Jeremiah 50:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the reaper with his sickle at harvest. Because of the sword of the oppressor let everyone return to their own people, let everyone flee to their own land.

New Living Translation
Take from Babylon all those who plant crops; send all the harvesters away. Because of the sword of the enemy, everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands.

English Standard Version
Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest; because of the sword of the oppressor, every one shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land.

New American Standard Bible
"Cut off the sower from Babylon And the one who wields the sickle at the time of harvest; From before the sword of the oppressor They will each turn back to his own people And they will each flee to his own land.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Cut off the sower from Babylon as well as him who wields the sickle at harvest time. Because of the oppressor's sword, each will turn to his own people, each will flee to his own land.

International Standard Version
Eliminate from Babylon the one who plants seeds and the one who uses the sickle at harvest time. Because of the oppressor's sword, let each one turn toward his own people and flee to his own land."

NET Bible
Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon. Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time. Let all the foreigners return to their own people. Let them hurry back to their own lands to escape destruction by that enemy army.

New Heart English Bible
Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him who handles the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land."'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't allow anyone in Babylon to plant or harvest. Everyone will turn to his own people and flee to his own homeland because of the enemies' swords.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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.

New American Standard 1977
“Cut off the sower from Babylon,
            And the one who wields the sickle at the time of harvest;
            From before the sword of the oppressor
            They will each turn back to his own people,
            And they will each flee to his own land.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Cut off the sower from Babylon and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest; for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn each one to his people, and they shall flee each one to his own land.

King James 2000 Bible
Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land.

American King James Version
Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles 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.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Destroy the sower out of Babylon, and him that holdeth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the sword of the dove every man shall return to his people, and every one shall flee to his own land.

Darby Bible Translation
Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest. For fear of the oppressing sword let them turn every one to his people, and let them flee every one to his own land.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him who handles the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land.

Young's Literal Translation
Cut off the sower from Babylon, And him handling the sickle in the time of harvest, Because of the oppressing sword, Each unto his people -- they turn, And each to his land -- they flee.
Study Bible
Babylon's Fall is Certain
15"Raise your battle cry against her on every side! She has given herself up, her pillars have fallen, Her walls have been torn down. For this is the vengeance of the LORD: Take vengeance on her; As she has done to others, so do to her. 16"Cut off the sower from Babylon And the one who wields the sickle at the time of harvest; From before the sword of the oppressor They will each turn back to his own people And they will each flee to his own land. 17"Israel is a scattered flock, the lions have driven them away. The first one who devoured him was the king of Assyria, and this last one who has broken his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.…
Cross References
Isaiah 13:14
And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, Or like sheep with none to gather them, They will each turn to his own people, And each one flee to his own land.

Jeremiah 25:38
"He has left His hiding place like the lion; For their land has become a horror Because of the fierceness of the oppressing sword And because of His fierce anger."

Jeremiah 46:16
"They have repeatedly stumbled; Indeed, they have fallen one against another. Then they said, 'Get up! And let us go back To our own people and our native land Away from the sword of the oppressor.'

Jeremiah 51:9
We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; Forsake her and let us each go to his own country, For her judgment has reached to heaven And towers up to the very skies.

Joel 1:11
Be ashamed, O farmers, Wail, O vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
Treasury of Scripture

Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles 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.

the sower

Jeremiah 51:23 I will also break in pieces with you the shepherd and his flock; …

Joel 1:11 Be you ashamed, O you farmers; howl, O you vinedressers, for the …

Amos 5:16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD, said thus; Wailing …

sickle. or, scythe
they shall turn every one

Jeremiah 46:16 He made many to fall, yes, one fell on another: and they said, Arise, …

Jeremiah 51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, …

Isaiah 13:14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man takes …

(16) Cut off the sower . . .--The rich alluvial plains of Babylon, so plentiful that they yielded an increase of two hundred-fold (Herod. iii. 8), were to be laid waste. There may, possibly, be a special reference to the fields within the walls of the city, upon which the population largely depended, and which were now to be devastated. (Diod. Sic. ii. 9; Pliny, Hist. Nat. xi. 111.)

For fear of the oppressing sword.--The versions present the same noticeable variations, as in Jeremiah 46:16, the LXX. giving "from the Greek sword," possibly with reference to the belief that Cyrus had subdued the olians and Ionians before the conquest of Babylon, and that they were fighting in his army, or to Alexander's capture of the city, and the Vulg. "from the sword of the dove," the latter rendering being supposed to refer to the dove on the Babylonian standard, as the emblem of Semiramis. Here, however, as Babylon is the object of attack, the latter allusion is scarcely applicable, and there is no sufficient reason for altering the English version. (See Note on Jeremiah 25:38; Jeremiah 46:16.)

They shall flee every one to his own land.--The words are significant as showing that the Jews were not the only people for whom the fall of Babylon was the signal of a return from exile. The policy of Nebuchadnezzar, like that of Assyria, had been to people his own territory with the captive populations of other countries, and Israel (as in Jeremiah 50:8) was to lead the way in the return.

Verse 16. - Cut off the sower, etc. "Babylon" here probably means Babylonia, for it is clear from ver. 12 that the curse belongs to the country as well as the city of Babylon; indeed, "Babylon" in ver. 13 seems to be used in the wider sense. Others think of the open spaces within the walls of Babylon, in which it is said that crops were raised to provision the city in case of a siege (see Rawlinson, 'Ancient Monarchies,' 2:518); but this is less natural. They shall turn, etc. The subject is, not the husbandmen, but the strangers in Babylonia; comp. the parallel passage, Isaiah 13:14, on which this passage is based. AEsehylus ('Pers.,' 53) speaks of the Πάμμικτος ὄχλος in Babylon. Whether brought by force from their homes, like the Jews, or voluntary residents for the sake of commerce, all should hurry from the doomed city. Cut off the sower from in Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest,.... Both sower and reaper: the walls of Babylon took in a large compass of land, where there were corn fields; and which, as Curtius (s) observes, would yield a sufficiency to hold out a siege against an enemy; but being taken, the husbandman would not be spared, as used to be, but should be cut off, and so none to till the ground, or to reap what was upon it; and thus, in course, would be, desolate, as before threatened. The Targum understands this in a figurative sense,

"destroy the king out of Babylon, and take hold of the sword in the time of slaughter;''

and Cocceius interprets the sower of any doctor or bishop in mystical Babylon, and the reaper of such that gather the fruits, and exact obedience; see Revelation 18:14;

for fear of the oppressing sword; of the Medes and Persians:

they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land; not those of other nations, as the Jews, who were detained captives there, as Kimchi thinks; for these were not in such fear of the Persians, nor did they flee because of them; but were let go by them, and sent into their own land honourably: but either such who, of other nations, were come to traffic at Babylon; or rather the auxiliaries of other nations, who were either hired or forced into the service of Babylon; these, finding the city taken, would make the best of their way into their own country.

(s) Hist. l. 5. c. 1.16. Babylon had the extent rather of a nation than of a city. Therefore grain was grown within the city wall sufficient to last for a long siege [Aristotle, Politics, 3.2; Pliny, 18.17]. Conquerors usually spare agriculturists, but in this case all alike were to be "cut off."

for fear of … oppressing sword—because of the sword of the oppressor.

every one to his people—from which they had been removed to Babylon from all quarters by the Chaldean conquerors (Jer 51:9; Isa 13:14).50:8-20 The desolation that shall be brought upon Babylon is set forth in a variety of expressions. The cause of this destruction is the wrath of the Lord. Babylon shall be wholly desolated; for she hath sinned against the Lord. Sin makes men a mark for the arrows of God's judgments. The mercy promised to the Israel of God, shall not only accompany, but arise from the destruction of Babylon. These sheep shall be gathered from the deserts, and put again into good pasture. All who return to God and their duty, shall find satisfaction of soul in so doing. Deliverances out of trouble are comforts indeed, when fruits of the forgiveness of sin.
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