The Bible – Old Testament
1 Come down, sit in the dust, O virgin daughter Babylon; Sit on the ground, dethroned, O daughter of the Chaldeans. No longer shall you be called dainty and delicate.
Take the millstone and grind flour, remove your veil; Strip off your train, bare your legs, pass through the streams.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered and your shame be seen; I will take vengeance, I will yield to no entreaty, says our redeemer,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts, the Holy One of Israel.
Go into darkness and sit in silence, O daughter of the Chaldeans, No longer shall you be called sovereign mistress of kingdoms.
Angry at my people, I profaned my inheritance, And I gave them into your hand; but you showed them no mercy, And upon old men you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, “I shall remain always, a sovereign mistress forever!” But you did not lay these things to heart, you disregarded their outcome.
Now hear this, voluptuous one, enthroned securely, Saying to yourself, “I, and no one else! I shall never be a widow, or suffer the loss of my children” –
2 Both these things shall come to you suddenly, in a single day: Complete bereavement and widowhood shall come upon you For your many sorceries and the great number of your spells;
Because you felt secure in your wickedness, and said, “No one sees me.” Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, And you said to yourself, “I, and no one else!”
But upon you shall come evil you will not know how to predict; Disaster shall befall you which you cannot allay. Suddenly there shall come upon you ruin which you will not expect.
Keep up, now, your spells and your many sorceries. Perhaps you can make them avail, perhaps you can strike terror!
You wearied yourself with many consultations, at which you toiled from your youth; Let the astrologers stand forth to save you, the stargazers who forecast at each new moon what would happen to you.
Lo, they are like stubble, fire consumes them; They cannot save themselves from the spreading flames. This is no warming ember, no fire to sit before.
Thus do your wizards serve you with whom you have toiled from your youth; Each wanders his own way, with none to save you.
1 [1-15] A taunt-song, mocking Babylon, once queen of the nations, now made a slave girl.
2 [9-13,15] Babylon was known for its sorcery and astrology.