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Isaiah 47New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 47

The Fall of Babylon[a]

Come down, sit in the dust,
    virgin daughter Babylon;
Sit on the ground, dethroned,
    daughter of the Chaldeans.
No longer shall you be called
    dainty and delicate.
Take the millstone and grind flour,
    remove your veil;
Strip off your skirt, bare your legs,
    cross through the streams.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
    and your shame be seen;
I will take vengeance,
    I will yield to no entreaty,
says     our redeemer,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts,
    the Holy One of Israel.

Go into darkness and sit in silence,
    daughter of the Chaldeans,
No longer shall you be called
    sovereign mistress of kingdoms.
Angry at my people,
    I profaned my heritage
And gave them into your power;
    but you showed them no mercy;
Upon the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, “I shall remain always,
    a sovereign mistress forever!”
You did not take these things to heart,
    but disregarded their outcome.
Now hear this, voluptuous one,
    enthroned securely,
Saying in your heart,
    “I, and no one else![b]
I shall never be a widow,
    bereft of my children”—
Both these things shall come to you
    suddenly, in a single day:
Complete bereavement and widowhood
    shall come upon you
Despite your many sorceries
    and the full power of your spells;[c]
10 Secure in your wickedness,
    you said, “No one sees me.”
Your wisdom and your knowledge
    led you astray,
And you said in your heart,
    “I, and no one else!”
11 But upon you shall come an evil
    you will not be able to charm away;
Upon you shall fall a disaster
    you cannot ward off.
Upon you shall suddenly come
    a ruin you cannot imagine.

12 Keep on with your spells
    and your many sorceries,
    at which you toiled from your youth.
Perhaps you can prevail,
    perhaps you can strike terror!
13 You wore yourself out with so many consultations!
    Let the astrologers stand forth to save you,
The stargazers who forecast at each new moon
    what would happen to you.
14 See, they are like stubble,
    fire consumes them;
They cannot deliver themselves
    from the spreading flames.
This is no warming ember,
    no fire to sit before!
15 Thus do your wizards serve you
    with whom you have toiled from your youth;
They wander their separate ways,
    with none to save you.


  1. 47:1–15 A taunt-song, mocking Babylon, once queen of the nations, now a mere slave.
  2. 47:8, 10 I, and no one else: Babylon is mockingly presented as making the same claim as the Lord (cf. 45:6, 14, 22; 46:9), a claim that events will soon prove to be false and foolish (v. 11).
  3. 47:9–13, 15 Babylon was known for its sorcery and astrology.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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