New English Translation
Reason for Judgment: Sins of Nineveh
1 Woe to the city guilty of bloodshed! She is full of lies; she is filled with plunder; she has hoarded her spoil!
Portrayal of the Destruction of Nineveh
2 The chariot drivers will crack their whips; the chariot wheels will shake the ground; the chariot horses will gallop; the war chariots will bolt forward!
3 The charioteers will charge ahead; their swords will flash and their spears will glimmer! There will be many people slain; there will be piles of the dead, and countless casualties - so many that people will stumble over the corpses.
Taunt against the Harlot City
4 "Because you have acted like a wanton prostitute - a seductive mistress who practices sorcery, who enslaves nations by her harlotry, and entices peoples by her sorcery -
5 I am against you, " declares the LORD who commands armies. "I will strip off your clothes! I will show your nakedness to the nations and your shame to the kingdoms;
6 I will pelt you with filth; I will treat you with contempt; I will make you a public spectacle.
7 Everyone who sees you will turn away from you in disgust; they will say, 'Nineveh has been devastated! Who will lament for her?' There will be no one to comfort you!"
Nineveh Will Suffer the Same Fate as Thebes
8 You are no more secure than Thebes - she was located on the banks of the Nile; the waters surrounded her, her rampart was the sea, the water was her wall.
9 Cush and Egypt had limitless strength; Put and the Libyans were among her allies.
10 Yet she went into captivity as an exile; even her infants were smashed to pieces at the head of every street. They cast lots for her nobility; all her dignitaries were bound with chains.
11 You too will act like drunkards; you will go into hiding; you too will seek refuge from the enemy.
The Assyrian Defenses Will Fail
12 All your fortifications will be like fig trees with first-ripe fruit: If they are shaken, their figs will fall into the mouth of the eater!
13 Your warriors will be like women in your midst; the gates of your land will be wide open to your enemies; fire will consume the bars of your gates.
14 Draw yourselves water for a siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Trample the mud and tread the clay! Make mud bricks to strengthen your walls!
15 There the fire will consume you; the sword will cut you down; it will devour you like the young locust would. Multiply yourself like the young locust; multiply yourself like the flying locust!
The Assyrian Defenders Will Flee
16 Increase your merchants more than the stars of heaven! They are like the young locust which sheds its skin and flies away.
17 Your courtiers are like locusts, your officials are like a swarm of locusts! They encamp in the walls on a cold day, yet when the sun rises, they fly away; and no one knows where they are.
18 Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria! Your officers are slumbering! Your people are scattered like sheep on the mountains and there is no one to regather them!
19 Your destruction is like an incurable wound; your demise is like a fatal injury! All who hear what has happened to you will clap their hands for joy, for no one ever escaped your endless cruelty!
King James Version
1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;
2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.
3 The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:
4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?
8 Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers.
10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.
12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.
14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.
15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.
16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away.
17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?