Jeremiah 51:58
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Babylon's thick wall will be leveled and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing, the nations' labor is only fuel for the flames."

New Living Translation
This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: "The thick walls of Babylon will be leveled to the ground, and her massive gates will be burned. The builders from many lands have worked in vain, for their work will be destroyed by fire!"

English Standard Version
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nothing, and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD of hosts, "The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed And her high gates will be set on fire; So the peoples will toil for nothing, And the nations become exhausted only for fire."

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is what Yahweh of Hosts says: Babylon's thick walls will be totally demolished, and her high gates consumed by fire. The peoples will have labored for nothing; the nations will exhaust themselves only to feed the fire.

International Standard Version
This 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."

NET Bible
This is what the LORD who rules over all says, "Babylon's thick wall will be completely demolished. Her high gates will be set on fire. The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed."

New Heart English Bible
Thus says the LORD of hosts: "The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what the LORD of Armies says: The thick walls of Babylon will be leveled, and its high gates will be set on fire. People exhaust themselves for nothing. The nations wear themselves out only to have a fire.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Thus saith the LORD of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, And her high gates shall be burned with fire; And the peoples shall labour for vanity, And the nations for the fire; And they shall be weary.

New American Standard 1977
Thus says the LORD of hosts,
            “The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed,
            And her high gates will be set on fire;
            So the peoples will toil for nothing,
            And the nations become exhausted only for fire.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thus hath the LORD of the hosts said; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly cast down, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and peoples and nations shall labour in vain in the fire to save her, and they shall become weary.

King James 2000 Bible
Thus says the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain, and the nations, because of the fire, and they shall be weary.

American King James Version
Thus said the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

American Standard Version
Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thus saith the Lord of hosts: That broad wall of Babylon shall be utterly broken down, and her high gates shall be burnt with fire, and the labours of the people shall come to nothing, and of the nations shall go to the fire, and shall perish.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly laid bare, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; so that the peoples will have laboured in vain, and the nations for the fire: and they shall be weary.

English Revised Version
Thus saith the LORD of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labour for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain, and the people in the fire, and they shall be weary.

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh of Armies: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, the wall of Babylon -- The broad one -- is utterly made bare, And her high gates with fire are burnt, And peoples labour in vain, And nations in fire, and have been weary!
Study Bible
Instructions for the Exiles
57"I will make her princes and her wise men drunk, Her governors, her prefects and her mighty men, That they may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up," Declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts. 58Thus says the LORD of hosts, "The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed And her high gates will be set on fire; So the peoples will toil for nothing, And the nations become exhausted only for fire." 59The message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. (Now Seraiah was quartermaster.)…
Cross References
Isaiah 13:2
Lift up a standard on the bare hill, Raise your voice to them, Wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles.

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:

Isaiah 45:2
"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.

Isaiah 47:13
"You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.

Jeremiah 9:5
"Everyone deceives his neighbor And does not speak the truth, They have taught their tongue to speak lies; They weary themselves committing iniquity.

Jeremiah 50:15
"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.

Jeremiah 51:44
"I will punish Bel in Babylon, And I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth; And the nations will no longer stream to him. Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down!

Jeremiah 51:64
and say, 'Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted.'" Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

Lamentations 5:5
Our pursuers are at our necks; We are worn out, there is no rest for us.

Habakkuk 2:13
"Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing?
Treasury of Scripture

Thus said the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

The broad walls of babylon. or, the walls of broad Babylon According to the testimony of Herodotus, the circumference of the walls of Babylon was

Jeremiah 51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his …

Jeremiah 50:15 Shout against her round about: she has given her hand: her foundations …

broken. or, made naked
high gates

Jeremiah 51:30 The mighty men of Babylon have declined to fight, they have remained …

Isaiah 45:1,2 Thus said the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I …

the people

Jeremiah 51:9,64 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, …

Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: …

Isaiah 65:23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they …

Habakkuk 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor …

(58) Her high gates shall be burned with fire.--These were part of the works on which Nebuchadnezzar prided himself as the restorer of the city. The inscription already quoted refers to these as well as to the walls: "Babylon is the refuge of the god Merodach. I have finished Imgur Bel, his great enclosure. In the threshold of the great gates I have adjusted folding-doors in brass." (Oppert, ut supra; Comp. also Records of the Past, v. pp. 125, 127).

The people shall labour in vain.--The words are all but verbally identical, in some MSS. absolutely so, with those of Habakkuk 2:13. In both the thought is that the stately edifices which had been raised with so much toil by the slave-labour of Nebuchadnezzar's subjects and captives should all be fruitless. The walls of Babylon are described by Herod. (1, 173), possibly with some exaggeration, as 50 cubits (= 75 feet) thick and 200 high.

Verse 58. - The broad walls of Babylon... and her high gates. See Herod., 1:179, 181, and the parallel accounts from other authors, cited by Duncker ('Hist. of Antiquity,' 3:373, etc.), who taxes Herodotus with exaggeration, but admits as probable that the walls were not less than forty feet broad. Utterly broken; rather, destroyed even to the ground (literally, made bare). The people; rather, peoples. Thus saith the Lord of hosts,.... Because what follows might seem incredible ever to be effected; it is introduced with this preface, expressed by him who is the God of truth, and the Lord God omnipotent:

the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken; or rased up; the foundations of them, and the ground on which they stood made naked and bare, and open to public view; everyone of the walls, the inward and the outward, as Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it. Curtius says (s) the wall of Babylon was thirty two feet broad, and that carriages might pass by each other without any danger. Herodotus (t) says it was fifty royal cubits broad, which were three fingers larger than the common measure; and both Strabo (u) and Diodorus Siculus (w) affirm, that two chariots drawn with four horses abreast might meet each other, and pass easily; and, according to Ctesias (x), the breadth of the wall was large enough for six chariots: or the words may be read, "the walls of broad Babylon" (y); for Babylon was very large in circumference; more like a country than a city, as Aristotle (z) says. Historians differ much about the compass of its wall; but all agree it was very large; the best account, which is that of Curtius (a), makes it to be three hundred and fifty eight furlongs (about forty five miles); with Ctesias it was three hundred and sixty; and with Clitarchus three hundred and sixty five, as they are both quoted by Diodorus Siculus (b); according to Strabo (c) it was three hundred and eighty five; and according to Dion Cassius (d) four hundred; by Philostratus (e) it is said to be four hundred and eighty; as also by Herodotus; and by Julian (f) the emperor almost five hundred. Pliny (g) reckons it sixty miles:

and her high gates shall be burnt with fire; there were a hundred of them, all of brass, with their posts and hinges, as Herodotus (h) affirms:

and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary; which some understand of the builders of the walls, gates, and city of Babylon, whose labour in the issue was in vain, since the end of them was to be broken and burned; but rather it designs the Chaldeans, who laboured in the fire to extinguish and save the city and its gates, but to no purpose.

(s) Hist. l. 5. c. 1.((t) L. 1. sive Clio, c. 178. (u) Geograph l. 16. p. 508. (w) Bibl. l. 2. p. 96. (x) Apud Diodor. ib. (y) "mari Babelis lati", Schmidt. (z) Politic. l. 3. c. 3.((a) Hist. l. 5. c. 1.((b) Ut supra. (Bibl. l. 2. p. 96.) (c) Ut supra. (Geograph l. 16. p. 508.) (d) Apud Marsham Canon. p. 590. (e) Vita Apollon. l. 1. e. 18. (f) Orat. 3. p. 236. (g) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 26. (h) L. 1. sive Clio, c. 179. 58. broad walls—eighty-seven feet broad [Rosenmuller]; fifty cubits [Grotius]. A chariot of four horses abreast could meet another on it without collision. The walls were two hundred cubits high, and four hundred and eighty-five stadia, or sixty miles in extent.

gates—one hundred in number, of brass; twenty-five on each of the four sides, the city being square; between the gates were two hundred and fifty towers. Berosus says triple walls encompassed the outer, and the same number the inner city. Cyrus caused the outer walls to be demolished. Taking the extent of the walls to be three hundred and sixty-five stadia, as Diodorus states, it is said two hundred thousand men completed a stadium each day, so that the whole was completed in one year.

labour … in the fire—The event will show that the builders of the walls have "labored" only for the "fire" in which they shall be consumed, "In the fire" answers to the parallel, "burned with fire." Translate, "shall have labored in vain," etc. Compare Job 3:14, "built desolate places for themselves," that is, grand places, soon about to be desolate ruins. Jeremiah has in view here Hab 2:13.51:1-58 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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