Nineveh to fall
In Hebrew texts 2:1-13 is numbered 2:2-14. 1An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.
Guard the fortress,
watch the road,
marshal all your strength!
2The Lord will restore the splendour of Jacob
like the splendour of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
and have ruined their vines.
3The shields of the soldiers are red;
the warriors are clad in scarlet.
The metal on the chariots flashes
on the day they are made ready;
the spears of juniper are brandished.2:3 Hebrew; Septuagint and Syriac ready; / the horsemen rush to and fro.
4The chariots storm through the streets,
rushing back and forth through the squares.
They look like flaming torches;
they dart about like lightning.
5Nineveh summons her picked troops,
yet they stumble on their way.
They dash to the city wall;
the protective shield is put in place.
6The river gates are thrown open
and the palace collapses.
7It is decreed2:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. that Nineveh
be exiled and carried away.
Her female slaves moan like doves
and beat on their breasts.
8Nineveh is like a pool
whose water is draining away.
‘Stop! Stop!’ they cry,
but no-one turns back.
9Plunder the silver!
Plunder the gold!
The supply is endless,
the wealth from all its treasures!
10She is pillaged, plundered, stripped!
Hearts melt, knees give way,
bodies tremble, every face grows pale.
11Where now is the lions’ den,
the place where they fed their young,
where the lion and lioness went,
and the cubs, with nothing to fear?
12The lion killed enough for his cubs
and strangled the prey for his mate,
filling his lairs with the kill
and his dens with the prey.
13‘I am against you,’
declares the Lord Almighty.
‘I will burn up your chariots in smoke,
and the sword will devour your young lions.
I will leave you no prey on the earth.
The voices of your messengers
will no longer be heard.’