Jeremiah 51

Judgment on Babylon

1This is what the LORD says:

“Behold, I will stir up against Babylon

and against the people of Leb-kamaia

the spirit of a destroyer.

2I will send strangers to Babylon

to winnow her and empty her land;

for they will come against her from every side

in her day of disaster.

3Do not let the archer bend his bow

or put on his armor.

Do not spare her young men;

devote all her army to destruction!b

4And they will fall slain in the land of the Chaldeans,c

and pierced through in her streets.

5For 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.”

6Flee 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.

7Babylon 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.

8Suddenly 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.”

11Sharpen the arrows!

Fill the quivers!d

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.

12Raise 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.

13You who dwell by many waters,

rich in treasures,

your end has come;

the thread of your life is cut.

14The LORD of Hosts has sworn by Himself:

“Surely I will fill you up with men as with locusts,

and they will shout in triumph over you.”

Praise to the God of Jacob
(Isaiah 25:1–12)

15The LORD made the earth by His power;

He established the world by His wisdom

and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.

16When He thunders,

the waters in the heavens roar;

He causes the clouds to rise

from the ends of the earth.

He generates the lightning with the rain

and brings forth the wind from His storehouses.

17Every man is senseless and devoid of knowledge;

every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols.

For his molten images are a fraud,

and there is no breath in them.

18They are worthless, a work to be mocked.

In the time of their punishment they will perish.

19The Portion of Jacob 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.

21With you I shatter the horse and rider;

with you I shatter the chariot and driver.

22With 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.

23With 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.

24Before your very eyes I will repay

Babylon and all the dwellers of Chaldeae

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.

26No 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 ram’s horn 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.

28Prepare the nations for battle against her—

the kings of the Medes,

their governors and all their officials,

and all the lands they rule.

29The earth quakes and writhes

because the LORD’s intentions against Babylon stand:

to make the land of Babylon a desolation,

without inhabitant.

30The 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.

31One 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.

32The fords have been seized,

the marshes set on fire,

and the soldiers are terrified.”

33For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says:

“The Daughter of 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.f

35May the violence done to me

and to my flesh

be upon Babylon,”

says the dweller of Zion.

“May my blood be on the dwellers of Chaldea,”

says Jerusalem.

36Therefore 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.

37Babylon will become a heap of rubble,

a haunt for jackals,g

an object of horror and scorn,

without inhabitant.

38They will roar together like young lions;

they will growl like lion cubs.

39While 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.

40I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,

like rams with male goats.

41How Sheshachh has been captured!

The praise of all the earth has been seized.

What a horror Babylon has become

among the nations!

42The sea has come up over Babylon;

she is covered in turbulent waves.

43Her cities have become a desolation,

a dry and arid land,

a land where no one lives,

where no son of man passes through.

44I 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.

45Come out of her, My people!i

Save your lives, each of you,

from the fierce anger of the LORD.

46Do 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 of ruler against ruler.

47Therefore, 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.

48Then 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.

50You 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.

53Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens

and fortifies 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!

55For the LORD will destroy Babylon;

He will silence her mighty voice.

The waves will roar like great waters;

the tumult of their voices will resound.

56For 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.

57I 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.

58This 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 Message to Seraiah

59This is the message 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. 60Jeremiah had written on a single scroll about all the disaster that would come upon Babylon—all these words that had been written concerning Babylon.

61And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud, 62and 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.’

63When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and cast it into the Euphrates. 64Then 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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