211This is a message about Babylonia.
Like a whirlwind sweeping across the desert, disaster will come from a terrifying land. 2I have seen a vision of cruel events, a vision of betrayal and destruction.
Army of Elam, attack! Army of Media, lay siege to the cities! God will put an end to the suffering which Babylon has caused.
3What I saw and heard in the vision has filled me with terror and pain, pain like that of a woman in labour. 4My head is spinning, and I am trembling with fear. I had been longing for evening to come, but it has brought me nothing but terror.
5In the vision a banquet is ready; rugs are spread for the guests to sit on. They are eating and drinking. Suddenly the command rings out: “Officers! Prepare your shields!”
6Then the Lord said to me, “Go and post a sentry, and tell him to report what he sees. 7If he sees men coming on horseback, two by two, and men riding on donkeys and camels, he is to observe them carefully.”
8The sentry calls out, “Sir, I have been standing guard at my post day and night.”
Suddenly, here they come! Men on horseback, two by two. The sentry gives the news, “Babylon has fallen! All the idols they worshipped lie shattered on the ground.”
10My people Israel, you have been threshed like wheat, but now I have announced to you the good news that I have heard from the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel.
11This is a message about Edom.
Someone calls to me from Edom, “Sentry, how soon will the night be over? Tell me how soon it will end.”
12I answer, “Morning is coming, but night will come again. If you want to ask again, come back and ask.”
13This is a message about Arabia.
You people of Dedan, whose caravans camp in the barren country of Arabia, 14give water to the thirsty people who come to you. You people of the land of Tema, give food to the refugees. 15People are fleeing to escape from swords that are ready to kill them, from bows that are ready to shoot, from all the dangers of war.
16Then the Lord said to me, “In exactly one year the greatness of the tribes of Kedar will be at an end. 17The bowmen are the bravest men of Kedar, but few of them will be left. I, the LORD God of Israel, have spoken.”
221This is a message about the Valley of Vision.
What is happening? Why are all the people of the city celebrating on the roofs of the houses? 2The whole city is in an uproar, filled with noise and excitement.
Your people who died in this war did not die fighting. 3All your leaders ran away and were captured before they shot a single arrow. 4Now leave me alone to weep bitterly over all those of my people who have died. Don't try to comfort me. 5This is a time of panic, defeat, and confusion in the Valley of Vision, and the Sovereign LORD Almighty has sent it on us. The walls of our city have been battered down, and cries for help have echoed among the hills.
6The soldiers from the land of Elam came riding on horseback, armed with bows and arrows. Soldiers from the land of Kir had their shields ready. 7The fertile valleys of Judah were filled with chariots; soldiers on horseback stood in front of Jerusalem's gates. 8All Judah's defences crumbled.
When that happened, you brought weapons out of the arsenal. 9-10You found the places where the walls of Jerusalem needed repair. You inspected all the houses in Jerusalem and tore some of them down to get stones to repair the city walls. In order to store water, 11you built a reservoir inside the city to hold the water flowing down from the old pool. But you paid no attention to God, who planned all this long ago and who caused it to happen.
12The Sovereign LORD Almighty was calling you then to weep and mourn, to shave your heads and wear sackcloth. 13
Instead, you laughed and celebrated. You killed sheep and cattle to eat, and you drank wine. You said, “We might as well eat and drink! Tomorrow we'll be dead.”
14The Sovereign LORD Almighty himself spoke to me and said, “This evil will never be forgiven them as long as they live. I, the Sovereign LORD Almighty, have spoken.”
15The Sovereign LORD Almighty told me to go to Shebna, the manager of the royal household, and say to him, 16“Who do you think you are? What right have you to carve a tomb for yourself out of the rocky hillside? 17You may be important, but the LORD will pick you up and throw you away. 18He will pick you up like a ball and throw you into a much larger country. You will die there beside the chariots you were so proud of. You are a disgrace to your master's household. 19The LORD will remove you from office and bring you down from your high position.”
20The LORD said to Shebna, “When that happens, I will send for my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21I will put your official robe and belt on him and give him all the authority you have had. He will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. 22
I will give him complete authority under the king, the descendant of David. He will have the keys of office; what he opens, no one will shut, and what he shuts, no one will open. 23I will fasten him firmly in place like a peg, and he will be a source of honour to his whole family.
24“But all his relatives and dependants will become a burden to him. They will hang on him like pots and bowls hanging from a peg! 25When that happens, the peg that was firmly fastened will work loose and fall. And that will be the end of everything that was hanging on it.” The LORD has spoken.
This is a message about Tyre.
Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! Your home port of Tyre has been destroyed; its houses and its harbour are in ruins. As your ships return from Cyprus, you learn the news. 2Wail, you merchants of Sidon! You sent men 3across the sea to buy and sell the corn that grew in Egypt and to do business with all the nations.
4City of Sidon, you are disgraced! The sea and the great ocean depths disown you and say, “I never had any children. I never brought up sons or daughters.”
5Even the Egyptians will be shocked and dismayed when they learn that Tyre has been destroyed.
6Howl with grief, you people of Phoenicia! Try to escape to Spain! 7Can this be the joyful city of Tyre, founded so long ago? Is this the city that sent settlers across the sea to establish colonies? 8Who was it that planned to bring all this on Tyre, that imperial city, whose merchant princes were the most honoured men on earth? 9The LORD Almighty planned it. He planned it in order to put an end to their pride in what they had done and to humiliate their honoured ones.
10Go and farm the land, you people in the colonies in Spain! There is no one to protect you any more.23.10 Verse 10 in Hebrew is unclear. 11The LORD has stretched out his hand over the sea and overthrown kingdoms. He has ordered the Phoenician centres of commerce to be destroyed. 12City of Sidon, your happiness has ended, and your people are oppressed. Even if they escape to Cyprus, they will still not be safe.
13(It was the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, who let the wild animals overrun Tyre. It was the Babylonians who put up siege towers, tore down the fortifications of Tyre, and left the city in ruins.23.13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear.)
14Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! The city you relied on has been destroyed.
15A time is coming when Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of a king. When those years are over, Tyre will be like the prostitute in the song:
16Take your harp, go round the town,
you poor forgotten whore!
Play and sing your songs again
to bring men back once more.
17When the seventy years are over, the LORD will let Tyre go back to her old trade, and she will hire herself out to all the kingdoms of the world. 18The money she earns by commerce will be dedicated to the LORD. She will not store it away, but those who worship the LORD will use her money to buy the food and the clothing they need.