2 The ·destroyer [attacker; scatterer] is coming ·to attack [against] ·you, Nineveh [L you; C the Babylonians and Medes destroyed Nineveh]. Guard the ·defenses [fortress; ramparts]. Watch the road. ·Get ready [T Gird your loins]. Gather all your strength! 2 ·Destroyers [Plunderers] have ·destroyed [plundered] God’s people and ruined their vines, but the Lord will ·bring back [restore] Jacob’s ·greatness [splendor; majesty] like Israel’s ·greatness [splendor; majesty].
3 The shields of his soldiers are red [C either dyed red or splattered with blood]; the army is dressed in ·red [scarlet]. The metal on the chariots ·flashes like fire [shines; glistens] ·when [L on the day] they are ready to attack; ·their horses are excited [or their cypress spears are brandished]. 4 The chariots ·race [storm; charge insanely] through the streets and rush back and forth through the city squares. They look like torches; they run like lightning.
5 He [C probably the king of Assyria] ·calls [or remembers] his officers, but they stumble on the way. They hurry to the city wall, and the ·shield [or siege tower] is put into place. 6 The river gates are thrown open, and the palace ·is destroyed [collapses; dissolves; melts]. 7 It has been ·announced [decreed] that ·the people of Nineveh [L she] will be ·captured [exiled; or stripped; exposed] and carried away. The slave girls moan like doves and beat their breasts [C a sign of grief]. 8 Nineveh is like a pool, and now its water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” the people yell, but no one turns back. 9 ·Take [Plunder] the silver! ·Take [Plunder] the gold! There is no end to the treasure— piles of wealth of every ·kind [precious/desirable thing]. 10 ·Nineveh is robbed [L Empty!], ·ruined [desolate!], and destroyed. ·The people lose their courage [L Their hearts melt], and their knees knock. ·Stomachs ache [Bodies/Loins in anguish], and everyone’s face grows pale.
11 Where is the lions’ den [C the lion was a symbol of Assyria] and the place where they feed their young? Where did the lion, lioness, and cubs go without being afraid? 12 The lion killed enough for his cubs, ·enough [L and strangled prey] for his ·mate [L lionesses]. He filled his cave with ·the animals he caught [prey]; he filled his den with ·meat he had killed [L torn (flesh)].
13 “I am against ·you, Nineveh [L you],” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. “I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will ·kill [devour] your young lions. I will ·stop you from hunting down others on [L cut off your prey from] the earth, and your messengers’ voices will no longer be heard.”
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