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Jeremias 51

1 Jehovah says: »I am bringing a destructive wind against Babylon and its people.

2 »I will send foreigners to destroy Babylon like a wind that blows straw away. When that day of destruction comes, they will attack from every side and leave the land bare.

3 »Do not give its soldiers time to shoot their arrows or to put on their armor. Do not spare the young men! Destroy the whole army!

4 »They will be wounded and die in the streets of their cities.

5 I, the Lord Jehovah, have not abandoned Israel and Judah, even though they have sinned against me, the Holy One of Israel.

6 »Run away from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be killed because of Babylon's sin. I am now taking my revenge. I am punishing it as it deserves.

7 »Babylon was like a gold cup in my hand, making the whole world drunk. The nations drank its wine and went out of their minds.

8 »Babylon has suddenly fallen and is destroyed! Mourn over it! Get medicine for its wounds, and maybe it can be healed.«

9 »Foreigners living there said: ‘We tried to help Babylon, but it was too late. Let us leave now and go back home. God has punished Babylon with all his might and has destroyed it completely.’«

10 Jehovah says: »My people shout, Jehovah has shown that we are in the right. Let us go and tell the people in Jerusalem what Jehovah our God has done.«

11 »Jehovah has stirred up the kings of Media, because he intends to destroy Babylon. 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! Jehovah has done what he said he would do to the people of Babylon.«

13 »That country has many rivers and rich treasures. Yet its time is up, and its thread of life is cut.

14 Jehovah has sworn by his own life: »I will bring many men to attack Babylon like a swarm of locusts, and they will shout with victory.«

15 Jehovah made the earth by his power. By his wisdom he created the world and stretched out the heavens.

16 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens. He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

17 All mankind is stupid and devoid of knowledge. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols. His molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them.

18 They are worthless, a work of mockery. In the time of their punishment they will perish.

19 The portion of Jacob is not like these. He is the maker of all and of the tribe of his inheritance. Jehovah of Hosts is his name.

20 He says: »You are my war-club, my weapon of war. I shatter nations with you and with you I destroy kingdoms.

21 »I will use you to crush horses and their riders. I will use you to crush chariots and their drivers.

22 »I will use you to crush men and women. I will use you to crush the old and the young. I will use you to crush young men and women.

23 »I will use you to crush shepherds and their flocks. I will use you to crush farmers and their oxen. I will use you to crush governors and officials.

24 »In your presence I will pay back Babylon and all the people who live in Babylon for all the evil things that they did in Zion,« proclaims Jehovah.

25 »I am against you, Babylon, you destructive mountain. You have destroyed the whole earth,« declares Jehovah. »I will use my power against you and roll you off the cliffs, and make you a scorched mountain.

26 »People will not find any stones in you to use as a cornerstone. They will not find any stones in you to use for a foundation. You will become permanent ruins,« declares Jehovah.

27 Raise your battle flag throughout the world. Blow the ram's horn among the nations. Prepare nations to attack Babylon. Tell the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz to attack it. Appoint a commander to lead the attack. Bring up horses like a swarm of locusts.

28 Prepare nations to attack Babylon. Prepare the king of the Medes, their governors, all their deputies, and all the countries that they rule.

29 The earth trembles and writhes in pain. Jehovah carries out his plans against Babylon to make Babylon a wasteland so that no one will live there.

30 The warriors of Babylon have stopped fighting. They stay in their fortified cities. Their strength has failed. They have become women. Their buildings are set on fire. The bars across their gates are broken.

31 Runners run to meet runners. Messengers follow messengers. They inform the king of Babylon that his entire city is captured.

32 The river crossings have been taken. The enemy has burned its marshes, and its soldiers are terrified.

33 »I am the All-Powerful Jehovah, the God of Israel, and I make this promise: Soon Babylon will be leveled and packed down like a threshing place at harvest time.

34 »The people of Jerusalem say: King Nebuchadnezzar made us panic. That monster big snake filled up with our treasures, leaving us empty. He gobbled down what he wanted and spit out the rest.

35 »The people of Babylon harmed some of us and killed others. Now Jehovah will make them pay.

36 Therefore Jehovah says: »I am going to plead your case and exact full vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her fountain dry.

37 »Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and hissing, without inhabitants.

38 »They will roar together like young lions. They will growl like lions' cubs.

39 »When they become heated up, I will serve them their banquet and make them drunk, that they may become jubilant. Then they may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up, declares Jehovah.

40 »I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams together with male goats.

41 »How Sheshak has been captured, and the praise of the whole earth been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations!

42 »The sea has come up over Babylon. She has been engulfed with its tumultuous waves.

43 »Her cities have become an object of horror, a parched land and a desert, a land in which no man lives and through which no son of man passes.

44 »I will punish Bel in Babylon. I will make Bel spit out everything that it has swallowed. Nations will no longer stream to Babylon. Its walls will fall.

45 »Get out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the burning anger of Jehovah.

46 »Do not lose courage or be afraid when rumors are heard in the land. One rumor comes one year; another rumor comes the next year. Rumors of violence are in the land. Rumors that one ruler will fight against another are in the land.

47 That is why the days are coming when I will punish Babylon's idols. The whole country will be put to shame, and all its soldiers will lie dead.

48 »Then heaven and earth and everything in them will rejoice over Babylon. Destroyers from the north will attack it,« declares Jehovah.

49 Because the people of Babylon have killed many Israelites and because they have killed many people throughout the earth, Babylon must fall.

50 You people escaped from the sword. Now leave! Do not just stand there. Remember Jehovah in a distant land and think about Jerusalem.

51 We have been put to shame. We have been disgraced. Shame covers our faces, because foreigners have gone into the holy places of Jehovah’s temple.

52 »That is why the days are coming,« declares Jehovah, »when I will punish their idols, and those who are wounded will moan everywhere in the land.

53 »The people of Babylon might go up to heaven. They might fortify their strongholds. But destroyers will still come from me against them,« declares Jehovah.

54 Cries of agony are heard from Babylon. Sounds of terrible destruction are heard from the land of the Babylonians.

55 Jehovah will destroy Babylon. He will silence the loud noise coming from it. Waves of enemies will come roaring in like raging water. The noise will be heard everywhere.

56 A destroyer will attack Babylon, its soldiers will be captured, and their bows and arrows will be broken. I Jehovah am a God who punishes evil. I will certainly punish them.

57 »I will make their officials and wise men drunk, along with their governors, officers, and soldiers. They will fall into a deep sleep and never wake up,« proclaims the king, whose name is Jehovah of Hosts.

58 This is what Jehovah of Hosts says: The thick walls of Babylon will be leveled, and its high gates will be set on fire. People exhaust themselves for nothing. The nations wear themselves out only to have a fire.

59 This is the message that the prophet Jeremiah gave to Seraiah, son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah, when Seraiah went to Babylon with King Zedekiah of Judah in the fourth year of Zedekiah's rule. Seraiah was the quartermaster.

60 Jeremiah wrote on a scroll all the disasters that would happen to Babylon. He wrote all these things that have been written about Babylon.

61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah: »When you come to Babylon, see that you read all this.

62 Then says: ‘Jehovah, you have threatened to destroy this place so that no person or animal will live here. It will become a permanent ruin.’

63 »When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River.

64 »Say: ‘Babylon will sink like this scroll. It will never rise again because of the disasters that I will bring on it.’« The words of Jeremiah end here.

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