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Jeremiah 50

A Prophecy against Babylon

1 This is the word that the LORD spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans: a 

2 “Announce and declare to the nations;

lift up a banner and proclaim it;

hold nothing back when you say,

‘Babylon is captured;

Bel is put to shame;

Marduk is shattered,

her images are disgraced,

her idols are broken in pieces.’

3 For a nation from the north will come against her;

it will make her land a desolation.

No one will live in it;

both man and beast will flee.”

Hope for Israel and Judah

4 “In those days and at that time,

declares the LORD,

the children of Israel and the children of Judah

will come together, weeping as they come,

and will seek the LORD their God.

5 They will ask the way to Zion

and turn their faces toward it.

They will come and join themselves to the LORD

in an everlasting covenant

that will never be forgotten.

6 My people are lost sheep;

their shepherds have led them astray,

causing them to roam the mountains.

They have wandered from mountain to hill;

they have forgotten their resting place.

7 All who found them devoured them,

and their enemies said,

‘We are not guilty,

for they have sinned against the LORD, their true pasture,

the LORD, the hope of their fathers.’

8 Flee from the midst of Babylon;

depart from the land of the Chaldeans;

be like the he-goats that lead the flock.

9 For behold, I stir up and bring against Babylon

an assembly of great nations from the land of the north.

They will line up against her;

from the north she will be captured.

Their arrows will be like skilled warriors

who do not return empty-handed.

10 Chaldea b will be plundered;

all who plunder her will have their fill,”

declares the LORD.

Babylon’s Fall Is Certain

11 “Because you rejoice,

because you sing in triumph—

you who plunder My inheritance—

because you frolic like a heifer treading grain

and neigh like stallions,

12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;

she who bore you will be disgraced.

Behold, she will be the least of the nations,

a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

13 Because of the wrath of the LORD,

she will not be inhabited;

she will become completely desolate.

All who pass through Babylon will be horrified

and will hiss at all her wounds.

14 Line up in formation around Babylon,

all you who draw the bow!

Shoot at her! Spare no arrows!

For she has sinned against the LORD.

15 Raise a war cry against her on every side!

She has thrown up her hands in surrender;

her towers have fallen;

her walls are torn down.

Since this is the vengeance of the LORD,

take out your vengeance upon her;

as she has done,

do the same to her.

16 Cut off the sower from Babylon,

and the one who wields the sickle at harvest time.

In the face of the oppressor’s sword,

each will turn to his own people,

each will flee to his own land.

Redemption for God’s People

17 Israel is a scattered flock,

chased away by lions.

The first to devour him

was the king of Assyria;

the last to crush his bones

was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land

as I punished the king of Assyria.

19 I will return Israel to his pasture,

and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan;

his soul will be satisfied

on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days and at that time,

declares the LORD,

a search will be made for Israel’s guilt,

but there will be none,

and for Judah’s sins,

but they will not be found;

for I will forgive

the remnant I preserve.

The Destruction of Babylon

21 Go up against the land of Merathaim,

and against the residents of Pekod.

Kill them c and devote them to destruction. d 

Do all that I have commanded you,”

declares the LORD.

22 “The noise of battle is in the land—

the noise of great destruction.

23 How the hammer of the whole earth

lies broken and shattered!

What a horror Babylon has become

among the nations!

24 I laid a snare for you, O Babylon,

and you were caught before you knew it.

You were found and captured

because you challenged the LORD.

25 The LORD has opened His armory

and brought out His weapons of wrath,

for this is the work of the Lord GOD of Hosts

in the land of the Chaldeans.

26 Come against her

from the farthest border.

Break open her granaries;

pile her up like mounds of grain.

Devote her to destruction;

leave her no survivors.

27 Kill all her young bulls;

let them go down to the slaughter.

Woe to them, for their day has come—

the time of their punishment.

28 Listen to the fugitives and refugees

from the land of Babylon,

declaring in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God,

the vengeance for His temple.

29 Summon the archers against Babylon,

all who string the bow.

Encamp all around her;

let no one escape.

Repay her according to her deeds;

do to her as she has done.

For she has defied the LORD,

the Holy One of Israel.

30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets,

and all her warriors will be silenced in that day,”

declares the LORD.

31 “Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one,”

declares the Lord GOD of Hosts,

“for your day has come,

the time when I will punish you.

32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall

with no one to pick him up.

And I will kindle a fire in his cities

to consume all those around him.”

33 This is what the LORD of Hosts says:

“The sons of Israel are oppressed,

and the sons of Judah as well.

All their captors hold them fast,

refusing to release them.

34 Their Redeemer is strong;

the LORD of Hosts is His name.

He will fervently plead their case

so that He may bring rest to the earth,

but turmoil to those who live in Babylon.

35 A sword is against the Chaldeans,

declares the LORD,

against those who live in Babylon,

and against her officials and wise men.

36 A sword is against her false prophets,

and they will become fools.

A sword is against her warriors,

and they will be filled with terror.

37 A sword is against her horses and chariots

and against all the foreigners in her midst,

and they will become like women.

A sword is against her treasuries,

and they will be plundered.

38 A drought is upon her waters,

and they will be dried up.

For it is a land of graven images,

and the people go mad over idols. e 

39 So the desert creatures and hyenas will live there

and ostriches f will dwell there.

It will never again be inhabited

or lived in from generation to generation.

40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah

along with their neighbors,”

declares the LORD,

“no one will dwell there;

no man will abide there.

41 Behold, an army is coming from the north;

a great nation and many kings are stirred up

from the ends of the earth.

42 They grasp the bow and spear; g 

they are cruel and merciless.

Their voice roars like the sea,

and they ride upon horses,

lined up like men in formation

against you, O Daughter of Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon has heard the report,

and his hands hang limp.

Anguish has gripped him,

pain like that of a woman in labor.

44 Behold, one will come up like a lion

from the thickets of the Jordan to the watered pasture.

For in an instant I will chase Babylon from her land.

Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?

For who is like Me, and who can challenge Me?

What shepherd can stand against Me?”

45 Therefore hear the plans

that the LORD has drawn up against Babylon

and the strategies He has devised

against the land of the Chaldeans:

Surely the little ones of the flock will be dragged away;

certainly their pasture will be made desolate because of them.

46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will quake;

a cry will be heard among the nations.

 

Footnotes:

1 a That is, the Babylonians; also in verses 8, 25, 35, and 45
10 b Or Babylonia
21 c LXX Avenge, O sword,
21 d Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in verse 26.
38 e Or go mad with fear
39 f Literally daughters of an ostrich or daughters of an owl
42 g Or javelin

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