2 "Raise a banner on a bare hilltop! Cry out loud to them! Give a wave of the hand, signaling for them to enter the gates of the nobles. 3 I myself have commanded my consecrated ones; I have also summoned my warriors, those who rejoice in my triumph, to carry out my angry judgments. 4 "Listen! There's a noise on the mountains like that of a great multitude! Listen! There's an uproar among the kingdoms, like that of nations massing together! The LORD of the Heavenly Armies is mustering an army for battle. 5 They're coming from a faraway land, from the distant horizon the LORD and the weapons of his anger to destroy the entire land."
6 Wail out loud, because the Day of the LORD is near. It will come like destruction from the Almighty! 7 Because of this, every hand will go limp, and every man's courage will melt. 8 They will be terrified; pain and anguish will seize them; they'll writhe like a woman in labor. They'll look aghast at one another; and their faces will be ablaze with fear. 9 Watch out! The Day of the LORD is coming cruel, with wrath and fierce anger to turn the entire inhabited earth into a desolation and to annihilate sinners from it. 10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations won't shine their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon won't shine its light. 11 I'll punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I'll put an end to the pomposity of the arrogant, and overthrow the insolence of tyrants. 12 I'll make people scarcer than pure gold, and mankind rarer than gold from Ophir. 13 Therefore I'll make the heavens tremble. The earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, at the time of his burning anger. 14 They will be like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with no one to gather them, each will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land. 15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall dead, killed by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes, and their houses will be looted, and their wives slept with. 17 Watch out! I'm stirring up the Medes against them, who care nothing for silver and take no delight in gold. 18 Their bows will dash the young men to pieces; they'll show no pity on those not yet born, and their eyes will not spare children.
19 Babylon, that jewel of kingdoms, the splendor and pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah, when God overthrew them 20 It will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Bedouin will pitch his tent there; no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there. 21 But desert beasts will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures; there owls will dwell, and goat-demons will dance there. 22 Hyenas will howl in its strongholds, and jackals will make their dens in its citadels. Its time is close at hand, and its days will not be extended any further.