Reason for Judgment: Sins of Nineveh
1 Woe to the city guilty of bloodshed!1 she is filled with plunder;3 she has hoarded her spoil!4
Portrayal of the Destruction of Nineveh
2 The chariot drivers will crack their whips;5 the chariot wheels will shake the ground;6 the chariot horses7 will gallop;8 the war chariots9 will bolt forward!10 3 The charioteers11 will charge ahead;12 their swords13 will flash14 and their spears15 will glimmer!16 There will be many people slain;17
there will be piles of the dead,
and countless casualties18 – so many that people19 will stumble over the corpses.
Taunt against the Harlot City
4 “Because20 you have acted like a wanton prostitute21 – a seductive mistress who practices sorcery,22 who23 enslaves24 nations by her harlotry,25 and entices peoples by her sorcery26 – 5 I am against you,” declares the Lord who commands armies.27 “I will strip off your clothes!28
I will show your nakedness to the nations
and your shame to the kingdoms;
6 I will pelt you with filth;29
I will treat you with contempt;
I will make you a public spectacle.
7 Everyone who sees you will turn away from you in disgust;
they will say, ‘Nineveh has been devastated!
Who will lament for her?’
There will be no one to comfort you!”30
Nineveh Will Suffer the Same Fate as Thebes
8 You are no more secure31 than Thebes32 –
she was located on the banks of the Nile;
the waters surrounded her,
her33 rampart34 was the sea, the water35 was her wall. 9 Cush36 and Egypt had limitless strength;37 Put and the Libyans38 were among39 her40 allies.41 10 Yet she went into captivity as an exile;42 even her infants were smashed to pieces43 at the head of every street. They cast lots44 for her nobility;45
all her dignitaries were bound with chains.
11 You too will act like drunkards;46 you will go into hiding;47
you too will seek refuge from the enemy.
The Assyrian Defenses Will Fail
12 All your fortifications will be like fig trees48 with first-ripe fruit:49 If they are shaken,50 their figs51 will fall52 into the mouth of the eater!53
13 Your warriors will be like women in your midst;
the gates of your land will be wide open54 to your enemies; fire will consume55 the bars of your gates.56 14 Draw yourselves water for a siege!57
Strengthen your fortifications!
Trample the mud58 and tread the clay! Make mud bricks to strengthen your walls!59 15 There the fire will consume60 you;
the sword will cut you down;
it will devour61 you like the young locust would.
The Assyrian Defenders Will Flee
Multiply yourself62 like the young locust;
multiply yourself like the flying locust!
16 Increase63 your merchants more than the stars of heaven! They are like64 the young locust which sheds65 its skin and flies away. 17 Your courtiers66 are like locusts, your officials67 are like a swarm of locusts!
They encamp in the walls on a cold day,
yet when the sun rises, they68 fly away;69 and no one knows where they70 are.71
18 Your shepherds72 are sleeping, O king of Assyria! Your officers73 are slumbering!74 Your people are scattered like sheep75 on the mountains
and there is no one to regather them!
19 Your destruction is like an incurable wound;76 your demise is like a fatal injury!77 All who hear what has happened to you78 will clap their hands for joy,79
for no one ever escaped your endless cruelty!80