
Draw water for the siege,34 strengthen your defenses!35 Work the clay, tread the mortar, repair the brickwork!
There the fire36 will devour you; the sword37 will cut you down and, like grasshoppers, consume you. Multiply like grasshoppers, multiply like locusts!3816
You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more than the stars of the sky, but like locusts39 they strip the land and then fly away.
Your guards are like locusts,40 your officials like swarms of locusts that settle in the walls on a cold day-- but when the sun appears they fly away, and no one knows where.
O king of Assyria, your shepherdsc slumber;41 your nobles lie down to rest.42 Your people are scattered43 on the mountains with no one to gather them.
Nothing can heal your wound;44 your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands45 at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?46