1What a disaster is coming upon this murderous city with all its treachery! It is full of wealth it has robbed, and always has plenty of victims.
2Listen to the noise: whips crack, wheels clatter, horses gallop, chariots rattle!
3Horsemen charge, swords flash, spears glitter! Many dead, piles of corpses, countless bodies—so many that people stumble over them.
4All this happens because the repeated prostitution of Nineveh the prostitute, the beautiful mistress with her deadly charms who seduces nations into slavery by her prostitution and her witchcraft.
5Watch out! For I am against you, declares the Lord Almighty. I will lift your skirts over your face and let the nations see your nakedness, and kingdoms see your shame.
6I will throw filth at you. I will treat you with contempt, and make a spectacle of you.
7Then everyone who sees you will shun you saying, “Nineveh is ruined! But who is going to mourn your loss?” Where should I look to find anyone to comfort you?
8Are you any better than the city of Thebes on the River Nile, surrounded by water? Water was its defense, water was its wall.
9The city ruled Egypt and Ethiopia. Put and Libya were its allies.
10Yet its people were also taken away into exile, into captivity. Their babies were dashed to pieces in every street. Their nobles were bound in chains and taken away as servants, chosen by lot.
11You too will behave like a drunk. You will hide in fear, trying to find a place safe from the enemy.
12All your fortresses are like fig trees ripe with fruit—they fall when they are shaken into the mouth of the one eating.
13Look! Your soldiers are women among you. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; the bars of the gates will be set on fire.
14Store water to prepare for a siege! Strengthen your fortresses! Go to the clay pits to tread it well, mix the cement, get your brick molds ready!
15But even so, there the fire will consume you, you will be cut down by the sword. You will be destroyed as if you were devoured by a swarm of locusts. So multiply yourselves like locusts, like a swarm of locusts.
16You increased your merchants so that there are more of them than the stars of heaven. But like locusts they strip everything and then fly away.
17Your leaders are like locusts, your officials like a swarm of locusts. They rest on walls on a cold day, but when the sun rises they fly away, and no one knows where they've gone.
18King of Assyria, your shepherds are asleep, your princes are slumbering. Your people are scattered across the mountains and no one can gather them.
19There is no way to heal your injuries, you are too badly wounded. Everyone who hears this news will applaud what has happened to you, for was there anyone who escaped your continuous cruelty?