Jeremiah 50New Life Version (NLV)
God Speaks through Jeremiah about Babylon
50 The word which the Lord spoke about Babylon, the land of the Babylonians, through Jeremiah the man of God: 2 “Make it known among the nations. Lift up a flag and make it known. Do not hide it, but say, ‘Babylon has been taken. Bel has been put to shame. Marduk has been broken down. Her objects of worship have been put to shame. Her false gods have been broken down.’ 3 For a nation has come up against her from the north. It will make her land an empty waste, and no one will live in it. Both man and animal will run away.
4 “In those days and at that time,” says the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, together with the sons of Judah. They will cry as they come, and will be looking for the Lord their God. 5 They will ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an agreement that lasts forever, one that will never be forgotten.’
6 “My people have become lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them the wrong way. They have made them turn away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place. 7 All who found them have destroyed them. Those who hate them have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the Lord, their true resting place Who is right and good, the hope of their fathers.’ 8 Run out of Babylon. Go from the land of the Babylonians. Be like male goats that go before the flock. 9 For I am going to raise up and bring against Babylon a group of great nations from the land of the north. They will come ready for battle against her, and she will be taken. Their arrows will be like an able soldier who does not return with empty hands. 10 Babylon will become a prize of war. All who take things from her will have enough,” says the Lord.
Babylon Is Punished
11 “You are glad and full of joy, O you who take what belongs to My people. You play around like a young cow in grain, and sound like strong horses. Because of this, 12 your mother will be very ashamed. She who gave birth to you will be put to shame. She will be the least of the nations, a wilderness, a waste, and a desert. 13 Because of the Lord’s anger no people will live there. She will be left with no people. Everyone who passes by Babylon will be surprised, and will make fun of her because of her sores. 14 Come up for battle against Babylon on every side, all you who use the bow. Shoot at her. Do not save any of your arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord. 15 Raise your battle cry against her on every side. She has given herself up. Her strong pillars have fallen. Her walls have been torn down. Since this is the punishment of the Lord, punish her. Do to her as she has done to others. 16 Cut off from Babylon the one who plants seeds and the one who cuts the grain at gathering time. Because of the sword of the one who makes it hard for them, everyone will return to his own people. Each one will run to his own land.
Israel Is Like a Flock of Sheep
17 “Israel is like sheep sent everywhere, driven away by lions. The first one who destroyed Israel was the king of Assyria. And the last one who has broken his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 18 So the Lord of All, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 I will return Israel to his field, and he will feed on Carmel and Bashan. And his desire will be filled in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days and at that time,’ says the Lord, ‘sin will be looked for in Israel, but there will be none. And sin will be looked for in Judah, but it will not be found. For I will forgive those whom I allow to return.’
Words about Babylon
21 “Go up against the land of Merathaim, and against the people of Pekod. Kill and destroy all of them,” says the Lord, “and do all that I have told you. 22 The noise of battle is in the land, and much is destroyed. 23 How the strong one of the whole earth has been cut off and broken! Babylon has become a complete waste among the nations! 24 I set a trap for you, and you were caught, O Babylon, and you did not know it. You have been found and caught, because you have fought against the Lord.” 25 The Lord has opened His store-house and has brought out the swords of His anger. For the Lord, the God of All, has work to do in the land of the Babylonians. 26 Come to her from the farthest land. Open her store-houses. Gather her up like grain, and destroy all of her. Let nothing be left of her. 27 Kill all her young bulls. Let them go down to be killed. It is bad for them, for their day has come, the time of their punishment. 28 Listen! They are running from the land of Babylon to tell in Zion about the punishment of the Lord our God. They are telling how the Lord punishes those who destroyed His house of worship.
29 “Call all those who use the bow to fight against Babylon. Gather around her on every side. Let no one get away. Pay her back for what she did. Do to her all that she has done. For she has been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel. 30 So her young men will fall in her streets. And all her men of war will be made quiet in that day,” says the Lord. 31 “See, I am against you, O proud one,” says the Lord God of All. “For your day has come, the time when I will punish you. 32 The proud one will trip and fall with no one to help him up. I will set fire to his cities, and it will burn up all that is around him.” 33 The Lord of All says, “The sons of Israel and the sons of Judah are troubled and are held under a bad power. All who took them away in chains have held on to them. They have not been willing to let them go. 34 The One Who saves and makes them free is strong. The Lord of All is His name. He will work hard for their cause, so that He may give rest to the land. But He will not give rest to the people of Babylon. 35 A sword is against the Babylonians,” says the Lord, “and against the people of Babylon, and against her leaders and her wise men! 36 A sword is against her religious leaders who are false and lie. They will become fools! A sword is against her strong men, and they will be filled with fear! 37 A sword is against her horses and war-wagons, and against all the soldiers from other lands who are with her! They will become like women! A sword is against her riches, and they will be taken! 38 A time of no rain and her waters will be dried up! For it is a land of false gods. They are wild over false gods. 39 So the desert animals will live there together with the wild dogs. And ostriches also will live in it. Never again will people live there. 40 As when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities,” says the Lord, “no man will live there. And no man will stay there.
41 “See, a nation is coming from the north. A great nation and many kings are moving from the farthest parts of the earth. 42 They take hold of their bow and spear. They fight without pity. Their voice sounds like the sea. And they ride on horses, dressed ready for battle against you, O people of Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon has heard the news about them, and his hands hang without strength. Suffering has taken hold of him, like the pain of a woman giving birth.
44 “One will come up like a lion from the trees by the Jordan to rich grass fields. All at once I will make the people run away from Babylon. And I will make whoever I choose to rule over it. For who is like Me? Who will call Me into court? What shepherd can stand before Me?” 45 So hear the plan which the Lord has made against Babylon. Listen to His plans which He has made against the land of the Babylonians. Even the little ones of the flock will be taken away. He will make their fields an empty waste because of them. 46 At the cry, “Babylon has been taken!” the earth will shake, and the cry will be heard among the nations.