Jeremiah 51:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"You are my war club, my weapon for battle-- with you I shatter nations, with you I destroy kingdoms,

New Living Translation
"You are my battle-ax and sword," says the LORD. "With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.

English Standard Version
“You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I break nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms;

New American Standard Bible
He says, "You are My war-club, My weapon of war; And with you I shatter nations, And with you I destroy kingdoms.

King James Bible
Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You are My battle club, My weapons of war. With you I will smash nations; with you I will bring kingdoms to ruin.

International Standard Version
"You are my war-club and weapons of war. I'll smash nations with you and destroy kingdoms with you.

NET Bible
"Babylon, you are my war club, my weapon for battle. I used you to smash nations. I used you to destroy kingdoms.

New Heart English Bible
"You are my battle axe and weapons of war: and with you will I break in pieces the nations; and with you will I destroy kingdoms;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"You are my war club and my weapon for battle. I will use you to crush nations. I will use you to destroy kingdoms.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Thou art My maul and weapons of war, And with thee will I shatter the nations, And with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

New American Standard 1977
He says, “You are My war-club, My weapon of war;
            And with you I shatter nations,
            And with you I destroy kingdoms.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thou art my hammer, O weapons of war: for with thee I will break in pieces the Gentiles, and with thee I will destroy kingdoms;

King James 2000 Bible
You are my battle-axe and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms;

American King James Version
You are my battle ax and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms;

American Standard Version
Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war: and with thee will I break in pieces the nations; and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou dashest together for me the weapons of war, and with thee I will dash nations together, and with thee I will destroy kingdoms:

Darby Bible Translation
Thou art my maul, [my] weapons of war: and with thee I will break in pieces the nations, and I will with thee destroy kingdoms;

English Revised Version
Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: and with thee will I break in pieces the nations; and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou art my battle-ax and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

World English Bible
You are my battle axe and weapons of war: and with you will I break in pieces the nations; and with you will I destroy kingdoms;

Young's Literal Translation
An axe art thou to me -- weapons of war, And I have broken in pieces by thee nations, And I have destroyed by thee kingdoms,
Study Bible
Babylon's Punishment
19The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And of the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD of hosts is His name. 20He says, "You are My war-club, My weapon of war; And with you I shatter nations, And with you I destroy kingdoms. 21"With you I shatter the horse and his rider, And with you I shatter the chariot and its rider,…
Cross References
Isaiah 8:9
"Be broken, O peoples, and be shattered; And give ear, all remote places of the earth. Gird yourselves, yet be shattered; Gird yourselves, yet be shattered.

Isaiah 10:5
Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,

Isaiah 10:15
Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.

Isaiah 41:15
"Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff.

Isaiah 41:16
"You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 45:1
Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:

Jeremiah 50:23
"How the hammer of the whole earth Has been cut off and broken! How Babylon has become An object of horror among the nations!

Ezekiel 21:31
'I will pour out My indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and I will give you into the hand of brutal men, skilled in destruction.

Micah 4:12
"But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.

Micah 4:13
"Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.
Treasury of Scripture

You are my battle ax and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms;

art

Jeremiah 50:23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how …

Isaiah 10:5,15 O Assyrian, the rod of my anger, and the staff in their hand is my …

Isaiah 13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, …

Isaiah 14:5,6 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, and the scepter of the rulers…

Isaiah 37:26 Have you not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, …

Isaiah 41:15,16 Behold, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: …

Micah 4:13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make your horn iron, …

Zechariah 9:13,14 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised …

Matthew 22:7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth …

with thee. or, in thee, or, by thee
break

Jeremiah 25:9,11 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, said …

Jeremiah 27:5-7 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, …

(20) Thou art my battle ax . . .--Better, my mace. The axe is not found on Assyrian monuments as a weapon of war till a comparatively late period. It is a question who is thus addressed--Babylon, or Cyrus as the destroyer of Babylon, or Israel. On the whole, the second seems the more probable answer. The "hammer of the whole earth" is broken by a mightier weapon than itself. (See Note on Jeremiah 50:23.)

With thee will I break in pieces . . .--The tense, in this and in the following, should be the present. The force of the verb is multiplied by the emphatic iteration. All obstacles are to be crushed in the victorious march of the conqueror.

Verses 20-26. - Israel is now to be Jehovah's hammer, striking down everything, even the Chaldean colossus. But though Babylon may be as great and as destructive as a volcanic mountain, it shall soon be quite burnt out. Verse 20. - My battle axe; or, my mace. The mace (for a picture of which, see Rawlinson, 'Ancient Monarchies,' 1:459) was a weapon constantly employed by the Assyrians and presumably by the Babylonian kings. The battle axe was much less frequently used. But who is addressed by this terrible title? The commentators are divided, some inclining to Babylon,

(1) because Babylon was the last person addressed (see ver. 14), and

(2) because a similar title was given to Babylon in Jeremiah 50:23: others to Israel, on the ground that the tenses are the same throughout the passage (vers. 20-24). The latter view is probably the best. How could Babylon be said to shatter her own "governors" and "viceroys" (for the prophet deliberately chooses the Babylonian official names)? The argument from the context is not very weighty; for it is clear that the connection of the parts of this prophecy is very loose. We may assume, then, that ver. 20 begins a fresh paragraph, standing quite apart from that which precedes. The objection of Graf and Keil, is that Israel could not himself be styled a "mace," it being Israel's destiny to be delivered by others. But is not a very similar statement made of Israel in Isaiah 41:15; Psalm 149:7-9? (Kuenen offers a third explanation - Cyrus.) The nations... kingdoms. First the great social organisms are mentioned; next comes the military power; next the population, according to sex, age, and class. Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war,.... This is said by the Lord, either to Cyrus, as some, to which our version inclines, whom God made use of as an instrument to subdue nations and kingdoms, and destroy them; see Isaiah 45:1; or rather Babylon, and the king of it, who had been the hammer of the earth, Jeremiah 50:23; as it may be rendered here, "thou art my hammer" (s); or, "hast been"; an instrument in his hands, of beating the nations to pieces, as stones by a hammer, and of destroying them, as by weapons of war: this, and what follows, are observed to show, that though Babylon had been used by the Lord for the destruction of others, it should not be secure from it itself, but should share the same fate; unless this is to be understood of the church of God, and kingdom of Christ, which in the latter day will break in pieces all the kingdoms of the earth, Daniel 2:44; which sense seems to have some countenance and confirmation from Jeremiah 51:24 "in your sight". The Targum is,

"thou art a scatterer before me, a city in which are warlike arms;''

which seems to refer to Babylon:

for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; or, "with thee I have broke in pieces, and have destroyed"; the future instead of the past (t); as the nations and kingdoms of Judea, Egypt, Edom, Moab, Ammon, and others: or, "that I may break in pieces" (u), &c. and so it expresses the end for which he was a hammer, as well as the use he had been or would be of.

(s) "malleus es, vel fuisti mihi", Pagninus, Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt. (t) "Dispersi, perdidi", Lutherus; "conquassavi", Munster; "dissipavi", Piscator. (u) "ut dissiparem", Junius & Tremellius; "ut dispergam", Schmidt. 20. (See on [1003]Jer 50:23). "Break in pieces" refers to the "hammer" there (compare Na 2:1, Margin). The club also was often used by ancient warriors.51:1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, Re 18:9,19. The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.
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