50 1THE WORD that the Lord spoke concerning and against Babylon and concerning and against the land of the Chaldeans through Jeremiah the prophet: 2Declare it among the nations and publish it and set up a signal [to spread the news]--publish and conceal it not; say, Babylon has been taken; Bel [the patron god] is put to shame, Merodach (Bel) is dismayed and broken down. [Babylon’s] images are put to shame, her [senseless] idols are thrown down! 3For out of the north there has come up a nation [Media] against her which will make her land desolate, and none will dwell there. They will have fled, they will be gone--from man even to beast. 4In those days and at that time, says the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; they shall come up weeping as they come and seek the Lord their God [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him, both by right of necessity and of the promises of God’s Word]. 5They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces in that direction, saying, Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. 6My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray [to favorite places of idolatry] on mountains [that seduce]. They have gone from [one sin to another] mountain to hill; they have forgotten their [own] resting-place. 7All who found them devoured them; and their adversaries said, We are not guilty, because they have sinned against the Lord [and are no longer holy to Him], their true habitation of righteousness and justice, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers. 8Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans; and be as the he-goats [who serve as examples and as leaders in the flight] before the flocks. 9For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country. They will equip and set themselves against her; from there she will be taken. Their arrows will be like [both] an expert, mighty warrior and like his arrows--none [of them] will return in vain. 10And Chaldea shall become plunder; all who plunder her shall be satisfied, says the Lord. 11Though you are glad, though you rejoice, O you who plunder My heritage, though you are wanton and skip about like a heifer at grass and neigh like strong stallions, 12Your mother [Babylon] shall be put to great shame; she who bore you shall blush and be disgraced. Behold, she shall be at the rear of the nations [least of the nations]--a wilderness, waste, and desert. 13Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited but shall be wholly desolate; everyone who goes by Babylon shall be appalled and hiss and mock at all her wounds and plagues. 14Set yourselves in array against Babylon round about, all you archers. Shoot at her! Spare not the arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord. 15Raise the battle cry against her round about! She gives her hand [in agreement] and surrenders; her supports and battlements fall, her walls are thrown down. For this is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance on her; as she has done [to others], do to her. 16Exterminate the sower from Babylon, and the one who handles the sickle in the time of harvest. For fear of the sword of the oppressor everyone shall return to his people, and everyone shall flee to his own land. 17Israel is a hunted and scattered sheep [driven hither and thither and preyed upon by savage beasts]; the lions have chased him. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last [Q]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon has broken and gnawed his bones. 18Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will visit and punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I visited and punished the king of Assyria. 19And I will bring Israel [home] again to his fold and pasturage, and he will feed on Carmel and Bashan [in the most fertile districts both west and east], and his soul will be satisfied upon the hills of Ephraim and Gilead. 20In those days and at that time, says the Lord, the iniquity of Israel will be sought, but there will be none, and the sins of Judah [will be sought], but none will be found, for I will pardon those whom I cause to remain as a remnant (the preserved ones who come forth after a long tribulation). 21Go up against [Babylon] the land of Merathaim [two rebellions, double or intense defiance], even against it and against the inhabitants of Pekod [visitation and punishment]. Slay and utterly destroy them, says the Lord, and do according to all that I have commanded you. 22The cry and noise of battle is in the land, and [the noise] of great destruction. 23How the hammer of the whole earth is crushed and broken! How Babylon has become a horror of desolation among the nations! 24I set a trap for you, and you also were taken, O Babylon, and you did not know it; you were found and also caught because you have struggled and contended against the Lord. 25The Lord has opened His armory and has brought forth [the nations who unknowingly are] the weapons of His indignation and wrath, for the Lord God of hosts has work to do in the land of the Chaldeans. 26Come against her from every quarter and from the utmost border. Open her granaries and storehouses; pile up [their contents] like heaps of rubbish. Burn and destroy her utterly; let nothing be left of her. 27Slay all her bullocks (her choice youths, the strength of her army); let them go down to the slaughter! Woe to [the Chaldeans]! For their day has come, the time of their visitation (their inspection and punishment). 28Listen! The voice of those [Jews] who flee and escape out of the land of Babylon proclaiming in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance [of the Lord upon the Chaldeans] for [the plundering and destruction of] His temple. 29Call together [many] archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp against her round about; let none from there escape. Recompense her according to her deeds; just as she has done, do to her. For against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel, has she been proudly defiant and presumptuous. 30Therefore shall her young men fall in her streets and squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, says the Lord. 31Behold, I am against you, O Babylon [you who are pride and presumption personified], says the Lord, the Lord of hosts, for your day has come, the time when I will visit and punish you. 32And Pride (the arrogant one) shall stumble (totter) and fall, and none shall raise him up. And I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all who are round about him. 33Thus says the Lord of hosts: The children of Israel and the children of Judah are oppressed together; all who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. 34Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is His name. He will surely and thoroughly plead their case and defend their cause, that He may give rest to [the land of Israel and to the Babylonian-enslaved nations of] the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon. 35A sword upon the Chaldeans, says the Lord--upon the inhabitants of Babylon and upon her princes (rulers in civic matters) and upon her wise men (the astrologers and rulers in religious affairs)! 36A sword upon the babbling liars (the diviners), that they may become fools! A sword upon her mighty warriors, that they may be dismayed and destroyed! 37A sword upon their horses and upon their chariots and upon all the mixed foreign troops that are in the midst of her, that they may become [as weak and defenseless as] women! A sword upon her treasures, that they may be plundered! 38A sword and a drought upon her waters, that they may be dried up! For it is a land of images, and they are mad over idols (objects of terror in which they foolishly trust). 39Therefore [R]wild beasts of the desert shall dwell [in Babylon] with the jackals, and ostriches shall dwell there. And it shall never again be inhabited with people, even from generation to generation. 40As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, says the Lord, so no man shall dwell there; neither shall any son of man live there temporarily. 41Behold, a people is coming from the north; and a great nation and many kings are stirring from the uttermost parts of the earth. 42They lay hold of bow, lance, and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy or compassion. They sound like the roaring of the sea; they ride upon horses, every man equipped like a man [ready] for the battle against you, O Daughter of Babylon! 43The king of Babylon has heard the news about them, and his hands fall feeble and helpless; anguish has seized him, and pangs like that of a woman in childbirth. 44See, there comes up one like a lion from the jungles (the pride) of the Jordan against the strong habitation [of Babylon] and into the permanent pasturage and sheepfold; for in a twinkling I will drive him [Babylon] from there. And I will appoint over him the one whom I choose. For who is like Me? And who will challenge Me and prosecute Me for this proceeding? And what [earthly, national] shepherd can stand before Me and defy Me? 45Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has made against Babylon, and His purposes which He has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely they shall be dragged away, even the little ones of the flock; surely He shall make their habitation desolate because of them and their fold amazed and appalled at their fate. 46At the cry, Babylon has been taken! the earth shall tremble, and the cry shall be heard among the nations.
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