Now the troops Amaziah had dismissed and had not allowed to fight in the battle 1 raided 2 the cities of Judah from Samaria 3 to Beth Horon. They killed 4 3,000 people and carried off a large amount of plunder.
Uzziah had an army of skilled warriors trained for battle. They were organized by divisions according to the muster rolls made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer under the authority of Hananiah, a royal official.
But Josiah did not turn back from him; 1 he disguised himself for battle. He did not take seriously 2 the words of Necho which he had received from God; he went to fight him in the Plain of Megiddo. 3
Just as no one has power over the wind to restrain it, 1 so no one has power over the day of his 2 death. Just as no one can be discharged during the battle, 3 so wickedness cannot rescue the wicked. 4
1 There is a loud noise on the mountains – it sounds like a large army! 2 There is great commotion among the kingdoms 3 – nations are being assembled! The Lord who commands armies is mustering forces for battle.
His battle cry overwhelms like a flooding river 1 that reaches one’s neck. He shakes the nations in a sieve that isolates the chaff; 2 he puts a bit into the mouth of the nations and leads them to destruction. 3
They will surrender their stronghold 1 because of fear; 2 their officers will be afraid of the Lord’s battle flag.” 3 This is what the Lord says – the one whose fire is in Zion, whose firepot is in Jerusalem. 4
Your children faint; they lie at the head of every street like an antelope in a snare. They are left in a stupor by the Lord’s anger, by the battle cry of your God. 1
They are saying, 1 ‘Announce to the surrounding nations, 2 “The enemy is coming!” 3 Proclaim this message 4 to Jerusalem: “Those who besiege cities 5 are coming from a distant land. They are ready to raise the battle cry against 6 the towns in Judah.”’
They will say, 1 ‘Prepare to do battle 2 against it! Come on! Let’s attack it at noon!’ But later they will say, 3 ‘Oh, oh! Too bad! 4 The day is almost over and the shadows of evening are getting long.
So let their children die of starvation. Let them be cut down by the sword. 1 Let their wives lose their husbands and children. Let the older men die of disease 2 and the younger men die by the sword in battle.
May that man be like the cities 1 that the Lord destroyed without showing any mercy. May he hear a cry of distress in the morning and a battle cry at noon.
Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians who are besieging it will live. They will escape with their lives. 1
“The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. 1 Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians 2 will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 3