Bible: Jer 50-51

Judgment Against Babylon

50:1 The Lord spoke concerning Babylon and the land of Babylonia 1  through the prophet Jeremiah. 2 

50:2Announce 3  the news among the nations! Proclaim it!

Signal for people to pay attention! 4 

Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say:

‘Babylon will be captured.

Bel 5  will be put to shame.

Marduk will be dismayed.

Babylon’s idols will be put to shame.

Her disgusting images 6  will be dismayed. 7 

50:3 For a nation from the north 8  will attack Babylon.

It will lay her land waste.

People and animals will flee out of it.

No one will inhabit it.’

50:4When that time comes,” says the Lord, 9 

“the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together.

They will come back with tears of repentance

as they seek the Lord their God. 10 

50:5 They will ask the way to Zion;

they will turn their faces toward it.

They will come 11  and bind themselves to the Lord

in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten. 12 

50:6My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds 13  have allowed them to go astray.

They have wandered around in the mountains.

They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. 14 

They have forgotten their resting place.

50:7 All who encountered them devoured them.

Their enemies who did this said, ‘We are not liable for punishment!

For those people have sinned against the Lord, their true pasture. 15 

They have sinned against the Lord in whom their ancestors 16  trusted.’ 17 

50:8People of Judah, 18  get out of Babylon quickly!

Leave the land of Babylonia! 19 

Be the first to depart! 20 

Be like the male goats that lead the herd.

50:9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon

a host of mighty nations 21  from the land of the north.

They will set up their battle lines against her.

They will come from the north and capture her. 22 

Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier 23 

who does not return from the battle empty-handed. 24 

50:10 Babylonia 25  will be plundered.

Those who plunder it will take all they want,”

says the Lord. 26 

50:11People of Babylonia, 27  you plundered my people. 28 

That made you happy and glad.

You frolic about like calves in a pasture. 29 

Your joyous sounds are like the neighs of a stallion. 30 

50:12 But Babylonia will be put to great shame.

The land where you were born 31  will be disgraced.

Indeed, 32  Babylonia will become the least important of all nations.

It will become a dry and barren desert.

50:13 After I vent my wrath on it Babylon will be uninhabited. 33 

It will be totally desolate.

All who pass by will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn

because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 34 

50:14Take up your battle positions all around Babylon,

all you soldiers who are armed with bows. 35 

Shoot 36  all your arrows at her! Do not hold any back! 37 

For she has sinned against the Lord.

50:15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city.

She will throw up her hands in surrender. 38 

Her towers 39  will fall.

Her walls will be torn down.

Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge, 40 

take out your vengeance on her!

Do to her as she has done!

50:16 Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon.

Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time. 41 

Let all the foreigners return to their own people.

Let them hurry back to their own lands

to escape destruction by that enemy army. 42 

50:17The people of Israel are like scattered sheep

which lions have chased away.

First the king of Assyria devoured them. 43 

Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones. 44 

50:18 So I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, say: 45 

‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land

just as I punished the king of Assyria.

50:19 But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture.

They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan.

They will eat until they are full 46 

on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead. 47 

50:20 When that time comes,

no guilt will be found in Israel.

No sin will be found in Judah. 48 

For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive. 49 

I, the Lord, affirm it!’ 50 

50:21 The Lord says, 51 

“Attack 52  the land of Merathaim

and the people who live in Pekod! 53 

Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them! 54 

Do just as I have commanded you! 55 

50:22 The noise of battle can be heard in the land of Babylonia. 56 

There is the sound of great destruction.

50:23 Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces.

But see how that ‘hammerhas been broken and shattered! 57 

See what an object of horror

Babylon has become among the nations!

50:24 I set a trap for you, Babylon;

you were caught before you knew it.

You fought against me.

So you were found and captured. 58 

50:25 I have opened up the place where my weapons are stored. 59 

I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath. 60 

For I, the Lord God who rules over all, 61 

have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia. 62 

50:26 Come from far away and attack Babylonia! 63 

Open up the places where she stores her grain!

Pile her up in ruins! 64  Destroy her completely! 65 

Do not leave anyone alive! 66 

50:27 Kill all her soldiers! 67 

Let them be slaughtered! 68 

They are doomed, 69  for their day of reckoning 70  has come,

the time for them to be punished.”

50:28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.

They are coming to Zion to declare there

how the Lord our God is getting revenge,

getting revenge for what they have done to his temple. 71 

50:29Call for archers 72  to come against Babylon!

Summon against her all who draw the bow!

Set up camp all around the city!

Do not allow anyone to escape!

Pay her back for what she has done.

Do to her what she has done to others.

For she has proudly defied me, 73 

the Holy One of Israel. 74 

50:30 So her young men will fall in her city squares.

All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”

says the Lord. 75 

50:31Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city,” 76 

says the Lord God who rules over all. 77 

“Indeed, 78  your day of reckoning 79  has come,

the time when I will punish you. 80 

50:32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city;

no one will help you get up.

I will set fire to your towns;

it will burn up everything that surrounds you.” 81 

50:33 The Lord who rules over all 82  says,

“The people of Israel are oppressed.

So too are the people of Judah. 83 

All those who took them captive are holding them prisoners.

They refuse to set them free.

50:34 But the one who will rescue them 84  is strong.

He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 85 

He will strongly 86  champion their cause.

As a result 87  he will bring peace and rest to the earth,

but trouble and turmoil 88  to the people who inhabit Babylonia. 89 

50:35Destructive forces will come against the Babylonians,” 90  says the Lord. 91 

“They will come against the people who inhabit Babylonia,

against her leaders and her men of wisdom.

50:36 Destructive forces will come against her false prophets; 92 

they will be shown to be fools! 93 

Destructive forces will come against her soldiers;

they will be filled with terror! 94 

50:37 Destructive forces will come against her horses and her 95  chariots.

Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her; 96 

they will be as frightened as women! 97 

Destructive forces will come against her treasures;

they will be taken away as plunder!

50:38 A drought will come upon her land;

her rivers and canals will be dried up. 98 

All of this will happen because her land is filled with idols. 99 

Her people act like madmen because of 100  those idols they fear. 101 

50:39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there.

Ostriches 102  will dwell in it too. 103 

But no people will ever live there again.

No one will dwell there for all time to come. 104 

50:40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did

Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns.

No one will live there. 105 

No human being will settle in it,”

says the Lord. 106 

50:41Look! An army is about to come from the north.

A mighty nation and many kings 107  are stirring into action

in faraway parts of the earth.

50:42 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears.

They are cruel and show no mercy.

They sound like the roaring sea

as they ride forth on their horses.

Lined up in formation like men going into battle,

they are coming against you, fair Babylon! 108 

50:43 The king of Babylon will become paralyzed with fear 109 

when he hears news of their coming. 110 

Anguish will grip him,

agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 111 

50:44A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan

scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it.

So too I will chase the Babylonians off of their land.

Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose.

For there is no one like me.

There is no one who can call me to account.

There is no ruler that can stand up against me.

50:45 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Babylon,

what I intend to do to the people who inhabit the land of Babylonia. 112 

Their little ones will be dragged off.

I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.

50:46 The people of the earth will quake when they hear Babylon has been captured.

Her cries of anguish will be heard by the other nations.” 113 

51:1 The Lord says,

I will cause a destructive wind 114  to blow

against 115  Babylon and the people who inhabit Babylonia. 116 

51:2 I will send people to winnow Babylonia like a wind blowing away chaff. 117 

They will winnow her and strip her land bare. 118 

This will happen when 119  they come against her from every direction,

when it is time to destroy her. 120 

51:3 Do not give her archers time to string their bows

or to put on their coats of armor. 121 

Do not spare any of her young men.

Completely destroy 122  her whole army.

51:4 Let them fall 123  slain in the land of Babylonia, 124 

mortally wounded in the streets of her cities. 125 

51:5For Israel and Judah will not be forsaken 126 

by their God, the Lord who rules over all. 127 

For the land of Babylonia is 128  full of guilt

against the Holy One of Israel. 129 

51:6 Get out of Babylonia quickly, you foreign people. 130 

Flee to save your lives.

Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins.

For it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge.

He will pay Babylonia 131  back for what she has done. 132 

51:7 Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand.

She had made the whole world drunk.

The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath. 133 

So they have all gone mad. 134 

51:8 But suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed. 135 

Cry out in mourning over it!

Get medicine for her wounds!

Perhaps she can be healed!

51:9 Foreigners living there will say, 136 

‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.

Let’s leave Babylonia 137  and each go back to his own country.

For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.

It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’ 138 

51:10 The exiles from Judah will say, 139 

‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us! 140 

Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion

what the Lord our God has done!’

51:11Sharpen 141  your arrows!

Fill your quivers! 142 

The Lord will arouse a spirit of hostility in 143  the kings of Media. 144 

For he intends to destroy Babylonia.

For that is how the Lord will get his revenge

how he will get his revenge for the Babylonians’ destruction of his temple. 145 

51:12 Give the signal to attack Babylon’s wall! 146 

Bring more guards! 147 

Post them all around the city! 148 

Put men in ambush! 149 

For the Lord will do what he has planned.

He will do what he said he would do to the people of Babylon. 150 

51:13You who live along the rivers of Babylon, 151 

the time of your end has come.

You who are rich in plundered treasure,

it is time for your lives to be cut off. 152 

51:14 The Lord who rules over all 153  has solemnly sworn, 154 

‘I will fill your land with enemy soldiers.

They will swarm over it like locusts. 155 

They will raise up shouts of victory over it.’

51:15 He is the one who 156  by his power made the earth.

He is the one who by his wisdom fixed the world in place,

by his understanding he spread out the heavens.

51:16 When his voice thunders, the waters in the heavens roar.

He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons.

He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.

He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.

51:17 All idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant.

Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.

For the image he forges is merely a sham.

There is no breath in any of those idols.

51:18 They are worthless, objects to be ridiculed.

When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.

51:19 The Lord, who is the portion of the descendants of Jacob, is not like them.

For he is the one who created everything,

including the people of Israel whom he claims as his own. 157 

He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 158 

51:20Babylon, 159  you are my war club, 160 

my weapon for battle.

I used you to smash nations. 161 

I used you to destroy kingdoms.

51:21 I used you to smash horses and their riders. 162 

I used you to smash chariots and their drivers.

51:22 I used you to smash men and women.

I used you to smash old men and young men.

I used you to smash young men and young women.

51:23 I used you to smash shepherds and their flocks.

I used you to smash farmers and their teams of oxen.

I used you to smash governors and leaders.” 163 

51:24But I will repay Babylon

and all who live in Babylonia

for all the wicked things they did in Zion

right before the eyes of you Judeans,” 164 

says the Lord. 165 

51:25 The Lord says, 166 Beware! I am opposed to you, Babylon! 167 

You are like a destructive mountain that destroys all the earth.

I will unleash my power against you; 168 

I will roll you off the cliffs and make you like a burned-out mountain. 169 

51:26 No one will use any of your stones as a cornerstone.

No one will use any of them in the foundation of his house.

For you will lie desolate forever,” 170 

says the Lord. 171 

51:27Raise up battle flags throughout the lands.

Sound the trumpets calling the nations to do battle.

Prepare the nations to do battle against Babylonia. 172 

Call for these kingdoms to attack her:

Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. 173 

Appoint a commander to lead the attack. 174 

Send horses 175  against her like a swarm of locusts. 176 

51:28 Prepare the nations to do battle against her. 177 

Prepare the kings of the Medes.

Prepare their governors and all their leaders. 178 

Prepare all the countries they rule to do battle against her. 179 

51:29 The earth will tremble and writhe in agony. 180 

For the Lord will carry out his plan.

He plans to make the land of Babylonia 181 

a wasteland where no one lives. 182 

51:30 The soldiers of Babylonia will stop fighting.

They will remain in their fortified cities.

They will lose their strength to do battle. 183 

They will be as frightened as women. 184 

The houses in her cities will be set on fire.

The gates of her cities will be broken down. 185 

51:31 One runner after another will come to the king of Babylon.

One messenger after another will come bringing news. 186 

They will bring news to the king of Babylon

that his whole city has been captured. 187 

51:32 They will report that the fords have been captured,

the reed marshes have been burned,

the soldiers are terrified. 188 

51:33 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says,

‘Fair Babylon 189  will be like a threshing floor

which has been trampled flat for harvest.

The time for her to be cut down and harvested

will come very soon.’ 190 

51:34King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

devoured me and drove my people out.

Like a monster from the deep he swallowed me.

He filled his belly with my riches.

He made me an empty dish.

He completely cleaned me out.” 191 

51:35 The person who lives in Zion says,

May Babylon pay for the violence done to me and to my relatives.”

Jerusalem says,

May those living in Babylonia pay for the bloodshed of my people.” 192 

51:36 Therefore the Lord says,

I will stand up for your cause.

I will pay the Babylonians back for what they have done to you. 193 

I will dry up their sea.

I will make their springs run dry. 194 

51:37 Babylon will become a heap of ruins.

Jackals will make their home there. 195 

It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn,

a place where no one lives. 196 

51:38 The Babylonians are all like lions roaring for prey.

They are like lion cubs growling for something to eat. 197 

51:39 When their appetites are all stirred up, 198 

I will set out a banquet for them.

I will make them drunk

so that they will pass out, 199 

they will fall asleep forever,

they will never wake up,” 200 

says the Lord. 201 

51:40I will lead them off to be slaughtered

like lambs, rams, and male goats.” 202 

51:41See how Babylon 203  has been captured!

See how the pride of the whole earth has been taken!

See what an object of horror

Babylon has become among the nations! 204 

51:42 The sea has swept over Babylon.

She has been covered by a multitude 205  of its waves. 206 

51:43 The towns of Babylonia have become heaps of ruins.

She has become a dry and barren desert.

No one lives in those towns any more.

No one even passes through them. 207 

51:44 I will punish the god Bel in Babylon.

I will make him spit out what he has swallowed.

The nations will not come streaming to him any longer.

Indeed, the walls of Babylon will fall.” 208 

51:45Get out of Babylon, my people!

Flee to save your lives

from the fierce anger of the Lord! 209 

51:46 Do not lose your courage or become afraid

because of the reports that are heard in the land.

For a report will come in one year.

Another report will follow it in the next.

There will be violence in the land

with ruler fighting against ruler.”

51:47So the time will certainly come 210 

when I will punish the idols of Babylon.

Her whole land will be put to shame.

All her mortally wounded will collapse in her midst. 211 

51:48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them

will sing for joy over Babylon.

For destroyers from the north will attack it,”

says the Lord. 212 

51:49Babylon must fall 213 

because of the Israelites she has killed, 214 

just as the earth’s mortally wounded fell

because of Babylon. 215 

51:50 You who have escaped the sword, 216 

go, do not delay. 217 

Remember the Lord in a faraway land.

Think about Jerusalem. 218 

51:51We 219  are ashamed because we have been insulted. 220 

Our faces show our disgrace. 221 

For foreigners have invaded

the holy rooms 222  in the Lord’s temple.’

51:52 Yes, but the time will certainly come,” 223  says the Lord, 224 

“when I will punish her idols.

Throughout her land the mortally wounded will groan.

51:53 Even if Babylon climbs high into the sky 225 

and fortifies her elevated stronghold, 226 

I will send destroyers against her,” 227 

says the Lord. 228 

51:54 Cries of anguish will come from Babylon,

the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.

51:55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,

and put an end to her loud noise.

Their waves 229  will roar like turbulent 230  waters.

They will make a deafening noise. 231 

51:56 For a destroyer is attacking Babylon. 232 

Her warriors will be captured;

their bows will be broken. 233 

For the Lord is a God who punishes; 234 

he pays back in full. 235 

51:57I will make her officials and wise men drunk,

along with her governors, leaders, 236  and warriors.

They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,” 237 

says the King whose name is the Lord who rules over all. 238 

51:58 This is what the Lord who rules over all 239  says,

“Babylon’s thick wall 240  will be completely demolished. 241 

Her high gates will be set on fire.

The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. 242 

The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed.” 243 

51:59 This is the order Jeremiah the prophet gave to Seraiah son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went to King Zedekiah of Judah in Babylon during the fourth year of his reign. 244  (Seraiah was a quartermaster.) 245  51:60 Jeremiah recorded 246  on one scroll all the judgments 247  that would come upon Babylon – all these prophecies 248  written about Babylon. 51:61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon, make sure 249  you read aloud all these prophecies. 250  51:62 Then say, ‘O Lord, you have announced that you will destroy this place so that no people or animals live in it any longer. Certainly it will lie desolate forever!’ 51:63 When you finish reading this scroll aloud, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. 251  51:64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the judgments 252  I am ready to bring upon her; they will grow faint.’”

The prophecies of Jeremiah end here. 253 

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