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47 Eternal One: Ah, pretty virgin daughter, Miss Babylon,
        come down and sit in the dust.
    Sit on the ground where you belong: your throne is no more,
        daughter of the Chaldeans, no longer all dainty, delicate.
    And with those delicate fingers grab the heavy millstones and grind the grain.
        Take off your lacy veil, lift your skirt, bare your legs, and
    Cross the mud and muck of the river on foot like any other slave.
    Everyone will see you naked; your humiliation will be most public.
        I intend to make you pay, and no one will interfere.[a]

Israel: Our Savior, our hero—the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies,
        by name—is the Holy One of Israel!
    So you’d best go quietly, Babylon, daughter of the Chaldeans.
        Slink off into the dark. No one will ever again call you Queen of All Lands.

Eternal One: Some time ago, I got fed up with My people.
        I left My heritage to you, let you defeat them and take them away.
    But you showed no mercy, abused and denigrated them;
        you even made the elderly suffer beneath your heavy burden.
    But You were carried away with your power,
        thinking you would always be in charge.
    You didn’t consider your limits or think about how all this would end.
    You, pursuer of pleasure, resting in the thought,
        “No one exists in the world of any consequence except me.
    I’ll never feel as a widow or suffer the loss of my children.”
    Despite all your magic and charms, all of a sudden, in a single day,
        terror and death to the highest degree.
    In the midst of it all, your children and husband, too, will be gone.
10     In your wickedness you thought you were immune,
        so hidden away that no one could find your faults.
    But your version of wisdom and knowledge were your undoing; you thought,
        “No one exists in the world of any consequence except me.”
11     Evil will break upon you full force.
        You won’t be able to hold it off or charm it away.
    Disaster will fall and, even with all your wealth, you won’t stand a chance.
        There’s no way to know what is coming; all of a sudden,
    It will ruin all that you have and all that you are.
12     But keep trying your spells;
        your magic and charms have brought you this far.
    Maybe they’ll help in some way. Maybe they’ll incite fear.
13     All of your scheming has only exhausted you.
        Let the astrologers step up and save you,
    After all they chart the heavens, read the stars,
        and predict the future month after month.
14     Look, they’re like dry straw that ignites in a flash and is burned away.
        They cannot help you—they cannot help themselves
    From the power of the flame.
        And this is not some warm and cozy fire shared among friends!
15     So that’s what they’re worth to you—absolutely nothing,
        even after all these years of working together.
    They’re gone. No one’s left to rescue you.


  1. 47:3 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

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