Nineveh falls to invaders
Soldiers rush to defend Nineveh’s walls1Watch out, Nineveh, here comes Destruction.
Double the guard and scout the roads.
Mobilize your entire force,
Then brace yourself for what’s coming.
2The LORD is restoring Jacob’s pride.
Israel’s glory will rise and shine,
Though invaders tore you apart,
And snapped branches off your family tree.
Soldiers attack Nineveh3Blood red, the shields of Nineveh’s enemy.
Crimson, the uniforms they wear.
Metallic light flashes from polished chariots
On the day the campaign begins.
4Chariots charge through Nineveh’s streets
From city center to squares around town.
Reflected light flashes like lightning
As they travel at the speed of the flash.
5Nineveh orders its army into action.
They stumble unprepared in their rush.
They race to walls
And set their siege defenses.
6But someone tore open the river gates,
Flooding the palace of the king.
Nineveh defeated7Exile is the order for Nineveh’s people.
Slavery for women as they leave.
They walk as they moan like mourning doves,
Beating their chests while they grieve.
8Flooded Nineveh becomes a pool of people
Pulsing away like water in a stream.
“Stop, come back!” someone yells.
No one does.
9Pile on the plunder,
Silver and gold.
Treasures too much to count,
Precious, every last one.
Decimated Nineveh10Nineveh’s defeated, destroyed, and desolate.
Hearts sink, knees rattle, muscles tremble.
And the skin drains color to ashen.
11What happened to the fearless town?
This den of lions and lion cubs,
No one dared disturb?
12This lion once shredded prey for his cubs,
Tenderized meat for his lioness pride.
He decorated his den with dying prey,
And served a buffet of pulled meat.
13This is me at work against you,
says the LORD of everyone on earth.
I’ll burn your armored chariots
And watch them go up in smoke.
I’ll destroy your lions,
They’ll kill no more.
I’ll silence your messengers for good.
Nineveh isn’t mentioned by name here, but the entire prophecy spins around the fall of Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire that wiped the northern Jewish nation of Israel off the map in about 722 BC.
“Destruction” is likely a symbol for the Babylonian Empire, which conquered Nineveh in 612 BC and then ran down the fleeing army and crushed them in the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC.
The Babylonian account of the battle doesn’t mention a flood. A tablet called the Fall of Nineveh Chronicle talks about a 12-year struggle between the two empires. Allied forces of Babylonians and Medes from what are now Iraq and Iran took the city after a three-month siege. Another version of the story says the Tigris River flooded the city. This story was recorded by a first-century BC Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, who preserved stories that were ancient to him, and in some cases may have been legendary. He drew from many earlier writers, retelling their stories.
Lions show up a lot in the ancient Assyrian art that once decorated the palaces of Nineveh.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.