2 Nineveh, someone is coming to attack and scatter you. Guard your fortresses! Watch the road! Be brave! Prepare for battle! 2 Judah and Israel are like trees with branches broken by their enemies. But the Lord is going to restore their power and glory.
3 Nineveh, on this day of attack, your enemies' shields are red; their uniforms are crimson. 4 Their horses[a] prance, and their armored[b] chariots dart around like lightning or flaming torches. 5 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.
6 The river gates[c] fly open, and panic floods the palace. 7 Nineveh is disgraced. The queen is dragged off. Her servant women mourn; they sound like doves, and they beat their breasts in sorrow.[d] 8 Nineveh is like a pond with leaking water. Shouts of “Stop! Don’t go!” can be heard everywhere. But everyone is leaving.
9 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.
2.4horses: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “spears.”
2.4armored: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2.6river gates: Nineveh was protected by a moat filled with water from the nearby Tigris River.
2.7sorrow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 7.
2.10faces turn pale: Or “ashes cover their faces.”
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