Jeremiah 51The Voice (VOICE)
51 The Eternal has this to say regarding Babylon:
Eternal One: Watch as I stir up a destroying wind
5 For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
9 Exiles: We would like to have healed Babylon,
11 Enemies of Babylon, sharpen your arrows
Eternal One: I will cover your land with enemy troops
15 God alone is powerful enough to create the earth.
20 Eternal One: You are My war club—My weapon for battle;
24 But now, before your very eyes, I will repay Babylon and the people of Chaldea for all the harm they have done in Zion.
25 I have turned against you, O mountain of destruction, you destroyer of the earth.
27 Lift up a battle flag; let it wave in the land!
33 This, then, is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, says:
Eternal One: The people of Babylon are like wheat ready to be threshed,
34 Citizens of Jerusalem (crying out to God): Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has devoured us.
36 Eternal One: Watch now as I defend your case
Prophets see things not as they are but as they will be. Babylon is still powerful, but her end is coming. Jeremiah sees her fall as an accomplished fact.
41 How Babylon[b] has been captured!
45 Get out of Babylon, My people, before it is too late!
49 As the slain of Israel fell, so must Babylon fall.
52 But I, the Eternal One, declare that the day will come
So says the Eternal.
54 Listen! Hear the cry that comes from Babylon.
57 Eternal One: I will make her leaders and wise men drunk
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,
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. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll all of the terrible things that would one day happen to Babylon (those things which you have just read). Once this important message had been recorded, 61 he said to Seraiah,
Jeremiah: When you get to Babylon, find a public place and read aloud every single word written on this scroll. 62 Then say loud enough for others to hear, “O Eternal One, You have promised that You will destroy this place so that neither man nor beast will live here. Babylon will then be a wasteland forever.” 63 When you have finished reading the scroll and saying these things, tie it to a heavy stone and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say loud enough for others to hear, “Just as this stone and scroll sink, so will Babylon and her people sink, never to rise again, for they shall be tired after the disaster I, the Lord, am bringing to her.”
The messages of Jeremiah end here.
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