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JER 46-51

Judgement on Egypt

46The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations.

Concerning Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:
3 Prepare buckler and shield,
   and advance for battle!
4 Harness the horses;
   mount the steeds!
Take your stations with your helmets,
   whet your lances,
   put on your coats of mail!
5 Why do I see them terrified?
   They have fallen back;
their warriors are beaten down,
   and have fled in haste.
They do not look back—
   terror is all around!

says the Lord.
6 The swift cannot flee away,
   nor can the warrior escape;
in the north by the river Euphrates
   they have stumbled and fallen.

7 Who is this, rising like the Nile,
   like rivers whose waters surge?
8 Egypt rises like the Nile,
   like rivers whose waters surge.
It said, Let me rise, let me cover the earth,
   let me destroy cities and their inhabitants.
9 Advance, O horses,
   and dash madly, O chariots!
Let the warriors go forth:
   Ethiopia* and Put who carry the shield,
   the Ludim, who draw* the bow.
10 That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts,
   a day of retribution,
   to gain vindication from his foes.
The sword shall devour and be sated,
   and drink its fill of their blood.
For the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice
   in the land of the north by the river Euphrates.
11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm,
   O virgin daughter Egypt!
In vain you have used many medicines;
   there is no healing for you.
12 The nations have heard of your shame,
   and the earth is full of your cry;
for warrior has stumbled against warrior;
   both have fallen together.

Babylonia Will Strike Egypt

13 The word that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt:
14 Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol;
   proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes;
Say, ‘Take your stations and be ready,
   for the sword shall devour those around you.’
15 Why has Apis fled?*
   Why did your bull not stand?
   —because the Lord thrust him down.
16 Your multitude stumbled* and fell,
   and one said to another,*
‘Come, let us go back to our own people
   and to the land of our birth,
   because of the destroying sword.’
17 Give Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the name
   ‘Braggart who missed his chance.’

18 As I live, says the King,
   whose name is the Lord of hosts,
one is coming
   like Tabor among the mountains,
   and like Carmel by the sea.
19 Pack your bags for exile,
   sheltered daughter Egypt!
For Memphis shall become a waste,
   a ruin, without inhabitant.

20 A beautiful heifer is Egypt—
   a gadfly from the north lights upon her.
21 Even her mercenaries in her midst
   are like fatted calves;
they too have turned and fled together,
   they did not stand;
for the day of their calamity has come upon them,
   the time of their punishment.

22 She makes a sound like a snake gliding away;
   for her enemies march in force,
and come against her with axes,
   like those who fell trees.
23 They shall cut down her forest,

says the Lord,
   though it is impenetrable,
because they are more numerous
   than locusts;
   they are without number.
24 Daughter Egypt shall be put to shame;
   she shall be handed over to a people from the north.

25 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, said: See, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26I will hand them over to those who seek their life, to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and his officers. Afterwards Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, says the Lord.

God Will Save Israel

27 But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob,
   and do not be dismayed, O Israel;
for I am going to save you from far away,
   and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
   and no one shall make him afraid.
28 As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob,

says the Lord,
   for I am with you.
I will make an end of all the nations
   among which I have banished you,
   but I will not make an end of you!
I will chastise you in just measure,
   and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

Judgement on the Philistines

47The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza:
2 Thus says the Lord:
See, waters are rising out of the north
   and shall become an overflowing torrent;
they shall overflow the land and all that fills it,
   the city and those who live in it.
People shall cry out,
   and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail.
3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions,
   at the clatter of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels,
parents do not turn back for children,
   so feeble are their hands,
4 because of the day that is coming
   to destroy all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
   every helper that remains.
For the Lord is destroying the Philistines,
   the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
5 Baldness has come upon Gaza,
   Ashkelon is silenced.
O remnant of their power!*
   How long will you gash yourselves?
6 Ah, sword of the Lord!
   How long until you are quiet?
Put yourself into your scabbard,
   rest and be still!
7 How can it* be quiet,
   when the Lord has given it an order?
Against Ashkelon and against the seashore—
   there he has appointed it.

Judgement on Moab

48Concerning Moab.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
Alas for Nebo, it is laid waste!
   Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken;
the fortress is put to shame and broken down;
2   the renown of Moab is no more.
In Heshbon they planned evil against her:
   ‘Come, let us cut her off from being a nation!’
You also, O Madmen, shall be brought to silence;*
   the sword shall pursue you.

3 Hark! a cry from Horonaim,
   ‘Desolation and great destruction!’
4 ‘Moab is destroyed!’
   her little ones cry out.
5 For at the ascent of Luhith
   they go* up weeping bitterly;
for at the descent of Horonaim
   they have heard the distressing cry of anguish.
6 Flee! Save yourselves!
   Be like a wild ass* in the desert!

7 Surely, because you trusted in your strongholds* and your treasures,
   you also shall be taken;
Chemosh shall go out into exile,
   with his priests and his attendants.
8 The destroyer shall come upon every town,
   and no town shall escape;
the valley shall perish,
   and the plain shall be destroyed,
   as the Lord has spoken.

9 Set aside salt for Moab,
   for she will surely fall;
her towns shall become a desolation,
   with no inhabitant in them.

10 Accursed is the one who is slack in doing the work of the Lord; and accursed is the one who keeps back the sword from bloodshed.

11 Moab has been at ease from his youth,
   settled like wine* on its dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
   nor has he gone into exile;
therefore his flavour has remained
   and his aroma is unspoiled.

12 Therefore, the time is surely coming, says the Lord, when I shall send to him decanters to decant him, and empty his vessels, and break his* jars in pieces. 13Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

14 How can you say, ‘We are heroes
   and mighty warriors’?
15 The destroyer of Moab and his towns has come up,
   and the choicest of his young men have gone down to slaughter,
   says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16 The calamity of Moab is near at hand
   and his doom approaches swiftly.
17 Mourn over him, all you his neighbours,
   and all who know his name;
say, ‘How the mighty sceptre is broken,
   the glorious staff!’

18 Come down from glory,
   and sit on the parched ground,
   enthroned daughter Dibon!
For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you;
   he has destroyed your strongholds.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
   you inhabitant of Aroer!
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping;
   say, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is put to shame, for it is broken down;
   wail and cry!
Tell it by the Arnon,
   that Moab is laid waste.

21 Judgement has come upon the tableland, upon Holon, and Jahzah, and Mephaath, 22and Dibon, and Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, 23and Kiriathaim, and Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, 24and Kerioth, and Bozrah, and all the towns of the land of Moab, far and near. 25The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, says the Lord.

26 Make him drunk, because he magnified himself against the Lord; let Moab wallow in his vomit; he too shall become a laughing-stock. 27Israel was a laughing-stock for you, though he was not caught among thieves; but whenever you spoke of him you shook your head!

28 Leave the towns, and live on the rock,
   O inhabitants of Moab!
Be like the dove that nests
   on the sides of the mouth of a gorge.
29 We have heard of the pride of Moab—
   he is very proud—
of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance,
   and the haughtiness of his heart.
30 I myself know his insolence, says the Lord;
   his boasts are false,
   his deeds are false.
31 Therefore I wail for Moab;
   I cry out for all Moab;
   for the people of Kir-heres I mourn.
32 More than for Jazer I weep for you,
   O vine of Sibmah!
Your branches crossed over the sea,
   reached as far as Jazer;*
upon your summer fruits and your vintage
   the destroyer has fallen.
33 Gladness and joy have been taken away
   from the fruitful land of Moab;
I have stopped the wine from the wine presses;
   no one treads them with shouts of joy;
   the shouting is not the shout of joy.

34 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;* as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For even the waters of Nimrim have become desolate. 35And I will bring to an end in Moab, says the Lord, those who offer sacrifice at a high place and make offerings to their gods. 36Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the people of Kir-heres; for the riches they gained have perished.

37 For every head is shaved and every beard cut off; on all the hands there are gashes, and on the loins sackcloth. 38On all the housetops of Moab and in the squares there is nothing but lamentation; for I have broken Moab like a vessel that no one wants, says the Lord. 39How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become a derision and a horror to all his neighbours.
40 For thus says the Lord:
Look, he shall swoop down like an eagle,
   and spread his wings against Moab;
41 the towns* shall be taken
   and the strongholds seized.
The hearts of the warriors of Moab, on that day,
   shall be like the heart of a woman in labour.
42 Moab shall be destroyed as a people,
   because he magnified himself against the Lord.
43 Terror, pit, and trap
   are before you, O inhabitants of Moab!

says the Lord.
44 Everyone who flees from the terror
   shall fall into the pit,
and everyone who climbs out of the pit
   shall be caught in the trap.
For I will bring these things* upon Moab
   in the year of their punishment,

says the Lord.

45 In the shadow of Heshbon
   fugitives stop exhausted;
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
   a flame from the house of Sihon;
it has destroyed the forehead of Moab,
   the scalp of the people of tumult.*
46 Woe to you, O Moab!
   The people of Chemosh have perished,
for your sons have been taken captive,
   and your daughters into captivity.
47 Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
   in the latter days, says the Lord.
Thus far is the judgement on Moab.

Judgement on the Ammonites

49Concerning the Ammonites.

Thus says the Lord:
Has Israel no sons?
   Has he no heir?
Why then has Milcom dispossessed Gad,
   and his people settled in its towns?
2 Therefore, the time is surely coming,
   says the Lord,
when I will sound the battle alarm
   against Rabbah of the Ammonites;
it shall become a desolate mound,
   and its villages shall be burned with fire;
then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him,
   says the Lord.

3 Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste!
   Cry out, O daughters* of Rabbah!
Put on sackcloth,
   lament, and slash yourselves with whips!*
For Milcom shall go into exile,
   with his priests and his attendants.
4 Why do you boast in your strength?
   Your strength is ebbing,
O faithless daughter.
   You trusted in your treasures, saying,
   ‘Who will attack me?’
5 I am going to bring terror upon you,
   says the Lord God of hosts,
   from all your neighbours,
and you will be scattered, each headlong,
   with no one to gather the fugitives.

But afterwards I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, says the Lord.

Judgement on Edom

Concerning Edom.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Is there no longer wisdom in Teman?
   Has counsel perished from the prudent?
   Has their wisdom vanished?
8 Flee, turn back, get down low,
   inhabitants of Dedan!
For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him,
   at the time when I punish him.
9 If grape-gatherers came to you,
   would they not leave gleanings?
If thieves came by night,
   even they would pillage only what they wanted.
10 But as for me, I have stripped Esau bare,
   I have uncovered his hiding-places,
   and he is not able to conceal himself.
His offspring are destroyed, his kinsfolk
   and his neighbours; and he is no more.
11 Leave your orphans, I will keep them alive;
   and let your widows trust in me.

12 For thus says the Lord: If those who do not deserve to drink the cup still have to drink it, shall you be the one to go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished; you must drink it. 13For by myself I have sworn, says the Lord, that Bozrah shall become an object of horror and ridicule, a waste, and an object of cursing; and all her towns shall be perpetual wastes.
14 I have heard tidings from the Lord,
   and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
‘Gather yourselves together and come against her,
   and rise up for battle!’
15 For I will make you least among the nations,
   despised by humankind.
16 The terror you inspire
   and the pride of your heart have deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,*
   who hold the height of the hill.
Although you make your nest as high as the eagle’s,
   from there I will bring you down,

says the Lord.

17 Edom shall become an object of horror; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. 18As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbours were overthrown, says the Lord, no one shall live there, nor shall anyone settle in it. 19Like a lion coming up from the thickets of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly chase Edom* away from it; and I will appoint over it whomsoever I choose.* For who is like me? Who can summon me? Who is the shepherd who can stand before me? 20Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Edom and the purposes that he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. 21At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea.* 22Look, he shall mount up and swoop down like an eagle, and spread his wings against Bozrah, and the heart of the warriors of Edom on that day shall be like the heart of a woman in labour.

Judgement on Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus.

Hamath and Arpad are confounded,
   for they have heard bad news;
they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea*
   that cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee,
   and panic seized her;
anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,
   as of a woman in labour.
25 How the famous city is forsaken,*
   the joyful town!*
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,
   and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day,

says the Lord of hosts.
27 And I will kindle a fire at the wall of Damascus,
   and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.

Judgement on Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated.

Thus says the Lord:
Rise up, advance against Kedar!
   Destroy the people of the east!
29 Take their tents and their flocks,
   their curtains and all their goods;
carry off their camels for yourselves,
   and a cry shall go up: ‘Terror is all around!’
30 Flee, wander far away, hide in deep places,
   O inhabitants of Hazor!

says the Lord.
For King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon
   has made a plan against you
   and formed a purpose against you.

31 Rise up, advance against a nation at ease,
   that lives secure,

says the Lord,
that has no gates or bars,
   that lives alone.
32 Their camels shall become booty,
   their herds of cattle a spoil.
I will scatter to every wind
   those who have shaven temples,
and I will bring calamity
   against them from every side,

says the Lord.
33 Hazor shall become a lair of jackals,
   an everlasting waste;
no one shall live there,
   nor shall anyone settle in it.

Judgement on Elam

34 The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.

35 Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going to break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might; 36and I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven; and I will scatter them to all these winds, and there shall be no nation to which the exiles from Elam shall not come. 37I will terrify Elam before their enemies, and before those who seek their life; I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, says the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them; 38and I will set my throne in Elam, and destroy their king and officials, says the Lord.

39 But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, says the Lord.

Judgement on Babylon

50The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by the prophet Jeremiah:
2 Declare among the nations and proclaim,
   set up a banner and proclaim,
   do not conceal it, say:
Babylon is taken,
   Bel is put to shame,
   Merodach is dismayed.
Her images are put to shame,
   her idols are dismayed.

For out of the north a nation has come up against her; it shall make her land a desolation, and no one shall live in it; both human beings and animals shall flee away.

In those days and at that time, says the Lord, the people of Israel shall come, they and the people of Judah together; they shall come weeping as they seek the Lord their God. 5They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned towards it, and they shall come and join* themselves to the Lord by an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.

My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains; from mountain to hill they have gone, they have forgotten their fold. 7All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, because they have sinned against the Lord, the true pasture, the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.’

Flee from Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be like male goats leading the flock. 9For I am going to stir up and bring against Babylon a company of great nations from the land of the north; and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like the arrows of a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed. 10Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, says the Lord.

11 Though you rejoice, though you exult,
   O plunderers of my heritage,
though you frisk about like a heifer on the grass,
   and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother shall be utterly shamed,
   and she who bore you shall be disgraced.
Lo, she shall be the last of the nations,
   a wilderness, dry land, and a desert.
13 Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited,
   but shall be an utter desolation;
everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled
   and hiss because of all her wounds.
14 Take up your positions around Babylon,
   all you that bend the bow;
shoot at her, spare no arrows,
   for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Raise a shout against her from all sides,
   ‘She has surrendered;
her bulwarks have fallen,
   her walls are thrown down.’
For this is the vengeance of the Lord:
   take vengeance on her,
   do to her as she has done.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
   and the wielder of the sickle in time of harvest;
because of the destroying sword
   all of them shall return to their own people,
   and all of them shall flee to their own land.

17 Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured it, and now at the end King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon has gnawed its bones. 18Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. 19I will restore Israel to its pasture, and it shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead its hunger shall be satisfied. 20In those days and at that time, says the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and none shall be found; for I will pardon the remnant that I have spared.

21 Go up to the land of Merathaim;*
   go up against her,
and attack the inhabitants of Pekod*
   and utterly destroy the last of them,*

says the Lord;
   do all that I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land,
   and great destruction!
23 How the hammer of the whole earth
   is cut down and broken!
How Babylon has become
   a horror among the nations!
24 You set a snare for yourself and you were caught, O Babylon,
   but you did not know it;
you were discovered and seized,
   because you challenged the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his armoury,
   and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for the Lord God of hosts has a task to do
   in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from every quarter;
   open her granaries;
pile her up like heaps of grain, and destroy her utterly;
   let nothing be left of her.
27 Kill all her bulls,
   let them go down to the slaughter.
Alas for them, their day has come,
   the time of their punishment!

28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon are coming to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, vengeance for his temple.

29 Summon archers against Babylon, all who bend the bow. Encamp all around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her deeds; just as she has done, do to her—for she has arrogantly defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 30Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, says the Lord.

31 I am against you, O arrogant one,
   says the Lord God of hosts;
for your day has come,
   the time when I will punish you.
32 The arrogant one shall stumble and fall,
   with no one to raise him up,
and I will kindle a fire in his cities,
   and it will devour everything around him.

33 Thus says the Lord of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and so too are the people of Judah; all their captors have held them fast and refuse to let them go. 34Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.

35 A sword against the Chaldeans, says the Lord,
   and against the inhabitants of Babylon,
   and against her officials and her sages!
36 A sword against the diviners,
   so that they may become fools!
A sword against her warriors,
   so that they may be destroyed!
37 A sword against her* horses and against her* chariots,
   and against all the foreign troops in her midst,
   so that they may become women!
A sword against all her treasures,
   that they may be plundered!
38 A drought* against her waters,
   that they may be dried up!
For it is a land of images,
   and they go mad over idols.

39 Therefore wild animals shall live with hyenas in Babylon,* and ostriches shall inhabit her; she shall never again be peopled, or inhabited for all generations. 40As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbours, says the Lord, so no one shall live there, nor shall anyone settle in her.

41 Look, a people is coming from the north;
   a mighty nation and many kings
   are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
42 They wield bow and spear,
   they are cruel and have no mercy.
The sound of them is like the roaring sea;
   they ride upon horses,
set in array as a warrior for battle,
   against you, O daughter Babylon!

43 The king of Babylon heard news of them,
   and his hands fell helpless;
anguish seized him,
   pain like that of a woman in labour.

44 Like a lion coming up from the thickets of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly chase them away from her; and I will appoint over her whomsoever I choose.* For who is like me? Who can summon me? Who is the shepherd who can stand before me? 45Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Babylon, and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their* fold shall be appalled at their fate. 46At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.

51Thus says the Lord:
   I am going to stir up a destructive wind*
   against Babylon
   and against the inhabitants of Leb-qamai;*
2 and I will send winnowers to Babylon,
   and they shall winnow her.
They shall empty her land
   when they come against her from every side
   on the day of trouble.
3 Let not the archer bend his bow,
   and let him not array himself in his coat of mail.
Do not spare her young men;
   utterly destroy her entire army.
4 They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
   and wounded in her streets.
5 Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
   by their God, the Lord of hosts,
though their land is full of guilt
   before the Holy One of Israel.

6 Flee from the midst of Babylon,
   save your lives, each of you!
Do not perish because of her guilt,
   for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance;
   he is repaying her what is due.
7 Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
   making all the earth drunken;
the nations drank of her wine,
   and so the nations went mad.
8 Suddenly Babylon has fallen and is shattered;
   wail for her!
Bring balm for her wound;
   perhaps she may be healed.
9 We tried to heal Babylon,
   but she could not be healed.
Forsake her, and let each of us go
   to our own country;
for her judgement has reached up to heaven
   and has been lifted up even to the skies.
10 The Lord has brought forth our vindication;
   come, let us declare in Zion
   the work of the Lord our God.

11 Sharpen the arrows!
   Fill the quivers!
The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, vengeance for his temple.
12 Raise a standard against the walls of Babylon;
   make the watch strong;
post sentinels;
   prepare the ambushes;
for the Lord has both planned and done
   what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 You who live by mighty waters,
   rich in treasures,
your end has come,
   the thread of your life is cut.
14 The Lord of hosts has sworn by himself:
Surely I will fill you with troops like a swarm of locusts,
   and they shall raise a shout of victory over you.

15 It is he who made the earth by his power,
   who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
16 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
   and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightnings for the rain,
   and he brings out the wind from his storehouses.
17 Everyone is stupid and without knowledge;
   goldsmiths are all put to shame by their idols;
for their images are false,
   and there is no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
   at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19 Not like these is the Lord,* the portion of Jacob,
   for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
   the Lord of hosts is his name.

Israel the Creator’s Instrument

20 You are my war-club, my weapon of battle:
with you I smash nations;
   with you I destroy kingdoms;
21 with you I smash the horse and its rider;
   with you I smash the chariot and the charioteer;
22 with you I smash man and woman;
   with you I smash the old man and the boy;
with you I smash the young man and the girl;
23   with you I smash shepherds and their flocks;
with you I smash farmers and their teams;
   with you I smash governors and deputies.

The Doom of Babylon

24 I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the wrong that they have done in Zion, says the Lord.

25 I am against you, O destroying mountain,

says the Lord,
   that destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
   and roll you down from the crags,
   and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No stone shall be taken from you for a corner
   and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be a perpetual waste,
   says the Lord.

27 Raise a standard in the land,
   blow the trumpet among the nations;
prepare the nations for war against her,
   summon against her the kingdoms,
   Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;
appoint a marshal against her,
   bring up horses like bristling locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for war against her,
   the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies,
   and every land under their dominion.
29 The land trembles and writhes,
   for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation,
   without inhabitant.
30 The warriors of Babylon have given up fighting,
   they remain in their strongholds;
their strength has failed,
   they have become women;
her buildings are set on fire,
   her bars are broken.
31 One runner runs to meet another,
   and one messenger to meet another,
to tell the king of Babylon
   that his city is taken from end to end:
32 the fords have been seized,
   the marshes have been burned with fire,
   and the soldiers are in panic.
33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
Daughter Babylon is like a threshing-floor
   at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
   and the time of her harvest will come.

34 ‘King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon has devoured me,
   he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel,
   he has swallowed me like a monster;
he has filled his belly with my delicacies,
   he has spewed me out.
35 May my torn flesh be avenged on Babylon,’
   the inhabitants of Zion shall say.
‘May my blood be avenged on the inhabitants of Chaldea,’
   Jerusalem shall say.
36 Therefore thus says the Lord:
I am going to defend your cause
   and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea
   and make her fountain dry;
37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
   a den of jackals,
an object of horror and of hissing,
   without inhabitant.

38 Like lions they shall roar together;
   they shall growl like lions’ whelps.
39 When they are inflamed, I will set out their drink
   and make them drunk, until they become merry
and then sleep a perpetual sleep
   and never wake, says the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
   like rams and goats.

41 How Sheshach* is taken,
   the pride of the whole earth seized!
How Babylon has become
   an object of horror among the nations!
42 The sea has risen over Babylon;
   she has been covered by its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become an object of horror,
   a land of drought and a desert,
a land in which no one lives,
   and through which no mortal passes.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon,
   and make him disgorge what he has swallowed.
The nations shall no longer stream to him;
   the wall of Babylon has fallen.

45 Come out of her, my people!
   Save your lives, each of you,
   from the fierce anger of the Lord!
46 Do not be faint-hearted or fearful
   at the rumours heard in the land—
one year one rumour comes,
   the next year another,
rumours of violence in the land
   and of ruler against ruler.

47 Assuredly, the days are coming
   when I will punish the images of Babylon;
her whole land shall be put to shame,
   and all her slain shall fall in her midst.
48 Then the heavens and the earth,
   and all that is in them,
shall shout for joy over Babylon;
   for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,

says the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
   as the slain of all the earth have fallen because of Babylon.

50 You survivors of the sword,
   go, do not linger!
Remember the Lord in a distant land,
   and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 We are put to shame, for we have heard insults;
   dishonour has covered our face,
for aliens have come
   into the holy places of the Lord’s house.

52 Therefore the time is surely coming, says the Lord,
   when I will punish her idols,
and through all her land
   the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,
   and though she should fortify her strong height,
from me destroyers would come upon her,
   says the Lord.

54 Listen!—a cry from Babylon!
   A great crashing from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For the Lord is laying Babylon waste,
   and stilling her loud clamour.
Their waves roar like mighty waters,
   the sound of their clamour resounds;
56 for a destroyer has come against her,
   against Babylon;
her warriors are taken,
   their bows are broken;
for the Lord is a God of recompense,
   he will repay in full.
57 I will make her officials and her sages drunk,
   also her governors, her deputies, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and never wake,
   says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad wall of Babylon
   shall be levelled to the ground,
and her high gates
   shall be burned with fire.
The peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,
   and the nations weary themselves only for fire.*

Jeremiah’s Command to Seraiah

59 The word that the prophet Jeremiah commanded Seraiah son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, when he went with King Zedekiah of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60Jeremiah wrote in a* scroll all the disasters that would come on Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: ‘When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62and say, “O Lord, you yourself threatened to destroy this place so that neither human beings nor animals shall live in it, and it shall be desolate for ever.” 63When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it, and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64and say, “Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disasters that I am bringing on her.” *

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.


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29 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser v2.5.1 29 April 2019.