2 Nineveh, an attacker is moving in to scatter you.
You had better guard your fortress,
Keep watch up and down your streets,
strap your war belt around your waist,
And gather all the strength you can.
2 The Eternal One will restore all the glory given to Jacob;
the new nation will resemble the splendor of Israel in its day,
Although destroyers destroyed everything,
even decimating every branch of Jacob’s family tree.
3 Here comes your attacker’s best warriors with gleaming red shields;
the soldiers are in scarlet armor.
Chariots gleam and flash like fire with their approach.
They were carefully made ready for battle.
They taunt you by waving strong spears before you.[a]
4 See the chariots race each other up and down your streets,
rushing back and forth through the city.
They look like flaming torches.
They dart like lightning bolts.
5 Your king remembers his specially-trained forces,
but they can’t get it together, stumbling as they march.
They run to protect the city wall
and try to shield it from the attackers. Their resistance fails.
Nineveh has hundreds of towers along her walls, some up to 200 feet in height, but before the judgment of God they will dissolve.
6 The city gates at the rivers are thrown wide open,
and the palace collapses in the resulting flood.
7 A decree is set and goes out: Nineveh will be ransacked.
She is stripped and will be carried far away from home.
You can hear the young girls pounding their breaking hearts
and moaning like terrified doves.
8 Nineveh was a shimmering pool of water, full to the brim in the days of her glory,
but look, her soldiers are draining away.
“Stop! Stop!” the Assyrian commanders shout,
but no one turns back. The destruction continues.
9 The attacker commands, “Take all the silver;
take all the gold!
The supply is endless.
After all, their treasury is full of stolen wealth.”
10 Every corner of the city is turned upside down, ransacked, stripped bare.
She will lose all hope; her knees give way;
she will shake with fear and turn white as a sheet.
11 Where now is Nineveh’s famous and deadly lion’s den?
The place where they nourish their young lions into killing machines?
The place where the lion and the lioness go, along with their cubs, to feed on victims?
The place where they had nothing to fear?
12 The lion always kills enough for his cubs
and strangles the prey for his mate,
Filling up the lair with the blood and bones and flesh of its kill
and his dens with the fallen prey.
13 Eternal One: I stand against you, Nineveh!
I will command My heavenly army to burn up your chariots till the smoke rises up
And to consume your young lions with the sword.
I will leave nothing in the land to sustain you.
The voice of your messengers will never again be heard.
- 2:3 Other manuscripts read, “the horsemen rush back and forth.”