Prophecy against Babylon

50 The word which the Lord spoke concerning (A)Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet:

(B)Declare and proclaim among the nations.
Proclaim it and (C)lift up a standard.
Do not conceal it but say,
(D)Babylon has been captured,
(E)Bel has been put to shame, [a]Marduk has been [b]shattered;
Her (F)images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered.’

For a nation has come up against her out of the (G)north; it will make her land (H)an object of horror, and there will be (I)no inhabitant in it. Both man and beast have wandered off, they have gone away!

“In those days and at that time,” declares the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah (J)as well; they will go along (K)weeping as they go, and it will be (L)the Lord their God they will seek. They will (M)ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces [c]in its direction; [d]they [e]will come that they may join themselves to the Lord in an (N)everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

“My people have become (O)lost sheep;
(P)Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the (Q)mountains;
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their (R)resting place.
“All who came upon them have devoured them;
And their adversaries have said, ‘(S)We are not guilty,
Inasmuch as they have sinned against the Lord who is the (T)habitation of righteousness,
Even the Lord, the (U)hope of their fathers.’

“Wander away from the (V)midst of Babylon
And [f]go forth from the land of the Chaldeans;
Be also like male goats [g]at the head of the flock.
“For behold, I am going to (W)arouse and bring up against Babylon
A horde of great nations from the land of the north,
And they will draw up their battle lines against her;
From there she will be taken captive.
Their arrows will be like [h]an expert warrior
Who does not return empty-handed.
10 [i](X)Chaldea will become plunder;
All who plunder her will have enough,” declares the Lord.

11 “Because you are glad, because you are jubilant,
O you who (Y)pillage My heritage,
Because you skip about [j]like a threshing (Z)heifer
And neigh like [k]stallions,
12 Your (AA)mother [l]will be greatly ashamed,
She who gave you birth [m]will be humiliated.
Behold, she will be the least of the nations,
A (AB)wilderness, a parched land and a desert.
13 “Because of the indignation of the Lord she will (AC)not be inhabited,
But she will be (AD)completely desolate;
Everyone who passes by Babylon (AE)will be horrified
And will hiss because of all her wounds.
14 “Draw up your battle lines against Babylon on every side,
All you who [n]bend the bow;
Shoot at her, do not be sparing with your arrows,
For she has (AF)sinned against the Lord.
15 “Raise your battle cry against her on every side!
She has (AG)given [o]herself up, her pillars have fallen,
Her (AH)walls have been torn down.
For this is the (AI)vengeance of the Lord:
Take vengeance on her;
(AJ)As she has done to others, so do to her.
16 “Cut off the (AK)sower from Babylon
And the one who wields the sickle at the time of harvest;
From before [p]the (AL)sword of the oppressor
(AM)They will each turn back to his own people
And they will each flee to his own land.

17 “Israel is a (AN)scattered [q]flock, the (AO)lions have driven them away. The first one who devoured him was the (AP)king of Assyria, and this last one who has broken his bones is (AQ)Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 18 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I (AR)punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will (AS)bring Israel back to his pasture and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan, and his [r]desire will be satisfied in the (AT)hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days and at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but (AU)there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those (AV)whom I leave as a remnant.’

21 “Against the land of [s]Merathaim, go up against it,
And against the inhabitants of [t](AW)Pekod.
Slay and [u]utterly destroy them,” declares the Lord,
“And do according to all that I have commanded you.
22 “The (AX)noise of battle is in the land,
And great destruction.
23 “How the (AY)hammer of the whole earth
Has been cut off and broken!
How Babylon has become
An object of horror among the nations!
24 “I (AZ)set a snare for you and you were also (BA)caught, O Babylon,
While you yourself were not aware;
You have been found and also seized
Because you have engaged in (BB)conflict with the Lord.”
25 The Lord has opened His armory
And has brought forth the (BC)weapons of His indignation,
For it is a (BD)work of the Lord [v]God of hosts
In the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come to her from the [w]farthest border;
(BE)Open up her barns,
Pile her up like heaps
And [x](BF)utterly destroy her,
Let nothing be left to her.
27 (BG)Put all her young bulls to the sword;
Let them (BH)go down to the slaughter!
Woe be upon them, for their (BI)day has come,
The time of their punishment.

28 There is a (BJ)sound of fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon,
To declare in Zion the (BK)vengeance of the Lord our God,
Vengeance for His (BL)temple.

29 “Summon [y]many against Babylon,
All those who [z]bend the bow:
Encamp against her on every side,
Let there be no escape[aa].
Repay her according to her work;
(BM)According to all that she has done, so do to her;
For she has become (BN)arrogant against the Lord,
Against the Holy One of Israel.
30 “Therefore her (BO)young men will fall in her streets,
And all her men of war will be [ab](BP)silenced in that day,” declares the Lord.
31 “Behold, (BQ)I am against you, O [ac]arrogant one,”
Declares the Lord [ad]God of hosts,
“For your day has come,
The time [ae]when I will punish you.
32 “The [af](BR)arrogant one will stumble and fall
With no one to raise him up;
And I will (BS)set fire to his cities
And it will devour all his environs.”

33 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“The sons of Israel are oppressed,
And the sons of Judah as well;
And (BT)all who took them captive have held them fast,
They have refused to let them go.
34 “Their (BU)Redeemer is strong, (BV)the Lord of hosts is His name;
He will vigorously (BW)plead their case
So that He may (BX)bring rest to [ag]the earth,
But turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 “A (BY)sword against the Chaldeans,” declares the Lord,
“And against the inhabitants of Babylon
And against her (BZ)officials and her (CA)wise men!
36 “A sword against the (CB)oracle priests, and they will become fools!
A sword against her (CC)mighty men, and they will be [ah](CD)shattered!
37 “A sword against [ai]their (CE)horses and against [aj]their chariots
And against all the [ak](CF)foreigners who are in the midst of her,
And they will become (CG)women!
A sword against her treasures, and they will be plundered!
38 “A [al](CH)drought on her waters, and they will be dried up!
For it is a land of (CI)idols,
And they are mad over fearsome idols.

39 “Therefore the (CJ)desert creatures will live there along with the jackals;
The ostriches also will live in it,
And it will (CK)never again be inhabited
Or dwelt in from generation to generation.
40 “As when God overthrew (CL)Sodom
And Gomorrah with its neighbors,” declares the Lord,
“No man will live there,
Nor will any son of man reside in it.

41 “Behold, a people is coming (CM)from the north,
And a great nation and many kings
Will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.
42 “They (CN)seize their bow and javelin;
They are (CO)cruel and have no mercy.
Their (CP)voice roars like the sea;
And they ride on (CQ)horses,
(CR)Marshalled like a man for the battle
Against you, O daughter of Babylon.
43 “The (CS)king of Babylon has heard the report about them,
And his hands hang limp;
(CT)Distress has gripped him,
Agony like a woman in childbirth.

44 (CU)Behold, one will come up like a lion from the [am]thicket of the Jordan to [an]a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will make them run away from it, and whoever is (CV)chosen I will appoint over it. For who is (CW)like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can (CX)stand before Me?” 45 Therefore hear the (CY)plan of the Lord which He has planned against Babylon, and His purposes which He has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: (CZ)surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their [ao]pasture desolate because of them. 46 At the [ap]shout, “Babylon has been seized!” the (DA)earth is shaken, and an (DB)outcry is heard among the nations.


  1. Jeremiah 50:2 Heb Merodach
  2. Jeremiah 50:2 Or dismayed
  3. Jeremiah 50:5 Lit hither
  4. Jeremiah 50:5 M.T. reads come ye!
  5. Jeremiah 50:5 Or will have come
  6. Jeremiah 50:8 Another reading is let them go forth
  7. Jeremiah 50:8 Or in front of
  8. Jeremiah 50:9 So some mss and versions; M.T. reads a warrior who makes childless
  9. Jeremiah 50:10 Or the Chaldeans
  10. Jeremiah 50:11 Another reading is in the grass
  11. Jeremiah 50:11 Lit mighty ones
  12. Jeremiah 50:12 Or has become
  13. Jeremiah 50:12 Or has become
  14. Jeremiah 50:14 Lit tread (in order to string)
  15. Jeremiah 50:15 Lit her hand
  16. Jeremiah 50:16 Or the oppressing sword
  17. Jeremiah 50:17 Lit sheep
  18. Jeremiah 50:19 Lit soul
  19. Jeremiah 50:21 Or Double Rebellion
  20. Jeremiah 50:21 Or Punishment
  21. Jeremiah 50:21 Lit put under the ban
  22. Jeremiah 50:25 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  23. Jeremiah 50:26 Lit end
  24. Jeremiah 50:26 Lit put under the ban
  25. Jeremiah 50:29 Another reading is archers
  26. Jeremiah 50:29 Lit tread (in order to string)
  27. Jeremiah 50:29 Some mss add to her
  28. Jeremiah 50:30 Or made lifeless or destroyed
  29. Jeremiah 50:31 Lit arrogance
  30. Jeremiah 50:31 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  31. Jeremiah 50:31 Another reading is of your punishment
  32. Jeremiah 50:32 Lit arrogance
  33. Jeremiah 50:34 Or their land
  34. Jeremiah 50:36 Or dismayed
  35. Jeremiah 50:37 Lit his
  36. Jeremiah 50:37 Lit his
  37. Jeremiah 50:37 Lit mixed multitude
  38. Jeremiah 50:38 Another reading is sword
  39. Jeremiah 50:44 Lit pride
  40. Jeremiah 50:44 Or an enduring habitation
  41. Jeremiah 50:45 Or habitation
  42. Jeremiah 50:46 Lit voice

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.


  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