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Isaiah 47 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Babylon Will Fall

The Lord said:

47 City of Babylon,
You are delicate
    and untouched,
    but that will change.
Surrender your royal power
    and sit in the dirt.
Start grinding grain!
    Take off your veil.
Strip off your fancy clothes
    and cross over rivers.[a]
You will suffer the shame
    of going naked,
because I will take revenge,
    and no one can escape.[b]
I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the holy God of Israel.
    I am their Savior.

Babylon, be silent!
    Sit in the dark.
No longer will nations
    accept you as their queen.
I was angry with my people.
So I let you take their land
    and bring disgrace on them.
You showed them no mercy,
but were especially cruel
    to those who were old.
You thought that you
    would be queen forever.
You didn’t care what you did;
it never entered your mind
    that you might get caught.

You think that you alone
    are all-powerful,
that you won’t be a widow
    or lose your children.
All you care about is pleasure,
    but listen to what I say.
Your magic powers and charms
    will suddenly fail,
then you will be a widow
    and lose your children.

10 You hid behind evil
like a shield and said,
    “No one can see me!”
You were fooled by your wisdom
    and your knowledge;
you felt sure that you alone
    were in full control.
11 But without warning,
    disaster will strike—
and your magic charms
    won’t help at all.

12 Keep using your magic powers
and your charms
    as you have always done.
Maybe—just maybe—
    you will frighten somebody!
13 You have worn yourself out,
    asking for advice
from those who study the stars
and tell the future
    month after month.
Go ask them how to be saved
    from what will happen.
14 People who trust the stars
are as helpless
as straw
    in a flaming fire.
No one can even keep warm,[c]
sitting by a fire
    that feeds only on straw.
15 These are the fortunetellers
you have done business with
    all of your life.
But they don’t know
where they are going,
    and they can’t save you.

Footnotes:

  1. 47.2 Strip. . . rivers: This may be a command to get ready for work that requires wading in the river, or it may be a warning that they are going to be taken away as slaves.
  2. 47.3 escape: Or “oppose me.”
  3. 47.14 keep warm: Or “cook food.”

Isaiah 47 New International Version (NIV)

The Fall of Babylon

47 “Go down, sit in the dust,
    Virgin Daughter Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
    queen city of the Babylonians.[a]
No more will you be called
    tender or delicate.
Take millstones and grind flour;
    take off your veil.
Lift up your skirts, bare your legs,
    and wade through the streams.
Your nakedness will be exposed
    and your shame uncovered.
I will take vengeance;
    I will spare no one.

Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name
    is the Holy One of Israel.

“Sit in silence, go into darkness,
    queen city of the Babylonians;
no more will you be called
    queen of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people
    and desecrated my inheritance;
I gave them into your hand,
    and you showed them no mercy.
Even on the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, ‘I am forever
    the eternal queen!’
But you did not consider these things
    or reflect on what might happen.

“Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure,
    lounging in your security
and saying to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.
I will never be a widow
    or suffer the loss of children.’
Both of these will overtake you
    in a moment, on a single day:
    loss of children and widowhood.
They will come upon you in full measure,
    in spite of your many sorceries
    and all your potent spells.
10 You have trusted in your wickedness
    and have said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you
    when you say to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11 Disaster will come upon you,
    and you will not know how to conjure it away.
A calamity will fall upon you
    that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee
    will suddenly come upon you.

12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells
    and with your many sorceries,
    which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
    perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!
    Let your astrologers come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
    let them save you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble;
    the fire will burn them up.
They cannot even save themselves
    from the power of the flame.
These are not coals for warmth;
    this is not a fire to sit by.
15 That is all they are to you—
    these you have dealt with
    and labored with since childhood.
All of them go on in their error;
    there is not one that can save you.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 47:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 5
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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