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Jeremiah 51

Jeremiah :Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Babylon Will Be Destroyed
1 I, the Lord, am sending
a wind
b 51.1 wind: Or “spirit.”
to destroy
the people of Babylonia
c 51.1 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has “Leb-Qamai,” a secret way of writing “Babylonia.”
and Babylon, its capital.
51 Chapter recording
List of all recordings of KJV
1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;
midst: Heb. heart
2 Foreign soldiers will come
from every direction,
and when the disaster is over,
Babylonia will be empty
and worthless.
2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
3 I will tell these soldiers,
“Attack quickly,
before the Babylonians
can string their bows
or put on their armor.
d 51.3 I will tell ... armor: Or “Attack quickly! String your bows and put on your armor.”
Kill their best soldiers
and destroy their army!”
3 Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.
4 Their troops will fall wounded
in the streets of Babylon.
4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.

5 Everyone in Israel and Judah
is guilty.
But I, the Lord All-Powerful,
their holy God,
have not abandoned them.
5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

6 Get out of Babylon!
Run for your lives!
If you stay, you will be killed
when I take revenge on the city
and punish it for its sins.
6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.

7 Babylon was my golden cup,
51.7 Rev 17.2
filled with the wine
of my anger.
The nations of the world
got drunk on this wine
and went insane.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
8 But suddenly, Babylon will fall
and be destroyed.

I, the Lord, told the foreigners
e 51.8 the foreigners: Or “my people.”
who lived there,
“Weep for the city!
Get medicine for its wounds;
maybe they will heal.”
8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

9 The foreigners answered,
“We have already tried
to treat Babylon's wounds,
but they would not heal.
Come on, let's all go home
to our own countries.
Nothing is left in Babylonia;
everything is destroyed.”
9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

10 The people of Israel said,
“Tell everyone in Zion!
The Lord has taken revenge
for what Babylon did to us.”
10 The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.
The Lord Wants Babylon Destroyed
11 I, the Lord,
want Babylon destroyed,
because its army
destroyed my temple.
So, you kings of Media,
f 51.11 kings of Media: Probably kings of smaller kingdoms that were part of the Median empire (see also verse 27 and the note there).
sharpen your arrows
and pick up your shields.
11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.
bright: Heb. pure
12 Raise the signal flag
and attack the city walls.
Post more guards.
Have soldiers watch the city
and set up ambushes.
I have made plans
to destroy Babylon,
and nothing will stop me.
12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.
ambushes: Heb. liers in wait

13 People of Babylon, you live
51.13 Rev 17.1.
along the Euphrates River
and are surrounded by canals.
You are rich,
but now the time has come
for you to die.
g 51.13 for you to die: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.
14 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
swear by my own life
that enemy soldiers
will fill your streets
like a swarm of locusts.
h 51.14 locusts: See the note at 46.22,23.
They will shout
and celebrate their victory.
14 The LORD of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillers; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.
by himself: Heb. by his soul
lift up: Heb. utter
A Hymn of Praise
(Jeremiah 10.12-16)
15 God used his wisdom and power
to create the earth
and spread out the heavens.
15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.
16 The waters in the heavens roar
at his command.
He makes clouds appear;
he sends the wind
from his storehouse
and makes lightning flash
in the rain.
16 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
multitude: or, noise

17 People who make idols
are stupid!
They will be disappointed,
because their false gods
cannot breathe.
17 Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
is brutish...: or, is more brutish than to know
18 Idols are merely a joke,
and when the time is right,
they will be destroyed.
18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
19 But the Lord, Israel's God,
is all-powerful.
He created everything,
and he chose Israel
to be his very own.
God's Hammer
The Lord said:
19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

20 Babylonia, you were my hammer;
I used you to pound nations
and break kingdoms,
20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
with thee: or, in thee, or, by thee
21 to shatter cavalry and chariots,
21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;
22 as well as men and women,
young and old,
22 With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;
23 shepherds and their flocks,
farmers and their oxen,
and governors and leaders.
23 I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.

24 But now, my people will watch,
while I repay you
for what you did to Zion.
24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.

25 You destroyed the nations
and seem strong as a mountain,
but I am your enemy.
I might even grab you
and roll you off a cliff.
When I am finished,
you'll only be a pile
of scorched bricks.
25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
26 Your stone blocks won't be reused
for cornerstones
or foundations,
and I promise that forever
you will be a desert.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
The Nations Will Attack Babylon
The Lord said:
26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.
desolate...: Heb. everlasting desolations

27 Signal the nations
to get ready to attack.
Raise a flag and blow a trumpet.
Send for the armies of Ararat,
Minni, and Ashkenaz.
i 51.27 Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: Kingdoms to the north of Babylonia that were part of the Median empire (see also verse 28).
Choose a commander;
let the cavalry attack
like a swarm of locusts.
27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers.
28 Tell the kings and governors,
the leaders and the people
of the kingdoms of the Medes
to prepare for war!
28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.

29 The earth twists and turns
in torment,
because I have decided
to make Babylonia a desert
where no one can live,
and I won't change my mind.
29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.

30 The Babylonian soldiers
have lost their strength
and courage.
j 51.30 have lost their strength and courage: Hebrew “have lost their strength and have become like women.”
They stay in their fortresses,
unable to fight,
while the enemy breaks through
the city gates,
then sets their homes on fire.
30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken.
31 One messenger after another
announces to the king,
“Babylon has been captured!
31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end,
32 The enemy now controls
the river crossings!
The marshes
k 51.32 marshes: The tall grass in the marshes could have provided hiding places for people trying to escape from Babylon.
are on fire!
Your army has panicked!”
32 And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

33 I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the God of Israel,
and I make this promise—
“Soon Babylon will be leveled
and packed down
like a threshing place
at harvest time.”
l 51.33 leveled ... harvest time: A threshing place with a dirt surface had to be leveled and packed down before it could be used.
33 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.
it is...: or, in the time that he thresheth her
Babylonia Will Pay!
34 The people of Jerusalem say,
“King Nebuchadnezzar
m 51.34 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
made us panic.
That monster stuffed himself
with us and our treasures,
leaving us empty—
he gobbled down
what he wanted
and spit out the rest.
34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.
35 The people of Babylonia
harmed some of us
n 51.35 harmed some of us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and killed others.
Now, Lord, make them pay!”
35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.
The violence...: Heb. My violence
flesh: or, remainder
inhabitant: Heb. inhabitress
The Lord Will Take Revenge on Babylon
36 My people, I am on your side,
and I will take revenge
on Babylon.
I will cut off its water supply,
and its stream
o 51.36 stream: Probably the Euphrates River.
will dry up.
36 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a pile of rubble
where only jackals
p 51.37 jackals: See the note at 9.11.
People will laugh,
but they will be afraid
to walk among the ruins.
37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
38 The Babylonians roar and growl
like young lions.
38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps.
yell: or, shake themselves
39 And since they are hungry,
I will give them a banquet.
They will celebrate, get drunk,
then fall asleep,
never to wake up!
39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD.
40 I will lead them away to die,
like sheep, lambs, and goats
being led to the butcher.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats.
41 All nations now praise Babylon,
q 51.41 Babylon: The Hebrew text has “Sheshach,” a secret way of writing the name “Babylon.”
but when it is captured,
those same nations
will be horrified.
41 How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!
42 Babylon's enemies will rise
like ocean waves
and flood the city.
42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
43 Horrible destruction will strike
the nearby towns.
The land will become
a barren desert,
where no one can live
or even travel.
43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.
44 I will punish Marduk,
r 51.44 Marduk: Hebrew “Bel” (see the note at 50.2).
the god of Babylon,
and make him vomit up
everything he gobbled down.
Then nations will no longer
bring him gifts,
and Babylon's walls will crumble.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
The Lord Offers Hope to His People
45 Get out of Babylon, my people,
and run for your lives,
before I strike the city
in my anger!
45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.
46 Don't be afraid or lose hope,
though year after year
there are rumors
of leaders fighting for control
in the city of Babylon.
46 And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
lest: or, let not
47 The time will come
when I will punish
Babylon's false gods.
Everyone there will die,
and the whole nation
will be disgraced,
47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
do...: Heb. visit upon
48 when an army attacks
51.48 Rev 18.20.
from the north
and brings destruction.
Then the earth and the heavens
and everything in them
will celebrate.
48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the LORD.
49 Babylon must be overthrown,
51.49 Rev 18.24.
because it slaughtered
the people of Israel
and of many other nations.
49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.
As...: or, Both Babylon is to fall, O ye slain of Israel, and with Babylon, etc
the earth: or, the country

50 My people, you escaped death
when Jerusalem fell.
Now you live far from home,
but you should trust me
and think about Jerusalem.
Leave Babylon! Don't stay!
50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.

51 You feel ashamed and disgraced,
because foreigners have entered
my sacred temple.
51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD'S house.
52 Soon I will send a war
to punish Babylon's idols
and leave its wounded people
moaning everywhere.
52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 Although Babylon's walls
reach to the sky,
the army I send
will destroy that city.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
Babylon Will Be Destroyed
The Lord said:
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD.

54 Listen to the cries for help
coming from Babylon.
Everywhere in the country
the sounds of destruction
can be heard.
54 A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:
55 The shouts of the enemy,
like crashing ocean waves,
will drown out Babylon's cries
as I level the city.
55 Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered:

56 An enemy will attack
and destroy Babylon.
Its soldiers will be captured
and their weapons broken,
because I am a God
who takes revenge against nations
for what they do.
56 Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.
57 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
the true King, promise
that the officials and advisors,
the governors and leaders
and the soldiers of Babylon
will get drunk, fall asleep,
and never wake up.
57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
58 The thick walls of that city
will be torn down,
and its huge gates burned.
Everything that nation
worked so hard to gain
will go up in smoke.
58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.
The broad...: or, The walls of broad Babylon
broken: or, made naked
Jeremiah Gives Seraiah a Scroll
59 During Zedekiah's
s 51.59 Zedekiah's: See the note at 1.3.
fourth year as king of Judah, he went to Babylon. And Baruch's brother Seraiah
t 51.59 Baruch's brother Seraiah: Hebrew “Seraiah son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah”; Baruch helped Jeremiah write down his messages (see 32.12; 36.4-10).
went along as the officer in charge of arranging for places to stay overnight.
u 51.59 arranging for places to stay overnight: Hebrew and one ancient translation; two ancient translations, “the tax money.”
59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince.
with: or, on the behalf of
quiet...: or, prince of Menucha, or, chief chamberlain
60 Before they left, I wrote on a scroll
v 51.60 scroll: See the note at 30.1,2.
all the terrible things that would happen to Babylon.
60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.
61 I gave the scroll to Seraiah and said:
When you get to Babylon, read this scroll aloud,
61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;
62 then pray, “Our Lord, you promised to destroy this place and make it into a desert where no people or animals will ever live.” 62 Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
desolate: Heb. desolations
63 When you finish praying, tie the scroll to a rock and throw it in the Euphrates River. Then say,
51.63,64 Rev 18.21.
63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
64 “This is how Babylon will sink when the Lord destroys it. Everyone in the city will die, and it won't have the strength to rise again.”
The End of Jeremiah's Writing
Jeremiah's writing ends here.
64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

© 1999 American Bible Society

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