The Overthrow of Nineveh
1 One who scatters advances
against you, O Nineveh.
Guard the fortress!
Watch the road!
Brace yourselves! a
Summon all your strength!
2 For the LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob
like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
and ruined the branches of their vine.
3 The shields of his mighty men are red;
the valiant warriors are dressed in scarlet.
The fittings of the chariots flash like fire
on the day they are prepared,
and the spears of cypress
have been brandished. b
4 The chariots dash through the streets;
they rush around the plazas,
appearing like torches,
darting about like lightning.
5 He summons his nobles;
they stumble as they advance.
They race to its wall;
the protective shield is set in place.
6 The river gates are thrown open
and the palace collapses.
7 It is decreed that the city be exiled
and carried away;
her maidservants moan like doves,
and beat upon their breasts.
8 Nineveh has been like a pool of water
throughout her days,
but now it is draining away.
“Stop! Stop!” they cry,
but no one turns back.
9 “Plunder the silver!
Plunder the gold!”
There is no end to the treasure,
an abundance of every precious thing.
10 She is emptied!
Yes, she is desolate and laid waste!
Hearts melt, knees knock,
bodies tremble, and every face grows pale!
11 Where is the lions’ lair
or the feeding ground of the young lions,
where the lion and lioness prowled with their cubs,
with nothing to frighten them away?
12 The lion mauled enough for its cubs
and strangled prey for the lioness.
It filled its dens with the kill,
and its lairs with mauled prey.
13 “Behold, I am against you,”
declares the LORD of Hosts.
“I will send your chariots up in smoke,
and the sword will devour your young lions.
I will cut off your prey from the earth,
and the voices of your messengers
will no longer be heard.”
1 a Hebrew Strengthen your loins!
3 b Hebrew; alternately, the spears may be of pine or juniper or fir ; LXX and Syriac they are prepared, and the horsemen rush to and fro.