Lament for Babylon
1 “Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
Sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no longer be called tender and delicate.
2 “Take the millstones and grind meal.
Remove your veil, strip off the skirt,
Uncover the leg, cross the rivers.
3 “Your nakedness will be uncovered,
Your shame also will be exposed;
I will take vengeance and will not spare a man.”
4 Our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel.
5 “Sit silently, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans,
For you will no longer be called
The queen of kingdoms.
6 “I was angry with My people,
I profaned My heritage
And gave them into your hand.
You did not show mercy to them,
On the aged you made your yoke very heavy.
7 “Yet you said, ‘I will be a queen forever.’
These things you did not consider
Nor remember the outcome of them.
8 “Now, then, hear this, you sensual one,
Who dwells securely,
Who says in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one besides me.
I will not sit as a widow,
Nor know loss of children.’
9 “But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day:
Loss of children and widowhood.
They will come on you in full measure
In spite of your many sorceries,
In spite of the great power of your spells.
10 “You felt secure in your wickedness and said,
‘No one sees me,’
Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you;
For you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
11 “But evil will come on you
Which you will not know how to charm away;
And disaster will fall on you
For which you cannot atone;
And destruction about which you do not know
Will come on you suddenly.
12 “Stand fast now in your spells
And in your many sorceries
With which you have labored from your youth;
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you may cause trembling.
13 “You are wearied with your many counsels;
Let now the astrologers,
Those who prophesy by the stars,
Those who predict by the new moons,
Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.
14 “Behold, they have become like stubble,
Fire burns them;
They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame;
There will be no coal to warm by
Nor a fire to sit before!
15 “So have those become to you with whom you have labored,
Who have trafficked with you from your youth;
Each has wandered in his own way;
There is none to save you.