The Utter Destruction of Babylon
51 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will stir up nthe spirit of a destroyer
against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai,1
2 and I will send to Babylon winnowers,
and othey shall winnow her,
and they shall empty her land,
when they come against her from every side
pon the day of trouble.
3 qLet not the archer bend his bow,
and let him not stand up in his armor.
Spare not her young men;
4 They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
sand wounded in her streets.
5 tFor Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
by their God, the Lord of hosts,
but the land of the Chaldeans2 is full of guilt
against the Holy One of Israel.
6 u“Flee from the midst of Babylon;
let every one save his life!
vBe not cut off in her punishment,
wfor this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance,
the repayment he is rendering her.
7 Babylon was xa golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
ymaking all the earth drunken;
zthe nations drank of her wine;
therefore the nations went mad.
8 aSuddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
bwail for her!
cTake balm for her pain;
perhaps she may be healed.
9 We would have healed Babylon,
but she was not healed.
each to his own country,
for fher judgment has reached up to heaven
and has been lifted up even to the skies.
10 gThe Lord has brought about our vindication;
hcome, let us declare in Zion
the work of the Lord our God.
11 i“Sharpen the arrows!
Take up the shields!
12 n“Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon;
omake the watch strong;
set up watchmen;
prepare the ambushes;
lfor the Lord has both planned and done
what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 pO you who dwell by many waters,
rich in treasures,
your end has come;
the thread of your life is cut.
14 qThe Lord of hosts has sworn by himself:
Surely I will fill you with men, ras many as locusts,
sand they shall raise the shout of victory over you.
15 t“It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
16 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
17 Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
and there is no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
the Lord of hosts is his name.
20 “You are my hammer and weapon of war:
with you I ubreak nations in pieces;
with you I destroy kingdoms;
21 with you I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
with you I break in pieces the chariot and the charioteer;
22 with you I break in pieces man and woman;
with you I break in pieces vthe old man and the youth;
with you I break in pieces vthe young man and the young woman;
23 with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team;
with you I break in pieces wgovernors and commanders.
24 x“I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the Lord.
25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
declares the Lord,
which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
and roll you down from the crags,
yand make you a burnt mountain.
26 No zstone shall be taken from you for a corner
and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be aa perpetual waste,
declares the Lord.
27 b“Set up a standard on the earth;
cblow the trumpet among the nations;
summon against her fthe kingdoms,
appoint a imarshal against her;
jbring up horses like bristling locusts.
and every mland under their dominion.
29 nThe land trembles and writhes in pain,
ofor the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation,
30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting;
they remain in their strongholds;
their strength has failed;
pthey have become women;
qher dwellings are on fire;
rher bars are broken.
31 One srunner runs to meet another,
and one messenger to meet another,
to tell the king of Babylon
that his city is taken on every side;
32 the fords have been tseized,
the marshes are burned with fire,
and the soldiers are in panic.
33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
and vthe time of her harvest will come.”
34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon whas devoured me;
he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel;
he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;
he has rinsed me out.3
35 The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
let Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, zI will plead your cause
and take vengeance for you.
aI will dry up her sea
and bmake her fountain dry,
37 and Babylon shall become ca heap of ruins,
dthe haunt of jackals,
they shall growl like lions’ cubs.
and imake them drunk, that they may become merry,
ithen sleep a perpetual sleep
and not wake, declares the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and male goats.
How Babylon has become
a horror among the nations!
42 mThe sea has come up on Babylon;
she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become a horror,
na land of drought and a desert,
oa land in which no one dwells,
and through which no son of man passes.
44 And I will punish pBel in Babylon,
sThe nations shall no longer flow to him;
tthe wall of Babylon has fallen.
45 “Go out of the midst of her, umy people!
Let every one save his life
from vthe fierce anger of the Lord!
46 Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful
wat the report heard in the land,
xwhen a report comes in one year
and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
xand ruler is against ruler.
47 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming
when yI will punish the images of Babylon;
zher whole land shall be put to shame,
and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 aThen the heavens and the earth,
and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon,
bfor the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,
declares the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
cjust as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.
50 d“You who have escaped from the sword,
go, do not stand still!
Remember the Lord from far away,
and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 e‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
edishonor has covered our face,
ffor foreigners have come
into the holy places of the Lord’s house.’
52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when yI will execute judgment upon her images,
gand through all her land
the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should hmount up to heaven,
and though she should ifortify her strong height,
yet destroyers would come from me against her,
declares the Lord.
54 j“A voice! A cry from Babylon!
The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For the Lord is laying Babylon waste
and stilling her mighty voice.
kTheir waves roar like many waters;
the noise of their voice is raised,
56 for a destroyer has come upon her,
her warriors are taken;
their bows are broken in pieces,
lfor the Lord is a God of recompense;
he will surely repay.
57 mI will make drunk her officials and her wise men,
nher governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
declares othe King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
58 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad pwall of Babylon
shall be leveled to the ground,
qand her high gates
shall be burned with fire.
rThe peoples labor for nothing,
and sthe nations weary themselves only for fire.”
59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah tthe son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, uin the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 vJeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon, wall these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O Lord, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so xthat nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be ydesolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this book, zatie a stone to it zand cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, 64 and say, z‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, band they shall become exhausted.’”
Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.