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Jeremiah 51 Good News Translation (GNT)

Further Judgment on Babylonia

51 The Lord says, “I am bringing a destructive wind[a] against Babylonia and its people. I will send foreigners to destroy Babylonia like a wind that blows straw away. When that day of destruction comes, they will attack from every side and leave the land bare. Don't give its soldiers time to shoot their arrows or to put on their armor. Do not spare the young men! Destroy the whole army! They will be wounded and die in the streets of their cities. I, the Lord God Almighty, have not abandoned Israel and Judah, even though they have sinned against me, the Holy One of Israel. Run away from Babylonia! Run for your lives! Do not be killed because of Babylonia's sin. I am now taking my revenge and punishing it as it deserves. Babylonia was like a gold cup in my hand, making the whole world drunk. The nations drank its wine and went out of their minds. Babylonia has suddenly fallen and is destroyed! Mourn over it! Get medicine for its wounds, and maybe it can be healed. Foreigners living there said, ‘We tried to help Babylonia, but it was too late. Let's leave now and go back home. God has punished Babylonia with all his might and has destroyed it completely.’”

10 The Lord says, “My people shout, ‘The Lord has shown that we are in the right. Let's go and tell the people in Jerusalem what the Lord our God has done.’”

11 The Lord has stirred up the kings of Media, because he intends to destroy Babylonia. That is how he will take revenge for the destruction of his Temple.

The attacking officers command, “Sharpen your arrows! Get your shields ready! 12 Give the signal to attack Babylon's walls. Strengthen the guard! Post the sentries! Place troops in ambush!”

The Lord has done what he said he would do to the people of Babylonia. 13 That country has many rivers and rich treasures, but its time is up, and its thread of life is cut. 14 The Lord Almighty has sworn by his own life that he will bring many men to attack Babylonia like a swarm of locusts, and they will shout with victory.

A Hymn of Praise to God

15 The Lord made the earth by his power;
    by his wisdom he created the world
    and stretched out the heavens.
16 At his command the waters above the sky[b] roar;
    he brings clouds from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning flash in the rain
    and sends the wind from his storeroom.
17 At the sight of this, people feel stupid and senseless;
    those who make idols are disillusioned
    because the gods they make are false and lifeless.
18 They are worthless and should be despised;
    they will be destroyed when the Lord comes to deal with them.
19 The God of Jacob is not like them;
    he is the one who made everything,
    and he has chosen Israel to be his very own people.
    The Lord Almighty is his name.

The Lord's Hammer

20 The Lord says,

“Babylonia, you are my hammer, my weapon of war.
I used you to crush nations and kingdoms,
21     to shatter horses and riders,
    to shatter chariots and their drivers,
22     to kill men and women,
    to slay old and young,
    to kill boys and girls,
23     to slaughter shepherds and their flocks,
    to slaughter farmers and their plow horses,
    to crush rulers and high officials.”

Babylonia's Punishment

24 The Lord says, “You will see me repay Babylonia and its people for all the evil they did to Jerusalem. 25 Babylonia, you are like a mountain that destroys the whole world, but I, the Lord, am your enemy. I will take hold of you, level you to the ground, and leave you in ashes. 26 None of the stones from your ruins will ever be used again for building. You will be like a desert forever. I, the Lord, have spoken.

27 “Give the signal to attack! Blow the trumpet so that the nations can hear! Prepare the nations for war against Babylonia! Tell the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz to attack. Appoint an officer to lead the attack. Bring up the horses like a swarm of locusts. 28 Prepare the nations for war against Babylonia. Send for the kings of Media, their leaders and officials, and the armies of all the countries they control. 29 The earth trembles and shakes because the Lord is carrying out his plan to make Babylonia a desert, where no one lives. 30 The Babylonian soldiers have stopped fighting and remain in their forts. They have lost their courage and have become helpless. The city gates are broken down, and the houses are on fire. 31 Messenger after messenger runs to tell the king of Babylonia that his city has been broken into from every side. 32 The enemy have captured the river crossing and have set the fortresses on fire. The Babylonian soldiers have panicked. 33 Soon the enemy will cut them down and trample them like grain on a threshing place. I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, have spoken.”

34 The king of Babylonia cut Jerusalem up
    and ate it.
He emptied the city like a jar;
    like a monster he swallowed it.
He took what he wanted
    and threw the rest away.
35 Let the people of Zion say,
    “May Babylonia be held responsible
    for the violence done to us!”
Let the people of Jerusalem say,
    “May Babylonia be held responsible
    for what we have suffered!”

The Lord Will Help Israel

36 And so the Lord said to the people of Jerusalem, “I will take up your cause and will make your enemies pay for what they did to you. I will dry up the source of Babylonia's water and make its rivers go dry. 37 That country will become a pile of ruins where wild animals live. It will be a horrible sight; no one will live there, and all who see it will be terrified. 38 The Babylonians all roar like lions and growl like lion cubs. 39 Are they greedy? I will prepare them a feast and make them drunk and happy. They will go to sleep and never wake up. 40 I will take them to be slaughtered, like lambs, goats, and rams. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Babylon's Fate

41 The Lord says about Babylon: “The city that the whole world praised has been captured! What a horrifying sight Babylon has become to the nations! 42 The sea has rolled over Babylon and covered it with roaring waves. 43 The towns have become a horrifying sight and are like a waterless desert, where no one lives or even travels. 44 I will punish Bel, the god of Babylonia, and make him give up his stolen goods; the nations will not worship him any more.

“Babylon's walls have fallen. 45 People of Israel, run away from there! Run for your life from my fierce anger. 46 Do not lose courage or be afraid because of the rumors you hear. Every year a different rumor spreads—rumors of violence in the land and of one king fighting another. 47 And so the time is coming when I will deal with Babylonia's idols. The whole country will be put to shame, and all its people will be killed. 48 Everything on earth and in the sky will shout for joy when Babylonia falls to the people who come from the north to destroy it. 49 Babylonia caused the death of people all over the world, and now Babylonia will fall because it caused the death of so many Israelites. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

God's Message to the Israelites in Babylonia

50 The Lord says to his people in Babylonia: “You have escaped death! Now go! Don't wait! Though you are far from home, think about me, your Lord, and remember Jerusalem. 51 You say, ‘We've been disgraced and made ashamed; we feel completely helpless because foreigners have taken over the holy places in the Temple.’ 52 So then, I say that the time is coming when I will deal with Babylon's idols, and the wounded will groan throughout the country. 53 Even if Babylon could climb to the sky and build a strong fortress there, I would still send people to destroy it. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Further Destruction on Babylon

54 The Lord says,

“Listen to the sound of crying in Babylon,
    of mourning for the destruction in the land.
55 I am destroying Babylon
    and putting it to silence.
The armies rush in like roaring waves
    and attack with noisy shouts.
56 They have come to destroy Babylon;
    its soldiers are captured,
    and their bows are broken.
I am a God who punishes evil,
    and I will treat Babylon as it deserves.
57 I will make its rulers drunk—
    men of wisdom, leaders, and soldiers.
They will go to sleep and never wake up.
    I, the king, have spoken;
    I am the Lord Almighty.
58 The walls of mighty Babylon will be thrown to the ground,
    and its towering gates burned down.
The work of the nations is all for nothing;
    their efforts go up in flames.
I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”

Jeremiah's Message Is Sent to Babylonia

59 King Zedekiah's personal attendant was Seraiah, the son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah. In the fourth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah, Seraiah was going to Babylonia with him, and I gave him some instructions. 60 I wrote in a book an account of all the destruction that would come on Babylonia, as well as all these other things about Babylonia. 61 I told Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, be sure to read aloud to the people everything that is written here. 62 Then pray, ‘Lord, you have said that you would destroy this place, so that there would be no living creatures in it, neither people nor animals, and it would be like a desert forever.’ 63 Seraiah, when you finish reading this book to the people, then tie it to a rock and throw it into the Euphrates River 64 and say, ‘This is what will happen to Babylonia—it will sink and never rise again because of the destruction that the Lord is going to bring on it.’”[c]

The words of Jeremiah end here.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 51:1 destructive wind; or destroying spirit.
  2. Jeremiah 51:16 See Gn 1.6-8.
  3. Jeremiah 51:64 One ancient translation on it; Hebrew on it and they will become tired out.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Jeremiah 51 New International Version (NIV)

51 This is what the Lord says:

“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.[a]
I will send foreigners to Babylon
    to winnow her and to devastate her land;
they will oppose her on every side
    in the day of her disaster.
Let not the archer string his bow,
    nor let him put on his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
    completely destroy[b] her army.
They will fall down slain in Babylon,[c]
    fatally wounded in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
    by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land[d] is full of guilt
    before the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from Babylon!
    Run for your lives!
    Do not be destroyed because of her sins.
It is time for the Lord’s vengeance;
    he will repay her what she deserves.
Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;
    she made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine;
    therefore they have now gone mad.
Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.
    Wail over her!
Get balm for her pain;
    perhaps she can be healed.

“‘We would have healed Babylon,
    but she cannot be healed;
let us leave her and each go to our own land,
    for her judgment reaches to the skies,
    it rises as high as the heavens.’

10 “‘The Lord has vindicated us;
    come, let us tell in Zion
    what the Lord our God has done.’

11 “Sharpen the arrows,
    take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
    because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.
12 Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon!
    Reinforce the guard,
station the watchmen,
    prepare an ambush!
The Lord will carry out his purpose,
    his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters
    and are rich in treasures,
your end has come,
    the time for you to be destroyed.
14 The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:
    I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,
    and they will shout in triumph over you.

15 “He made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
16 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

17 “Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
    they have no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,
including the people of his inheritance
    the Lord Almighty is his name.

20 “You are my war club,
    my weapon for battle—
with you I shatter nations,
    with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider,
    with you I shatter chariot and driver,
22 with you I shatter man and woman,
    with you I shatter old man and youth,
    with you I shatter young man and young woman,
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock,
    with you I shatter farmer and oxen,
    with you I shatter governors and officials.

24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia[e] for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.

25 “I am against you, you destroying mountain,
    you who destroy the whole earth,”
declares the Lord.
“I will stretch out my hand against you,
    roll you off the cliffs,
    and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
    nor any stone for a foundation,
    for you will be desolate forever,”
declares the Lord.

27 “Lift up a banner in the land!
    Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations for battle against her;
    summon against her these kingdoms:
    Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander against her;
    send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her—
    the kings of the Medes,
their governors and all their officials,
    and all the countries they rule.
29 The land trembles and writhes,
    for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand—
to lay waste the land of Babylon
    so that no one will live there.
30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;
    they remain in their strongholds.
Their strength is exhausted;
    they have become weaklings.
Her dwellings are set on fire;
    the bars of her gates are broken.
31 One courier follows another
    and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
    that his entire city is captured,
32 the river crossings seized,
    the marshes set on fire,
    and the soldiers terrified.

33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time it is trampled;
    the time to harvest her will soon come.

34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,
    he has thrown us into confusion,
    he has made us an empty jar.
Like a serpent he has swallowed us
    and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
    and then has spewed us out.
35 May the violence done to our flesh[f] be on Babylon,”
    say the inhabitants of Zion.
“May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”
    says Jerusalem.

36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“See, I will defend your cause
    and avenge you;
I will dry up her sea
    and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,
    a place where no one lives.
38 Her people all roar like young lions,
    they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused,
    I will set out a feast for them
    and make them drunk,
so that they shout with laughter—
    then sleep forever and not awake,”
declares the Lord.
40 “I will bring them down
    like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and goats.

41 “How Sheshak[g] will be captured,
    the boast of the whole earth seized!
How desolate Babylon will be
    among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon;
    its roaring waves will cover her.
43 Her towns will be desolate,
    a dry and desert land,
a land where no one lives,
    through which no one travels.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon
    and make him spew out what he has swallowed.
The nations will no longer stream to him.
    And the wall of Babylon will fall.

45 “Come out of her, my people!
    Run for your lives!
    Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 Do not lose heart or be afraid
    when rumors are heard in the land;
one rumor comes this year, another the next,
    rumors of violence in the land
    and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come
    when I will punish the idols of Babylon;
her whole land will be disgraced
    and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
    will shout for joy over Babylon,
for out of the north
    destroyers will attack her,”
declares the Lord.

49 “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,
    just as the slain in all the earth
    have fallen because of Babylon.
50 You who have escaped the sword,
    leave and do not linger!
Remember the Lord in a distant land,
    and call to mind Jerusalem.”

51 “We are disgraced,
    for we have been insulted
    and shame covers our faces,
because foreigners have entered
    the holy places of the Lord’s house.”

52 “But days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will punish her idols,
and throughout her land
    the wounded will groan.
53 Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens
    and fortifies her lofty stronghold,
    I will send destroyers against her,”
declares the Lord.

54 “The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
    the sound of great destruction
    from the land of the Babylonians.[h]
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
    he will silence her noisy din.
Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;
    the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon;
    her warriors will be captured,
    and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
    he will repay in full.
57 I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
    her governors, officers and warriors as well;
they will sleep forever and not awake,”
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.

58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled
    and her high gates set on fire;
the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,
    the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”

59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”

The words of Jeremiah end here.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 51:1 Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
  2. Jeremiah 51:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  3. Jeremiah 51:4 Or Chaldea
  4. Jeremiah 51:5 Or Almighty, / and the land of the Babylonians
  5. Jeremiah 51:24 Or Chaldea; also in verse 35
  6. Jeremiah 51:35 Or done to us and to our children
  7. Jeremiah 51:41 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  8. Jeremiah 51:54 Or Chaldeans
New International Version (NIV)

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