Isaiah 13

1 This is the message that I was given about Babylon:

2 From high on a barren hill give a signal, shout the orders, and point the way to enter the gates of Babylon's proud rulers.

3 The LORD has commanded his very best warriors and his proud heroes to show how angry he is.

4 Listen to the noisy crowds on the mountains! Kingdoms and nations are joining forces. The LORD All-Powerful is bringing together an army for battle.

5 From a distant land the LORD is coming fierce and furious-- he brings his weapons to destroy the earth.

6 Cry and weep! The day is coming when the mighty LORD will bring destruction. *

7 All people will be terrified. Hands will grow limp; courage will melt away.

8 Everyone will tremble with pain like a woman giving birth; they will stare at each other with horror on their faces.

9 I, the LORD, will show no mercy or pity when that time comes. In my anger I will destroy the earth and every sinner who lives on it.

10 Light will disappear from the stars in the sky; the dawning sun will turn dark, and the moon will lose its glow.

11 I will punish this evil world and its people because of their sins. I will crush the horrible pride of those who are cruel.

12 Survivors will be harder to find than the purest gold.

13 I, the LORD All-Powerful, am terribly angry-- I will make the sky tremble and the earth shake loose.

14 Everyone will run to their homelands, just as hunted deer run, and sheep scatter when they have no shepherd.

15 Those who are captured will be killed by a sword.

16 They will see their children beaten against rocks, their homes robbed, and their wives abused.

17 The Medes can't be bought off with silver or gold, and I'm sending them to attack Babylonia.

18 Their arrows will slaughter the young men; no pity will be shown to babies and children.

19 The city of Babylon is glorious and powerful, the pride of the nation. But it will be like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah after I, the Lord, destroyed them.

20 No one will live in Babylon. Even nomads won't camp nearby, and shepherds won't let their sheep rest there.

21 Only desert creatures, hoot owls, and ostriches will live in its ruins, and goats will leap about.

22 Hyenas and wolves will howl from Babylon's fortresses and beautiful palaces. Its time is almost up!

The Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 by the American Bible Society.

Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary