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The Fall of Babylon

47 “Come down and sit in the dust,
    Virgin Daughter of Babylon.
Sit on[a] the ground without a chair,
    Daughter of the Chaldeans!
For no longer will they call you
    tender and attractive.
Take millstones and grind flour.
    Remove your veil,
strip off your robes,[b]
    bare your legs,
        and wade through the rivers.
Your nakedness will be[c] exposed,
    and your disgrace will also be seen.
I’ll take vengeance,
    and I will spare no mortal.

“Our Redeemer—
    the Lord of the Heavenly Armies is his name—
        is the Holy One of Israel.

“Sit silent,[d] and enter into the darkness,
    you daughter of the Chaldeans;
for no more will they call you
    Queen of Kingdoms.
I was angry with my people,
    and[e] I desecrated my heritage,
and gave them into your control.
    You showed them no mercy;
        even on the aged you laid your yoke most heavily.
You said, ‘I will always continue—Queen forever!’
    You didn’t take these things into your thinking,
        nor did you think about their consequences.[f]

“Now hear this, you wanton creature,
    lounging with no cares,
and saying to herself:
    ‘I am the one, and there will be none besides me;
I won’t live as a widow,
    nor will I see[g] the loss of children.’
Both of these things will overtake you
    suddenly on a single day:
loss of children and widowhood.
    They will come upon you in full measure,
despite the multitude of your incantations
    and the great power of your spells.”

Self-Deception of the Babylonians

10 “You trusted in your own knowledge.[h]
    You said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and knowledge have misled you.
    You said in your heart,
        ‘I am the one, and there will be none besides me.’

11 “But disaster will come[i] upon you,
    and[j] you will not know how to charm it away.
A calamity will befall you
    that you will not be able to[k] ward off;
and devastation will come upon you suddenly,
    and[l] you won’t anticipate it.

12 “But[m] stand up now with your spells
    and your many incantations,
at which you have labored from your childhood until today,[n]
13 according to[o] your multiple schemes.
Let them stand up now—
    those who conjure[p] the heavens
and[q] gaze at the stars,
    predicting at the new moons—
        and save you from what is about to happen to them.[r]

14 “See, they are just like stubble;
    fire burns them up.
They could not[s] even save themselves
    from the power of the flame.
There will be no coals for warming oneself,
    no fire to sit by.
15 So will they be to you—those with whom you toiled
    and did business since your childhood—
they wander about, each in his own direction;
    there is not one who can save you.


  1. Isaiah 47:1 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT use another preposition
  2. Isaiah 47:2 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab 4QIsad MT read skirt
  3. Isaiah 47:3 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT read let it be
  4. Isaiah 47:5 1QIsaa and MT use alternate forms of the same term
  5. Isaiah 47:6 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT lack and
  6. Isaiah 47:7 1QIsaa and MT use alternate forms; LXX reads the last things
  7. Isaiah 47:8 So 1QIsaa; 4QIsad MT LXX read know
  8. Isaiah 47:10 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read evil
  9. Isaiah 47:11 So 1QIsaa (feminine); MT (masculine [incorrectly])
  10. Isaiah 47:11 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT lacks and
  11. Isaiah 47:11 So 1QIsaa; MT lacks to
  12. Isaiah 47:11 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT lacks and
  13. Isaiah 47:12 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT LXX lack But
  14. Isaiah 47:12 So 1QIsaa; 1QIsab MT read childhood. Perhaps you can gain some profit; perhaps you may inspire fear. LXX reads if you can gain some profit.
  15. Isaiah 47:13 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read You are wearied by
  16. Isaiah 47:13 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads divide
  17. Isaiah 47:13 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack and
  18. Isaiah 47:13 So 1QIsaa; MT reads what things are about to happen to you; LXX reads what is about to happen to you
  19. Isaiah 47:14 So 1QIsaa; MT reads cannot