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Babylon Will Be Punished

13 This is the message[a] that I was given about Babylon:

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

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.
From a distant land
the Lord is coming
    fierce and furious—
he brings his weapons
    to destroy the earth.

Cry and weep!
    The day is coming
when the mighty Lord
    will bring destruction.
All people will be terrified.
Hands will grow limp;
    courage will melt away.
Everyone will tremble with pain
    like a woman giving birth;
they will stare at each other
    with horror on their faces.

There Will Be No Mercy

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[b] 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.

The Lord Will Destroy Babylon

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[c] will leap about.
22 Hyenas and wolves will howl
from Babylon’s fortresses
    and beautiful palaces.
Its time is almost up!


  1. 13.1 message: See the note at 1.1.
  2. 13.17 Medes: People of a nation northeast of Babylonia, which became part of the Persian Empire.
  3. 13.21 goats: Or “demons.”

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