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57 Eternal One: I will make her leaders and wise men drunk
        as well as her governors, leaders, and mighty warriors.
    And when they fall asleep, they will sleep forever,

    So says the King, whose name is the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

58 Eternal One: The wide and sturdy walls of Babylon will be toppled,
        and her massive city gates will be set on fire.
    The people toiled to build those walls,
        but it was all in vain.
    Prisoners from other lands exhausted themselves to build this city,
        but their work went up in flames.

This strongly worded message about Babylon is the last of the oracles against the nations. Such is the message that the prophet Jeremiah is called to give—even while Babylon’s power is at its height. And so in 594 b.c., before the final fall of Jerusalem, the prophet to the nations delivers this prophecy to the exiles already in Babylon and—if they choose to listen—to the Babylonians themselves. Jeremiah instructs an assistant to the king of Judah to take this oracle to Babylon and read it aloud. As if that is not enough, he then instructs the man to perform a symbolic act—the sort of thing Jeremiah himself would do if he were there. His willing accomplice will dramatize the ultimate sinking of the Babylonian Empire by fulfilling the prophet’s strange request.

59 Jeremiah the prophet gave the following order to Seraiah (son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah), when Seraiah was accompanying Zedekiah (king of Judah) to Babylon in the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign. Seraiah worked in the king’s administration.

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