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Isaiah 47:1-2

Babylon Will Fall

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!

Isaiah 47:7-9


47:7 You said,

‘I will rule forever as permanent queen!’ 3 

You did not think about these things; 4 

you did not consider how it would turn out. 5 

47:8 So now, listen to this,

O one who lives so lavishly, 6 

who lives securely,

who says to herself, 7 

‘I am unique! No one can compare to me! 8 

I will never have to live as a widow;

I will never lose my children.’ 9 

47:9 Both of these will come upon you

suddenly, in one day!

You will lose your children and be widowed. 10 

You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies, 11 

despite 12  your many incantations

and your numerous amulets. 13 

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).

2 tn Or “For” (NASB, NRSV).

3 tn Heb “Forever I [will be] permanent queen”; NIV “the eternal queen”; CEV “queen forever.”

4 tn Heb “you did not set these things upon your heart [or “mind”].”

5 tn Heb “you did not remember its outcome”; NAB “you disregarded their outcome.”

6 tn Or perhaps, “voluptuous one” (NAB); NAB “you sensual one”; NLT “You are a pleasure-crazy kingdom.”

7 tn Heb “the one who says in her heart.”

8 tn Heb “I [am], and besides me there is no other.” See Zeph 2:15.

9 tn Heb “I will not live [as] a widow, and I will not know loss of children.”

10 tn Heb “loss of children and widowhood.” In the Hebrew text the phrase is in apposition to “both of these” in line 1.

11 tn Heb “according to their fullness, they will come upon you.”

12 tn For other examples of the preposition bet (בְּ) having the sense of “although, despite,” see BDB 90 s.v. III.7.

13 sn Reference is made to incantations and amulets, both of which were important in Mesopotamian religion. They were used to ward off danger and demons.

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