A Message Concerning Babylon
1The word that Yahweh spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by the hand of Jeremiah the prophet:
2“Declare among the nations and proclaim,
and lift up a banner.
Proclaim, you must not conceal it.
Say, ‘Babylon is captured,
Bel is ashamed,
Merodach is filled with terror,
her idols are ashamed,
her idols are filled with terror.
3For a nation will come up against her from the north.
It will make her land as a horror,
and an inhabitant will not be in her.
From humans#Hebrew “human” to animals#Hebrew “animal” they all will wander off.
They will go away.
4In those days and in that time,’ ” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“the people#Or “sons/children” of Israel will come,
they and the people#Or “sons/children” of Judah together.
Weeping as they go,#Literally “They shall go and weeping” they will go,
and Yahweh their God they will seek.
5They will ask the way to Zion,
turning their faces there.
They will come and join themselves to Yahweh
by an everlasting covenant#Literally “a covenant of eternity” that will not be forgotten.
6My people have become lost sheep,
their shepherds have caused them to go astray.
They led them away to the mountains.
From mountain to hill they have gone,
they have forgotten their resting place.
7All those who found them have devoured them.
And their foes have said, ‘We are not guilty,
because#Literally “under that” they have sinned against Yahweh, the true pasture,#Literally “settlement of righteousness”
even Yahweh, the hope of their ancestors.’#Or “fathers”
8Flee from the midst of Babylon,
and from the land of the Chaldeans.
Go out and be like he-goats
before#Literally “to the face of” the flock.
9For look, I am going to stir up,
and I am going to bring against Babylon
a contingent of great nations
from the land of the north.
And they will draw up a battle formation against her,
from there she will be captured.
Their arrows are like a warrior who has achieved success,
he does not return without success.
10And Chaldea will be as booty,
all those who plunder her will be satisfied,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
11“Though you rejoice, though you exult,
O plunderers of my inheritance,
though you frisk about like a heifer on the grass,
and you neigh like the powerful stallions,
12your mother will be very ashamed.
She who gave birth to you will be humiliated.#Or “ashamed”
Look, she will be the least of the nations,
a desert,#Or “wilderness” dry land, and wilderness.#Or “Arabah”
13Because of the anger of Yahweh she will not be inhabited,
but she will be a wasteland, all of her.
Everyone who passes by Babylon will be appalled
and will hiss because of all her wounds.
14Draw up a battle formation at Babylon all around,
all those who bend the bow, shoot at her.
You must not spare arrows,#Hebrew “arrow”
for she has sinned against Yahweh.
15Raise a war cry against her on all sides.
She has surrendered.#Literally “She has given her hand”
Her towers have fallen,
her walls are ruined.
For this is the vengeance of Yahweh.
Take revenge on her.
As she has done to others,
so do to her.
16Cut off the sower from Babylon,
and the one who uses the sickle in the time of harvest.
Because of#Literally “From the face of” the sword of the oppressor
each one will turn to their people,
and each one will flee to their land.
17Israel is a sheep scattered,
lions drove them away.
The first who devoured it was the king of Assyria,
and now at the end Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, gnawed its bones.”
18Therefore#Literally “To thus” thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel,
“Look, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
19And I will restore Israel to its pasture,
and it will feed on Carmel, and in Bashan,
and on the hills#Hebrew “hill” of Ephraim, and in Gilead
its hunger will be satisfied.
20In those days and at that time,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“the guilt of Israel will be sought, but there is none,
and the sins of Judah, but they will not be found,
for I will forgive those I left behind.
21To the land of Merathaim,
go up against her,
and against the inhabitants of Pekod,
massacre and destroy them,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“and do according to all that I have commanded you.
22The sound of battle is in the land,
and great destruction.
23How the blacksmith’s hammer of all the earth is cut down and broken!
How Babylon has become as a horror among the nations!
24I laid a bird snare for you, and you were caught, O Babylon.
But you yourself did not know.
You were discovered and seized,
because with Yahweh you measured yourself.
25Yahweh has opened his armory,
and he has brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for it is a word for my Lord Yahweh of hosts
in the land of the Chaldeans.
26Come against her from the end,
open her granaries.
Pile her up like heaps and destroy her.
Let there be no remnant for her.
27Massacre all her bulls,
let them go down to the slaughtering.
Woe to them, for their day has come,
the time of their punishment.
28There is the sound of fugitives and survivors
from the land of Babylon,
to declare in Zion the vengeance of Yahweh our God,
the vengeance for his temple.
29Summon archers against Babylon,
all those who bend the bow.
Encamp all around her,
there must not be for her an escape.
Take revenge on her according to her deeds.
According to all that she has done, so do to her.
For against Yahweh she has behaved insolently,
against the Holy One of Israel.
30Therefore#Literally “To thus” her young men will fall in her public squares,
and all her soldiers#Literally “her the men of war” will perish on that day,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
31“Look, I am against you, O arrogant one,”
declares#Literally “a declaration of” Lord Yahweh of hosts,
“for your day has come,
the time when I will punish you.
32And the arrogant one will stumble and fall,
and there is no one who raises him up.
And I will kindle a fire in his cities,
and it will devour everything around him.”
33Thus says Yahweh of hosts:
“The people#Or “sons/children” of Israel are oppressed,
and the people#Or “sons/children” of Judah likewise,
for#Literally “and” all their captors have seized them,
they refuse to let them go free.
34Their redeemer is strong,
his name is Yahweh of hosts.
Surely he will plead their case,
in order to make peace for the earth,
but to cause unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.
35A sword against the Chaldeans,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“and against the inhabitants of Babylon,
and against her officials,
and against her wise men.
36A sword against the oracle priests,
and they will become foolish.
A sword against her warriors,
and they will be filled with terror.
37A sword against his horses,
and against his chariots,#Hebrew “chariot”
and against all the foreign troops who are in the midst of her,
so that they may become as women.
A sword against her treasures,
so that they may be plundered.
38A drought will come against her waters,
and they will dry up,
for it is a land of images,
and because of the frightful objects, they act like madmen.
39Therefore#Literally “To thus” desert creatures will live there#Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation with jackals,
and daughters of ostriches#Hebrew “ostrich” will inhabit her.
And she will not be inhabited again forever,#Literally “to eternity”
and she will not be dwelt in for all generations.#Literally “until generation and generation”
40As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighbors,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“no one will live there,
and the son of humankind will not dwell as an alien in her.
41Look, a people is about to come
from the north,
and a great nation and many kings are woken up
from the remotest part of the earth.
42They keep hold of bow and short sword.
They are cruel and they have no mercy.
Their sound is like the sea, it roars,
and upon horses they ride.
Drawn up for battle as a man for the battle,
against you, O daughter of Babylon.
43The king of Babylon heard their report
and his hands grew slack.
Anxiety has seized him,
fear and pain like the woman who gives birth.
44Look, like a lion he comes up from the thickets#Hebrew “thicket” of the Jordan
against a pastureland by a constantly flowing stream,#Literally “a pasture of ever-flowing”
so I will chase them away quickly#Literally “I will do in an instant I will cause them to run” from her,
and I will appoint whoever is chosen over her.
For who is like me, and who can summon me,
and who is this shepherd who can stand before me?#Literally “to the face of me”
45Therefore#Literally “To thus” hear the plan of Yahweh
that he has planned against Babylon,
and his plans
that he has planned against the land of the Chaldeans.
Surely#Literally “If not” they will drag them away,
the little ones of the flock.
Surely#Literally “If not” he will cause their grazing place
to be desolate over them.
46At the sound, ‘Babylon has been captured,’
the earth will quake,
and a cry for help among the nations
will be heard.”