49 This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the Lord says:
“Are there no descendants of Israel to inherit the land of Gad? Why are you, who worship Molech,[a] living in its towns? 2 In the days to come,” says the Lord, “I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah. It will become a desolate heap of ruins, and the neighboring towns will be burned. Then Israel will take back the land you took from her,” says the Lord.
3 “Cry out, O Heshbon, for the town of Ai is destroyed. Weep, O people of Rabbah! Put on your clothes of mourning. Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges, for your god Molech, with his priests and officials, will be hauled off to distant lands. 4 You are proud of your fertile valleys, but they will soon be ruined. You trusted in your wealth, you rebellious daughter, and thought no one could ever harm you. 5 But look! I will bring terror upon you,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Your neighbors will chase you from your land, and no one will help your exiles as they flee. 6 But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites in days to come. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Messages about Edom
7 This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Is there no wisdom in Teman? Is no one left to give wise counsel? 8 Turn and flee! Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan! For when I bring disaster on Edom,[b] I will punish you, too! 9 Those who harvest grapes always leave a few for the poor. If thieves came at night, they would not take everything. 10 But I will strip bare the land of Edom, and there will be no place left to hide. Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors will all be destroyed, and Edom itself will be no more. 11 But I will protect the orphans who remain among you. Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.”
12 And this is what the Lord says: “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment!13 For I have sworn by my own name,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.”
14 I have heard a message from the Lord that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say, “Form a coalition against Edom, and prepare for battle!”
15 The Lord says to Edom, “I will cut you down to size among the nations. You will be despised by all. 16 You have been deceived by the fear you inspire in others and by your own pride. You live in a rock fortress and control the mountain heights. But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles, I will bring you crashing down,” says the Lord.
17 “Edom will be an object of horror. All who pass by will be appalled and will gasp at the destruction they see there. 18 It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord. “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it. 19 I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Edom from its land, and I will appoint the leader of my choice. For who is like me, and who can challenge me? What ruler can oppose my will?”
20 Listen to the Lord’s plans against Edom and the people of Teman. Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep, and their homes will be destroyed. 21 The earth will shake with the noise of Edom’s fall, and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea.[c] 22 Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle, spreading his wings over Bozrah. Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
A Message about Damascus
23 This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the Lord says:
“The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear, for they have heard the news of their destruction. Their hearts are troubled like a wild sea in a raging storm. 24 Damascus has become feeble, and all her people turn to flee. Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her as they grip a woman in labor. 25 That famous city, a city of joy, will be forsaken! 26 Her young men will fall in the streets and die. Her soldiers will all be killed,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 27 “And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.”
A Message about Kedar and Hazor
28 This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King Nebuchadnezzar[d] of Babylon. This is what the Lord says:
“Advance against Kedar! Destroy the warriors from the East! 29 Their flocks and tents will be captured, and their household goods and camels will be taken away. Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard: ‘We are terrorized at every turn!’ 30 Run for your lives,” says the Lord. “Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor, for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you and is preparing to destroy you.
31 “Go up and attack that complacent nation,” says the Lord. “Its people live alone in the desert without walls or gates. 32 Their camels and other livestock will all be yours. I will scatter to the winds these people who live in remote places.[e] I will bring calamity upon them from every direction,” says the Lord. 33 “Hazor will be inhabited by jackals, and it will be desolate forever. No one will live there; no one will inhabit it.”
A Message about Elam
34 This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the Lord at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.35 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“I will destroy the archers of Elam— the best of their forces. 36 I will bring enemies from all directions, and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds. They will be exiled to countries around the world. 37 I myself will go with Elam’s enemies to shatter it. In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster upon the people of Elam,” says the Lord. “Their enemies will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely. 38 I will set my throne in Elam,” says the Lord, “and I will destroy its king and officials. 39 But I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
A Message about Babylon
50 The Lord gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians.[f]2 This is what the Lord says:
“Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols[g] will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. 3 For a nation will attack her from the north and bring such destruction that no one will live there again. Everything will be gone; both people and animals will flee.
Hope for Israel and Judah
4 “In those coming days,” says the Lord, “the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the Lord their God. 5 They will ask the way to Jerusalem[h] and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the Lord with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.
6 “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold. 7 All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, ‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them, for they sinned against the Lord, their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors.’
8 “But now, flee from Babylon! Leave the land of the Babylonians. Like male goats at the head of the flock, lead my people home again. 9 For I am raising up an army of great nations from the north. They will join forces to attack Babylon, and she will be captured. The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark; they will not miss! 10 Babylonia[i] will be looted until the attackers are glutted with loot. I, the Lord, have spoken!
Babylon’s Sure Fall
11 “You rejoice and are glad, you who plundered my chosen people. You frisk about like a calf in a meadow and neigh like a stallion. 12 But your homeland[j] will be overwhelmed with shame and disgrace. You will become the least of nations— a wilderness, a dry and desolate land. 13 Because of the Lord’s anger, Babylon will become a deserted wasteland. All who pass by will be horrified and will gasp at the destruction they see there.
14 “Yes, prepare to attack Babylon, all you surrounding nations. Let your archers shoot at her; spare no arrows. For she has sinned against the Lord. 15 Shout war cries against her from every side. Look! She surrenders! Her walls have fallen. It is the Lord’s vengeance, so take vengeance on her. Do to her as she has done to others! 16 Take from Babylon all those who plant crops; send all the harvesters away. Because of the sword of the enemy, everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands.
Hope for God’s People
17 “The Israelites are like sheep that have been scattered by lions. First the king of Assyria ate them up. Then King Nebuchadnezzar[k] of Babylon cracked their bones.” 18 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel home again to its own land, to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan, and to be satisfied once more in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days,” says the Lord, “no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.
The Lord’s Judgment on Babylon
21 “Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Pursue, kill, and completely destroy[l] them, as I have commanded you,” says the Lord. 22 “Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction. 23 Babylon, the mightiest hammer in all the earth, lies broken and shattered. Babylon is desolate among the nations! 24 Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you. You are caught, for you have fought against the Lord. 25 The Lord has opened his armory and brought out weapons to vent his fury. The terror that falls upon the Babylonians will be the work of the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 26 Yes, come against her from distant lands. Break open her granaries. Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble. Destroy her completely, and leave nothing! 27 Destroy even her young bulls— it will be terrible for them, too! Slaughter them all! For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come. 28 Listen to the people who have escaped from Babylon, as they tell in Jerusalem how the Lord our God has taken vengeance against those who destroyed his Temple.
29 “Send out a call for archers to come to Babylon. Surround the city so none can escape. Do to her as she has done to others, for she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 30 Her young men will fall in the streets and die. Her soldiers will all be killed,” says the Lord.
31 “See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Your day of reckoning has arrived— the day when I will punish you. 32 O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall, and no one will raise you up. For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon that will burn up everything around them.”
33 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged. Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go. 34 But the one who redeems them is strong. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest!
35 “The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,” says the Lord. “It will strike the people of Babylon— her officials and wise men, too. 36 The sword will strike her wise counselors, and they will become fools. The sword will strike her mightiest warriors, and panic will seize them. 37 The sword will strike her horses and chariots and her allies from other lands, and they will all become like women. The sword will strike her treasures, and they all will be plundered. 38 A drought[m] will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them.
39 “Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas. It will be a home for owls. Never again will people live there; it will lie desolate forever. 40 I will destroy it as I[n] destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord. “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it.
41 “Look! A great army is coming from the north. A great nation and many kings are rising against you from far-off lands. 42 They are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. As they ride forward on horses, they sound like a roaring sea. They are coming in battle formation, planning to destroy you, Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about the enemy, and he is weak with fright. Pangs of anguish have gripped him, like those of a woman in labor.
44 “I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Babylon from its land, and I will appoint the leader of my choice. For who is like me, and who can challenge me? What ruler can oppose my will?”
45 Listen to the Lord’s plans against Babylon and the land of the Babylonians. Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep, and their homes will be destroyed. 46 The earth will shake with the shout, “Babylon has been taken!” and its cry of despair will be heard around the world.
49:1Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; also in 49:3.
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