The Lord says, “Bel has fallen to the ground. Nebo is kneeling before me.
“Men put those idols on the backs of animals. They are only heavy burdens that must be carried. They do nothing but make people tired. But they all bowed down and fell to the ground. They couldn’t escape; they were all carried away like prisoners.
“Family of Jacob, listen to me! You who are left from the family of Israel, listen! I have carried you since you left your mother’s womb. I carried you when you were born, and I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you, and I will carry you to safety.
“Can you compare me to anyone? No one is equal to me. You cannot understand everything about me. There is nothing like me. Some people are rich with gold and silver. Gold falls from their purses, and they weigh their silver on scales. They pay an artist to make a false god from wood. Then they bow down and worship that false god. They put their false god on their shoulders and carry it. That false god is useless; people have to carry it! People set the statue on the ground, and it cannot move. That false god never walks away from its place. People can yell at it, but it will not answer. That false god is only a statue; it cannot save people from their troubles.
“Sinners, change your heart and mind. Think about this again. Remember it and be strong. Remember what happened long ago. Remember, I am God and there is no other God. There is no other like me.
“In the beginning, I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago, I told you things that have not happened yet. When I plan something, it happens. I do whatever I want to do. I am calling a man from the east to do what I want. He will come like an eagle from a faraway country. He will do all that I have planned. Everything I said will happen just as I said it would.
“Listen to me, you stubborn people! You are far from doing what is right. But I am close to making things right. Salvation will not be delayed much longer. I will bring salvation to Zion and to my wonderful Israel.”
“Fall down and sit in the dirt, Virgin Daughter Babylon.
You have no throne, so sit on the ground, daughter of the Chaldeans.
You are not the ruler now.
You are no longer the beautiful young princess that people said you were.
Get the millstones ready
and grind the grain into flour.
Take off your veil and fancy clothes.
Lift your skirt and get ready to cross the rivers.
Men will see your naked body
and use you for sex.
I will make you pay for the bad things you did,
and I will not let anyone help you.
“My people say, ‘God saves us.
His name is the Lord All-Powerful, the Holy One of Israel.’”
“So Babylon, sit down and shut up.
Daughter of the Chaldeans, go into the dark prison.
You will no longer be ‘The Queen of the Kingdoms.’
“I was angry with my people.
They were mine, but I turned against them.
I let you punish them,
but you showed them no mercy.
Even for those who were old
you made the work hard.
You said, ‘I will live forever.
I will always be the queen.’
You didn’t care what you did to my people.
You didn’t think about what might happen later.
So now listen, you who love only pleasure!
Feeling so safe, you tell yourself,
‘I alone am important, and no one else matters.
I will never be a widow or lose my children.’
These two things will happen to you:
First, you will lose your children and then your husband.
And none of your magic spells will help you.
You do bad things but still feel safe.
You say to yourself, ‘No one sees the wrong I do.’
You thought that your wisdom and knowledge would save you.
You tell yourself, ‘I alone am important,
and no one else matters.’
“But disaster is coming your way.
You don’t know when it will happen, but disaster is coming.
And there is nothing you can do to stop it.
You worked hard all your life
learning magic and spells.
So start using that magic.
Maybe those spells will help you.
Maybe you will be able to frighten someone.
You have many advisors.
Are you tired of the advice they give?
Then send out your men who read the stars.
They can tell when the month starts,
so maybe they can tell you when your troubles will come.
But they cannot even save themselves.
They will burn like straw.
They will burn so fast that there will be no coals left to cook bread.
There will be no fire left to sit by.
That’s what will happen to those you have worked with,
the people you did business with all your life.
They will all go their own way.
There will be no one left to save you.”