An oracle about Babylon, which Isaiah, Amoz's son, saw.
On a bare mountain raise a signal; cry aloud to them; wave a hand; let them enter the officials' gates.
I have commanded my holy ones; I have called my warriors, my proud, jubilant ones, to execute my wrath.
Listen! A roar on the mountains like that of a great crowd. Listen! An uproar of kingdoms, of nations coming together. The LORD of heavenly forces is mustering an army for battle.
They are coming from a distant land, from the faraway heavens, the LORD and the instruments of his fury, to destroy the whole land.
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near. Like destruction from the Almighty it will come.
Then all hands will fall limp; every human heart will melt,
and they will be terrified. Like a woman writhing in labor, they will be seized by spasms and agony. They will look at each other aghast, their faces blazing.
Look, the day of the LORD is coming with cruel rage and burning anger, making the earth a ruin, and wiping out its sinners.
Heaven's stars and constellations won't show their light. The sun will be dark when it rises; the moon will no longer shine.
I will bring disaster upon the world for its evil, and bring their own sin upon the wicked. I will end the pride of the insolent, and the conceit of tyrants I will lay low.
I will make humans scarcer than fine gold; people rarer than the gold of Ophir.
I will rattle the heavens; the earth will shake loose from its place—because of the rage of the LORD of heavenly forces on the day his anger burns.
They will be like hunted gazelles, like sheep without a shepherd; all will turn to their own people and flee to their own lands.
Whoever is found will be stabbed; whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be crushed before their eyes; their houses plundered, their women raped.
Look! I'm rousing the Medes against them; the Medes pay no mind to silver, no desire for gold.
Their bows will smash youths; they will be merciless to newborns, pitiless to children.
So Babylon, a jewel among kingdoms, the Chaldeans' splendor and pride, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed by God.
No one will ever resettle or live there for generations. No Arab will camp there; no shepherds will rest flocks there.
Wildcats will rest there; houses will be filled with owls. Ostriches will live there, and goat demons will dance there.
Hyenas will howl in its strongholds, and jackals in its luxurious palaces. Babylon's time is coming soon; its days won't drag on.