“I will soon ·cause [arouse; stir up] a destroying ·wind [or spirit] against Babylon and the ·Babylonian people [L inhabitants of Leb Qemai; C a coded reference to Chaldea (Babylon)]. 2 I will send ·foreign people [strangers; or winnowers] to ·destroy [L winnow] Babylon. They will ·destroy [L empty] the land. Armies will surround the city when the day of ·disaster [evil; trouble] comes upon her. 3 Don’t let the archers [C of Babylon] ·prepare [draw] their bows to shoot. Don’t even let them put on their ·armor [coat of mail]. Don’t ·feel sorry for [pity] the young men of Babylon, but ·completely destroy [annihilate] her army. 4 ·They will be killed [L Corpses will fall] in the land of the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] and ·will die [L the wounded] in her streets. 5 The Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] did not ·leave [L widow] Israel and Judah, even though ·they were completely guilty [L their land was full of guilt] in the presence of the Holy One of Israel. 6 “·Run away [Flee] from Babylon and ·save your lives [rescue yourselves]! Don’t stay and be killed because of Babylon’s sins. It is time for the Lord to ·punish Babylon [L avenge himself]; he will give Babylon the punishment she deserves. 7 Babylon was like a gold cup in the Lord’s hand that made the whole earth drunk [C God used Babylon to administer his cup of wrath]. The nations drank Babylon’s wine, so they went ·crazy [mad]. 8 Babylon has suddenly fallen and been broken. ·Cry [Wail] for her! Get balm [8:22; 46:11] for her pain, and maybe she can be healed.
9 “Foreigners in Babylon say, ‘We tried to heal Babylon, but she cannot be healed. So let us leave her and each go to his own country [C after the fall of Babylon, the Persians allowed the exiled people to return to their own lands; Ezra 1]. Babylon’s ·punishment [judgment] ·is as high as [reaches; touches] the ·sky [heavens]; it ·reaches [L lifts up] to the ·clouds [or skies].’
10 “The people of Judah say, ‘The Lord has ·shown us to be right [brought about/forth our vindication]. Come, let us ·tell [recount] in ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple] what the Lord our God has done.’
11 “Sharpen the arrows! ·Pick up your shields [or Fill the quivers]! The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because he ·wants [L purposes] to destroy Babylon. The Lord will punish them as they deserve for destroying his Temple. 12 Lift up a banner [C a battle standard] against the walls of Babylon! ·Bring more [L Strengthen the] guards. Put the watchmen in their places, and ·get ready for a secret attack [prepare an ambush]! The Lord will certainly do what he has planned and what he said he would do against the people of Babylon. 13 You [C Babylon] live near ·much [mighty] water [C the Euphrates] and are rich with many treasures, but your end as a nation has come. ·It is time to stop you from robbing other nations [or Your destiny is fixed]. 14 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] has promised ·in his own name [L by himself]: ‘I will surely fill you [C Babylon] with so many men [C enemy soldiers] they will be like locusts [46:23; Judg. 6:5; 7:12; Nah. 3:15–17; Rev. 9:7]. They will ·stand [raise] over you and shout their victory.’
15 “The Lord made the earth by his power. He used his wisdom to ·build [L establish] the world and his understanding to stretch out the ·skies [heavens; Prov. 3:19–20; 8:22–31]. 16 When he ·thunders [L gives forth his voice], the waters in the skies roar. He makes ·clouds [mist] rise ·all over [L from the ends of] the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
17 “People are so stupid and know so little. Goldsmiths are ·made ashamed [humiliated] by their idols, because those statues are ·only false gods [L deceptive]. They have no breath in them. 18 They are worth nothing; ·people make fun of them [or works of delusion]. ·When they are judged [L At the time of their punishment], they will be destroyed. 19 But Jacob’s Portion [C God] is not like the idols. He ·made [formed; shaped] everything, and ·he chose Israel to be his special people [Israel is the tribe of his inheritance]. The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is his name.
20 “You are my war club, my battle weapon. I use you to ·smash [shatter; C and so throughout this passage] nations. I use you to destroy kingdoms. 21 I use you to smash horses and riders. I use you to smash chariots and drivers. 22 I use you to smash men and women. I use you to smash old people and young people. I use you to smash young men and young women. 23 I use you to smash shepherds and flocks. I use you to smash farmers and oxen. I use you to smash governors and ·officers [officials; leaders].
24 “But I will pay back Babylon and all the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] for all the ·evil things [disasters; troubles] they did to ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple] in your ·sight [L eyes],” says the Lord.
25 The Lord says,
“Babylon, you are a destroying mountain, and I am against you. You have destroyed the whole land. I will ·put [reach; stretch] my hand out against you. I will roll you off the ·cliffs [rocks; crags], and I will make you a burned-out mountain. 26 People will not ·find any rocks in Babylon big enough for [L take from you] cornerstones. People will not take any rocks from you for a foundation [C of a building], because your city will be ·just a pile of ruins [a desolation] forever,” says the Lord.
27 “Lift up a banner [C a battle standard] in the land! Blow the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] among the nations! ·Get the nations ready for battle against Babylon [L Consecrate the nations against it]. Call these kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz [C near Lake Urmia and Lake Van to the northwest of Babylon, and part of the coalition against it] against her [C to fight]. Choose a commander ·to lead the army against Babylon [L against it]. ·Send [L Bring up] so many horses that they are like a swarm of locusts. 28 ·Get the nations ready for battle against Babylon [L Consecrate the nations against it]— the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officers, and all the countries they rule. 29 The land shakes and ·moves in pain [writhes], because the Lord will do what he has planned to Babylon. He will make Babylon an ·empty desert [desolation], where no one will live. 30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting. They stay in their ·protected cities [strongholds]. Their strength is gone, and they have become like women [C frightened]. Babylon’s houses are burning. The bars [C of its gates] are broken. 31 One runner meets another runner; messenger meets messenger. They announce to the king of Babylon that his whole city has been captured. 32 The river crossings have been ·captured [seized], and the swamplands are burning with fire. All of the soldiers [C of Babylon] are terribly afraid.”
33 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says:
“The ·city [L daughter] of Babylon is like a threshing floor, where people trod [C on grain at harvest time]. The time to harvest [C Babylon] is coming soon.”
34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has ·defeated [L devoured; consumed] and ·destroyed [crushed] us. We became like an empty jar [C probably a reference to the exile]. He was like a ·giant snake [monster; dragon; Is. 27:1; 51:9; Ezek. 29:3; 32:2; Job 7:1; Ps. 74:13] that swallowed us. He filled his stomach with our ·best things [delicacies]. Then he spit us out. 35 ·Babylon did terrible things to hurt us. Now let those things happen to Babylon [L May the violence done to me and my flesh be on Babylon],” say the people of ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple]. “·The people of Babylon killed our people. Now let them be punished for what they did [L May my blood be on the Chaldeans],” says Jerusalem.
36 So this is what the Lord says:
“I will ·soon defend you [L present your case; C addressed to Judah], and make sure that Babylon is punished. I will dry up Babylon’s sea and make her springs become dry [Is. 24:4; Nah. 1:4]. 37 Babylon will become a pile of ruins, a ·home [den; haunt] for wild dogs [jackals; 9:11; 10:22; 49:33; Lam. 5:18]. People will be shocked and hiss at what happened there. No one will live there anymore. 38 Babylon’s people roar like young lions; they growl like baby lions. 39 While they are ·stirred [heated] up, I will give ·a feast for [drinks to] them and make them drunk. They will shout and laugh. And they will sleep forever and never wake up!” says the Lord. 40 “I will take them [C people of Babylon] to be ·killed [slaughtered]. They will be like lambs, like sheep and goats [11:19; 12:3].
41 “How ·Babylon [L Sheshach; C an alternate name for Babylon; 25:26] has been ·defeated [captured]! The pride of the whole earth has been ·taken captive [seized]. ·People from other nations are shocked at what happened to Babylon, and the things they see make them afraid [L How Babylon has become a horror among the nations]. 42 The sea has risen over Babylon; its ·roaring [tumultuous] waves cover her. 43 ·Babylon’s [L Its] towns are ·ruined and empty [desolate]. It has become a dry, desert land, a land where no one lives. People do not even travel through it . 44 I will punish the god Bel [C another name for Marduk, the chief god of Babylon] in Babylon. I will make him spit out what he has swallowed. Nations will no longer ·come [L stream] to Babylon; even the wall around the city will fall.
45 “Come out of it [C Babylon], my people! ·Run for [Escape with] your lives! ·Run [Escape] from the Lord’s great anger. 46 Don’t lose ·courage [heart]; rumors will spread through the land, but don’t be afraid. One rumor comes this year, and another comes the next year. There will be rumors of ·terrible fighting [violence] in the country, of rulers fighting against rulers. 47 The ·time will surely come [L days are coming] when I will punish the idols of Babylon, and the whole land will be disgraced. There will be many ·dead people [corpses] ·lying all around [L falling in its midst]. 48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy about Babylon. They will shout because the army comes from the north [C Persia and its allies] to destroy Babylon,” says the Lord.
49 “Babylon must fall, because ·she killed people from [L of the corpses of] Israel. ·She killed people from everywhere on [L …and the corpses of all the] earth. 50 You who have escaped being killed with swords, ·leave Babylon [go; flee; depart]! Don’t wait! Remember the Lord in the faraway land and ·think about Jerusalem [L let Jerusalem come up in your heart/mind].”
51 “We people of Judah are disgraced, because we have been ·insulted [reproached]. ·We have been shamed [L Shame/Humiliation covers our face], because strangers have gone into the holy places of the Lord’s Temple [L house]!”
52 So the Lord says, “The ·time is [L days are] coming soon when I will punish the idols of Babylon. Wounded people will ·cry with pain [groan] all over that land. 53 Even if Babylon grows until she touches the ·sky [heavens], and even if she ·makes her highest cities strong [fortifies her lofty stronghold], I will send people to destroy her,” says the Lord. 54 “Sounds of people crying are heard in Babylon. Sounds of ·people destroying things [great destruction] are heard in the land of the Babylonians. 55 The Lord is destroying Babylon and making the loud sounds of the city become silent. Enemies come roaring in like ocean waves. The roar of their voices is heard all around. 56 ·The army has come to destroy [L Destroyers have come to] Babylon. Her soldiers have been captured, and their bows are broken, because the Lord is a God who punishes people for the evil they do. He ·gives them the full punishment they deserve [repays them in full]. 57 I will make Babylon’s rulers and wise men drunk [C with the cup of God’s wrath; 25:15–38], and her governors, officers, and soldiers, too. Then they will sleep forever and never wake up [v. 39],” says the King, whose name is the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
58 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“Babylon’s ·thick [broad] wall will be completely ·pulled down [leveled] and her high gates burned with fire. The people will ·work hard [weary themselves], but it won’t help; their work will only become fuel for the flames!”
A Message to Babylon
59 This is the message that Jeremiah the prophet gave to the officer Seraiah son of Neriah, who was the son of Mahseiah [C probably Baruch’s brother; 32:12]. Seraiah went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year Zedekiah was king of Judah [C 593 bc]. ·His duty was to arrange the king’s food and housing on the trip [L He was the quartermaster]. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll all the ·terrible [disastrous; evil] things that would happen to Babylon, all these words about Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “As soon as you come to Babylon, be sure to read this message so all the people can hear you. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said that you will ·destroy [L cut off] this place so that no people or animals will live in it. It will be an ·empty ruin [desolation] forever.’ 63 After you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and will not rise again because of the ·terrible [disastrous; evil] things I will make happen here. Her people will fall.’”
·The words of Jeremiah end here [Thus far are the words of Jeremiah].
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