December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 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.
- The LORD will restore the vine of Jacob, the pride of Israel, Though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined the tendrils.
- 1 The hammer comes up against you; guard the rampart, Keep watch on the road, gird your loins, marshall all your strength!
- 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.
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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.
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