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Nineveh Will Fall

Nineveh, someone is coming
    to attack and scatter you.
Guard your fortresses!
Watch the road!
Be brave!
    Prepare for battle!
Judah and Israel are like trees
with branches broken
    by their enemies.
But the Lord is going to restore
    their power and glory.

Nineveh, on this day of attack,
your enemies' shields are red;
    their uniforms are crimson.
Their horses[a] prance,
    and their armored[b] chariots
dart around
like lightning
    or flaming torches.
An officer gives a command.
But his soldiers stumble,
    as they hasten to build
a shelter
to protect themselves
against rocks
thrown down
    from the city wall.

The river gates[c] fly open,
    and panic floods the palace.
Nineveh is disgraced.
    The queen is dragged off.
Her servant women mourn;
    they sound like doves,
and they beat their breasts
    in sorrow.[d]
Nineveh is like a pond
    with leaking water.
Shouts of “Stop! Don’t go!”
can be heard everywhere.
    But everyone is leaving.

Enemy soldiers shout,
“The city is full of treasure
    and all kinds of wealth.
Steal her silver! Grab her gold!”

10 Nineveh is doomed! Destroyed!
Her people tremble with fear;
    their faces turn pale.[e]
11 What happened to this city?
    They were safer there
than powerful lions in a den,
    with no one to disturb them.
12 These are the same lions
that ferociously attacked
    their victims,
then dragged away the flesh
    to feed their young.

13 The Lord All-Powerful
    is against you, Nineveh.
God will burn your chariots
and send an army
to kill
    those young lions of yours.
You will never again
    make victims of others
or send messengers to threaten
    everyone on this earth.

Footnotes

  1. 2.4 horses: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “spears.”
  2. 2.4 armored: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 2.6 river gates: Nineveh was protected by a moat filled with water from the nearby Tigris River.
  4. 2.7 sorrow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 7.
  5. 2.10 faces turn pale: Or “ashes cover their faces.”

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