A Message About Babylon(A)

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon(B) and the land of the Babylonians[a]:

“Announce and proclaim(C) among the nations,
    lift up a banner(D) and proclaim it;
    keep nothing back, but say,
‘Babylon will be captured;(E)
    Bel(F) will be put to shame,(G)
    Marduk(H) filled with terror.
Her images will be put to shame
    and her idols(I) filled with terror.’
A nation from the north(J) will attack her
    and lay waste her land.
No one will live(K) in it;
    both people and animals(L) will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“the people of Israel and the people of Judah together(M)
    will go in tears(N) to seek(O) the Lord their God.
They will ask the way(P) to Zion
    and turn their faces toward it.
They will come(Q) and bind themselves to the Lord
    in an everlasting covenant(R)
    that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;(S)
    their shepherds(T) have led them astray(U)
    and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill(V)
    and forgot their own resting place.(W)
Whoever found them devoured(X) them;
    their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty,(Y)
for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,
    the Lord, the hope(Z) of their ancestors.’

“Flee(AA) out of Babylon;(AB)
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir(AC) up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations(AD) from the land of the north.(AE)
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.(AF)
Their arrows(AG) will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia[b] will be plundered;(AH)
    all who plunder her will have their fill,”
declares the Lord.

11 “Because you rejoice and are glad,
    you who pillage my inheritance,(AI)
because you frolic like a heifer(AJ) threshing grain
    and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;
    she who gave you birth will be disgraced.(AK)
She will be the least of the nations—
    a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.(AL)
13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited
    but will be completely desolate.(AM)
All who pass Babylon will be appalled;(AN)
    they will scoff(AO) because of all her wounds.(AP)

14 “Take up your positions around Babylon,
    all you who draw the bow.(AQ)
Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,(AR)
    for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout(AS) against her on every side!
    She surrenders, her towers fall,
    her walls(AT) are torn down.
Since this is the vengeance(AU) of the Lord,
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her(AV) as she has done to others.(AW)
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.
Because of the sword(AX) of the oppressor
    let everyone return to their own people,(AY)
    let everyone flee to their own land.(AZ)

17 “Israel is a scattered flock(BA)
    that lions(BB) have chased away.
The first to devour(BC) them
    was the king(BD) of Assyria;
the last to crush their bones(BE)
    was Nebuchadnezzar(BF) king(BG) of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
    as I punished the king(BH) of Assyria.(BI)
19 But I will bring(BJ) Israel back to their own pasture,
    and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
their appetite will be satisfied(BK)
    on the hills(BL) of Ephraim and Gilead.(BM)
20 In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,
    but there will be none,(BN)
and for the sins(BO) of Judah,
    but none will be found,
    for I will forgive(BP) the remnant(BQ) I spare.

21 “Attack the land of Merathaim
    and those who live in Pekod.(BR)
Pursue, kill and completely destroy[c] them,”
declares the Lord.
    “Do everything I have commanded you.
22 The noise(BS) of battle is in the land,
    the noise of great destruction!
23 How broken and shattered
    is the hammer(BT) of the whole earth!(BU)
How desolate(BV) is Babylon
    among the nations!
24 I set a trap(BW) for you, Babylon,
    and you were caught before you knew it;
you were found and captured(BX)
    because you opposed(BY) the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out the weapons(BZ) of his wrath,
for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do
    in the land of the Babylonians.(CA)
26 Come against her from afar.(CB)
    Break open her granaries;
    pile her up like heaps of grain.(CC)
Completely destroy(CD) her
    and leave her no remnant.
27 Kill all her young bulls;(CE)
    let them go down to the slaughter!(CF)
Woe to them! For their day(CG) has come,
    the time(CH) for them to be punished.
28 Listen to the fugitives(CI) and refugees from Babylon
    declaring in Zion(CJ)
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,(CK)
    vengeance for his temple.(CL)

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.(CM)
Encamp all around her;
    let no one escape.(CN)
Repay(CO) her for her deeds;(CP)
    do to her as she has done.
For she has defied(CQ) the Lord,
    the Holy One(CR) of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men(CS) will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord.
31 “See, I am against(CT) you, you arrogant one,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day(CU) has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant(CV) one will stumble and fall(CW)
    and no one will help her up;(CX)
I will kindle a fire(CY) in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,(CZ)
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.(DA)
34 Yet their Redeemer(DB) is strong;
    the Lord Almighty(DC) is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause(DD)
    so that he may bring rest(DE) to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A sword(DF) against the Babylonians!”(DG)
    declares the Lord
“against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise(DH) men!
36 A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!(DI)
    They will be filled with terror.(DJ)
37 A sword against her horses and chariots(DK)
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.(DL)
A sword against her treasures!(DM)
    They will be plundered.
38 A drought on[d] her waters!(DN)
    They will dry(DO) up.
For it is a land of idols,(DP)
    idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creatures(DQ) and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.(DR)
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah(DS)
    along with their neighboring towns,”
declares the Lord,
“so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.(DT)

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;(DU)
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred(DV) up from the ends of the earth.(DW)
42 They are armed with bows(DX) and spears;
    they are cruel(DY) and without mercy.(DZ)
They sound like the roaring sea(EA)
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.(EB)
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.(EC)
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.(ED)
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets(EE)
    to a rich pastureland,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen(EF) one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?(EG)
    And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed(EH) against the land of the Babylonians:(EI)
The young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;(EJ)
    its cry(EK) will resound among the nations.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 50:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 8, 25, 35 and 45
  2. Jeremiah 50:10 Or Chaldea
  3. Jeremiah 50:21 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  4. Jeremiah 50:38 Or A sword against
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.

50 The word that the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.

In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God.

They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers.

Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.

For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.

10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.

11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

13 Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.

14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the Lord.

15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.

16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.

17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

18 Therefore thus saith 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 Assyria.

19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the Lord, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.

22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.

23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.

25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth 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 utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord.

31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord God of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.

32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.

33 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.

34 Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.

38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.

41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation 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? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the Lord, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.

46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.

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