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Jeremiah 51 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

51 Thus saith the Lord;

Behold, I will raise up against Babylon,
and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me,
a destroying wind;
and will send unto Babylon fanners,
that shall fan her, and shall empty her land:
for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow,
and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine:
and spare ye not her young men;
destroy ye utterly all her host.
Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans,
and they that are thrust through in her streets.
For Israel hath not been forsaken,
nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts;
though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

Flee out of the midst of Babylon,
and deliver every man his soul:
be not cut off in her iniquity;
for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance;
he will render unto her a recompence.

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
that made all the earth drunken:
the nations have drunken of her wine;
therefore the nations are mad.
Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed:
howl for her; take balm for her pain,
if so be she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
but she is not healed:
forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country:
for her judgment reacheth unto heaven,
and is lifted up even to the skies.
10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness:
come, and let us declare in Zion
the work of the Lord our God.

11 Make bright the arrows;
gather the shields:
the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes:
for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it;
because it is the vengeance of the Lord,
the vengeance of his temple.
12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon,
make the watch strong, set up the watchmen,
prepare the ambushes:
for the Lord hath both devised and done
that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.

13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters,
abundant in treasures,
thine end is come,
and the measure of thy covetousness.
14 The Lord of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying,
Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillers;
and they shall lift up a shout against thee.

15 He hath made the earth by his power,
he hath established the world by his wisdom,
and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.
16 When he uttereth his voice,
there is a multitude of waters in the heavens;
and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth:
he maketh lightnings with rain,
and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

17 Every man is brutish by his knowledge;
every founder is confounded by the graven image:
for his molten image is falsehood,
and there is no breath in them.
18 They are vanity, the work of errors:
in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
19 The portion of Jacob is not like them;
for he is the former of all things:
and Israel is the rod of his inheritance:
the Lord of hosts is his name.

20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war:
for with thee will I break in pieces the nations,
and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
21 and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;
22 with thee also will I break in pieces man and woman;
and with thee will I break in pieces old and young;
and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;
23 I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock;
and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen;
and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.
24 And I will render unto Babylon
and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea
all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the Lord.

25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord,
which destroyest all the earth:
and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee,
and roll thee down from the rocks,
and will make thee a burnt mountain.
26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner,
nor a stone for foundations;
but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the Lord.

27 Set ye up a standard in the land,
blow the trumpet among the nations,
prepare the nations against her,
call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz;
appoint a captain against her;
cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers.
28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes,
the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof,
and all the land of his dominion.
29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow:
for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.

30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight,
they have remained in their holds:
their might hath failed;
they became as women:
they have burned her dwellingplaces;
her bars are broken.
31 One post shall run to meet another,
and one messenger to meet another,
to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end,
32 and that the passages are stopped,
and the reeds they have burned with fire,
and the men of war are affrighted.
33 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel;
The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor,
it is time to thresh her:
yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.

34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me,
he hath crushed me,
he hath made me an empty vessel,
he hath swallowed me up like a dragon,
he hath filled his belly with my delicates,
he hath cast me out.
35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,
shall the inhabitant of Zion say;
and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,
shall Jerusalem say.

36 Therefore thus saith the Lord;
Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee;
and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.
37 And Babylon shall become heaps,
a dwellingplace for dragons,
an astonishment, and an hissing,
without an inhabitant.
38 They shall roar together like lions:
they shall yell as lions’ whelps.
39 In their heat I will make their feasts,
and I will make them drunken,
that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep,
and not wake, saith the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams with he goats.

41 How is Sheshach taken!
and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised!
how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!
42 The sea is come up upon Babylon:
she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
43 Her cities are a desolation,
a dry land, and a wilderness,
a land wherein no man dwelleth,
neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up:
and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him:
yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her,
and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 And lest your heart faint,
and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land;
a rumour shall both come one year,
and after that in another year shall come a rumour,
and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
47 Therefore, behold, the days come,
that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon:
and her whole land shall be confounded,
and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon:
for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the Lord.
49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall,
so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.

50 Ye that have escaped the sword,
go away, stand not still:
remember the Lord afar off,
and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach:
shame hath covered our faces:
for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.

52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord,
that I will do judgment upon her graven images:
and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,
and though she should fortify the height of her strength,
yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.

54 A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon,
and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:
55 because the Lord hath spoiled Babylon,
and destroyed out of her the great voice;
when her waves do roar like great waters,
a noise of their voice is uttered:
56 because the spoiler is come upon her,
even upon Babylon,
and her mighty men are taken,
every one of their bows is broken:
for the Lord God of recompences shall surely requite.

57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men,
her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men:
and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake,
saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 Thus saith the Lord of hosts;
The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken,
and her high gates shall be burned with fire;
and the people shall labour in vain,
and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince. 60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; 62 then shalt thou say, O Lord, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. 63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: 64 and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

Jeremiah 51 New International Version (NIV)

51 This is what the Lord says:

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

“Flee from Babylon!
    Run for your lives!
    Do not be destroyed because of her sins.
It is time for the Lord’s vengeance;
    he will repay her what she deserves.
Babylon was a gold cup 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 and be broken.
    Wail over her!
Get balm for her pain;
    perhaps she can be healed.

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

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

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

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

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

20 “You are my war club,
    my weapon for battle—
with you I shatter nations,
    with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider,
    with you I shatter chariot 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,
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock,
    with you I shatter farmer and oxen,
    with you I shatter governors and officials.

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

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

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

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

“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time it is trampled;
    the time to harvest her will soon come.

34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,
    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 us out.
35 May the violence 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.

36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

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

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

45 “Come out of her, my people!
    Run for your lives!
    Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 Do not lose heart or be afraid
    when rumors 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 of Babylon;
her whole land will be disgraced
    and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
    will shout for joy over Babylon,
for out of the north
    destroyers 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.
50 You who have escaped the sword,
    leave and do not linger!
Remember the Lord in a distant land,
    and call to mind Jerusalem.”

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

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

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

58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

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

59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll 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 forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”

The words of Jeremiah end here.

Footnotes:

  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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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