1 [^1] An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. ¶ Guard the fortress, ¶ watch the road, ¶ brace yourselves, ¶ marshal all your strength!
2 The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob ¶ like the splendor of Israel, ¶ though destroyers have laid them waste ¶ and have ruined their vines.
3 The shields of the soldiers are red; ¶ the warriors are clad in scarlet. ¶ The metal on the chariots flashes ¶ on the day they are made ready; ¶ the spears of juniper are brandished. [^2]
4 The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. ¶ They look like flaming torches; ¶ they dart about like lightning.
5 Nineveh summons her picked troops, ¶ yet they stumble on their way. ¶ They dash to the city wall; ¶ the protective shield is put in place.
6 The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.
7 It is decreed [^3] that Nineveh be exiled and carried away. ¶ Her female slaves moan like doves ¶ and beat on their breasts.
8 Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. ¶ "Stop! Stop!" they cry, ¶ but no one turns back.
9 Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! ¶ The supply is endless, ¶ the wealth from all its treasures!
10 She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, ¶ bodies tremble, every face grows pale.
11 Where now is the lions' den, ¶ the place where they fed their young, ¶ where the lion and lioness went, ¶ and the cubs, with nothing to fear?
12 The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, ¶ filling his lairs with the kill ¶ and his dens with the prey.
13 "I am against you," ¶ declares the LORD Almighty. ¶ "I will burn up your chariots in smoke, ¶ and the sword will devour your young lions. ¶ I will leave you no prey on the earth. ¶ The voices of your messengers ¶ will no longer be heard."