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 Chaldeans3 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.4
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.
The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted
52 cZedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, daccording to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For because of the anger of the Lord it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.
And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 eAnd in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 5 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 6 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 7 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 9 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at fRiblah. 11 gHe put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison gtill the day of his death.
The Temple Burned
12 hIn the fifth month, on ithe tenth day of the month—that was jthe nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who kserved the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 13 And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and lthe deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.
17 And the mpillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the nbronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and ocarried all the bronze to Babylon. 18 And they took away pthe pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service; 19 qalso the small bowls and the fire pans and the basins and the pots and rthe lampstands and sthe dishes for incense sand the bowls for drink offerings. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 20 As for the two pillars, the one sea, tthe twelve bronze bulls that were under the sea,1 and the stands, which Solomon the king had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these things was beyond weight. 21 As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,2 uits circumference was twelve cubits, and its thickness was four fingers, and it was hollow. 22 On it was a capital of bronze. The height of the one capital was vfive cubits. A network and pomegranates, all of bronze, were around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network all around.
The People Exiled to Babylon
24 And the captain of the guard took wSeraiah the chief priest, and xZephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; 25 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and yseven men of the king’s council, who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. 26 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at zRiblah. 27 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at zRiblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.
28 This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: ain the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans; 29 bin the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem 832 persons; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Judeans 745 persons; all the persons were 4,600.
Jehoiachin Released from Prison
31 cAnd in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed3 dJehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. 32 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of ethe kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 34 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, until the day of his death, as long as he lived.
How Lonely Sits the City
1 aHow lonely sits the city
that was full of people!
How like ba widow has she become,
she who was great among the nations!
She who was ca princess among the provinces
has become da slave.
2 eShe weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;
famong all her lovers
she has gnone to comfort her;
hall her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
they have become her enemies.
and hard servitude;
jshe dwells now among the nations,
kbut finds no resting place;
her pursuers have all overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.2
4 The roads to Zion mourn,
for none come to lthe festival;
mall her gates are desolate;
her priests ngroan;
her virgins have been afflicted,3
and she herself suffers bitterly.
5 oHer foes have become the head;
her penemies prosper,
because qthe Lord has afflicted her
rfor the multitude of her transgressions;
sher children have gone away,
captives before the foe.
6 From the daughter of Zion
all her majesty has departed.
Her princes have become like deer
tthat find no pasture;
they fled without strength
before the pursuer.
7 Jerusalem remembers
in the days of her affliction and wandering
uall the precious things
that were hers from vdays of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
and there was none to help her,
her foes gloated over her;
they wmocked at her downfall.
8 xJerusalem sinned grievously;
therefore she became filthy;
all who honored her despise her,
yfor they have seen her nakedness;
she herself zgroans
and turns her face away.
9 Her uncleanness was ain her skirts;
therefore her fall is terrible;
cshe has no comforter.
“O Lord, behold my affliction,
for the enemy has dtriumphed!”
10 The enemy has stretched out his hands
over all her eprecious things;
for she has seen fthe nations
enter her sanctuary,
those whom you gforbade
to enter your congregation.
11 All her people zgroan
as hthey search for bread;
to revive their strength.
“Look, O Lord, and see,
for I am despised.”
12 “Is it nothing to you, all jyou who pass by?
kLook and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
which was brought upon me,
which lthe Lord inflicted
on mthe day of his fierce anger.
13 “From on high he nsent fire;
into my bones5 he made it descend;
ohe spread a net for my feet;
he turned me back;
phe has left me stunned,
faint all the day long.
by his hand they were fastened together;
they were set upon my neck;
he caused my strength to fail;
the Lord gave me into the hands
of those whom I cannot withstand.
15 “The Lord rejected
all my mighty men in my midst;
he summoned an assembly against me
to crush my young men;
rthe Lord has trodden as in a winepress
the virgin daughter of Judah.
16 “For these things sI weep;
my eyes flow with tears;
for ta comforter is far from me,
one to urevive my spirit;
my children are desolate,
for the enemy has prevailed.”
17 vZion stretches out her hands,
but tthere is none to comfort her;
the Lord has commanded against Jacob
that his neighbors should be his foes;
Jerusalem has become
a filthy thing among them.
18 w“The Lord is in the right,
xfor I have rebelled against his word;
but hear, all you peoples,
and see my suffering;
ymy young women and my young men
have gone into captivity.
19 “I called to zmy lovers,
but they deceived me;
my priests and elders
perished in the city,
while athey sought food
to revive their strength.
20 “Look, O Lord, for I am in distress;
bmy stomach churns;
my heart is wrung within me,
because I have been very rebellious.
cIn the street the sword bereaves;
in the house it is like death.
yet ethere is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble;
fthey are glad that you have done it.
You have brought8 the day you announced;
fnow let them be as I am.
22 g“Let all their evildoing come before you,
and deal with them
as hyou have dealt with me
because of all my transgressions;
for dmy groans are many,
and imy heart is faint.”
The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity
2 How the Lord in his anger
has set the daughter of Zion junder a cloud!
kHe has cast down from heaven to earth
the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered lhis footstool
in the day of his anger.
all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath ohe has broken down
the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
the kingdom qand its rulers.
3 He has cut down in rfierce anger
all sthe might of Israel;
the has withdrawn from them his right hand
in the face of the enemy;
uhe has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
consuming all around.
4 vHe has bent his bow like an enemy,
with his right hand set wlike a foe;
and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes
in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.
5 wThe Lord has become like an enemy;
xhe has swallowed up Israel;
yhe has swallowed up all its palaces;
he has laid in ruins its strongholds,
and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
zmourning and lamentation.
6 He has laid waste his booth like a garden,
laid in ruins ahis meeting place;
athe Lord has made Zion forget
festival and bSabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.
7 cThe Lord has scorned his altar,
ddisowned his sanctuary;
ehe has delivered into the hand of the enemy
the walls of her palaces;
fthey raised a clamor in the house of the Lord
as on the day of festival.
8 gThe Lord determined to lay in ruins
hthe wall of the daughter of Zion;
ihe stretched out the measuring line;
he did not restrain his hand from destroying;
jhe caused rampart and wall to lament;
jthey languished together.
9 Her gates have sunk into the ground;
lher king and princes are among the nations;
the law is no more,
and mher prophets find
no vision from the Lord.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion
pthey have thrown dust on their heads
and qput on sackcloth;
the young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.
11 rMy eyes are spent with weeping;
smy stomach churns;
tmy bile is poured out to the ground
ubecause of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
in the streets of the city.
12 They cry to their mothers,
x“Where is bread and wine?”
was they faint like a wounded man
in the streets of the city,
as their life is poured out
on their mothers’ bosom.
13 What can I say for you, yto what compare you,
O daughter of Jerusalem?
yWhat can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,
O virgin daughter of Zion?
zFor your ruin is vast as the sea;
who can heal you?
14 aYour prophets have seen for you
false and deceptive visions;
bthey have not exposed your iniquity
to crestore your fortunes,
that are false and misleading.
15 All who pass along the way
clap their hands at you;
fthey hiss and wag their heads
at the daughter of Jerusalem:
“Is this the city that was called
gthe perfection of beauty,
gthe joy of all the earth?”
16 hAll your enemies
rail against you;
they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
they cry: “We ihave swallowed her!
Ah, this is the day we longed for;
now we have it; jwe see it!”
17 The Lord has done what he purposed;
he has carried out khis word,
which he commanded llong ago;
ohe has made the enemy rejoice over you
and exalted the pmight of your foes.
18 Their heart cried to the Lord.
O qwall of the daughter of Zion,
rlet tears stream down like a torrent
sday and night!
tGive yourself no rest,
uyour eyes no respite!
19 “Arise, vcry out in the night,
at the beginning of the night watches!
wPour out your heart like water
before the presence of the Lord!
xLift your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
ywho faint for hunger
at the head of every street.”
20 Look, O Lord, and see!
zWith whom have you dealt thus?
aShould women eat the fruit of their womb,
the children of btheir tender care?
Should cpriest and prophet be killed
in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 In the dust of the streets
dlie the young and the old;
dmy young women and my young men
have fallen by the sword;
eyou have killed them in the day of your anger,
slaughtering fwithout pity.
22 You summoned as if to ga festival day
hmy terrors on every side,
iand on the day of the anger of the Lord
no one escaped or survived;
jthose whom I held and raised
my enemy destroyed.
Great Is Your Faithfulness
3 kI am the man who has seen affliction
under the lrod of his wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me
minto darkness without any light;
3 surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.
4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
nhe has broken my bones;
5 ohe has besieged and enveloped me
with pbitterness and tribulation;
6 qhe has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead of long ago.
he has made my chains heavy;
8 though tI call and cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer;
9 rhe has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;
he has made my paths crooked.
10 uHe is a bear lying in wait for me,
a lion in hiding;
whe has made me desolate;
as a target for his arrow.
13 He drove into my kidneys
zthe arrows of his quiver;
14 aI have become the laughingstock of all peoples,
bthe object of their taunts all day long.
15 cHe has filled me with bitterness;
he has sated me with dwormwood.
16 eHe has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and fmade me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness1 is;
18 gso I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the Lord.”
19 hRemember my affliction and my wanderings,
20 My soul continually remembers it
jand is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and ktherefore I have hope:
lhis mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new mevery morning;
ngreat is your faithfulness.
24 o“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
k“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who pwait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 qIt is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 rIt is good for a man that he bear
the yoke sin his youth.
28 Let him tsit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;
29 ulet him put his mouth in the dust—
there may yet be hope;
30 vlet him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
and let him be filled with insults.
31 wFor the Lord will not
cast off forever,
zaccording to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 afor he does not afflict from his heart
or bgrieve the children of men.
34 To crush underfoot
all cthe prisoners of the earth,
35 dto deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
36 to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
dthe Lord does not approve.
37 eWho has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 fIs it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
39 gWhy should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us test and examine our ways,
hand return to the Lord!
41 iLet us lift up our hearts and hands
to God in heaven:
and you have not forgiven.
43 “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
lkilling without pity;
44 myou have wrapped yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.
45 nYou have made us scum and garbage
among the peoples.
46 o“All our enemies
open their mouths against us;
47 ppanic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and qdestruction;
48 rmy eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 r“My eyes will flow without ceasing,
50 suntil the Lord from heaven
looks down and sees;
51 my eyes cause me grief
at the fate of all the daughters of my city.
by those who were my enemies vwithout cause;
53 wthey flung me alive into the pit
xand cast stones on me;
54 ywater closed over my head;
I said, z‘I am lost.’
55 a“I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit;
56 byou heard my plea, ‘Do not close
your ear to my cry for help!’
57 cYou came near when I called on you;
you said, d‘Do not fear!’
you have eredeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, gO Lord;
judge my cause.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
all htheir plots against me.
61 i“You have heard their taunts, O Lord,
all htheir plots against me.
62 The lips and thoughts jof my assailants
are against me all the day long.
63 kBehold their sitting and their rising;
lI am the object of their taunts.
naccording to the work of their hands.
65 You will give them4 dullness of heart;
your curse will be5 on them.