The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
The burden✻ that awaits Babylon, as it was revealed to Isaias, son of Amos.
A signal raised amid the shadow of the mountain, voices lifted, and a waving of hands; all is ready for the captains to march in through the city gates.
These are my chosen warriors, doing my bidding; my champions whom I have summoned to execute my vengeance; they boast of my renown.
The hills echo with the voices of a multitude, as if a host had gathered; voices of assembled kings, of whole peoples mustered there; the Lord of hosts is marshalling his troops for battle.
They come from far away, from the most distant region under heaven; the Lord is angry, and these are the instruments of his vengeance, to lay a whole world waste.
Cry aloud, for the day of the Lord is coming; his the dominion, his the doom.
No hand now but will hang useless, no heart but will be fainting with dismay;
tortures and pangs will seize them, throes as of a woman in travail; each man looks at his neighbour in bewilderment, their faces ashy pale.✻
Yes, the day of the Lord is coming, pitiless, full of vengeance and bitter retribution, ready to turn earth into a wilderness, ridding it of its sinful brood.
The stars of heaven, its glittering constellations, will shed no ray; sunrise will be darkness, and the moon refuse her light.
I will punish the world’s guilt, and tax the wicked with their misdoings, stilling the rebel’s pride, crushing the haughtiness of tyrants,
till a man is a rarer sight than gold, and a slave cannot be bought with all the treasure of Ophir.
So terribly will I shake the heavens, and move earth from its place, to shew that the Lord of hosts will be patient no longer, and the hour of his bitter vengeance has come.
Men will take to flight as deer or sheep would, with none to marshal them, each turning towards his own home, seeking refuge in his own country.
Whoever is found left behind will be slain, and those who are encountered in the open will fall at the sword’s point;
their children will be dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses plundered, their wives ravished.
With such an enemy I mean to embroil them; the Medians, who reck nothing of silver, who are not to be tempted with gold;
they will make young boys a target for their arrows, have no pity for pregnant mothers, no kindly glance for children.
So Babylon, the pride of many nations, glory and boast of the Chaldeans, will go the way of Sodom and Gomorrha, cities which the Lord overthrew.
It shall remain for ever uninhabited; generation after generation will pass, but it will not be founded again; even the Arabs will not pitch their tents, wandering shepherds will not find a lodging there.
Wild beasts will make their lairs in it, its houses will be tenanted by serpents; ostriches will nest there, and satyrs dance;
the owls will hoot to one another in its palaces, birds of ill omen in its temples of delight.✻
The Holy Bible