The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices.
The omen in his right hand says, ‘Jerusalem!’ With battering rams his soldiers will go against the gates, shouting for the kill. They will put up siege towers and build ramps against the walls.
The people of Jerusalem will think it is a false omen, because of their treaty with the Babylonians. But the king of Babylon will remind the people of their rebellion. Then he will attack and capture them.
“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come!
“O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here!
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Take off your jeweled crown, for the old order changes. Now the lowly will be exalted, and the mighty will be brought down.
Destruction! Destruction! I will surely destroy the kingdom. And it will not be restored until the one appears who has the right to judge it. Then I will hand it over to him.
“And now, son of man, prophesy concerning the Ammonites and their mockery. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD : “A sword, a sword is drawn for your slaughter. It is polished to destroy, flashing like lightning!
Your prophets have given false visions, and your fortune-tellers have told lies. The sword will fall on the necks of the wicked for whom the day of final reckoning has come.
“Now return the sword to its sheath, for in your own country, the land of your birth, I will pass judgment upon you.
I will pour out my fury on you and blow on you with the fire of my anger. I will hand you over to cruel men who are skilled in destruction.