Isaiah 13

God will destroy Babylon

1 These are serious words about Babylon that Isaiah the son of Amoz ‘saw’.

13:1The word ‘saw’ here means ‘understood’. He may also have seen in his mind something that God showed to him.

2 Lift up a sign on an empty hill. Shout aloud to them and lift a hand! Then they will go through the gates of the kings.

3 I myself have sent my special men. I have told them what they must do. Also, my brave soldiers must say that I am very angry. I have sent them. They are my proud soldiers. Nobody has ever beaten them.

4 Listen to the sound of a very big crowd! They are people who are on the mountains! Listen to the sound of these people. They are shouting while they come together from many countries! The Lord of Many Armies is preparing an army ready for war.

5 People are coming from a country that is a long way from here. They are coming from the ends of the skies. The Lord is coming with weapons for war, because he is angry. He will destroy your whole country.

6 Weep, because the day of the Lord is near. It will happen when Shaddai destroys your country.

7 Everybody's hands will become weak because of it. And every human heart will become very weak.

8 And they will be very much afraid. They will hurt and they will feel a lot of pain. They will be afraid like a woman who is having a baby. They will look at each other and their faces will frighten each other.

9 Think! The day of the Lord will happen soon! It will be cruel. The Lord will be angry. He will be like an angry fire! It will make your country empty and it will kill all the sinners in it.

10 Yes! The stars in the skies, all of them, will give no light. When the sun appears in the morning, it will still be dark. The moon will not shine.

11 I will cause very bad things to happen to the world. And I will punish bad people for their sins. I will not let proud people think that they are better than anyone else. And I will beat strong people who hurt weak people.

12 I will make men harder to find than the best gold. And men and women will be more difficult to find than gold from Ophir.

13 So I will cause the skies to shake. The earth will move out of its proper place. And people will see how angry the Lord of Many Armies is.

14 And people will look at each other and they will run away to their own country. They will be like wild animals that run away from the hunter. Or they will be like sheep with nobody to lead them.

15 The foreign army will kill with sharp knives anyone who tries to run away. And they will kill with the sword anyone that they catch.

16 They will break young children into pieces while the children's parents watch. They will rob the people's homes and they will have sex with their wives.

17 Look, I will cause the Medes to come. They will come to fight against Babylon. The Medes do not ask for silver or gold.

18 Their bows will kill the young men. They will not be kind to babies. And they will not seem sorry for the children.

19 And Babylon will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them. That will happen even if other countries think, ‘Babylon is beautiful.’ The people in Chaldea are proud of the city called Babylon.

20 But people will never live there again. And none of its children will ever live there again. No Arab will put his tent there. No farmers will cause their animals to lie down there.

21 Only wild animals will lie down there. Its houses will be full of owls that scream. And ostriches will live there. Wild goats will dance about in it.

22 Hyenas will make a noise in its tall buildings and jackals will live in its beautiful palaces. Enemies will soon destroy it. It does not have many more days.