Jeremiah 51
International Standard Version

Judgment against Babylon

1This is what the LORD says:

“Look, I’m going to stir up a destroying wind

against Babylon and the inhabitants of Leb-kamai.a

2I’ll send foreigners to Babylon,

and they’ll winnow her,

and devastateb her land.

They’ll come against her from every side

on the day of herc disaster.

3Don’t let the archerd bend the bow;

don’t let him rise up in his armor.

Don’t spare her young men.

Completely destroy her entire army.

4The slain will fall in the land of Chaldea,

pierced through in her streets.

5Indeed, Israel and Judah haven’t been

abandonede by theirf God,

by the LORD of the Heavenly Armies,

although their land is full of guilt

against the Holy One of Israel.”

6Flee from Babylon,g

and each of you, escape with your life!

Don’t be destroyedh because of her guilt,

for it’s time for the LORD’s vengeance.

He is paying back what is due to her.

7Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand,

making the whole earth drunk.

The nations drank her wine,

therefore the nations have gone mad.

8Suddenly, Babylon fell down and was shattered.

Wail for her!

Bring balm for her wound,

perhaps she will be healed.

9We tried to heal Babylon,

but she wouldn’t be healed.

Leave her, and let each of us go to his own country.

For her judgment has reached to the heavens,

and is lifted up to the sky.

10The LORD will vindicate us.

Come! Let us declare the work of the LORD our God in Zion.

11Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers!

The LORD has stirred up the spirit

of the kings of the Medes—

he has decided to destroy Babylon.

Indeed, it’s the LORD’s vengeance,

vengeance for his Temple.

12Lift up the battle standardi against Babylon’s walls.

Strengthen the guard;

post watchmen.j

Set men in position for an ambush.

For the LORD will both plan and carry out what he has

declared against the inhabitants of Babylon.

13You who live beside many waters,

rich in treasures,

your end has come,

your life thread is cut.k

14The LORD of the Heavenly Armies

has sworn by himself:

“I’ll surely fill you with soldiersl like a swarm of locusts,

and they’ll sing songs of victory over you.”

Praise to the God of Jacob

15He made the earth by his power.

He established the world by his wisdom,

and by his understanding he spread out the heavens.

16When his voice sounds, there is thunder from

the waters of heaven,

and he makes clouds rise up

from the ends of the earth.

He makes lightning for the rain

and brings wind out of his storehouses.

17Everyone is stupidm and without knowledge.

Every goldsmith is put to shame by his own idols,

for his images are false,n

and there is no life in them.

18They’re worthless, a work of mockery,

and when the time of punishment comes,o

they’ll perish.

19The Portion of Jacobp is not like these.

He made everything,

including the tribe of his inheritance.

The LORD of the Heavenly Armies is his name.

The LORD’s Instrument of Judgment

20“You are my war-club and

weapons of war.

I’ll smash nations with you

and destroy kingdoms with you.

21I’ll smash the horse and its rider with you.

I’ll smash the chariot and its rider with you.

22I’ll smash man and woman with you.

I’ll smash old man and young boy with you.

I’ll smash young man and young womanq with you.

23I’ll smash the shepherd and his flock with you.

I’ll smash the farmer and his team of oxen with you.

I’ll smash governors and officials with you.

24“Before your eyes I’ll repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all the evil that they did in Zion,” declares the LORD.

25“Look, I’m against you, destroying mountain,

who destroys the whole earth,”

declares the LORD.

“I’ll stretch out my hand against you

and roll you down from the crags.

And I’ll make you a burned-out mountain.

26They won’t get a cornerstone

or a foundation stone from you,

because you will be a wasteland forever,”

declares the LORD.

27Lift up a battle standard in the land.

Blow a trumpet among the nations.

Consecrate the nations against her.

Summon the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni,

and Ashkenaz against her.

Appoint a commander against her,

bring up horses like bristling locusts.

28Consecrate the nations against her,

the kings of the Medes, their governors, their prefects,

and every land under their domination.

29The land quakes and writhes

because the LORD’s purposes

against Babylon stand firm,

to make the land of Babylon a waste without inhabitants.

30The warriors of Babylon have stopped fighting.

They stay in their strongholds;

their strength is dried up;

they have become like women.

Her buildings are set on fire;

the bars of her gates are broken.

31One runner runs to meet another runner,r

and one messenger to meet another messenger,s

to tell the king of Babylon that his city has been seized

from one end to the other.t

32The fords have been captured,

and the marshes burned with fire.

The soldiers are terrified.

33For this is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies,

the God of Israel, says:

“The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor

at the time when it’s pounded down.u

In just a little while, the time of her harvest will come.”

Judah’s Complaint against Babylon

34“King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has devoured me

and crushed me.

He set me down

like an empty vessel.

He swallowed me like a monster,

and filled his belly with my delicacies.

Then he washed me away.

35May the violence done to me

and my flesh be on Babylon,”

says the inhabitant of Zion.

“May my blood be on the inhabitants of Chaldea,”

says Jerusalem.

36Therefore this is what the LORD says:

“Look, I’m going to argue your case

and take vengeance for you.

I’ll dry up her sea

and make her fountain dry.v

37Babylon will become a heap of ruins,

a refuge for jackals,

a desolate place

and an object of scorn.w

38They’ll roar together like young lions;

they’ll growl like lion cubs.

39When they’re excitedx I’ll serve them their banquet,

and make them drunk until they’re merry.

They’ll sleep forever and won’t wake up,”

declares the LORD.

40“I’ll bring them down like lambs for the slaughter,

like rams with male goats.

41“How Sheshaky will be captured,

and the prince of all the earth seized!

How Babylon will become an object of horror

among the nations!

42The sea will come up against Babylon,

and she will be covered by wave upon wave.z

43Her cities will become an object of horror,

a dry land and a desert,

a land in which no one lives,

and through which no human being passes.

44I’ll punish Belaa in Babylon,

and I’ll make what he has swallowed

come out of his mouth.

The nations will no longer stream to him.

Even the wall of Babylon will fall.

45“Come out of her, my people,

flee for your lives from the LORD’s anger!

46Do thisbb now, so your heart does not grow faint,

and so you don’t become frightened

because of the rumorscc that are heard in the land—

a rumor comes one yeardd and then after it

another rumoree comes the next yearff

about violence in the land

and one ruler against another ruler.gg

47Therefore, look, days are coming

when I’ll punish the idols of Babylon.

Her entire land will be put to shame,

and all her slain will fall in her midst.

48Then the heavens and the earth

and all that are in them

will shout for joy about Babylon

because the destroyers will come

out of the north against her,”

declares the LORD.

49“So Babylon will fall

because of the slain of Israel,

even as the slain of all the earth

have fallen because of Babylon.

50Go, you who escaped the sword!

Don’t stand around!

Remember the LORD from far away,

and let Jerusalem come to your mind.

51We have been put to shame

because we have heard insults.

Disgrace has covered our faces because foreigners have

come into the Holy Places of the LORD’s house.

52“Therefore, look, days are coming,”

declares the LORD,

“when I’ll punish her idols,

and throughout her land the wounded will groan.

53Though Babylon should reach up to the heavens

and fortify her high fortresses,

from me destroyers will come to her,”

declares the LORD.

54“The sound of a cry is coming from Babylon,

great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans.

55For the LORD is destroying Babylon,

and he will make the loud sounds from her disappear.hh

Their waves will roar like many waters,

the noise of their voices will sound forth.

56Indeed, the destroyer is coming against her,

against Babylon.

Her warriors are captured,

and her bows are broken.

For the LORD is a God of recompense,

and he will repay in full.

57I’ll make their leaders, their wise men,

their governors, their deputies,

and their warriors drunk so that they sleep forever

and don’t wake up,”

declares the King

whose name is the LORD of the Heavenly Armies.

58This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies says:

“The broad wall of Babylon will be completely leveled,

and its high gate set on fire.

and so the peoples toil for nothing,

and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

Jeremiah’s Symbolic Message against Babylon

59This isii the message that Jeremiah the prophet deliveredjj to Neriah’s son Seraiah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with King Zedekiah of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60Jeremiah wrote on a single scroll all the disasters that would come on Babylon, all these things that were written about Babylon. 61Jeremiah told Seraiah, “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62and say, ‘LORD, you have declared about this place that you would destroy it so that there wouldn’t be an inhabitant in it, neither human nor animal, because it will be a wasteland forever.’ 63When you finish reading this scroll, tie a rock around it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates. 64Then say, ‘Babylon will sink like this and won’t rise from the disaster that I’m bringing on her. Her peoplekk will be exhausted.’”

This concludes the writings of Jeremiah.


Footnotes:
a 51:1 i.e. a cryptogram for Chaldea
b 51:2 Lit. empty out
c 51:2 The Heb. lacks her
d 51:3 Lit. one who bends the bow
e 51:5 Lit. widowed
f 51:5 Lit. his
g 51:6 Lit. from the midst of Babylon
h 51:6 Or silent
i 51:12 i.e. Give the signal to attack
j 51:12 Or guards
k 51:13 Or the measure of your unjust gain
l 51:14 Lit. men
m 51:17 i.e. like a beast
n 51:17 Lit. deception
o 51:18 Lit. at the time of their punishment
p 51:19 i.e. Portion of Jacob is a name for the LORD
q 51:22 Or virgin
r 51:31 Lit. to meet a runner
s 51:31 Lit. to meet a messenger
t 51:31 Lit. from the end
u 51:33 i.e. threshing floors were pounded and smoothed in preparation for an upcoming harvest
v 51:36 i.e. dry up the source of Babylon’s waters
w 51:37 Lit. hissing; i.e. as a sign of mocking and contempt
x 51:39 Lit. hot
y 51:41:00 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
z 51:42 Lit. its many waves
aa 51:44:00Bel was another name for Marduk, the sun god of Babylon.
bb 51:46 Lit. And
cc 51:46 Lit. rumor
dd 51:46 Lit. in a year
ee 51:46 Lit. a rumor
ff 51:46 Lit. in a year
gg 51:46 Lit. a ruler against a ruler
hh 51:55 Lit. perish
ii 51:59 The Heb. lacks This is
jj 51:59 Lit. commanded
kk 51:64 Lit. They



The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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