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A Message About Babylon

51:15–19pp—Jer 10:12–16

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylonn and the land of the Babyloniansa:

“Announce and proclaimo among the nations,

lift up a bannerp and proclaim it;

keep nothing back, but say,

‘Babylon will be captured;q

Belr will be put to shame,s

Mardukt filled with terror.

Her images will be put to shame

and her idolsu filled with terror.’

A nation from the northv will attack her

and lay waste her land.

No one will livew in it;

both people and animalsx will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”

declares the Lord,

“the people of Israel and the people of Judah togethery

will go in tearsz to seeka the Lord their God.

They will ask the wayb to Zion

and turn their faces toward it.

They will comec and bind themselves to the Lord

in an everlasting covenantd

that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;e

their shepherdsf have led them astrayg

and caused them to roam on the mountains.

They wandered over mountain and hillh

and forgot their own resting place.i

Whoever found them devouredj them;

their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty,k

for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,

the Lord, the hopel of their ancestors.’

“Fleem out of Babylon;n

leave the land of the Babylonians,

and be like the goats that lead the flock.

For I will stiro up and bring against Babylon

an alliance of great nationsp from the land of the north.q

They will take up their positions against her,

and from the north she will be captured.r

Their arrowss will be like skilled warriors

who do not return empty-handed.

10 So Babyloniab will be plundered;t

all who plunder her will have their fill,”

declares the Lord.

11 “Because you rejoice and are glad,

you who pillage my inheritance,u

because you frolic like a heiferv threshing grain

and neigh like stallions,

12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;

she who gave you birth will be disgraced.w

She will be the least of the nations—

a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.x

13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited

but will be completely desolate.y

All who pass Babylon will be appalled;z

they will scoffa because of all her wounds.b

14 “Take up your positions around Babylon,

all you who draw the bow.c

Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,d

for she has sinned against the Lord.

15 Shoute against her on every side!

She surrenders, her towers fall,

her wallsf are torn down.

Since this is the vengeanceg of the Lord,

take vengeance on her;

do to herh as she has done to others.i

16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,

and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.

Because of the swordj of the oppressor

let everyone return to their own people,k

let everyone flee to their own land.l

17 “Israel is a scattered flockm

that lionsn have chased away.

The first to devouro them

was the kingp of Assyria;

the last to crush their bonesq

was Nebuchadnezzarr kings of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land

as I punished the kingt of Assyria.u

19 But I will bringv Israel back to their own pasture,

and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;

their appetite will be satisfiedw

on the hillsx of Ephraim and Gilead.y

20 In those days, at that time,”

declares the Lord,

“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,

but there will be none,z

and for the sinsa of Judah,

but none will be found,

for I will forgiveb the remnantc I spare.

21 “Attack the land of Merathaim

and those who live in Pekod.d

Pursue, kill and completely destroyc them,”

declares the Lord.

“Do everything I have commanded you.

22 The noisee of battle is in the land,

the noise of great destruction!

23 How broken and shattered

is the hammerf of the whole earth!g

How desolateh is Babylon

among the nations!

24 I set a trapi for you, Babylon,

and you were caught before you knew it;

you were found and capturedj

because you opposedk the Lord.

25 The Lord has opened his arsenal

and brought out the weaponsl of his wrath,

for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do

in the land of the Babylonians.m

26 Come against her from afar.n

Break open her granaries;

pile her up like heaps of grain.o

Completely destroyp her

and leave her no remnant.

27 Kill all her young bulls;q

let them go down to the slaughter!r

Woe to them! For their days has come,

the timet for them to be punished.

28 Listen to the fugitivesu and refugees from Babylon

declaring in Zionv

how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,w

vengeance for his temple.x

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,

all those who draw the bow.y

Encamp all around her;

let no one escape.z

Repaya her for her deeds;b

do to her as she has done.

For she has defiedc the Lord,

the Holy Oned of Israel.

30 Therefore, her young mene will fall in the streets;

all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”

declares the Lord.

31 “See, I am againstf you, you arrogant one,”

declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,

“for your dayg has come,

the time for you to be punished.

32 The arroganth one will stumble and falli

and no one will help her up;j

I will kindle a firek in her towns

that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,l

and the people of Judah as well.

All their captors hold them fast,

refusing to let them go.m

34 Yet their Redeemern is strong;

the Lord Almightyo is his name.

He will vigorously defend their causep

so that he may bring restq to their land,

but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A swordr against the Babylonians!”s

declares the Lord

“against those who live in Babylon

and against her officials and wiset men!

36 A sword against her false prophets!

They will become fools.

A sword against her warriors!u

They will be filled with terror.v

37 A sword against her horses and chariotsw

and all the foreigners in her ranks!

They will become weaklings.x

A sword against her treasures!y

They will be plundered.

38 A drought ond her waters!z

They will drya up.

For it is a land of idols,b

idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creaturesc and hyenas will live there,

and there the owl will dwell.

It will never again be inhabited

or lived in from generation to generation.d

40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrahe

along with their neighboring towns,”

declares the Lord,

“so no one will live there;

no people will dwell in it.f

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;g

a great nation and many kings

are being stirredh up from the ends of the earth.i

42 They are armed with bowsj and spears;

they are cruelk and without mercy.l

They sound like the roaring seam

as they ride on their horses;

they come like men in battle formation

to attack you, Daughter Babylon.n

43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,

and his hands hang limp.o

Anguish has gripped him,

pain like that of a woman in labor.p

44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thicketsq

to a rich pastureland,

I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.

Who is the chosenr one I will appoint for this?

Who is like me and who can challenge me?s

And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,

what he has purposedt against the land of the Babylonians:u

The young of the flock will be dragged away;

their pasture will be appalled at their fate.

46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;v

its cryw will resound among the nations.


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