Judgment on Babylon and Babylonia

50 The word that the Lord spoke (A)against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

“Declare among the nations,
Proclaim, and [a]set up a standard;
Proclaim—do not conceal it
Say, ‘Babylon is (B)taken, (C)Bel is shamed.
[b]Merodach is broken in pieces;
(D)Her idols are humiliated,
Her images are broken in pieces.’
(E)For out of the north (F)a nation comes up against her,
Which shall make her land desolate,
And no one shall dwell therein.
They shall [c]move, they shall depart,
Both man and beast.

“In those days and in that time,” says the Lord,
“The children of Israel shall come,
(G)They and the children of Judah together;
(H)With continual weeping they shall come,
(I)And seek the Lord their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion,
With their faces toward it, saying,
‘Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord
In (J)a perpetual covenant
That will not be forgotten.’

“My people have been (K)lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them (L)astray;
They have turned them away on (M)the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill;
They have forgotten their resting place.
All who found them have (N)devoured them;
And (O)their adversaries said, (P)‘We have not offended,
Because they have sinned against the Lord, (Q)the habitation of justice,
The Lord, (R)the hope of their fathers.’

“Move(S) from the midst of Babylon,
Go out of the land of the Chaldeans;
And be like the [d]rams before the flocks.
(T)For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon
An assembly of great nations from the north country,
And they shall array themselves against her;
From there she shall be captured.
Their arrows shall be like those of [e]an expert warrior;
(U)None shall return in vain.
10 And Chaldea shall become plunder;
(V)All who plunder her shall be satisfied,” says the Lord.

11 “Because(W) you were glad, because you rejoiced,
You destroyers of My heritage,
Because you have grown fat (X)like a heifer threshing grain,
And you [f]bellow like bulls,
12 Your mother shall be deeply ashamed;
She who bore you shall be ashamed.
Behold, the least of the nations shall be a (Y)wilderness,
A dry land and a desert.
13 Because of the wrath of the Lord
She shall not be inhabited,
(Z)But she shall be wholly desolate.
(AA)Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified
And hiss at all her plagues.

14 “Put(AB) yourselves in array against Babylon all around,
All you who bend the bow;
Shoot at her, spare no arrows,
For she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout against her all around;
She has (AC)given her hand,
Her foundations have fallen,
(AD)Her walls are thrown down;
For (AE)it is the vengeance of the Lord.
Take vengeance on her.
As she has done, so do to her.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon,
And him who handles the sickle at harvest time.
For fear of the oppressing sword
(AF)Everyone shall turn to his own people,
And everyone shall flee to his own land.

17 “Israel is like (AG)scattered sheep;
(AH)The lions have driven him away.
First (AI)the king of Assyria devoured him;
Now at last this (AJ)Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones.”

18 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

“Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land,
As I have punished the king of (AK)Assyria.
19 (AL)But I will bring back Israel to his home,
And he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan;
His soul shall be satisfied on Mount Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days and in that time,” says the Lord,
(AM)“The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none;
And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found;
For I will pardon those (AN)whom I preserve.

21 “Go up against the land of Merathaim, against it,
And against the inhabitants of (AO)Pekod.
[g]Waste and utterly destroy them,” says the Lord,
“And do (AP)according to all that I have commanded you.
22 (AQ)A sound of battle is in the land,
And of great destruction.
23 How (AR)the hammer of the whole earth has been cut apart and broken!
How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations!
24 I have laid a snare for you;
You have indeed been (AS)trapped, O Babylon,
And you were not aware;
You have been found and also caught,
Because you have (AT)contended against the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened His armory,
And has brought out (AU)the weapons of His indignation;
For this is the work of the Lord God of hosts
In the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the farthest border;
Open her storehouses;
Cast her up as heaps of ruins,
And destroy her utterly;
Let nothing of her be left.
27 Slay all her (AV)bulls,
Let them go down to the slaughter.
Woe to them!
For their day has come, the time of (AW)their punishment.
28 The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon
(AX)Declares in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God,
The vengeance of His temple.

29 “Call together the archers against Babylon.
All you who bend the bow, encamp against it all around;
Let none of them [h]escape.
(AY)Repay her according to her work;
According to all she has done, do to her;
(AZ)For she has been proud against the Lord,
Against the Holy One of Israel.
30 (BA)Therefore her young men shall fall in the streets,
And all her men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord.
31 “Behold, I am against you,
O most haughty one!” says the Lord God of hosts;
“For your day has come,
[i]The time that I will punish you.
32 The most (BB)proud shall stumble and fall,
And no one will raise him up;
(BC)I will kindle a fire in his cities,
And it will devour all around him.”

33 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“The children of Israel were oppressed,
Along with the children of Judah;
All who took them captive have held them fast;
They have refused to let them go.
34 (BD)Their Redeemer is strong;
(BE)The Lord of hosts is His name.
He will thoroughly plead their (BF)case,
That He may give rest to the land,
And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

35 “A sword is against the Chaldeans,” says the Lord,
“Against the inhabitants of Babylon,
And (BG)against her princes and (BH)her wise men.
36 A sword is (BI)against the soothsayers, and they will be fools.
A sword is against her mighty men, and they will be dismayed.
37 A sword is against their horses,
Against their chariots,
And against all (BJ)the mixed peoples who are in her midst;
And (BK)they will become like women.
A sword is against her treasures, and they will be robbed.
38 (BL)A [j]drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up.
For it is the land of carved images,
And they are insane with their idols.

39 “Therefore(BM) the wild desert beasts shall dwell there with the jackals,
And the ostriches shall dwell in it.
(BN)It shall be inhabited no more forever,
Nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
40 (BO)As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
And their neighbors,” says the Lord,
So no one shall reside there,
Nor son of man (BP)dwell in it.

41 “Behold,(BQ) a people shall come from the north,
And a great nation and many kings
Shall be raised up from the ends of the earth.
42 (BR)They shall hold the bow and the lance;
(BS)They are cruel and shall not show mercy.
(BT)Their voice shall roar like the sea;
They shall ride on horses,
Set in array, like a man for the battle,
Against you, O daughter of Babylon.

43 “The king of Babylon has (BU)heard the report about them,
And his hands grow feeble;
Anguish has taken hold of him,
Pangs as of a woman in (BV)childbirth.

44 “Behold,(BW) he shall come up like a lion from the [k]floodplain of the Jordan
Against the dwelling place of the strong;
But I will make them suddenly run away from her.
And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her?
For who is like Me?
Who will arraign Me?
And (BX)who is that shepherd
Who will withstand Me?”

45 Therefore hear (BY)the counsel of the Lord that He has taken against Babylon,
And His (BZ)purposes that He has proposed against the land of the Chaldeans:
(CA)Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out;
Surely He will make their dwelling place desolate with them.
46 (CB)At the noise of the taking of Babylon
The earth trembles,
And the cry is heard among the nations.

The Utter Destruction of Babylon

51 Thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will raise up against (CC)Babylon,
Against those who dwell in [l]Leb Kamai,
(CD)A destroying wind.
And I will send (CE)winnowers to Babylon,
Who shall winnow her and empty her land.
(CF)For in the day of doom
They shall be against her all around.
Against her (CG)let the archer bend his bow,
And lift himself up against her in his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
(CH)Utterly destroy all her army.
Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans,
(CI)And those thrust through in her streets.
For Israel is (CJ)not forsaken, nor Judah,
By his God, the Lord of hosts,
Though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”

(CK)Flee from the midst of Babylon,
And every one save his life!
Do not be cut off in her iniquity,
For (CL)this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance;
(CM)He shall recompense her.
(CN)Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
That made all the earth drunk.
(CO)The nations drank her wine;
Therefore the nations (CP)are deranged.
Babylon has suddenly (CQ)fallen and been destroyed.
(CR)Wail for her!
(CS)Take balm for her pain;
Perhaps she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon,
But she is not healed.
Forsake her, and (CT)let us go everyone to his own country;
(CU)For her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.
10 The Lord has (CV)revealed our righteousness.
Come and let us (CW)declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

11 (CX)Make[m] the arrows bright!
Gather the shields!
(CY)The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes.
(CZ)For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it,
Because it is (DA)the vengeance of the Lord,
The vengeance for His temple.
12 (DB)Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon;
Make the guard strong,
Set up the watchmen,
Prepare the ambushes.
For the Lord has both devised and done
What He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 (DC)O you who dwell by many waters,
Abundant in treasures,
Your end has come,
The measure of your covetousness.
14 (DD)The Lord of hosts has sworn by Himself:
“Surely I will fill you with men, (DE)as with locusts,
And they shall lift (DF)up a shout against you.”

15 (DG)He has made the earth by His power;
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And (DH)stretched out the heaven by His understanding.
16 When He utters His voice—
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
(DI)“He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightnings for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”

17 (DJ)Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;
Every metalsmith is put to shame by the carved image;
(DK)For his molded image is falsehood,
And there is no breath in them.
18 They are futile, a work of errors;
In the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19 The Portion of Jacob is not like them,
For He is the Maker of all things;
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance.
The Lord of hosts is His name.

20 “You(DL) are My battle-ax and weapons of war:
For with you I will break the nation in pieces;
With you I will destroy kingdoms;
21 With you I will break in pieces the horse and its rider;
With you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider;
22 With you also I will break in pieces man and woman;
With you I will break in pieces (DM)old and young;
With you I will break in pieces the young man and the maiden;
23 With you also I will break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
With you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen;
And with you I will break in pieces governors and rulers.

24 “And(DN) I will repay Babylon
And all the inhabitants of Chaldea
For all the evil they have done
In Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.

25 “Behold, I am against you, (DO)O destroying mountain,
Who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord.
“And I will stretch out My hand against you,
Roll you down from the rocks,
(DP)And make you a burnt mountain.
26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner
Nor a stone for a foundation,
(DQ)But you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.

27 (DR)Set up a banner in the land,
Blow the trumpet among the nations!
(DS)Prepare the nations against her,
Call (DT)the kingdoms together against her:
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a general against her;
Cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts.
28 Prepare against her the nations,
With the kings of the Medes,
Its governors and all its rulers,
All the land of his dominion.
29 And the land will tremble and sorrow;
For every (DU)purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon,
(DV)To make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant.
30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting,
They have remained in their strongholds;
Their might has failed,
(DW)They became like women;
They have burned her dwelling places,
(DX)The bars of her gate are broken.
31 (DY)One runner will run to meet another,
And one messenger to meet another,
To show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on all sides;
32 (DZ)The passages are blocked,
The reeds they have burned with fire,
And the men of war are terrified.

33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

“The daughter of Babylon is (EA)like a threshing floor
When (EB)it is time to thresh her;
Yet a little while
(EC)And the time of her harvest will come.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon
Has (ED)devoured me, he has crushed me;
He has made me an (EE)empty vessel,
He has swallowed me up like a monster;
He has filled his stomach with my delicacies,
He has spit me out.
35 Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,”
The inhabitant of Zion will say;
“And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!”
Jerusalem will say.

36 Therefore thus says the Lord:

“Behold, (EF)I will plead your case and take vengeance for you.
(EG)I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.
37 (EH)Babylon shall become a heap,
A dwelling place for jackals,
(EI)An astonishment and a hissing,
Without an inhabitant.
38 They shall roar together like lions,
They shall growl like lions’ whelps.
39 In their excitement I will prepare their feasts;
(EJ)I will make them drunk,
That they may rejoice,
And sleep a perpetual sleep
And not awake,” says the Lord.
40 “I will bring them down
Like lambs to the slaughter,
Like rams with male goats.

41 “Oh, how (EK)Sheshach[n] is taken!
Oh, how (EL)the praise of the whole earth is seized!
How Babylon has become desolate among the nations!
42 (EM)The sea has come up over Babylon;
She is covered with the multitude of its waves.
43 (EN)Her cities are a desolation,
A dry land and a wilderness,
A land where (EO)no one dwells,
Through which no son of man passes.
44 I will punish (EP)Bel[o] in Babylon,
And I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed;
And the nations shall not stream to him anymore.
Yes, (EQ)the wall of Babylon shall fall.

45 “My(ER) people, go out of the midst of her!
And let everyone deliver [p]himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 And lest your heart faint,
And you fear (ES)for the rumor that will be heard in the land
(A rumor will come one year,
And after that, in another year
A rumor will come,
And violence in the land,
Ruler against ruler),
47 Therefore behold, the days are coming
That I will bring judgment on the carved images of Babylon;
Her whole land shall be ashamed,
And all her slain shall fall in her midst.
48 Then (ET)the heavens and the earth and all that is in them
Shall sing joyously over Babylon;
(EU)For the plunderers shall come to her from the north,” says the Lord.

49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall,
So at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.
50 (EV)You who have escaped the sword,
Get away! Do not stand still!
(EW)Remember the Lord afar off,
And let Jerusalem come to your mind.

51 (EX)We are ashamed because we have heard reproach.
Shame has covered our faces,
For strangers (EY)have come into the [q]sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.

52 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“That I will bring judgment on her carved images,
And throughout all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 (EZ)Though Babylon were to [r]mount up to heaven,
And though she were to fortify the height of her strength,
Yet from Me plunderers would come to her,” says the Lord.

54 (FA)The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
And great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans,
55 Because the Lord is plundering Babylon
And silencing her loud voice,
Though her waves roar like great waters,
And the noise of their voice is uttered,
56 Because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon,
And her mighty men are taken.
Every one of their bows is broken;
(FB)For the Lord is the God of recompense,
He will surely repay.

57 “And I will make drunk
Her princes and (FC)wise men,
Her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men.
And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep
And not awake,” says (FD)the King,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly (FE)broken,[s]
And her high gates shall be burned with fire;
(FF)The people will labor in vain,
And the nations, because of the fire;
And they shall be weary.”

Jeremiah’s Command to Seraiah

59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of (FG)Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 So Jeremiah (FH)wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words, 62 then you shall say, ‘O Lord, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that (FI)none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, (FJ)that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. 64 Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’ ”

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.


  1. Jeremiah 50:2 lift
  2. Jeremiah 50:2 Or Marduk; a Babylonian god
  3. Jeremiah 50:3 Or wander
  4. Jeremiah 50:8 male goats
  5. Jeremiah 50:9 So with some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr.; MT, Tg., Vg. a warrior who makes childless
  6. Jeremiah 50:11 Or neigh like steeds
  7. Jeremiah 50:21 Or Attack with the sword
  8. Jeremiah 50:29 Qr., some Heb. mss., LXX, Tg. add to her
  9. Jeremiah 50:31 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. The time of your punishment
  10. Jeremiah 50:38 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; Syr. sword; LXX omits A drought is
  11. Jeremiah 50:44 Or thicket
  12. Jeremiah 51:1 Lit. The Midst of Those Who Rise Up Against Me; a code word for Chaldea, Babylonia
  13. Jeremiah 51:11 Polish the arrows!
  14. Jeremiah 51:41 A code word for Babylon, Jer. 25:26
  15. Jeremiah 51:44 A Babylonian god
  16. Jeremiah 51:45 Lit. his soul
  17. Jeremiah 51:51 holy places
  18. Jeremiah 51:53 ascend
  19. Jeremiah 51:58 Lit. laid utterly bare

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