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Jeremiah 51Expanded Bible (EXB)

51 This is what the Lord says:

“I will soon ·cause [arouse; stir up] a destroying ·wind [or spirit]
    against Babylon and the ·Babylonian people [L inhabitants of Leb Qemai; C a coded reference to Chaldea (Babylon)].
I will send ·foreign people [strangers; or winnowers] to ·destroy [L winnow] Babylon.
    They will ·destroy [L empty] the land.
Armies will surround the city
    when the day of ·disaster [evil; trouble] comes upon her.
Don’t let the archers [C of Babylon] ·prepare [draw] their bows to shoot.
    Don’t even let them put on their ·armor [coat of mail].
Don’t ·feel sorry for [pity] the young men of Babylon,
    but ·completely destroy [annihilate] her army.
·They will be killed [L Corpses will fall] in the land of the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans]
    and ·will die [L the wounded] in her streets.
The Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]
    did not ·leave [L widow] Israel and Judah,
even though ·they were completely guilty [L their land was full of guilt]
    in the presence of the Holy One of Israel.
“·Run away [Flee] from Babylon
    and ·save your lives [rescue yourselves]!
    Don’t stay and be killed because of Babylon’s sins.
It is time for the Lord to ·punish Babylon [L avenge himself];
    he will give Babylon the punishment she deserves.
Babylon was like a gold cup in the Lord’s hand
    that made the whole earth drunk [C God used Babylon to administer his cup of wrath].
The nations drank Babylon’s wine,
    so they went ·crazy [mad].
Babylon has suddenly fallen and been broken.
    ·Cry [Wail] for her!
Get balm [8:22; 46:11] for her pain,
    and maybe she can be healed.

“Foreigners in Babylon say, ‘We tried to heal Babylon,
    but she cannot be healed.
So let us leave her and each go to his own country [C after the fall of Babylon, the Persians allowed the exiled people to return to their own lands; Ezra 1].
    Babylon’s ·punishment [judgment] ·is as high as [reaches; touches] the ·sky [heavens];
it ·reaches [L lifts up] to the ·clouds [or skies].’

10 “The people of Judah say, ‘The Lord has ·shown us to be right [brought about/forth our vindication].
    Come, let us ·tell [recount] in ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple]
what the Lord our God has done.’

11 “Sharpen the arrows!
    ·Pick up your shields [or Fill the quivers]!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
    because he ·wants [L purposes] to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will punish them as they deserve
    for destroying his Temple.
12 Lift up a banner [C a battle standard] against the walls of Babylon!
    ·Bring more [L Strengthen the] guards.
Put the watchmen in their places,
    and ·get ready for a secret attack [prepare an ambush]!
The Lord will certainly do what he has planned
    and what he said he would do against the people of Babylon.
13 You [C Babylon] live near ·much [mighty] water [C the Euphrates]
    and are rich with many treasures,
but your end as a nation has come.
    ·It is time to stop you from robbing other nations [or Your destiny is fixed].
14 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] has promised ·in his own name [L by himself]:
    ‘I will surely fill you [C Babylon] with so many men [C enemy soldiers] they will be like locusts [46:23; Judg. 6:5; 7:12; Nah. 3:15–17; Rev. 9:7].
They will ·stand [raise] over you and shout their victory.’

15 “The Lord made the earth by his power.
    He used his wisdom to ·build [L establish] the world
    and his understanding to stretch out the ·skies [heavens; Prov. 3:19–20; 8:22–31].
16 When he ·thunders [L gives forth his voice], the waters in the skies roar.
    He makes ·clouds [mist] rise ·all over [L from the ends of] the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

17 “People are so stupid and know so little.
    Goldsmiths are ·made ashamed [humiliated] by their idols,
because those statues are ·only false gods [L deceptive].
    They have no breath in them.
18 They are worth nothing; ·people make fun of them [or works of delusion].
    ·When they are judged [L At the time of their punishment], they will be destroyed.
19 But Jacob’s Portion [C God] is not like the idols.
    He ·made [formed; shaped] everything,
and ·he chose Israel to be his special people [Israel is the tribe of his inheritance].
    The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is his name.

20 “You are my war club,
    my battle weapon.
I use you to ·smash [shatter; C and so throughout this passage] nations.
    I use you to destroy kingdoms.
21 I use you to smash horses and riders.
    I use you to smash chariots and drivers.
22 I use you to smash men and women.
    I use you to smash old people and young people.
    I use you to smash young men and young women.
23 I use you to smash shepherds and flocks.
    I use you to smash farmers and oxen.
    I use you to smash governors and ·officers [officials; leaders].

24 “But I will pay back Babylon and all the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] for all the ·evil things [disasters; troubles] they did to ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple] in your ·sight [L eyes],” says the Lord.

25 The Lord says,

“Babylon, you are a destroying mountain,
    and I am against you.
    You have destroyed the whole land.
I will ·put [reach; stretch] my hand out against you.
    I will roll you off the ·cliffs [rocks; crags],
    and I will make you a burned-out mountain.
26 People will not ·find any rocks in Babylon big enough for [L take from you] cornerstones.
    People will not take any rocks from you for a foundation [C of a building],
    because your city will be ·just a pile of ruins [a desolation] forever,” says the Lord.

27 “Lift up a banner [C a battle standard] in the land!
    Blow the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] among the nations!
·Get the nations ready for battle against Babylon [L Consecrate the nations against it].
    Call these kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz [C near Lake Urmia and Lake Van to the northwest of Babylon, and part of the coalition against it] against her [C to fight].
Choose a commander ·to lead the army against Babylon [L against it].
    ·Send [L Bring up] so many horses that they are like a swarm of locusts.
28 ·Get the nations ready for battle against Babylon [L Consecrate the nations against it]
    the kings of the Medes,
their governors and all their officers,
    and all the countries they rule.
29 The land shakes and ·moves in pain [writhes],
    because the Lord will do what he has planned to Babylon.
He will make Babylon an ·empty desert [desolation],
    where no one will live.
30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting.
    They stay in their ·protected cities [strongholds].
Their strength is gone,
    and they have become like women [C frightened].
Babylon’s houses are burning.
    The bars [C of its gates] are broken.
31 One runner meets another runner;
    messenger meets messenger.
They announce to the king of Babylon
    that his whole city has been captured.
32 The river crossings have been ·captured [seized],
    and the swamplands are burning with fire.
    All of the soldiers [C of Babylon] are terribly afraid.”

33 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says:

“The ·city [L daughter] of Babylon is like a threshing floor,
    where people trod [C on grain at harvest time].
    The time to harvest [C Babylon] is coming soon.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has ·defeated [L devoured; consumed] and ·destroyed [crushed] us.
    We became like an empty jar [C probably a reference to the exile].
He was like a ·giant snake [monster; dragon; Is. 27:1; 51:9; Ezek. 29:3; 32:2; Job 7:1; Ps. 74:13] that swallowed us.
    He filled his stomach with our ·best things [delicacies].
    Then he spit us out.
35 ·Babylon did terrible things to hurt us.
    Now let those things happen to Babylon [L May the violence done to me and my flesh be on Babylon],”
    say the people of ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple].
“·The people of Babylon killed our people.
    Now let them be punished for what they did [L May my blood be on the Chaldeans],” says Jerusalem.

36 So this is what the Lord says:

“I will ·soon defend you [L present your case; C addressed to Judah],
    and make sure that Babylon is punished.
I will dry up Babylon’s sea
    and make her springs become dry [Is. 24:4; Nah. 1:4].
37 Babylon will become a pile of ruins,
    a ·home [den; haunt] for wild dogs [jackals; 9:11; 10:22; 49:33; Lam. 5:18].
People will be shocked and hiss at what happened there.
    No one will live there anymore.
38 Babylon’s people roar like young lions;
    they growl like baby lions.
39 While they are ·stirred [heated] up,
    I will give ·a feast for [drinks to] them
    and make them drunk.
They will shout and laugh.
    And they will sleep forever and never wake up!” says the Lord.
40 “I will take them [C people of Babylon] to be ·killed [slaughtered].
    They will be like lambs,
like sheep and goats [11:19; 12:3].

41 “How ·Babylon [L Sheshach; C an alternate name for Babylon; 25:26] has been ·defeated [captured]!
    The pride of the whole earth has been ·taken captive [seized].
·People from other nations are shocked at what happened to Babylon,
    and the things they see make them afraid [L How Babylon has become a horror among the nations].
42 The sea has risen over Babylon;
    its ·roaring [tumultuous] waves cover her.
43 ·Babylon’s [L Its] towns are ·ruined and empty [desolate].
    It has become a dry, desert land,
a land where no one lives.
    People do not even travel through it .
44 I will punish the god Bel [C another name for Marduk, the chief god of Babylon] in Babylon.
    I will make him spit out what he has swallowed.
Nations will no longer ·come [L stream] to Babylon;
    even the wall around the city will fall.

45 “Come out of it [C Babylon], my people!
    ·Run for [Escape with] your lives!
    ·Run [Escape] from the Lord’s great anger.
46 Don’t lose ·courage [heart];
    rumors will spread through the land, but don’t be afraid.
One rumor comes this year, and another comes the next year.
    There will be rumors of ·terrible fighting [violence] in the country,
    of rulers fighting against rulers.
47 The ·time will surely come [L days are coming]
    when I will punish the idols of Babylon,
and the whole land will be disgraced.
    There will be many ·dead people [corpses] ·lying all around [L falling in its midst].
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
    will shout for joy about Babylon.
They will shout because the army comes from the north [C Persia and its allies]
    to destroy Babylon,” says the Lord.

49 “Babylon must fall, because ·she killed people from [L of the corpses of] Israel.
    ·She killed people from everywhere on [L …and the corpses of all the] earth.
50 You who have escaped being killed with swords,
    ·leave Babylon [go; flee; depart]! Don’t wait!
    Remember the Lord in the faraway land
and ·think about Jerusalem [L let Jerusalem come up in your heart/mind].”

51 “We people of Judah are disgraced,
    because we have been ·insulted [reproached].
    ·We have been shamed [L Shame/Humiliation covers our face],
because strangers have gone into
    the holy places of the Lord’s Temple [L house]!”

52 So the Lord says, “The ·time is [L days are] coming soon
    when I will punish the idols of Babylon.
Wounded people will ·cry with pain [groan]
    all over that land.
53 Even if Babylon grows until she touches the ·sky [heavens],
    and even if she ·makes her highest cities strong [fortifies her lofty stronghold],
    I will send people to destroy her,” says the Lord.
54 “Sounds of people crying are heard in Babylon.
    Sounds of ·people destroying things [great destruction]
    are heard in the land of the Babylonians.
55 The Lord is destroying Babylon
    and making the loud sounds of the city become silent.
Enemies come roaring in like ocean waves.
    The roar of their voices is heard all around.
56 ·The army has come to destroy [L Destroyers have come to] Babylon.
    Her soldiers have been captured,
    and their bows are broken,
because the Lord is a God who punishes people for the evil they do.
    He ·gives them the full punishment they deserve [repays them in full].
57 I will make Babylon’s rulers and wise men drunk [C with the cup of God’s wrath; 25:15–38],
    and her governors, officers, and soldiers, too.
Then they will sleep forever and never wake up [v. 39],” says the King,
    whose name is the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].

58 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:

“Babylon’s ·thick [broad] wall will be completely ·pulled down [leveled]
    and her high gates burned with fire.
The people will ·work hard [weary themselves], but it won’t help;
    their work will only become fuel for the flames!”

A Message to Babylon

59 This is the message that Jeremiah the prophet gave to the officer Seraiah son of Neriah, who was the son of Mahseiah [C probably Baruch’s brother; 32:12]. Seraiah went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year Zedekiah was king of Judah [C 593 bc]. ·His duty was to arrange the king’s food and housing on the trip [L He was the quartermaster]. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll all the ·terrible [disastrous; evil] things that would happen to Babylon, all these words about Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “As soon as you come to Babylon, be sure to read this message so all the people can hear you. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said that you will ·destroy [L cut off] this place so that no people or animals will live in it. It will be an ·empty ruin [desolation] forever.’ 63 After you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and will not rise again because of the ·terrible [disastrous; evil] things I will make happen here. Her people will fall.’”

·The words of Jeremiah end here [Thus far are the words of Jeremiah].

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 51New 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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