Prophecies against Babylon

50 This is the word the Lord spoke about Babylon,(A) the land of the Chaldeans, through the prophet Jeremiah:

Announce to the nations;
proclaim and raise up a signal flag;(B)
proclaim, and hide nothing.
Say, “Babylon is captured;
Bel(C) is put to shame;
Marduk is terrified.”
Her idols are put to shame;
her false gods, devastated.
For a nation from the north will attack her;(D)
it will make her land desolate.
No one will be living in it—
both people and animals will escape.[a](E)
In those days and at that time—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
the Israelites and Judeans will come together,(F)
weeping as they come,
and will seek the Lord their God.(G)
They will ask about Zion,
turning their faces to this road.
They will come and join themselves[b] to the Lord
in a permanent covenant(H) that will never be forgotten.

My people were lost sheep;(I)
their shepherds led them astray,(J)
guiding them the wrong way in the mountains.(K)
They wandered from mountain to hill;
they forgot their resting place.
Whoever found them devoured them.
Their adversaries said, “We’re not guilty;
instead, they have sinned against the Lord,
their righteous grazing land,(L)
the hope of their ancestors,(M) the Lord.”

Escape from Babylon;(N)
depart from the Chaldeans’ land.
Be like the rams that lead the flock.
For I will soon stir up and bring against Babylon(O)
an assembly of great nations from the north country.
They will line up in battle formation against her;(P)
from there she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like a skilled[c] warrior
who does not return empty-handed.
10 The Chaldeans will become plunder;
all Babylon’s plunderers will be fully satisfied.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
11 Because you rejoice,
because you celebrate—
you who plundered my inheritance—
because you frolic like a young cow treading grain
and neigh like stallions,(Q)
12 your mother(R) will be utterly humiliated;
she who bore you will be put to shame.
Look! She will lag behind all[d] the nations—
an arid wilderness, a desert.(S)
13 Because of the Lord’s wrath,
she will not be inhabited;
she will become a desolation, every bit of her.
Everyone who passes through Babylon
will be appalled
and scoff because of all her wounds.(T)
14 Line up in battle formation around Babylon,
all you archers!
Shoot at her! Do not spare an arrow,
for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Raise a war cry against her on every side!
She has thrown up her hands in surrender;
her defense towers have fallen;
her walls are demolished.(U)
Since this is the Lord’s vengeance,(V)
take your vengeance on her;
as she has done, do the same to her.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon
as well as him who wields the sickle at harvest time.
Because of the oppressor’s sword,(W)
each will turn to his own people,(X)
each will flee to his own land.

The Return of God’s People

17 Israel is a stray lamb, chased by lions.(Y)
The first who devoured him was the king of Assyria;
the last who crushed his bones
was King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.(Z)

18 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am about to punish the king of Babylon(AA) and his land just as I punished the king of Assyria.

19 I will return Israel to his grazing land,(AB)
and he will feed on Carmel and Bashan;
he will be satisfied
in the hill country of Ephraim and of Gilead.(AC)
20 In those days and at that time—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
one will search for Israel’s iniquity,
but there will be none,
and for Judah’s sins,
but they will not be found,
for I will forgive(AD) those I leave as a remnant.(AE)

The Invasion of Babylon

21 Attack the land of Merathaim,
and those living in Pekod.
Put them to the sword;
completely destroy them—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
do everything I have commanded you.(AF)
22 The sound of war is in the land(AG)
a crushing blow!
23 How the hammer of the whole earth
is cut down and smashed!
What a horror Babylon has become
among the nations!(AH)
24 Babylon, I laid a trap for you, and you were caught,(AI)
but you did not even know it.
You were found and captured
because you pitted yourself against the Lord.
25 The Lord opened his armory
and brought out his weapons of wrath,(AJ)
because it is a task of the Lord God of Armies
in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the most distant places.[e]
Open her granaries;
pile her up like mounds of grain
and completely destroy her.
Leave her no survivors.
27 Put all her young bulls to the sword;
let them go down to the slaughter.
Woe to them because their day has come,
the time of their punishment.(AK)

The Humiliation of Babylon

28 There is a voice of fugitives and refugees
from the land of Babylon.
The voice announces in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God,
the vengeance for his temple.(AL)
29 Summon the archers to Babylon,
all who string the bow;
camp all around her; let none escape.
Repay her according to her deeds;(AM)
just as she has done, do the same to her,
for she has acted arrogantly against the Lord,
against the Holy One of Israel.(AN)
30 Therefore, her young men will fall
in her public squares;
all the warriors will perish in that day.
This is the Lord’s declaration.(AO)
31 Look, I am against you, you arrogant one—
this is the declaration of
the Lord God of Armies—
for your day has come,
the time when I will punish you.
32 The arrogant will stumble and fall(AP)
with no one to pick him up.
I will set fire to his cities,
and it will consume everything around him.(AQ)

The Desolation of Babylon

33 This is what the Lord of Armies says:

Israelites and Judeans alike have been oppressed.
All their captors hold them fast;(AR)
they refuse to release them.
34 Their Redeemer is strong;
the Lord of Armies is his name.
He will fervently champion their cause(AS)
so that he might bring rest to the earth
but turmoil to those who live in Babylon.(AT)
35 A sword is over the Chaldeans—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
against those who live in Babylon,
against her officials, and against her sages.
36 A sword is against the diviners,
and they will act foolishly.
A sword is against her heroic warriors,
and they will be terrified.
37 A sword is against his horses and chariots
and against all the foreigners among them,(AU)
and they will be like women.(AV)
A sword is against her treasuries,
and they will be plundered.
38 A drought will come on her waters,
and they will be dried up.
For it is a land of carved images,
and they go mad because of terrifying things.[f](AW)

39 Therefore, desert creatures[g] will live with hyenas,
and ostriches will also live in her.
It will never again be inhabited
or lived in through all generations.(AX)
40 Just as God demolished Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighboring towns(AY)
this is the Lord’s declaration—
so no one will live there;
no human being will stay in it even temporarily
as a temporary resident.(AZ)

The Conquest of Babylon

41 Look! A people comes from the north.(BA)
A great nation and many kings will be stirred up
from the remote regions of the earth.(BB)
42 They grasp bow and javelin.
They are cruel and show no mercy.
Their voice roars like the sea,(BC)
and they ride on horses,
lined up like men in battle formation
against you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard about them;
his hands have become weak.
Distress has seized him—
pain, like a woman in labor.(BD)

44 “Look, it will be like a lion coming from the thickets[h](BE) of the Jordan to the watered grazing land. I will chase Babylon[i] away from her land in a flash. I will appoint whoever is chosen for her. For who is like me? Who will issue me a summons? Who is the shepherd who can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear the plans that the Lord has drawn up against Babylon and the strategies he has devised against the land of the Chaldeans:(BF) Certainly the flock’s little lambs will be dragged away; certainly the grazing land will be made desolate because of them. 46 At the sound of Babylon’s conquest the earth will quake; a cry will be heard among the nations.(BG)

Footnotes

  1. 50:3 Lit escape; they will walk
  2. 50:5 LXX; MT reads Come and join yourselves
  3. 50:9 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr; other Hb mss read bereaving
  4. 50:12 Lit Look! The last of
  5. 50:26 Lit from the end
  6. 50:38 Or of dreaded gods
  7. 50:39 Or desert demons
  8. 50:44 Lit pride
  9. 50:44 Lit them

A Message About Babylon(A)

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon(B) and the land of the Babylonians[a]:

“Announce and proclaim(C) among the nations,
    lift up a banner(D) and proclaim it;
    keep nothing back, but say,
‘Babylon will be captured;(E)
    Bel(F) will be put to shame,(G)
    Marduk(H) filled with terror.
Her images will be put to shame
    and her idols(I) filled with terror.’
A nation from the north(J) will attack her
    and lay waste her land.
No one will live(K) in it;
    both people and animals(L) will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“the people of Israel and the people of Judah together(M)
    will go in tears(N) to seek(O) the Lord their God.
They will ask the way(P) to Zion
    and turn their faces toward it.
They will come(Q) and bind themselves to the Lord
    in an everlasting covenant(R)
    that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;(S)
    their shepherds(T) have led them astray(U)
    and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill(V)
    and forgot their own resting place.(W)
Whoever found them devoured(X) them;
    their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty,(Y)
for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,
    the Lord, the hope(Z) of their ancestors.’

“Flee(AA) out of Babylon;(AB)
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir(AC) up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations(AD) from the land of the north.(AE)
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.(AF)
Their arrows(AG) will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia[b] will be plundered;(AH)
    all who plunder her will have their fill,”
declares the Lord.

11 “Because you rejoice and are glad,
    you who pillage my inheritance,(AI)
because you frolic like a heifer(AJ) threshing grain
    and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;
    she who gave you birth will be disgraced.(AK)
She will be the least of the nations—
    a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.(AL)
13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited
    but will be completely desolate.(AM)
All who pass Babylon will be appalled;(AN)
    they will scoff(AO) because of all her wounds.(AP)

14 “Take up your positions around Babylon,
    all you who draw the bow.(AQ)
Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,(AR)
    for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout(AS) against her on every side!
    She surrenders, her towers fall,
    her walls(AT) are torn down.
Since this is the vengeance(AU) of the Lord,
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her(AV) as she has done to others.(AW)
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.
Because of the sword(AX) of the oppressor
    let everyone return to their own people,(AY)
    let everyone flee to their own land.(AZ)

17 “Israel is a scattered flock(BA)
    that lions(BB) have chased away.
The first to devour(BC) them
    was the king(BD) of Assyria;
the last to crush their bones(BE)
    was Nebuchadnezzar(BF) king(BG) of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
    as I punished the king(BH) of Assyria.(BI)
19 But I will bring(BJ) Israel back to their own pasture,
    and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
their appetite will be satisfied(BK)
    on the hills(BL) of Ephraim and Gilead.(BM)
20 In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,
    but there will be none,(BN)
and for the sins(BO) of Judah,
    but none will be found,
    for I will forgive(BP) the remnant(BQ) I spare.

21 “Attack the land of Merathaim
    and those who live in Pekod.(BR)
Pursue, kill and completely destroy[c] them,”
declares the Lord.
    “Do everything I have commanded you.
22 The noise(BS) of battle is in the land,
    the noise of great destruction!
23 How broken and shattered
    is the hammer(BT) of the whole earth!(BU)
How desolate(BV) is Babylon
    among the nations!
24 I set a trap(BW) for you, Babylon,
    and you were caught before you knew it;
you were found and captured(BX)
    because you opposed(BY) the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out the weapons(BZ) of his wrath,
for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do
    in the land of the Babylonians.(CA)
26 Come against her from afar.(CB)
    Break open her granaries;
    pile her up like heaps of grain.(CC)
Completely destroy(CD) her
    and leave her no remnant.
27 Kill all her young bulls;(CE)
    let them go down to the slaughter!(CF)
Woe to them! For their day(CG) has come,
    the time(CH) for them to be punished.
28 Listen to the fugitives(CI) and refugees from Babylon
    declaring in Zion(CJ)
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,(CK)
    vengeance for his temple.(CL)

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.(CM)
Encamp all around her;
    let no one escape.(CN)
Repay(CO) her for her deeds;(CP)
    do to her as she has done.
For she has defied(CQ) the Lord,
    the Holy One(CR) of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men(CS) will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord.
31 “See, I am against(CT) you, you arrogant one,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day(CU) has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant(CV) one will stumble and fall(CW)
    and no one will help her up;(CX)
I will kindle a fire(CY) in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,(CZ)
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.(DA)
34 Yet their Redeemer(DB) is strong;
    the Lord Almighty(DC) is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause(DD)
    so that he may bring rest(DE) to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A sword(DF) against the Babylonians!”(DG)
    declares the Lord
“against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise(DH) men!
36 A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!(DI)
    They will be filled with terror.(DJ)
37 A sword against her horses and chariots(DK)
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.(DL)
A sword against her treasures!(DM)
    They will be plundered.
38 A drought on[d] her waters!(DN)
    They will dry(DO) up.
For it is a land of idols,(DP)
    idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creatures(DQ) and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.(DR)
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah(DS)
    along with their neighboring towns,”
declares the Lord,
“so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.(DT)

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;(DU)
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred(DV) up from the ends of the earth.(DW)
42 They are armed with bows(DX) and spears;
    they are cruel(DY) and without mercy.(DZ)
They sound like the roaring sea(EA)
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.(EB)
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.(EC)
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.(ED)
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets(EE)
    to a rich pastureland,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen(EF) one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?(EG)
    And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed(EH) against the land of the Babylonians:(EI)
The young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;(EJ)
    its cry(EK) will resound among the nations.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 50:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 8, 25, 35 and 45
  2. Jeremiah 50:10 Or Chaldea
  3. Jeremiah 50:21 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  4. Jeremiah 50:38 Or A sword against

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