The Bible – Old Testament
See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah, fulfill your vows! For nevermore shall you be invaded by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed.
1 The hammer comes up against you; guard the rampart, Keep watch on the road, gird your loins, marshall all your strength!
The LORD will restore the vine of Jacob, the pride of Israel, Though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined the tendrils.
The shields of his warriors are crimsoned, the soldiers colored in scarlet; Fiery steel are the chariots on the day of his mustering. The horses are frenzied;
the chariots dash madly through the streets And wheel in the squares, looking like firebrands, flashing like lightning bolts.
2 His picked troops are called, ranks break at their charge; To the wall they rush, the mantelet is set up.
The river gates are opened, the palace shudders,
3 Its mistress is led forth captive, and her handmaids, under guard, Moaning like doves, beating their breasts.
Nineveh is like a pool whose waters escape; “Stop! Stop!” but none turns back.
“Plunder the silver, plunder the gold!” There is no end to the treasure, to their wealth in precious things of every kind!
Emptiness, desolation, waste; melting hearts and trembling knees, Writhing in every frame, every face blanched!
4 Where is the lions’ cave, the young lions’ den, Where the lion went in and out, and the cub, with no one to disturb them?
The lion snatched enough for his cubs, and strangled for his lionesses; He filled his dens with prey, and his caves with plunder.
I come against you, says the LORD of hosts; I will consume in smoke your chariots, and the sword shall devour your young lions; Your preying on the land I will bring to an end, the cry of your lionesses shall be heard no more.
1  (2)The hammer comes up against you: the enemy is about to crush Nineveh.
2  Mantelet: a movable shelter protecting the besiegers.
3  Mistress . . . and her handmaids: either the queen of Nineveh with the ladies of her court, or the statue of Ishtar, Nineveh’s chief goddess, with her temple prostitutes.
4  The lion: the king of Assyria.