3 How terrible it will be for Nineveh! It is a city of murderers! It is full of liars! It is filled with stolen goods! The killing never stops! 2 Whips crack! Wheels clack! Horses charge! Chariots rumble! 3 Horsemen attack! Swords flash! Spears gleam! Many people die. Dead bodies pile up. They can’t even be counted. People trip over them. 4 All of that was caused by the evil desires of the prostitute Nineveh. That woman who practiced evil magic was very beautiful. She used her sinful charms to make slaves out of the nations. She worshiped evil powers in order to trap others.
5 “Nineveh, I am against you,” announces the Lord who rules over all. “I will pull your skirts up over your face. I will show the nations your naked body. Kingdoms will make fun of your shame. 6 I will throw garbage at you. I will look down on you. I will make an example out of you. 7 All those who see you will run away from you. They will say, ‘Nineveh is destroyed. Who will mourn over it?’ Where can I find someone to comfort your people?”
8 Nineveh, are you better than Thebes on the Nile River? There was water all around that city. The river helped to keep it safe. The waters were like a wall around it. 9 Cush and Egypt gave it all the strength it needed. Put and Libya also helped it. 10 But Thebes was captured anyway. Its people were taken away as prisoners. Its babies were smashed to pieces at every street corner. The Assyrian soldiers cast lots for all its nobles. They put them in chains and made slaves out of them. 11 People of Nineveh, you too will get drunk. You will try to hide from your enemies. You will look for a place of safety.
12 All your forts are like fig trees that have their first ripe fruit on them. When the trees are shaken, the figs fall into the mouths of those who eat them. 13 Look at your troops. All of them are weak. The gates of your forts are wide open to your enemies. Fire has destroyed the bars that lock your gates.
14 Prepare for the attack by storing up water! Make your walls as strong as you can! Make some bricks out of clay! Mix the mud to hold them together! Use them to repair the walls! 15 In spite of all your hard work, fire will burn you up inside your city. Your enemies will cut you down with their swords. They will destroy you just as a swarm of locusts eats up crops. Multiply like grasshoppers! Increase your numbers like locusts! 16 You have more traders than the number of stars in the sky. But like locusts they strip the land. Then they fly away. 17 Your guards are like grasshoppers. Your officials are like swarms of locusts. They settle in the walls on a cold day. But when the sun appears, they fly away. And no one knows where they go.
18 King of Assyria, your leaders are asleep. Your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains. No one is left to gather them together. 19 Nothing can heal your wounds. You will die of them. All those who hear the news about you clap their hands. That’s because you have fallen from power. Is there anyone who has not suffered because of how badly you treated them?
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