Lament for Babylon
1“Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
Sit on the ground [in abject humiliation]; there is no throne for you,
O daughter of the [a]Chaldeans,
For you will no longer be called tender and delicate.
“Take millstones [as a female slave does] and grind meal;
Remove your veil, strip off the skirt,
Uncover the leg, cross the rivers [at the command of your captors].
“Your nakedness will be uncovered,
Your shame will also be exposed;
I will take vengeance and will spare no man.”
Our Redeemer [will do all this], the Lord of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel.
“Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans;
For you will no longer be called
The queen of kingdoms.
“I was angry with My people,
I profaned [Judah] My inheritance
And gave them into your hand [Babylon].
You showed them no mercy;
You made your yoke very heavy on the aged.
“And you said, ‘I shall be a queen forevermore.’
You did not consider these things,
Nor did you [seriously] remember the [ultimate] outcome of such conduct.
“Now, then, hear this, you who live a luxuriant life,
You who dwell safely and securely,
Who say in your heart (mind),
‘I am [the queen], and there is no one besides me.
I shall not sit as a widow,
Nor know the loss of children.’
“But these two things shall come to you abruptly, in one day:
Loss of children and widowhood.
They will come on you in full measure
In spite of your many [claims of power through your] sorceries,
In spite of the great power of your enchantments.
“For you [Babylon] have trusted and felt confident in your wickedness; you have said,
‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and your knowledge have led you astray,
And you have said in your heart (mind),
‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
“Therefore disaster will come on you;
You will not know how to make it disappear [with your magic].
And disaster will fall on you
For which you cannot atone [with all your offerings to your gods];
And destruction about which you do not know
Will come on you suddenly.
“Persist, then, [Babylon] in your enchantments
And your many sorceries
With which you have labored from your youth;
Perhaps you will be able to profit [from them],
Perhaps you may prevail and cause trembling.
“You [b]are wearied by your many counsels.
Just let the astrologers,
Those who predict by the new moons [each month]
Stand up and save you from the things that will come upon you [Babylon].
“In fact, they are like stubble;
Fire burns them.
They cannot save themselves from the power of the flame [much less save the nation],
There is no blazing coal for warming
Nor fire before which to sit!
“This is how they have become to you, those [astrologers and sorcerers] with whom you have labored,
Those who have done business with you from your youth;
Each has wandered in his own way.
There is no one to save you.