1Adonai says this:
“Against Bavel and those living in Lev-Kamai
I will stir up a destructive wind.
2Against Bavel I will send foreigners
to winnow her and leave her land empty.
They will besiege her from every side
on the day of disaster.
3Let the archer draw his bow,
let him flaunt his coat of mail;
do not spare her young men,
completely destroy her whole army.
4In the land of the Kasdim the slain will fall,
those thrust through [by the sword] in her streets.
5Isra’el and Y’hudah are not left widowed
of their God, Adonai-Tzva’ot;
but the land of [the Kasdim] is full of guilt
before the Holy One of Isra’el.”
6Flee from Bavel, let each one save his life!
Don’t perish because of her guilt.
For the time has come for the vengeance of Adonai;
he will repay her what she deserves.
7Bavel was a gold cup in the hands of Adonai;
it made the whole earth drunk —
the nations drank her wine;
this is why the nations have lost their senses.
8Bavel has suddenly fallen.
She is broken; wail for her.
Bring healing ointment for her wounds;
perhaps she can be healed.
9“We tried to heal Bavel,
but she cannot be healed.
So leave her alone, and each of us
will return to his own country.”
For the judgment against her rises to the skies
and reaches even the clouds.
10Adonai has brought forth our victory.
Come, let us proclaim in Tziyon
the work of Adonai our God!
11Sharpen the arrows! Fill the quivers!
Adonai roused the spirit of the kings of the Medes,
because he plans to destroy Bavel.
This is the vengeance of Adonai
vengeance over his temple.
12Raise a standard against the walls of Bavel!
Strengthen the guard! Post the sentries!
Prepare ambushes! For Adonai
has both planned and accomplished
what he promised to do to those living in Bavel.
13You who live near plenty of water,
so rich in treasure — your end has come,
your time for being cut off!
14Adonai-Tzva’ot has sworn by himself,
“I will fill you with men as numerous as grasshoppers;
they will raise over you a shout of triumph.”
15He made the earth by his power,
established the world by his wisdom
spread out the sky by his understanding.
16When he thunders, the waters in heaven roar,
he raises clouds from the ends of the earth,
he makes the lightning flash in the rain
and brings the wind out from his storehouses.
17At this, everyone is proved stupid, ignorant,
every goldsmith put to shame by his idol!
The figures he casts are a fraud,
there is no breath in them,
18they are nothings, ridiculous objects;
when the day for their punishment comes, they will perish.
19Ya‘akov’s portion is not like these,
for he is the one who formed all things,
including the tribe he claims as his heritage.
Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name.
20“[Bavel] you are my war club and weapons of war —
with you I shatter nations;
with you I destroy kingdoms;
21with you I shatter horses and their riders;
with you I shatter chariots and their drivers;
22with you I shatter husbands and wives;
with you I shatter old and young;
with you I shatter young men and virgins;
23with you I shatter shepherds and their flocks;
with you I shatter farmers and their teams;
with you I shatter governors and deputies.
24“But I will repay Bavel and all living
in the land of the Kasdim for all the evil
they did in Tziyon,” says Adonai,
“before your eyes [, Y’hudah].”
25“I am against you, destructive mountain,
destroying all the earth,” says Adonai.
“I will stretch out my hand against you,
to send you tumbling down from the crags
and make you a burned-out mountain.
26No one will make cornerstones
or foundation-stones from you again;
but you will be desolate
forever,” says Adonai.
27Raise up a banner in the land,
blow the shofar among the nations.
Prepare the nations for war against her.
Summon kingdoms against her —
Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz.
Appoint an officer against her;
bring up horses like bristling grasshoppers.
28Prepare the nations against her,
the kings of the Medes, his governors and deputies,
and all the land he controls.
29The earth quakes and writhes,
as Adonai’s designs against Bavel are fulfilled,
to make the land of Bavel a ruin,
with no one living there.
30Bavel’s warriors have given up fighting;
they remain in their fortresses;
their courage has failed; they are now like women.
Her homes are on fire, her gate-bars broken.
31One runner runs to meet another,
messenger to meet messenger,
to report to the king of Bavel
that every part of his city is taken,
32the fords have been occupied,
and the swamp thickets set on fire,
while the warriors are seized with panic.
33For here is what Adonai-Tzva’ot,
the God of Isra’el, says:
“The daughter of Bavel is like
a threshing-floor at treading-time.
Just a little while longer,
and the time for harvesting her will come.”
34N’vukhadretzar king of Bavel
has devoured me, crushed me.
He left me like an empty pot.
Like a monster, he swallowed me whole.
With my delicacies he stuffed his belly;
then he rinsed me out.
35But one who lives in Tziyon will say,
“May my torn flesh be avenged on Bavel”;
and Yerushalayim will say,
“May my blood be avenged on the Kasdim.”
36Therefore here is what Adonai says:
“I will plead your cause.
I will take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her river
and make her water sources dry.
37Bavel will become a heap of ruins,
a place for jackals to live,
an object of horror and hissing,
with no one living there.
38Together they roar like young lions,
growl like lion cubs.
39When they are hot with desire,
I will prepare them a drink.
I will make them so drunk
they will have convulsions,
sleep forever and never wake up,”
40“I will drag them down like lambs to be slaughtered,
like rams and male goats.”
41Sheshakh has been captured,
the pride of the whole earth seized!
Bavel has become an object of horror
throughout the nations!
42The sea has flooded Bavel,
overwhelmed her with its raging waves.
43Her cities have become desolate —
parched, arid land,
a land where no one lives;
nobody even passes through.
44“I will punish Bel in Bavel
and make him disgorge what he swallowed.
The nations will no longer flow to him.
Bavel’s wall will fall.
45Get out of her, my people!
Each one, save yourself
from Adonai’s furious anger!
46Don’t be fainthearted, don’t be afraid
of the rumors spreading abroad in the land.
One year one rumor comes,
the next year another one,
rumors of violence in the land
and rulers fighting rulers.
47Therefore, listen! The days are coming
when I will pass judgment on Bavel’s idols.
Her whole land will be put to shame,
as all her slain fall on home soil.
48Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
will sing for joy over Bavel;
for the plunderers from the north
are coming to her,” says Adonai.
49Just as Bavel caused
the slain of Isra’el to fall,
so at Bavel will fall
the slain of all the land.
50You who escaped the sword,
go! Don’t stand still!
Remember Adonai from afar,
let Yerushalayim come into your minds.
51“The reproaches we have heard have put us to shame,
disgrace covers our faces;
because foreigners have entered
the sanctuaries of Adonai’s house.”
52“Therefore,” says Adonai, “the days are coming
when I will pass judgment on her idols,
and the wounded will groan throughout her land.
53Even if Bavel scales the heavens
or reinforces her lofty stronghold,
plunderers will come to her
from me,” says Adonai.
54An agonized cry is heard from Bavel!
Great destruction in the land of the Kasdim!
55For Adonai is plundering Bavel
and silencing her noisy din —
their waves roar like the raging ocean,
their clamor sounds and resounds.
56Yes, the plunderer has fallen upon her,
fallen on Bavel.
Her warriors are captured, their bows are broken.
For Adonai is a God of retribution;
he will surely repay.
57“I will intoxicate her leaders and sages,
her governors, deputies and warriors.
They will sleep forever and never wake up,”
says the king, whose name is Adonai-Tzva’ot.
58Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot:
“The wide walls of Bavel will be razed to the ground,
her lofty gates will be set on fire.
The peoples are toiling for nothing,
the nation’s labor goes up in flames,
and everyone is exhausted.”
59This is the order which Yirmeyahu the prophet gave to S’rayah the son of Neriyah, the son of Machseyah, when he went to Bavel with Tzidkiyahu the king of Y’hudah in the fourth year of his reign. S’rayah was quartermaster. 60Yirmeyahu had written on a separate scroll all the above words describing the disaster that was to befall Bavel. 61Yirmeyahu said to S’rayah, “See to it that when you arrive in Bavel you read all these words aloud. Then say, 62‘Adonai, you have promised to destroy this place, that no one will live here, neither human nor animal, but that it will be desolate forever.’ 63When you finish reading this scroll, tie a rock to it, throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64and say, ‘Like this, Bavel will sink, never to rise again, because of the disaster I am bringing on her; and they will grow weary.’”
(Up to here, these have been the words of Yirmeyahu.)