Jeremiah 51
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Yahweh Sends Calamity to Babylon

1Thus says Yahweh:

“Behold, I am going to arouse against Babylon

And against the inhabitants of [†]Leb-kamai

[†]The spirit of a destroyer.

2I will send [†]strangers to Babylon that they may winnow her

And may empty her land to destruction;

For on every side they will be against her

In the day of her calamity.

3[†]Let not [†]him who [†]bends his bow [†]bend it,

[†]Nor let him rise up in his scale-armor;

So do not spare her young men;

Devote all her army to destruction.

4They will fall down [†]slain in the land of the Chaldeans,

And pierced through in their streets.”

5For neither Israel nor Judah has been widowed

By his God, by Yahweh of hosts,

Although their land is full of guilt

[†]Before the Holy One of Israel.

6Flee from the midst of Babylon,

And each of you escape with his life!

Do not be [†]silenced in her [†]iniquity,

For this is Yahweh’s time of vengeance;

He is going to render recompense to her.

7Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of Yahweh,

Intoxicating all the earth.

The nations have drunk of her wine;

Therefore the nations are going mad.

8Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;

Wail over her!

Take [†]balm for her pain;

Perhaps she may be healed.

9We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed;

Forsake her and let us each go to his own country,

For her judgment has touched heaven

And lifts up to the very skies.

10Yahweh has brought [†]about our righteousness;

Come and let us recount in Zion

The work of Yahweh our God!

11Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers!

Yahweh has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes

Because His purpose is against Babylon to destroy it;

For it is the vengeance of Yahweh, vengeance for His temple.

12Lift up a standard against the walls of Babylon;

Make strong the watch;

Raise up [†]watchmen;

Establish men in ambush!

For Yahweh has both purposed and performed

What He spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.

13O you who dwell by abundant waters,

Abundant in treasures,

Your end has come,

The [†]measure of your [†]end.

14Yahweh of hosts has sworn by Himself:

“Surely I will fill you with a [†]population like locusts,

And they will cry out with [†]shouts of victory over you.”

15It is He who made the earth by His power,

Who established the world by His wisdom,

And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens.

16When He gives forth His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,

And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;

He makes lightning for the rain

And brings forth the wind from His storehouses.

17All mankind is senseless, devoid of knowledge;

Every goldsmith is put to shame by his graven image,

For his molten images are a lie,

And there is no breath in them.

18They are vanity, a work of mockery;

In the time of their punishment they will perish.

19The portion of Jacob is not like these;

For the [†]Maker of all is He,

And of the [†]tribe of His inheritance;

Yahweh of hosts is His name.

20He says, “You are My instrument of shattering, My weapon of war;

And with you I shatter nations,

And with you I destroy kingdoms.

21With you I shatter the horse and his rider,

And with you I shatter the chariot and its rider,

22And with you I shatter man and woman,

And with you I shatter old man and youth,

And with you I shatter choice man and virgin,

23And with you I shatter the shepherd and his flock,

And with you I shatter the farmer and his pair of oxen,

And with you I shatter governors and prefects.

24“But I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes,” declares Yahweh.

25“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,

Who destroys the whole earth,” declares Yahweh,

“And I will stretch out My hand against you

And roll you down from the crags,

And I will make you a burnt out mountain.

26They will not take from you even a stone for a corner

Nor a stone for foundations,

But you will be a perpetual desolation,” declares Yahweh.

27Lift up a standard in the land,

Blow a trumpet among the nations!

Set apart the nations against her;

Summon against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;

Appoint a marshal against her;

Bring up the horses like bristly locusts.

28Set apart the nations against her,

The kings of the Medes,

[†]Their governors and all [†]their [†]prefects

And every land of [†]their rule.

29So the land quakes and writhes,

For the purposes of Yahweh against Babylon stand,

To make the land of Babylon

[†]A desolation without inhabitants.

30The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting;

They inhabit the strongholds;

Their might is dried up;

They are becoming like women;

Their dwelling places are set on fire;

The bars of her gates are broken.

31One runner runs to meet [†]another,

And one messenger to meet [†]another,

To give a message to the king of Babylon

That his city has been captured from end to end;

32The fords also have been seized,

And they have burned the marshes with fire,

And the men of war are terrified.

33For thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel:

“The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor

At the time [†]it is stamped firm;

Yet in a little while the time of harvest will come for her.”

34“Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured me and brought me into confusion;

He has set me down like an empty vessel;

He has swallowed me like a sea monster;

He has filled his stomach with my delicacies;

He has rinsed me away.

35May the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,”

The [†]inhabitant of Zion will say;

And, “May my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”

Jerusalem will say.

36Therefore thus says Yahweh,

“Behold, I am going to plead your case

And exact full vengeance for you;

And I will dry up her [†]sea

And make her fountain dry.

37Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals,

An object of horror and hissing, without inhabitants.

38They will roar together like young lions;

They will growl like lions’ cubs.

39When they become heated up, I will set before them their feast

And make them drunk, that they may exult

And may sleep a perpetual sleep

And not wake up,” declares Yahweh.

40“I will bring them down like [†]lambs to the slaughter,

Like rams together with male goats.

41“How [†]Sheshak has been captured,

And the praise of the whole earth been seized!

How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations!

42The [†]sea has come up over Babylon;

She has been covered with its tumultuous waves.

43Her cities have become an object of horror,

A parched land, and a desert,

A land in which no man lives

And through which no son of man passes.

44I will punish Bel in Babylon,

And I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth;

And the nations will no longer stream to him.

Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down!

45“Come forth from her midst, My people,

And each of you escape with his life

From the burning anger of Yahweh.

46Now lest your heart grow faint,

And you fear the report that will be heard in the land—

For the report will come [†]one year,

And after that [†]another report in [†]another year,

And violence will be in the land

With ruler against ruler—

47Therefore behold, days are coming

When I will punish the graven images of Babylon;

And her whole land will be put to shame,

And all her slain will fall in her midst.

48Then heaven and earth and all that is in them

Will shout for joy over Babylon,

For the destroyers will come to her from the north,”

Declares Yahweh.

49Indeed Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel,

As also for Babylon the slain of all the earth have fallen.

50You who have escaped the sword,

Go! Do not stand around!

Remember Yahweh from afar,

And let Jerusalem come upon your heart.

51We are ashamed because we have heard reproach;

Dishonor has covered our faces,

For strangers have entered

The holy places of the house of Yahweh.

52“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh,

“When I will punish her graven images,

And the mortally wounded will groan throughout her land.

53Though Babylon should ascend to the heavens,

And though she should fortify [†]her lofty stronghold,

From Me destroyers will come to her,” declares Yahweh.

54The sound of an outcry from Babylon,

And of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!

55For Yahweh is going to destroy Babylon,

And He will make her loud [†]noise [†]vanish from her.

And their waves will roar like many waters;

The rumbling of their voices [†]sounds forth.

56For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon,

And her mighty men will be captured;

Their bows are shattered;

For Yahweh is a God of recompense,

He will fully repay.

57“I will make her princes and her wise men drunk,

Her governors, her prefects, and her mighty men,

That they may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up,”

Declares the King, whose name is Yahweh of hosts.

58Thus says Yahweh of hosts,

“The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed,

And her high gates will be set on fire;

So the peoples will toil for nothing,

And the nations become weary only for fire.”

59The [†]message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. (Now Seraiah was quartermaster.) 60So Jeremiah wrote in a single [†]scroll all the calamity which would come upon Babylon, that is, all these words which have been written concerning Babylon. 61Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud, 62and then you will say, ‘You, O Yahweh, have [†]promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing inhabiting it, [†]whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.’ 63And as soon as you finish reading this [†]scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64and then you will say, ‘Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become utterly weary.’” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

1 Cryptic name for Chaldea; or the heart of those who rise up against Me
1 Or A destroying wind
2 Some versions winnowers
3 M.T. Against him who
3 The Chaldean defender
3 Lit tread(s) (in order to string)
3 Lit tread(s) (in order to string)
3 M.T. Against him who
4 Or wounded
5 Lit From
6 Or made lifeless
6 Or penalty for iniquity
8 Or balsam resin
10 Lit forth
12 Or sentries
13 Lit cubit
13 Lit being cut off
14 Or mankind
14 Something like the song of grape treaders
19 Lit Fashioner
19 Or Scepter, cf. Num 24:17
28 Lit Her
28 Lit Her
28 Lieutenant governors
28 Lit his
29 Or An object of horror
31 Lit runner
31 Or messenger; lit announcer
33 Lit of treading it
35 Lit inhabitress
36 Or broad river
40 Or young rams
41 Cryptic name for Babylon
42 Or broad river
46 Lit in the
46 Lit the
46 Lit the
53 Lit the height of her strength
55 Or voice
55 Lit perish
55 Lit is given
59 Lit word
60 Or book
62 Lit spoken
62 Lit from man even to beast
63 Or book

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