Isaiah 47:1-15

God's message to Babylon

1 ‘Babylon, get down on the ground, and sit in the dirt!

Come down off your throne, young lady!

In the past, nobody has touched you,

but people will no longer say that you are so pretty.

2 Use heavy stones to make grain into flour.

Take the veil off your face.

Lift up your skirt.

Walk through streams of water with bare legs.

3 Stand there with your body completely bare!

Everybody will see your great shame.

I will punish you for your sins,

and nobody will escape.’

4 This is what the Lord Almighty says. He is our Redeemer, Israel's Holy God.

5 ‘You city of the Babylonians, sit there quietly!

Go and hide in a dark place.

People will no longer call you the queen of all kingdoms.

6 I was angry with my own people.

They belonged to me as my special people,

but I punished them like ordinary people.

I gave you the power to hurt them,

and you were not kind to them.

You were very cruel to old people.

7 You boasted,

“I will rule other nations as queen for ever!”

But you did not think about what you were doing.

You did not think about what would happen in the end.

8 So listen to me, Babylon!

You love to enjoy expensive things.

You think that you are strong and safe.

You say to yourself, “Here I am!

There is nobody as good as I am.

I will never be alone as a widow.

I will never lose my children.”

9 But both of those things will happen to you!

They will happen suddenly, in only one day.

You will lose your children

and you will become a widow.

All these troubles will come to hurt you.

You can use all your powerful magic

but you will not stop this trouble!

10 You thought that your evil deeds would keep you safe.

You said, “Nobody sees me!”

You think that you are very wise

and that you know everything.

But your wisdom has deceived you.

You say, “Here I am!

There is nobody as good as I am.”

11 But trouble will suddenly come to you.

Your magic words will not stop it.

Trouble will come and destroy you.

You cannot pay anyone to take it away.

It will suddenly hit you,

before you even recognize it.

12 So continue with your magic, if you want to.

Say your magic words.

You have always used that magic,

since you were young.

Perhaps your magic will help you.

Perhaps you will frighten your enemies!

13 You receive a lot of advice,

and it has made you become tired.

Let your advisors come and stand there.

They study the sky and the stars to decide what will happen.

They say what will happen each month.

So let them come and help you!

See if they can rescue you from the trouble that is coming!

14 But they are as useless as straw

that quickly burns in a fire.

They cannot save themselves,

because the fire is too hot!

This is not a nice fire to sit beside and enjoy the heat.

15 You have worked with those magicians since you were young,

but you will have no help from them now.

They have gone their own separate ways.

There is nobody left who can save you.’