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

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed(N) against the land of the Babylonians:(O)
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;(P)
    its cry(Q) will resound among the nations.

51 This is what the Lord says:

“See, I will stir(R) up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon(S) and the people of Leb Kamai.[a]
I will send foreigners(T) to Babylon
    to winnow(U) her and to devastate her land;
they will oppose her on every side
    in the day(V) of her disaster.
Let not the archer string his bow,(W)
    nor let him put on his armor.(X)
Do not spare her young men;
    completely destroy[b] her army.
They will fall(Y) down slain in Babylon,[c]
    fatally wounded in her streets.(Z)
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken(AA)
    by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land[d] is full of guilt(AB)
    before the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee(AC) from Babylon!
    Run for your lives!
    Do not be destroyed because of her sins.(AD)
It is time(AE) for the Lord’s vengeance;(AF)
    he will repay(AG) her what she deserves.
Babylon was a gold cup(AH) in the Lord’s hand;
    she made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine;
    therefore they have now gone mad.
Babylon will suddenly fall(AI) and be broken.
    Wail over her!
Get balm(AJ) for her pain;
    perhaps she can be healed.

“‘We would have healed Babylon,
    but she cannot be healed;
let us leave(AK) her and each go to our own land,
    for her judgment(AL) reaches to the skies,
    it rises as high as the heavens.’

10 “‘The Lord has vindicated(AM) us;
    come, let us tell in Zion
    what the Lord our God has done.’(AN)

11 “Sharpen the arrows,(AO)
    take up the shields!(AP)
The Lord has stirred up the kings(AQ) of the Medes,(AR)
    because his purpose(AS) is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,(AT)
    vengeance for his temple.(AU)
12 Lift up a banner(AV) against the walls of Babylon!
    Reinforce the guard,
station the watchmen,(AW)
    prepare an ambush!(AX)
The Lord will carry out his purpose,(AY)
    his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters(AZ)
    and are rich in treasures,(BA)
your end has come,
    the time for you to be destroyed.(BB)
14 The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:(BC)
    I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,(BD)
    and they will shout(BE) in triumph over you.

15 “He made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom(BF)
    and stretched(BG) out the heavens by his understanding.(BH)
16 When he thunders,(BI) the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain(BJ)
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.(BK)

17 “Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;(BL)
    they have no breath in them.
18 They are worthless,(BM) the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion(BN) of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,
including the people of his inheritance(BO)
    the Lord Almighty is his name.

20 “You are my war club,(BP)
    my weapon for battle—
with you I shatter(BQ) nations,(BR)
    with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider,(BS)
    with you I shatter chariot(BT) and driver,
22 with you I shatter man and woman,
    with you I shatter old man and youth,
    with you I shatter young man and young woman,(BU)
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock,
    with you I shatter farmer and oxen,
    with you I shatter governors and officials.(BV)

24 “Before your eyes I will repay(BW) Babylon(BX) and all who live in Babylonia[e] for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.

25 “I am against(BY) you, you destroying mountain,
    you who destroy the whole earth,”(BZ)
declares the Lord.
“I will stretch out my hand(CA) against you,
    roll you off the cliffs,
    and make you a burned-out mountain.(CB)
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
    nor any stone for a foundation,
    for you will be desolate(CC) forever,”
declares the Lord.

27 “Lift up a banner(CD) in the land!
    Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations for battle against her;
    summon against her these kingdoms:(CE)
    Ararat,(CF) Minni and Ashkenaz.(CG)
Appoint a commander against her;
    send up horses like a swarm of locusts.(CH)
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her—
    the kings of the Medes,(CI)
their governors and all their officials,
    and all the countries they rule.(CJ)
29 The land trembles(CK) and writhes,
    for the Lord’s purposes(CL) against Babylon stand—
to lay waste(CM) the land of Babylon
    so that no one will live there.(CN)
30 Babylon’s warriors(CO) have stopped fighting;
    they remain in their strongholds.
Their strength is exhausted;
    they have become weaklings.(CP)
Her dwellings are set on fire;(CQ)
    the bars(CR) of her gates are broken.
31 One courier(CS) follows another
    and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
    that his entire city is captured,(CT)
32 the river crossings seized,
    the marshes set on fire,(CU)
    and the soldiers terrified.(CV)

33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Daughter Babylon(CW) is like a threshing floor(CX)
    at the time it is trampled;
    the time to harvest(CY) her will soon come.(CZ)

34 “Nebuchadnezzar(DA) king of Babylon has devoured(DB) us,(DC)
    he has thrown us into confusion,
    he has made us an empty jar.
Like a serpent he has swallowed us
    and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
    and then has spewed(DD) us out.
35 May the violence(DE) done to our flesh[f] be on Babylon,”
    say the inhabitants of Zion.
“May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”
    says Jerusalem.(DF)

36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“See, I will defend your cause(DG)
    and avenge(DH) you;
I will dry up(DI) her sea
    and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
    a haunt(DJ) of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,(DK)
    a place where no one lives.(DL)
38 Her people all roar like young lions,(DM)
    they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused,
    I will set out a feast for them
    and make them drunk,(DN)
so that they shout with laughter—
    then sleep forever(DO) and not awake,”
declares the Lord.(DP)
40 “I will bring them down
    like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and goats.(DQ)

41 “How Sheshak[g](DR) will be captured,(DS)
    the boast of the whole earth seized!
How desolate(DT) Babylon will be
    among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon;
    its roaring waves(DU) will cover her.
43 Her towns will be desolate,
    a dry and desert(DV) land,
a land where no one lives,
    through which no one travels.(DW)
44 I will punish Bel(DX) in Babylon
    and make him spew out(DY) what he has swallowed.
The nations will no longer stream to him.
    And the wall(DZ) of Babylon will fall.

45 “Come out(EA) of her, my people!
    Run(EB) for your lives!
    Run from the fierce anger(EC) of the Lord.
46 Do not lose heart(ED) or be afraid(EE)
    when rumors(EF) are heard in the land;
one rumor comes this year, another the next,
    rumors of violence in the land
    and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come
    when I will punish the idols(EG) of Babylon;
her whole land will be disgraced(EH)
    and her slain will all lie fallen within her.(EI)
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
    will shout(EJ) for joy over Babylon,
for out of the north(EK)
    destroyers(EL) will attack her,”
declares the Lord.

49 “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,
    just as the slain in all the earth
    have fallen because of Babylon.(EM)
50 You who have escaped the sword,
    leave(EN) and do not linger!
Remember(EO) the Lord in a distant land,(EP)
    and call to mind Jerusalem.”

51 “We are disgraced,(EQ)
    for we have been insulted
    and shame covers our faces,
because foreigners have entered
    the holy places of the Lord’s house.”(ER)

52 “But days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will punish her idols,(ES)
and throughout her land
    the wounded will groan.(ET)
53 Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens(EU)
    and fortifies her lofty stronghold,
    I will send destroyers(EV) against her,”
declares the Lord.

54 “The sound of a cry(EW) comes from Babylon,
    the sound of great destruction(EX)
    from the land of the Babylonians.[h]
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
    he will silence(EY) her noisy din.
Waves(EZ) of enemies will rage like great waters;
    the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer(FA) will come against Babylon;
    her warriors will be captured,
    and their bows will be broken.(FB)
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
    he will repay(FC) in full.
57 I will make her officials(FD) and wise(FE) men drunk,(FF)
    her governors, officers and warriors as well;
they will sleep(FG) forever and not awake,”
    declares the King,(FH) whose name is the Lord Almighty.

58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Babylon’s thick wall(FI) will be leveled
    and her high gates(FJ) set on fire;
the peoples(FK) exhaust(FL) themselves for nothing,
    the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”(FM)

59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah,(FN) the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah(FO) king of Judah in the fourth(FP) year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll(FQ) about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate(FR) forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates.(FS) 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more(FT) because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people(FU) will fall.’”(FV)

The words of Jeremiah end(FW) here.


  1. Jeremiah 51:1 Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
  2. Jeremiah 51:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  3. Jeremiah 51:4 Or Chaldea
  4. Jeremiah 51:5 Or Almighty, / and the land of the Babylonians
  5. Jeremiah 51:24 Or Chaldea; also in verse 35
  6. Jeremiah 51:35 Or done to us and to our children
  7. Jeremiah 51:41 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  8. Jeremiah 51:54 Or Chaldeans

A Message About Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam,(A) early in the reign of Zedekiah(B) king of Judah:

35 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will break the bow(C) of Elam,
    the mainstay of their might.
36 I will bring against Elam the four winds(D)
    from the four quarters of heaven;(E)
I will scatter them to the four winds,
    and there will not be a nation
    where Elam’s exiles do not go.
37 I will shatter Elam before their foes,
    before those who want to kill them;
I will bring disaster on them,
    even my fierce anger,”(F)
declares the Lord.
“I will pursue them with the sword(G)
    until I have made an end of them.
38 I will set my throne in Elam
    and destroy her king and officials,”
declares the Lord.

39 “Yet I will restore(H) the fortunes of Elam
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

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Freedom for Slaves

The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people(A) in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom(B) for the slaves. Everyone was to free their Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Hebrew in bondage.(C) 10 So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they changed their minds(D) and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors(E) when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.(F) I said, 14 ‘Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you six years, you must let them go free.’[a](G) Your ancestors, however, did not listen to me or pay attention(H) to me. 15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to your own people.(I) You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name.(J) 16 But now you have turned around(K) and profaned(L) my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again.

17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you,(M) declares the Lord—‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague(N) and famine.(O) I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.(P) 18 Those who have violated my covenant(Q) and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces.(R) 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials,(S) the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will deliver(T) into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them.(U) Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.(V)

21 “I will deliver Zedekiah(W) king of Judah and his officials(X) into the hands of their enemies(Y) who want to kill them, to the army of the king of Babylon,(Z) which has withdrawn(AA) from you. 22 I am going to give the order, declares the Lord, and I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it, take(AB) it and burn(AC) it down. And I will lay waste(AD) the towns of Judah so no one can live there.”

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  1. Jeremiah 34:14 Deut. 15:12

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