Woe to Nineveh 1Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!
2The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots!
3Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses—
4all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
5“I am against you,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame.
6I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.
7All who see you will flee from you and say, ‘Nineveh is in ruins—who will mourn for her?’ Where can I find anyone to comfort you?”
8Are you better than Thebes, situated on the Nile, with water around her? The river was her defense, the waters her wall.
10Yet she was taken captive and went into exile. Her infants were dashed to pieces at every street corner. Lots were cast for her nobles, and all her great men were put in chains.
11You too will become drunk; you will go into hiding and seek refuge from the enemy.
12All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe fruit; when they are shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
13Look at your troops— they are all weaklings. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has consumed the bars of your gates.
14Draw water for the siege, strengthen your defenses! Work the clay, tread the mortar, repair the brickwork!
15There the fire will consume you; the sword will cut you down— they will devour you like a swarm of locusts. Multiply like grasshoppers, multiply like locusts!
16You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away.
17Your guards are like locusts, your officials like swarms of locusts that settle in the walls on a cold day— but when the sun appears they fly away, and no one knows where.
18King of Assyria, your shepherds