“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.[a] 2 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. 3 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. 4 They will fall down slain in Babylon,[c] fatally wounded in her streets. 5 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.
6 “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. 7 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. 8 Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed.
9 “‘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.
Jeremiah 51:1Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
Jeremiah 51:3The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
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