The Bible – Old Testament
Woe to the bloody city, all lies, full of plunder, whose looting never stops!
The crack of the whip, the rumbling sounds of wheels; horses a-gallop, chariots bounding,
Cavalry charging, The flame of the sword, the flash of the spear, the many slain, the heaping corpses, the endless bodies to stumble upon!
For the many debaucheries of the harlot, fair and charming, a mistress of witchcraft, Who enslaved nations with her harlotries, and peoples by her witchcraft:
1 I am come against you, and I will strip your skirt from you; I will show your nakedness to the nations, to the kingdoms your shame!
I will cast filth upon you, disgrace you and put you to shame;
Till everyone who sees you runs from you, saying, “Nineveh is destroyed; who can pity her? Where can one find any to console her?”
2 Are you better than No-amon that was set among the streams, Surrounded by waters, with the flood for her rampart and water her wall?
Ethiopia was her strength, and Egypt, and others without end; Put and the Libyans were her auxiliaries.
Yet even she went captive into exile, even her little ones were dashed to pieces at the corner of every street; For her nobles they cast lots, and all her great men were put into chains.
You too, shall drink of this till you faint away; you, too, shall seek a refuge from the foe.
All your fortresses are but fig trees, bearing early figs That fall, when shaken, into the hungry mouth.
See, the troops are women in your midst; to your foes the gates of your land are open wide, fire has consumed their bars.
3 Draw water for the siege, strengthen your fortresses; Go down into the mud and tread the clay, take hold of the brick mold!
There the fire shall consume you, the sword shall cut you down. Multiply like the grasshoppers, multiply like the locusts!
Make your couriers more numerous than the stars,
your garrisons as many as grasshoppers, And your scribes as locust swarms gathered on the rubble fences on a cold day! Yet when the sun warms them, the grasshoppers will spread their wings and fly, and vanish, no one knows where.
Alas! how your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria, your nobles have gone to rest; Your people are scattered upon the mountains, with none to gather them.
There is no healing for your hurt, your wound is mortal. All who hear this news of you clap their hands over you; For who has not been overwhelmed, steadily, by your malice?
1 [5-6] The punishment of adulteresses.
2  No-amon: No was the Egyptian name of the capital of Upper Egypt, called Thebes by the Greeks; its tutelary deity was Amon. This great city was destroyed by the Assyrians in 663 B.C.
3  An ironic exhortation to prepare the city for a futile defense. Go down . . . brick mold: make bricks for the city walls.