Jeremiah 51

The Judgment on Babylon

1 This is what the LORD says: “Behold, I will stir up against Babylon and against the people of Leb-kamai
Leb-kamai is a code name for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia
the spirit of a destroyer.
2 I will send strangers to Babylon to winnow her and empty her land; for they will come against her from every side in the day of [her] disaster. 3 Do not let the archer bend his bow [or] put on his armor. Do not spare her young men; completely destroy
The Hebrew term refers to giving over things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering
her army!
4 And they will fall slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
Or Babylonians
and pierced through in her streets.
5 For Israel and Judah have not been abandoned by their God, the LORD of Hosts, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel.” 6 Flee from Babylon; escape with your lives! Do not be destroyed in her punishment. For this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves. 7 Babylon was a gold cup in the hand of the LORD, making the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations have gone mad. 8 Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been shattered. Wail for her; get her balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed. 9 “We tried to heal Babylon, but she could not be healed. Abandon her! Let each of us go to his own land, for her judgment extends to the sky and reaches to the clouds.” 10 The LORD has brought forth our vindication; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD our God has accomplished. 11 Sharpen the arrows! Take up the shields! The LORD has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because His plan is aimed at Babylon to destroy her, for it [is] the vengeance of the LORD— vengeance for His temple. 12 Raise a banner against the walls of Babylon; post the guard; station the watchmen; prepare the ambush. For the LORD has both devised and accomplished what He spoke against the people of Babylon. 13 You who dwell by many waters, rich in treasures, your end has come, the thread of your life is cut. 14 The LORD of Hosts has sworn by Himself: “Surely I will fill you up with men like locusts, and they will shout in triumph over you.”

A Song of Praise

15 He made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. 16 When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar, and He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings forth the wind from His storehouses. 17 Every man is senseless and devoid of knowledge. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his molten images are a lie, and [there is] no breath in them. 18 They are worthless, a work to be mocked. In the time of their punishment they will perish. 19 Jacob’s Portion is not like these, for He is the Maker of all things, and of the tribe of His inheritance— the LORD of Hosts is His name.

Babylon's Punishment

20 “You are My war club, My weapon for battle. With you I shatter nations; with you I bring kingdoms to ruin. 21 With you I shatter the horse and rider; with you I shatter the chariot and driver. 22 With you I shatter man and woman; with you I shatter the old man and the youth; with you I shatter the young man and the maiden. 23 With you I shatter the shepherd and his flock; with you I shatter the farmer and his oxen; with you I shatter the governors and officials. 24 Before your very eyes I will repay Babylon and all the residents of Chaldea for all the evil they have done in Zion,” declares the LORD. 25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, you who devastate the whole earth, declares the LORD. I will stretch out My hand against you; I will roll you over the cliffs, and turn you into a charred mountain. 26 No one shall retrieve from you a cornerstone or a foundation stone, because you will become desolate forever,” declares the LORD. 27 “Raise a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations against her. Summon the kingdoms against her— Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a captain against her; bring up horses like swarming locusts. 28 Prepare the nations for battle against her— the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officials, and all the lands they rule. 29 The earth quakes and writhes because the LORD’s intentions against Babylon stand: to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without an inhabitant. 30 The warriors of Babylon have stopped fighting; they sit in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted; they have become like women. Babylon’s homes have been set ablaze, the bars of her gates are broken. 31 One courier races to meet another, and messenger follows messenger, to announce to the king of Babylon that his city has been captured from end to end. 32 The fords have been seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers are terrified.” 33 For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “The Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trampled. In just a little while her harvest time will come.” 34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured me; he has crushed me. He has set me aside like an empty vessel; he has swallowed me like a monster; he filled his belly with my delicacies [and] vomited me out.
Or expelled me
35 May the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,” says the inhabitant of Zion. “May my blood be on the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
That is, Babylonia
says Jerusalem.
36 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: “Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance on your behalf; I will dry up her sea and make her springs run dry. 37 Babylon will become a heap of rubble, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, without inhabitant. 38 They will roar together like young lions; they will growl like lion cubs. 39 While they are flushed with heat, I will serve them a feast, and I will make them drunk so that they may revel; then they will fall asleep forever and never wake up, declares the LORD. 40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats.” 41 How Sheshach
Sheshach is a code name for Babylon
has been captured! The praise of all the earth has been seized. What a horror Babylon has become among the nations!
42 The sea has come up over Babylon; she is covered in turbulent waves. 43 Her cities have become a desolation, a dry and arid land, a land where no one lives, where no son of man passes through. 44 I will punish Bel in Babylon. I will make him spew out what he swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him; even the wall of Babylon will fall. 45 Come out from among her, My people! Save your lives, each of you, from the fierce anger of the LORD. 46 Do not let your heart grow faint, and do not be afraid when the rumor is heard in the land; for a rumor will come one year, and then another the next year of violence in the land and ruler against ruler. 47 Therefore, behold, the days are coming when I will punish the idols of Babylon. Her entire land will suffer shame, and all her slain will lie fallen within her. 48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon because the destroyers from the north will come against her,” declares the LORD. 49 Babylon must fall on account of the slain of Israel, just as the slain of all the earth have fallen because of Babylon. 50 You who have escaped the sword, depart and do not linger! Remember the LORD from far away, and let Jerusalem come to mind. 51 “We are ashamed because we have heard reproach; disgrace has covered our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the LORD’s house.” 52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish her idols, and throughout her land the wounded will groan. 53 Even if Babylon should ascend to the heavens and fortify her lofty stronghold, the destroyers I send will come against her, declares the LORD. 54 The sound of a cry [comes from] Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! 55 For the LORD will destroy Babylon; He will silence her mighty voice. The waves will roar like great waters; the tumult of their voice will resound. 56 For a destroyer is coming against her— against Babylon. Her warriors will be captured, [and] their bows will be broken, for the LORD is a God of retribution; He will repay in full. 57 I will make her princes and wise men drunk, along with her governors, officials, and warriors. Then they will fall asleep forever and not wake up,” declares the King, whose name is the LORD of Hosts. 58 This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “Babylon’s thick walls will be leveled, and her high gates consumed by fire. So the labor of the people will be for nothing; the nations will exhaust themselves to fuel the flames.”

Jeremiah's Prophecy to Seraiah

59 [This is] the command that Jeremiah the prophet gave to the quartermaster Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with King Zedekiah of Judah in the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a single scroll about all the disaster that would come upon Babylon— all these words that had been written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud, 62 and say, ‘O LORD, You have promised to cut off this place so that no one will remain— neither man nor beast. Indeed, it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and cast it into the Euphrates. 64 Then you are to say, ‘In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again, because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And [her people] will grow weary.’” Here end the words of Jeremiah.
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