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Jeremiah 51 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

51 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon,
    against the inhabitants of Chalde′a;[a]
and I will send to Babylon winnowers,
    and they shall winnow her,
and they shall empty her land,
    when they come against her from every side
    on the day of trouble.
Let not the archer bend his bow,
    and let him not stand up in his coat of mail.
Spare not her young men;
    utterly destroy all her host.
They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chalde′ans,
    and wounded in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
    by their God, the Lord of hosts;
but the land of the Chalde′ans[b] is full of guilt
    against the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from the midst of Babylon,
    let every man save his life!
Be not cut off in her punishment,
    for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance,
    the requital he is rendering her.
Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
    making all the earth drunken;
the nations drank of her wine,
    therefore the nations went mad.
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
    wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
    perhaps she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
    but she was not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go
    each to his own country;
for her judgment has reached up to heaven
    and has been lifted up even to the skies.
10 The Lord has brought forth our vindication;
    come, let us declare in Zion
    the work of the Lord our God.

11 “Sharpen the arrows!
    Take up the shields!

The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for his temple.

12 Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon;
    make the watch strong;
set up watchmen;
    prepare the ambushes;
for the Lord has both planned and done
    what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O you who dwell by many waters,
    rich in treasures,
your end has come,
    the thread of your life is cut.
14 The Lord of hosts has sworn by himself:
Surely I will fill you with men, as many as locusts,
    and they shall raise the shout of victory over you.

15 “It is he who made the earth by his power,
    who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding
    stretched out the heavens.
16 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
    and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightnings for the rain,
    and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
17 Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols;
for his images are false,
    and there is no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
    at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
    for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
    the Lord of hosts is his name.

Israel the Creator’s Instrument

20 “You are my hammer and weapon of war:
with you I break nations in pieces;
    with you I destroy kingdoms;
21 with you I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
    with you I break in pieces the chariot and the charioteer;
22 with you I break in pieces man and woman;
    with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth;
with you I break in pieces the young man and the maiden;
23     with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team;
    with you I break in pieces governors and commanders.

The Doom of Babylon

24 “I will requite Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chalde′a before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, says the Lord.

25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
                says the Lord,
    which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
    and roll you down from the crags,
    and make you a burnt mountain.
26 No stone shall be taken from you for a corner
    and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be a perpetual waste,
    says the Lord.

27 “Set up a standard on the earth,
    blow the trumpet among the nations;
prepare the nations for war against her,
    summon against her the kingdoms,
    Ar′arat, Minni, and Ash′kenaz;
appoint a marshal against her,
    bring up horses like bristling locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for war against her,
    the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies,
    and every land under their dominion.
29 The land trembles and writhes in pain,
    for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation,
    without inhabitant.
30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting,
    they remain in their strongholds;
their strength has failed,
    they have become women;
her dwellings are on fire,
    her bars are broken.
31 One runner runs to meet another,
    and one messenger to meet another,
to tell the king of Babylon
    that his city is taken on every side;
32 the fords have been seized,
    the bulwarks are burned with fire,
    and the soldiers are in panic.
33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
    and the time of her harvest will come.”

34 “Nebuchadrez′zar the king of Babylon has devoured me,
    he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel,
    he has swallowed me like a monster;
he has filled his belly with my delicacies,
    he has rinsed me out.
35 The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
    let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chalde′a,”
    let Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will plead your cause and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea
    and make her fountain dry;
37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
    the haunt of jackals,
a horror and a hissing,
    without inhabitant.

38 “They shall roar together like lions;
    they shall growl like lions’ whelps.
39 While they are inflamed I will prepare them a feast
    and make them drunk, till they swoon away[c]
and sleep a perpetual sleep
    and not wake, says the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and he-goats.

41 “How Babylon[d] is taken,
    the praise of the whole earth seized!
How Babylon has become
    a horror among the nations!
42 The sea has come up on Babylon;
    she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become a horror,
    a land of drought and a desert,
a land in which no one dwells,
    and through which no son of man passes.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
    and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed.
The nations shall no longer flow to him;
    the wall of Babylon has fallen.

45 “Go out of the midst of her, my people!
    Let every man save his life
    from the fierce anger of the Lord!
46 Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful
    at the report heard in the land,
when a report comes in one year
    and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
    and ruler is against ruler.

47 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming
    when I will punish the images of Babylon;
her whole land shall be put to shame,
    and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth,
    and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon;
    for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,
                says the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
    as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.

50 “You that have escaped from the sword,
    go, stand not still!
Remember the Lord from afar,
    and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 ‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
    dishonor has covered our face,
for aliens have come
    into the holy places of the Lord’s house.’

52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
    when I will execute judgment upon her images,
and through all her land
    the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,
    and though she should fortify her strong height,
yet destroyers would come from me upon her,
    says the Lord.

54 “Hark! a cry from Babylon!
    The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chalde′ans!
55 For the Lord is laying Babylon waste,
    and stilling her mighty voice.
Their waves roar like many waters,
    the noise of their voice is raised;
56 for a destroyer has come upon her,
    upon Babylon;
her warriors are taken,
    their bows are broken in pieces;
for the Lord is a God of recompense,
    he will surely requite.
57 I will make drunk her princes and her wise men,
    her governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
    says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad wall of Babylon
    shall be leveled to the ground
and her high gates
    shall be burned with fire.
The peoples labor for nought,
    and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

Jeremiah’s Command to Seraiah

59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Serai′ah the son of Neri′ah, son of Mahsei′ah, when he went with Zedeki′ah king of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Serai′ah was the quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Serai′ah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O Lord, thou hast said concerning this place that thou wilt cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate for ever.’ 63 When you finish reading this book, bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of the Euphra′tes, 64 and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the evil that I am bringing upon her.’”[e]

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 51:1 Heb Leb-qamai, a cipher for Chaldea
  2. Jeremiah 51:5 Heb their land
  3. Jeremiah 51:39 Gk Vg: Heb rejoice
  4. Jeremiah 51:41 Heb Sheshach, a cipher for Babylon
  5. Jeremiah 51:64 Gk: Heb upon her. And they shall weary themselves
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 51 New International Version (NIV)

51 This is what the Lord says:

“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.[a]
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.
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.
They will fall down slain in Babylon,[c]
    fatally wounded in her streets.
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.

“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.
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.
Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.
    Wail over her!
Get balm for her pain;
    perhaps she can be healed.

“‘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.

25 “I am against you, you destroying mountain,
    you who destroy the whole earth,”
declares the Lord.
“I will stretch out my hand against you,
    roll you off the cliffs,
    and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
    nor any stone for a foundation,
    for you will be desolate forever,”
declares the Lord.

27 “Lift up a banner in the land!
    Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations for battle against her;
    summon against her these kingdoms:
    Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander against her;
    send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her—
    the kings of the Medes,
their governors and all their officials,
    and all the countries they rule.
29 The land trembles and writhes,
    for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand—
to lay waste the land of Babylon
    so that no one will live there.
30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;
    they remain in their strongholds.
Their strength is exhausted;
    they have become weaklings.
Her dwellings are set on fire;
    the bars of her gates are broken.
31 One courier follows another
    and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
    that his entire city is captured,
32 the river crossings seized,
    the marshes set on fire,
    and the soldiers terrified.

33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time it is trampled;
    the time to harvest her will soon come.

34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,
    he has thrown us into confusion,
    he has made us an empty jar.
Like a serpent he has swallowed us
    and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
    and then has spewed us out.
35 May the violence done to our flesh[f] be on Babylon,”
    say the inhabitants of Zion.
“May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”
    says Jerusalem.

36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“See, I will defend your cause
    and avenge you;
I will dry up her sea
    and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,
    a place where no one lives.
38 Her people all roar like young lions,
    they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused,
    I will set out a feast for them
    and make them drunk,
so that they shout with laughter—
    then sleep forever and not awake,”
declares the Lord.
40 “I will bring them down
    like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and goats.

41 “How Sheshak[g] will be captured,
    the boast of the whole earth seized!
How desolate Babylon will be
    among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon;
    its roaring waves will cover her.
43 Her towns will be desolate,
    a dry and desert land,
a land where no one lives,
    through which no one travels.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon
    and make him spew out what he has swallowed.
The nations will no longer stream to him.
    And the wall of Babylon will fall.

45 “Come out of her, my people!
    Run for your lives!
    Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 Do not lose heart or be afraid
    when rumors are heard in the land;
one rumor comes this year, another the next,
    rumors of violence in the land
    and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come
    when I will punish the idols of Babylon;
her whole land will be disgraced
    and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
    will shout for joy over Babylon,
for out of the north
    destroyers will attack her,”
declares the Lord.

49 “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,
    just as the slain in all the earth
    have fallen because of Babylon.
50 You who have escaped the sword,
    leave and do not linger!
Remember the Lord in a distant land,
    and call to mind Jerusalem.”

51 “We are disgraced,
    for we have been insulted
    and shame covers our faces,
because foreigners have entered
    the holy places of the Lord’s house.”

52 “But days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will punish her idols,
and throughout her land
    the wounded will groan.
53 Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens
    and fortifies her lofty stronghold,
    I will send destroyers against her,”
declares the Lord.

54 “The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
    the sound of great destruction
    from the land of the Babylonians.[h]
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
    he will silence her noisy din.
Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;
    the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon;
    her warriors will be captured,
    and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
    he will repay in full.
57 I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
    her governors, officers and warriors as well;
they will sleep forever and not awake,”
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.

58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled
    and her high gates set on fire;
the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,
    the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”

59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”

The words of Jeremiah end here.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 51:1 Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
  2. Jeremiah 51:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  3. Jeremiah 51:4 Or Chaldea
  4. Jeremiah 51:5 Or Almighty, / and the land of the Babylonians
  5. Jeremiah 51:24 Or Chaldea; also in verse 35
  6. Jeremiah 51:35 Or done to us and to our children
  7. Jeremiah 51:41 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  8. Jeremiah 51:54 Or Chaldeans
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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