New Living Translation

Isaiah 13

A Message about Babylon

1Isaiah son of Amoz received this message concerning the destruction of Babylon:

“Raise a signal flag on a bare hilltop.
    Call up an army against Babylon.
Wave your hand to encourage them
    as they march into the palaces of the high and mighty.
I, the Lord, have dedicated these soldiers for this task.
    Yes, I have called mighty warriors to express my anger,
    and they will rejoice when I am exalted.”

Hear the noise on the mountains!
    Listen, as the vast armies march!
It is the noise and shouting of many nations.
    The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has called this army together.
They come from distant countries,
    from beyond the farthest horizons.
They are the Lord’s weapons to carry out his anger.
    With them he will destroy the whole land.

Scream in terror, for the day of the Lord has arrived—
    the time for the Almighty to destroy.
Every arm is paralyzed with fear.
    Every heart melts,
    and people are terrified.
Pangs of anguish grip them,
    like those of a woman in labor.
They look helplessly at one another,
    their faces aflame with fear.

For see, the day of the Lord is coming—
    the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger.
The land will be made desolate,
    and all the sinners destroyed with it.
10 The heavens will be black above them;
    the stars will give no light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
    and the moon will provide no light.

11 “I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil
    and the wicked for their sin.
I will crush the arrogance of the proud
    and humble the pride of the mighty.
12 I will make people scarcer than gold—
    more rare than the fine gold of Ophir.
13 For I will shake the heavens.
    The earth will move from its place
when the Lord of Heaven’s Armies displays his wrath
    in the day of his fierce anger.”

14 Everyone in Babylon will run about like a hunted gazelle,
    like sheep without a shepherd.
They will try to find their own people
    and flee to their own land.
15 Anyone who is captured will be cut down—
    run through with a sword.
16 Their little children will be dashed to death before their eyes.
    Their homes will be sacked, and their wives will be raped.

17 “Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon.
    They cannot be tempted by silver
    or bribed with gold.
18 The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows.
    They will have no mercy on helpless babies
    and will show no compassion for children.”

19 Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
    the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
    when God destroyed them.
20 Babylon will never be inhabited again.
    It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
    and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
21 Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
    and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
    and wild goats will go there to dance.
22 Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
    and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
    its time of destruction will soon arrive.

New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 13

A Prophecy Against Babylon

1Here is the prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw.

Lift up a banner on the top of a bare hill.
    Shout to the enemy soldiers.
Wave for them to enter the gates
    that are used by the nobles of Babylon.
The Lord has commanded the soldiers he prepared for battle.
    He has sent for them to carry out his anger against Babylon.
    They will be happy when he wins the battle for them.

Listen! I hear a noise in the mountains.
    It sounds like a huge crowd.
Listen! I hear a loud noise among the kingdoms.
    It sounds like nations gathering together.
The Lord who rules over all is bringing
    an army together for war.
They come from lands far away.
    They come from the farthest places on earth.
The Lord and those weapons of his anger
    are coming to destroy the whole country of Babylon.

Cry out! The day of the Lord is near.
    The Mighty One is coming to destroy the Babylonians.
Their hands won’t be able to help them.
    Everyone’s heart will melt away in fear.
The people will be filled with terror.
    Pain and suffering will grab hold of them.
    They will groan with pain like a woman having a baby.
They’ll look at one another in terror.
    Their faces will burn with shame.

The day of the Lord is coming.
    It will be a terrible day.
    The Lord’s burning anger will blaze out.
He will make the land dry and empty.
    He’ll destroy the sinners in it.
10 All the stars in the sky
    will stop giving their light.
The sun will be darkened as soon as it rises.
    The moon will not shine.
11 The Lord will punish the world because it is so evil.
    He will punish evil people for their sins.
He’ll put an end to the bragging of those who are proud.
    He’ll bring down the pride of those who don’t show any pity.
12 He’ll make people harder to find than pure gold.
    They will be harder to find than gold from Ophir.
13 He will make the heavens tremble.
    He’ll shake the earth out of its place.
The Lord who rules over all will show how angry he is.
    At that time his burning anger will blaze out.

14 Outsiders who live in Babylon will scatter
    like antelope that are chased by a hunter.
    They are like sheep that don’t have a shepherd.
All of them will return to their own people.
    They will run back to their own countries.
15 Those who are captured will have spears stuck through them.
    Those who are caught will be killed by swords.
16 Their babies will be smashed to pieces
    right in front of their eyes.
Their houses will be robbed.
    Their wives will be raped.

17 The Lord will stir up the Medes to attack the Babylonians.
    They aren’t interested in getting silver.
    They don’t want gold.
18 Instead, they will use their bows and arrows
    to strike down the young men.
They won’t even show any mercy to babies.
    They won’t take pity on children.
19 The city of Babylon is the jewel of kingdoms.
    It is the pride and glory of the Babylonians.
But God will destroy it
    just as he did Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 No one will ever live in Babylon again.
    No one will live there for all time to come.
Those who wander in the desert will never set up their tents there.
    Shepherds will never rest their flocks there.
21 But desert creatures will lie down there.
    Wild dogs will fill its houses.
Owls will live there.
    Wild goats will jump around in it.
22 Hyenas will live in its forts.
    Wild dogs will live in its beautiful palaces.
The time for Babylon to be punished is near.
    Its days are numbered.