Isaiah 13

God will destroy Babylon

1 This is God's message about Babylon that he showed to Isaiah, the son of Amoz:

2 Lift up a sign on an empty hill. Shout aloud for an army to attack! Wave your hand! Then they will go through the city gates into the rulers' palaces.

3 I, the Lord, have sent my special men. I am very angry. Those men are my brave soldiers who will punish Babylon on my behalf. They are proud because I have made them strong.

4 Listen to the loud noise of a big crowd on the mountains! It is the sound of large armies from many kingdoms as they march and shout. Nations are joining together to fight! The Lord Almighty is preparing an army ready for war.

5 People are coming from countries that are far away, from the ends of the earth. The Lord himself is coming with weapons for war, because he is angry. He will destroy the whole land.

6 Weep, because the day of the Lord is near. That is the time when God Almighty will destroy his enemies. 7 All the people will become weak with fear. They will no longer be brave. 8 They will be very afraid. Their bodies will hurt with great pain. They will hurt like a woman who is giving birth. They will look at each other, as their faces show fear and pain.

9 Look! The day of the Lord will happen soon! It will be a cruel day. The Lord will punish his enemies with great anger. He will destroy the whole land, as well as all the sinners in it.

10 When he does that, the stars in the sky will give no light. When the sun rises in the morning, it will still be dark. The moon will no longer shine.

11 I, the Lord, will punish the world, because it is evil. I will punish wicked people for their sins. I will stop proud people from boasting. If strong people are cruel to others, I will bring them down low.

12 Very few people will remain after my punishment. Men and women will be more difficult to find than the best gold.

13 Then I will cause the sky to shake. The earth will move from its proper place. People will see how angry I am, when they see the great anger of the Lord Almighty. 14 Everyone will try to run away and escape. They will run anywhere, like a deer that runs away from a hunter. They will be like sheep with no shepherd to lead them. They will return to their own countries and homes.

15 The enemy soldiers will catch all those who do not escape. They will use their swords to kill everyone that they catch. 16 They will knock their children down in pieces while the parents watch. They will rob the people's homes. They will have sex with their wives.

17 Look! I will cause the Medes to come and attack Babylon. Their army has no interest in silver or gold, so nobody can pay them to stop.

18 Their arrows will kill Babylon's young men. They will not let babies or children go free.

19 Yes, God will destroy Babylon, as he did to Sodom and Gomorrah. Babylon has been a great and beautiful city. The people of the whole nation have been very proud of it. But God will still destroy it.

20 The people and their descendants will never live there again. No Arab will put his tent there. No shepherds will take their sheep there to rest. 21 Only wild animals will lie down there. Its old houses will be full of jackals. Ostriches will live there and wild goats will jump in it. 22 Wild dogs and hyenas will cry out in its towers and palaces. Enemies will soon destroy Babylon! Only a few days remain.