Jeremiah 50
Babylon will be captured
1-2The LORD told me to say:#Is 13.1—14.23; 47.1-15.
Announce what will happen
and don't leave anything out.
Raise the signal flags;
shout so all nations can hear—
Babylon will be captured!
Marduk,#50.1,2 Marduk: The Hebrew text has “Bel” and “Marduk”, two names for the same god. Babylon's god,
will be ashamed and terrified,
and his idols broken.
3The attack on the Babylonians
will come from the north;
they and their animals will run,
leaving the land empty.
Israel and Judah will return to their land
4The LORD said:
People of Israel and Judah,
when these things happen
you will weep, and together
you will return to your land
and worship me,
the LORD your God.
5You will ask the way to Zion
and then come and join with me
in making an agreement
you won't break or forget.
6My people, you are lost sheep
abandoned by their shepherds
in the mountains.
You don't even remember
your resting place.
7I am your true pasture land,
the one who gave hope
to your ancestors.
But you abandoned me,
so when your enemies found you,
they felt no guilt
as they gobbled you up.
8Escape from Babylonia,#Rev 18.4.
my people.
Get out of that country!
Don't wait for anyone else.
9In the north I am bringing
great nations together.
They will attack Babylon
and capture it.
The arrows they shoot
are like the best soldiers,#50.9 the best soldiers: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations; most Hebrew manuscripts “soldiers who kill children”.
always finding their target.
10Babylonia will be conquered,
and its enemies will carry off
everything they want.
Babylon will be disgraced
The LORD said:
11People of Babylonia,
you were glad
to rob my people.
You had a good time,
making more noise
than horses
and jumping around
like calves threshing grain.#50.11 threshing grain: Hebrew; two ancient translations “in a pasture”.
12The city of Babylon
was like a mother to you.
But it will be disgraced
and become nothing
but a barren desert.
13My anger will destroy Babylon,
and no one will live there.
Everyone who passes by
will be shocked to see
what has happened.
14Babylon has rebelled against me.
Archers, take your places.
Shoot all your arrows at Babylon.
15Attack from every side!
Babylon surrenders!
The enemy tears down
its walls and towers.
I am taking my revenge
by doing to Babylon what it did
to other cities.
16There is no one in Babylonia
to plant or harvest crops.
Even foreigners who lived there
have left for their homelands,
afraid of the enemy armies.
17Israel is a flock of sheep
scattered by hungry lions.
The king of Assyria#50.17 king of Assyria: Either Shalmaneser V, who ruled 726-722 BC, conquered most of the northern kingdom, and surrounded its capital city Samaria; or Sargon II, who ruled 721-705 BC and took thousands of prisoners back to Assyria.
first gobbled Israel up.
Then Nebuchadnezzar,#50.17 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
king of Babylonia,
crunched on Israel's bones.
18I, the LORD All-Powerful,
the God of Israel,
punished the king of Assyria,
and I will also punish
the king of Babylonia.
19But I will bring Israel
back to its own land.
The people will be like sheep
eating their fill
on Mount Carmel
and in Bashan,
in the hill country of Ephraim
and in Gilead.
20I will rescue a few people
from Israel and Judah.
I will forgive them so completely
that their sin and guilt
will disappear,
never to be found.
The LORD's commands to the enemies of Babylonia
21The LORD said:
I have told
the enemies of Babylonia,
“Attack the people of Merathaim
and Pekod.#50.21 Merathaim…Pekod: Hebrew forms of two Babylonian names that refer to the land of Babylonia. Merathaim probably referred to lagoons near the mouth of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates or to the Persian Gulf, but in Hebrew it means “Twice as Rebellious”. Pekod referred to a tribe of south-eastern Babylonia, but in Hebrew it means “Punishment”.
Kill them all!
Destroy their possessions!”
22Sounds of war
and the noise of destruction
can be heard.
23Babylonia was a hammer
pounding every country,
but now it lies broken.
What a shock to the nations
of the world!
24Babylonia challenged me,
the LORD God All-Powerful,
but that nation doesn't know
it is caught in a trap
that I set.
25I've brought out my weapons,
and with them I will put a curse
on Babylonia.
26Come from far away,
you enemies of Babylon!
Pile up the grain
from its storehouses,
and destroy it completely,
along with everything else.
27Kill the soldiers of Babylonia,
because the time has come
for them to be punished.
28The Babylonian army
destroyed my temple,
but soon I will take revenge.
Then refugees from Babylon
will tell about it in Zion.
29Attack Babylon, enemy archers;#Rev 18.6.
set up camp around the city,
and don't let anyone escape.
It challenged me, the holy God,
so do to it
what it did to other cities.
Proud Babylon will fall
30People of Babylon,
I, the LORD, promise
that even your best soldiers
will lie dead in the streets.
31Babylon, you should be named,
“The Proud One”.
But the time has come when I,
the LORD All-Powerful,
will punish you.
32You are proud,
but you will stumble and fall,
and no one will help you up.
I will set your villages on fire,
and everything around you
will go up in flames.
33You Babylonians were cruel
to Israel and Judah.
You took them captive, and now
you refuse to let them go.
34But I, the LORD All-Powerful,
will rescue and protect them.
I will bring peace to their land
and trouble to yours.
35I have declared war on you,
your officials, and advisers.
36This war will prove
that your prophets
are liars and fools.
And it will frighten
your warriors.
37Then your chariot horses
and the foreigners in your army
will refuse to go into battle,
and the enemy will carry away
everything you treasure.
38Your rivers and canals
will dry up.
All this will happen,
because your land
is full of idols,
and they have made fools
of you.
39Never again will people live#Rev 18.2.
in your land—
only desert animals, jackals,#50.39 jackals: See the note at 9.11.
and unclean birds.
40I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah#Gn 19.24,25.
and the nearby towns,
and I will destroy Babylon
just as completely.
No one will live there again.
Babylonia is invaded
The LORD said:
41Far to the north,
a nation and its allies
have been awakened.
They are powerful
and ready for war.
42Bows and arrows and swords
are in their hands.
The soldiers are cruel
and show no pity.
The hoofbeats of their horses
echo like ocean waves
crashing against the shore.
The army has lined up for battle
and is coming to attack you,
people of Babylonia!
43Ever since your king heard
about this army,
he has been weak with fear;
he twists and turns in pain
like a woman giving birth.
44Babylonia, I will attack you
like a lion from the forest,
attacking sheep in a meadow
along the Jordan.
In a moment the flock runs,
and the land is empty.
Who will I choose to attack you?
I will do it myself!
No one can force me to fight
or chase me away.
45Listen to my plans for you,
people of Babylonia.
Your children will be dragged off,
and your country destroyed.
46The sounds of your destruction
will be heard among the nations,
and the earth will shake.