47:1 “Fall down! Sit in the dirt,
O virgin 1 daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground, not on a throne,
O daughter of the Babylonians!
Indeed, 2 you will no longer be called delicate and pampered.
47:2 Pick up millstones and grind flour!
Remove your veil,
strip off your skirt,
expose your legs,
cross the streams!
47:3 Let your private parts be exposed!
Your genitals will be on display! 3
I will get revenge;
I will not have pity on anyone,” 4
47:4 says our protector –
the Lord who commands armies is his name,
the Holy One of Israel. 5
O daughter of the Babylonians!
Indeed, 7 you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’
47:6 I was angry at my people;
I defiled my special possession
and handed them over to you.
You showed them no mercy; 8
you even placed a very heavy burden on old people. 9
47:7 You said,
‘I will rule forever as permanent queen!’ 10
You did not think about these things; 11
you did not consider how it would turn out. 12
47:8 So now, listen to this,
O one who lives so lavishly, 13
who lives securely,
who says to herself, 14
‘I am unique! No one can compare to me! 15
I will never have to live as a widow;
I will never lose my children.’ 16
47:9 Both of these will come upon you
suddenly, in one day!
You will lose your children and be widowed. 17
You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies, 18
despite 19 your many incantations
and your numerous amulets. 20
you thought, 22 ‘No one sees me.’
Your self-professed 23 wisdom and knowledge lead you astray,
when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’ 24
47:11 Disaster will overtake you;
you will not know how to charm it away. 25
Destruction will fall on you;
you will not be able to appease it.
Calamity will strike you suddenly,
before you recognize it. 26
and your many incantations,
which you have faithfully recited 29 since your youth!
Maybe you will be successful 30 –
maybe you will scare away disaster. 31
Let them take their stand –
the ones who see omens in the sky,
who gaze at the stars,
who make monthly predictions –
let them rescue you from the disaster that is about to overtake you! 33
47:14 Look, they are like straw,
which the fire burns up;
they cannot rescue themselves
from the heat 34 of the flames.
There are no coals to warm them,
no firelight to enjoy. 35
those you have so faithfully dealt with since your youth. 37
Each strays off in his own direction, 38
leaving no one to rescue you.”
[47:1] 1 tn בְּתוּלַה (bÿtulah) often refers to a virgin, but the phrase “virgin daughter” is apparently stylized (see also 23:12; 37:22). In the extended metaphor of this chapter, where Babylon is personified as a queen (vv. 5, 7), she is depicted as being both a wife and mother (vv. 8-9).
[47:4] 5 tc The Hebrew text reads, “Our redeemer – the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” The ancient Greek version adds “says” before “our redeemer.” אָמַר (’amar) may have accidentally dropped from the text by virtual haplography. Note that the preceding word אָדָם (’adam) is graphically similar.
[47:11] 25 tc The Hebrew text has שַׁחְרָהּ (shakhrah), which is either a suffixed noun (“its dawning,” i.e., origin) or infinitive (“to look early for it”). Some have suggested an emendation to שַׁחֲדָהּ (shakhadah), a suffixed infinitive from שָׁחַד (shakhad, “[how] to buy it off”; see BDB 1005 s.v. שָׁחַד). This forms a nice parallel with the following couplet. The above translation is based on a different etymology of the verb in question. HALOT 1466 s.v. III שׁחר references a verbal root with these letters (שׁחד) that refers to magical activity.
[47:14] 35 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “there is no coal [for?] their food, light to sit before it.” Some emend לַחְמָם (lakhmam, “their food”) to לְחֻמָּם (lÿkhummam, “to warm them”; see HALOT 328 s.v. חמם). This statement may allude to Isa 44:16, where idolaters are depicted warming themselves over a fire made from wood, part of which was used to form idols. The fire of divine judgment will be no such campfire; its flames will devour and destroy.