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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.


  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.”

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