How terrible it will be for Nineveh, the city of murder and lies! She is crammed with wealth to be plundered.
Listen! Hear the crack of the whips as the chariots rush forward against her. Wheels rumble, horses' hooves pound, and chariots clatter as they bump wildly through the streets.
See the flashing swords and glittering spears in the upraised arms of the cavalry! The dead are lying in the streets -- dead bodies, heaps of bodies, everywhere. People stumble over them, scramble to their feet, and fall again.
All this because Nineveh, the beautiful and faithless city, mistress of deadly charms, enticed the nations with her beauty. She taught them all to worship her false gods, enchanting people everywhere.
"No wonder I am your enemy!" declares the LORD Almighty. "And now I will lift your skirts so all the earth will see your nakedness and shame.
I will cover you with filth and show the world how vile you really are.
All who see you will shrink back in horror and say, 'Nineveh lies in utter ruin.' Yet no one anywhere will regret your destruction."
Are you any better than Thebes, surrounded by rivers, protected by water on all sides?
Ethiopia and the land of Egypt were the source of her strength, which seemed without limit. The nations of Put and Libya also helped and supported her.
Yet Thebes fell, and her people were led away as captives. Her babies were dashed to death against the stones of the streets. Soldiers cast lots to see who would get the Egyptian officers as servants. All their leaders were bound in chains.
And you, Nineveh, will also stagger like a drunkard. You will hide for fear of the attacking enemy.
All your fortresses will fall. They will be devoured like the ripe figs that fall into the mouths of those who shake the trees.
Your troops will be as weak and helpless as women. The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy and set on fire and burned.
Get ready for the siege! Store up water! Strengthen the defenses! Make bricks to repair the walls! Go into the pits to trample clay, and pack it into molds!
But in the middle of your preparations, the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down. The enemy will consume you like locusts, devouring everything they see. There will be no escape, even if you multiply like grasshoppers.
Merchants, as numerous as the stars, have filled your city with vast wealth. But like a swarm of locusts, they strip the land and then fly away.
Your princes and officials are also like locusts, crowding together in the hedges to survive the cold. But like locusts that fly away when the sun comes up to warm the earth, all of them will fly away and disappear.
O Assyrian king, your princes lie dead in the dust. Your people are scattered across the mountains. There is no longer a shepherd to gather them together.
There is no healing for your wound; your injury is fatal. All who hear of your destruction will clap their hands for joy. Where can anyone be found who has not suffered from your cruelty?