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Jeremiah 51 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

51 Thus says Yahweh:

“Look, I am going to stir up against Babylon
    and against the inhabitants of Leb-qamai a destructive wind.
And I will send winnowers to Babylon,
    and they will winnow her,
and they will lay waste her land,
    for they will be against her from all sides on the day of disaster.
Let not him who bends the bow shoot his bow,
    and let him not rise high in his body armor.
And you must not spare her young men;
    destroy her whole army.
And they will fall slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
    and pierced through in her streets.
For neither Israel nor Judah is a widower from their God,
    from Yahweh of hosts,
though their land is full of guilt
    against the Holy One of Israel.”
Flee from the midst of Babylon and save each one his life.
    You must not perish because of her guilt.
For this is the time of vengeance for Yahweh,
    he will repay her what is deserved.
Babylon was a cup of gold in the hand of Yahweh,
    making drunk all the earth.
The nations drank of her wine.
    Therefore[a] the nations acted like madmen.
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and she is shattered.
    Wail over her!
Take balm for her wounds,
    perhaps she may be healed.
We tried to heal Babylon, and she was not healed.
    Forsake her and let us go each one to his country,
for her judgment has reached to the heavens,
    and it has been lifted up to the skies.
10 Yahweh has brought forth our vindication.
    Come and let us make known in Zion the work of Yahweh our God.
11 Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers!
    Yahweh has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes.
Because his plan concerning Babylon is to destroy it,
    for that is the vengeance of Yahweh,
    the vengeance for his temple.
12 Against the walls of Babylon raise a banner;
    post a strong watch,[b] post watchmen, prepare the ambushes,
for Yahweh has both planned as well as performed
    what he has spoken concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O you who live by mighty waters, rich in treasures,
    your end has come, the measure of your life.[c]
14 Yahweh of hosts has sworn by himself,
    “Surely I will fill you with troops like the creeping locusts,[d]
    and they will sing over you a war cry.”
15 He is the one who made the earth by his power,
    the one who created the world by his wisdom,
    and by his understanding he stretched out the heavens.
16 At the giving of his voice
    there is a roar of waters in the heavens,
and he causes the patches of mist
    to go up from the end of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
    and he brings out the wind from his storehouses.
17 All humankind turns out to be stupid,
    without knowledge.
Every goldsmith is put to shame
    by the divine image.
For his cast image is a lie,
    and there is no breath in them.
18 They are worthless,
    a work of mockery.
At the time of their punishment,
    they will perish.
19 The portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the creator of everything,[e]
    and the tribe of his inheritance.
Yahweh of hosts is his name.
20 He says, “You are a war club for me,
    a weapon of battle,
and I smash nations with you,
    and I destroy kingdoms with you.
21 And I smash the horse with you,
    and its rider,
and I smash the chariot with you,
    and its rider.
22 And I smash man and woman with you,
    and I smash the old man and the boy with you,
    and I smash the young man and the young woman with you.
23 And I smash the shepherd and his flock with you,
    and I smash the farmer and his team with you,
    and I smash the governors and the officials with you.
24 And I will repay Babylon,
    and all the inhabitants of Chaldea,
all their wickedness that they have done in Zion
    before your eyes,” declares[f] Yahweh.
25 “Look, I am against you,
    O mountain of the destruction,” declares[g] Yahweh,
    “the one that destroys the whole earth.
And I will stretch out my hand against you,
    and I will roll you down from the cliffs,
    and I will make you as a mountain burned away.
26 They will not take from you
    a stone for a corner,
and a stone for a foundation,
    for you will be an everlasting desolation,”[h] declares[i] Yahweh.
27 Raise a banner in the land;
    blow a horn among the nations;
prepare for holy war against her;
    summon the nations against her,
the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;
    summon against her an official;
    bring up horses[j] like bristling creeping locusts.[k]
28 Prepare the nations for holy war against her,
    the kings of the Medes,
with their governors and all their officials,
    and every land of their dominion.
29 And the land quakes and writhes,
    for the plans of Yahweh against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon as a horror,
    without[l] inhabitant.
30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased to fight,
    they remain in the strongholds,
their power has dried up,
    they have become as women.
Her dwelling places are set on fire,
    her bars are broken.
31 one runner runs to meet another runner,
    and one messenger to meet another messenger,
to tell the king of Babylon that his city has been captured,
    from end to end.[m]
32 And the fords have been seized,
    and the reed marshes have been burned with fire,
    and the soldiers[n] are horrified.

33 For thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel,

“The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time it is trodden down,
just a little while[o]
    and the time of the harvest will come for her.”
34 Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon
    has devoured me and sucked me dry;
he has made me an empty vessel;
    he has swallowed me like the sea monster;
he has filled his belly with my delicacies;
    he has rinsed me.
35 May the violence done to me and to my flesh be on Babylon,”
    the inhabitants[p] of Zion will say;
and “My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
    Jerusalem will say.

36 Therefore[q] thus says Yahweh,

“Look, I am going to contend your case,
    and I will avenge your vengeance,
and I will cause her sea to dry up,
    and I will cause her fountain to dry up.
37 And Babylon will become as a heap of stones,
    a lair of jackals,
an object of horror, and an object of hissing,
    without[r] inhabitants.
38 They will roar together like the young lions,
    they will growl like the cubs of lions.
39 At their becoming hot I will set their banquets,
    and I will make them drunk,
so that they will fall into a swoon,
    and they will sleep an everlasting sleep,[s]
    and they will not wake up,” declares[t] Yahweh.
40 “I will bring them down like young rams to slaughter,
    like rams and goats.
41 How Sheshach is captured,
    and the glory of all the earth is seized!
How Babylon has become as an object of horror
    among the nations!
42 The sea has risen over Babylon,
    she has been covered by the roar of its waves.
43 Her cities have become as an object of horror,
    a dry land and a wilderness,[u]
a land in which no person lives,
    nor does a son of humankind pass through it.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
    and I will wrench out from his mouth what he has swallowed.[v]
And the nations will not stream towards him any longer
    what’s worse,[w] the wall of Babylon has fallen.
45 Come out from her midst, my people,
    and save each one his life
    from the burning anger of[x] Yahweh.
46 Now so that you are not fainthearted,[y]
    and you are afraid at the rumors[z] that are heard in the land—
and in the year the rumor comes,
    and in the year after it the rumor,
and violence is in the land,
    with ruler against ruler—
47 therefore[aa] look, days are coming,
    and I will punish the images of Babylon,
and all her land will be put to shame,
    and all her slain ones will fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heaven and the earth and all that is in them
    will shout for joy over Babylon,
for from the north
    the destroyers will come to it,” declares[ab] Yahweh.
49 Babylon must fall not only because of the slain ones of Israel,
    but also because of Babylon the slain ones of all the earth have fallen.
50 Survivors of the sword, go!
    You must not linger!
Remember Yahweh from far away,
    and let Jerusalem come to your mind.[ac]
51 We are ashamed,
    for we have heard taunts,[ad]
disgrace covers our faces,
    for strangers have come to the holy places of the house of Yahweh.
52 Therefore[ae] look, days are coming,” declares[af] Yahweh,
    “and I will punish her images,
    and the fatally wounded will sigh through all her land.
53 Though Babylon goes up to the heavens,
    and though she fortifies the high place of her strength,
    from me destroyers will come to her,” declares[ag] Yahweh.
54 The sound of a cry for help from Babylon,
    and a great collapse from the land of the Chaldeans.
55 For Yahweh is devastating Babylon,
    and he obliterates her loud noise[ah] from her.
Their waves roar like mighty waters,
    the roar of their voices[ai] resounds.
56 For a destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon,
    and her warriors are captured.
Their bows are broken;
    for Yahweh is a God of recompense,
    certainly he will repay.
57 “And I will make drunk her officials, and her wise men,
    her governors, and her officials, and her warriors,
and they will sleep an everlasting sleep,[aj]
    and they will not wake up,”
declares[ak] the King, Yahweh of hosts is his name.

58 Thus says Yahweh of hosts:

“The broad walls of Babylon will be utterly demolished,
    and her high gates will burn with fire,
and the peoples will labor for nothing,[al]
    and the nations for fire,[am]
and they will grow weary.”

The Scroll Concerning Babylon is Thrown into the Euphrates

59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah, the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, at his going with Zedekiah, the king of Judah, to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now Seraiah was the quartermaster.[an] 60 And Jeremiah wrote all the disasters[ao] that would come on Babylon in one scroll, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “At your coming to Babylon, then you must see that you read aloud all these words. 62 And you must say, ‘Yahweh, you yourself spoke against this place, to destroy it, so that there will not be in it anything living, from humankind to animals,[ap] for it will be an everlasting desolation.’[aq] 63 And then[ar] when you finish reading aloud this scroll, you must tie a stone on it, and you must throw it into the middle of the Euphrates. 64 And you must say, ‘Babylon will sink, and she will not rise, because of[as] the face of the disasters[at] that I am bringing on her, and they will grow weary.’” Thus far[au] the words of Jeremiah.


  1. Jeremiah 51:7 Literally “Unto thus”
  2. Jeremiah 51:12 Literally “make strong the guard”
  3. Jeremiah 51:13 Literally “the cubit of your severing”
  4. Jeremiah 51:14 Hebrew “locust”
  5. Jeremiah 51:19 Literally “the all”
  6. Jeremiah 51:24 Literally “a declaration of”
  7. Jeremiah 51:25 Literally “a declaration of”
  8. Jeremiah 51:26 Literally “a desolation of everlasting”
  9. Jeremiah 51:26 Literally “a declaration of”
  10. Jeremiah 51:27 Hebrew “horse”
  11. Jeremiah 51:27 Hebrew “locust”
  12. Jeremiah 51:29 Literally “from there is not”
  13. Jeremiah 51:31 Literally “from end”
  14. Jeremiah 51:32 Literally “the men of the war”
  15. Jeremiah 51:33 Literally “still a little”
  16. Jeremiah 51:35 Hebrew “inhabitant”
  17. Jeremiah 51:36 Literally “To thus”
  18. Jeremiah 51:37 Literally “from there is not”
  19. Jeremiah 51:39 Literally “a sleep of eternity”
  20. Jeremiah 51:39 Literally “a declaration of”
  21. Jeremiah 51:43 Or “Arabah”
  22. Jeremiah 51:44 Literally “what has been swallowed by him”
  23. Jeremiah 51:44 Literally “also”
  24. Jeremiah 51:45 Literally “the blazing of the nose of”
  25. Jeremiah 51:46 Literally “so that your heart is not timid”
  26. Jeremiah 51:46 Hebrew “rumor”
  27. Jeremiah 51:47 Literally “to thus”
  28. Jeremiah 51:48 Literally “a declaration of”
  29. Jeremiah 51:50 Literally “heart”
  30. Jeremiah 51:51 Hebrew “taunt”
  31. Jeremiah 51:52 Literally “To thus”
  32. Jeremiah 51:52 Literally “a declaration of”
  33. Jeremiah 51:53 Literally “a declaration of”
  34. Jeremiah 51:55 Or “voice”
  35. Jeremiah 51:55 Hebrew “voice”
  36. Jeremiah 51:57 Literally “a sleep of eternity”
  37. Jeremiah 51:57 Literally “a declaration of”
  38. Jeremiah 51:58 Literally “for enough of empty”
  39. Jeremiah 51:58 Literally “for enough of fire”
  40. Jeremiah 51:59 Literally “official of the resting place”
  41. Jeremiah 51:60 Hebrew “disaster”
  42. Jeremiah 51:62 Hebrew “animal”
  43. Jeremiah 51:62 Literally “a desolation of eternity”
  44. Jeremiah 51:63 Literally “And it will happen”
  45. Jeremiah 51:64 Literally “from”
  46. Jeremiah 51:64 Hebrew “disaster”
  47. Jeremiah 51:64 Literally “Up to here”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software

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.


  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)

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