The Utter Destruction of Babylon1 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will stir up athe spirit of a destroyer
against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai, ▼
▼A code name for Chaldea
2and I will send to Babylon winnowers,
and cthey shall winnow her,
and they shall empty her land,
when they come against her from every side
don the day of trouble.
3 eLet not the archer bend his bow,
and let him not stand up in his armor.
Spare not her young men;
fdevote to destruction ▼
▼That is, set apart ( devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)all her army.
4They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
hand wounded in her streets.
5 iFor Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
by their God, the Lord of hosts,
but the land of the Chaldeans ▼
▼Hebrew their landis full of guilt
against the Holy One of Israel.
6 k“Flee from the midst of Babylon;
let every one save his life!
lBe not cut off in her punishment,
mfor this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance,
the repayment he is rendering her.
7Babylon was na golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
omaking all the earth drunken;
pthe nations drank of her wine;
therefore the nations went mad.
8 qSuddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
rwail for her!
sTake balm for her pain;
perhaps she may be healed.
9We would have healed Babylon,
but she was not healed.
tForsake her, and ulet us go
each to his own country,
for vher judgment has reached up to heaven
and has been lifted up even to the skies.
10 wThe Lord has brought about our vindication;
xcome, let us declare in Zion
the work of the Lord our God.
11 y“Sharpen the arrows!
Take up the shields!
zThe Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of aathe Medes, because abhis purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, acfor that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for adhis temple. 12 ae“Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon;
afmake the watch strong;
set up watchmen;
prepare the ambushes;
agfor the Lord has both planned and done
what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 ahO you who dwell by many waters,
rich in treasures,
your end has come;
the thread of your life is cut.
14 aiThe Lord of hosts has sworn by himself:
Surely I will fill you with men ajas many as locusts,
akand they shall raise the shout of victory over you.
15 al“It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
16When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
17Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
and there is no breath in them.
18They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
the Lord of hosts is his name.
20 “You are my hammer and weapon of war:
with you I ambreak nations in pieces;
with you I destroy kingdoms;
21with you I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
with you I break in pieces the chariot and the charioteer;
22with you I break in pieces man and woman;
with you I break in pieces anthe old man and the youth;
with you I break in pieces aothe young man and the young woman;
23with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team;
with you I break in pieces apgovernors and commanders.
24 aq“I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the Lord. 25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
declares the Lord,
which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
and roll you down from the crags,
arand make you a burnt mountain.
26No asstone shall be taken from you for a corner
and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be ata perpetual waste,
declares the Lord.
27 au“Set up a standard on the earth;
avblow the trumpet among the nations;
awprepare axthe nations for war against her;
summon against her aythe kingdoms,
azArarat, Minni, and baAshkenaz;
appoint a bbmarshal against her;
bcbring up horses like bristling locusts.
28 bdPrepare bethe nations for war against her,
the kings of bfthe Medes bgwith their governors bhand deputies,
and every biland under their dominion.
29 bjThe land trembles and writhes in pain,
bkfor the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation,
30The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting;
they remain in their strongholds;
their strength has failed;
blthey have become women;
bmher dwellings are on fire;
bnher bars are broken.
31One borunner runs to meet another,
and one messenger to meet another,
to tell the king of Babylon
that his city is taken on every side;
32the fords have been bpseized,
the marshes are burned with fire,
and the soldiers are in panic.
33For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
bqThe daughter of Babylon is like bra threshing floor
at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
and bsthe time of her harvest will come.”
34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon bthas devoured me;
he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel;
buhe has swallowed me like bva monster;
he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;
he has rinsed me out. ▼
▼Or he has expelled me
35The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
let Jerusalem say.
36Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold bxI will plead your cause
and take vengeance for you.
byI will dry up her sea
and bzmake her fountain dry,
37and Babylon shall become caa heap of ruins,
cbthe haunt of jackals,
cca horror cdand a hissing,
38 ce“They shall roar together cflike lions;
they shall growl like lions’ cubs.
39 cgWhile they are inflamed chI will prepare them a feast
and cimake them drunk, that they may become merry,
cjthen sleep a perpetual sleep
and not wake, declares the Lord.
40I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and male goats.
41 “How ckBabylon ▼
▼Hebrew Sheshach, a code name for Babylonis taken,
cmthe praise of the whole earth cnseized!
How Babylon has become
a horror among the nations!
42 coThe sea has come up on Babylon;
she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43Her cities have become a horror,
cpa land of drought and a desert,
cqa land in which no one dwells,
and through which no son of man passes.
44And I will punish crBel in Babylon,
and cstake out of his mouth ctwhat he has swallowed.
cuThe nations shall no longer flow to him;
cvthe wall of Babylon has fallen.
45 “Go out of the midst of her, cwmy people!
Let every one save his life
from cxthe fierce anger of the Lord!
46Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful
cyat the report heard in the land,
czwhen a report comes in one year
and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
daand ruler is against ruler.
47 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming
when dbI will punish the images of Babylon;
dcher whole land shall be put to shame,
and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 ddThen the heavens and the earth,
and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon,
defor the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,
declares the Lord.
49Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
dfjust as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.
50 dg“You who have escaped from the sword,
go, do not stand still!
Remember the Lord from far away,
and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 dh‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
didishonor has covered our face,
djfor foreigners have come
into the holy places of the Lord’s house.’
52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when dkI will execute judgment upon her images,
dland through all her land
the wounded shall groan.
53Though Babylon should dmmount up to heaven,
and though she should dnfortify her strong height,
yet destroyers would come from me against her,
declares the Lord.
54 do“A voice! A cry from Babylon!
The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55For the Lord is laying Babylon waste
and stilling her mighty voice.
dpTheir waves roar like many waters;
the noise of their voice is raised,
56for a destroyer has come upon her,
her warriors are taken;
their bows are broken in pieces,
dqfor the Lord is a God of recompense;
he will surely repay.
57 drI will make drunk her officials and her wise men,
dsher governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
declares dtthe King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
58 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad duwall of Babylon
shall be leveled to the ground,
dvand her high gates
shall be burned with fire.
dwThe peoples labor for nothing,
and dxthe nations weary themselves only for fire.”
59The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah dythe son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, dzin the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 eaJeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon eball these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62and say, ‘O Lord, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so ecthat nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be eddesolate forever.’ 63When you finish reading this book, ee , , eftie a stone to it egand cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, 64and say, eh‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, eiand they shall become exhausted.’” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted1 ejZedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, ekaccording to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3For because of the anger of the Lord it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 elAnd in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 5So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 6On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 7Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 8But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 9Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at emRiblah. 11 enHe put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison eotill the day of his death.
The Temple Burned12 epIn the fifth month, on eqthe tenth day of the month—that was erthe nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who esserved the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 13And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 14And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and etthe deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. 16But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen. 17And the eupillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the evbronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and ewcarried all the bronze to Babylon. 18And they took away exthe pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service; 19 eyalso the small bowls and the fire pans and the basins and the pots and ezthe lampstands and fathe dishes for incense fband the bowls for drink offerings. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 20As for the two pillars, the one sea, fcthe twelve bronze bulls that were under the sea, ▼
▼Hebrew lacks the seaand the stands, which Solomon the king had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these things was beyond weight. 21As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, ▼
▼A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimetersffits circumference was twelve cubits, and its thickness was four fingers, and it was hollow. 22On it was a capital of bronze. The height of the one capital was fgfive cubits. A network and pomegranates, all of bronze, were around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with pomegranates. 23There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network all around.
The People Exiled to Babylon24And the captain of the guard took fhSeraiah the chief priest, and fiZephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; 25and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and fjseven men of the king’s council, who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. 26And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at fkRiblah. 27And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at flRiblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land. 28This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: fmin the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans; 29 fnin the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem 832 persons; 30in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Judeans 745 persons; all the persons were 4,600.
Jehoiachin Released from Prison31 foAnd in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed ▼
▼Hebrew king, lifted up the head offqJehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. 32And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of frthe kings who were with him in Babylon. 33So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 34and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, until the day of his death, as long as he lived.
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