Jeremiah prophecies against Babylon. It will be snared and caught. A nation from the north will destroy it. All the world will hear of it.
VERSE 1. The word that the LORD spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Kasdim, by Jeremiah the prophet.
VERSE 2. “Declare among the nations and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and don’t conceal: say, ‘Babylon has been taken, Bel is disappointed, Merodach is dismayed! Her images are disappointed. Her idols are dismayed.’
Declare among the nations. Jeremiah was commanded to announce to the whole world the public humiliation of Babylon.
Bel is disappointed. Bel was the chief deity and protecting god of Babylon. Also, known as
Merodach is dismayed. Bel was also known as Marduk and as the storm god Enlil.
VERSE 3. For a nation comes up out of the north against her, which will make her land desolate, and no one will dwell in it. They have fled. They are gone, both man and animal.
a nation comes up out of the north. Babylon would be destroyed by a nation from the north.
In due time, Babylon would be conquered by Cyrus of the Medo-Persian Empire. However, that is probably not what this verse is referring to. Here are four reasons:
1. The Medo-Persian Empire was from the east of Babylon, not the north.
2. Cyrus did not destroy Babylon.
3. No one fled Babylon when it fell to Cyrus.
4. The revival of Jewish faith did not happen upon the fall of Babylon to Cyrus in 539 BC.
Perhaps this verse will be fulfilled in the future.
VERSE 4. “In those days, and in that time,” says the LORD, “the children of Israel will come, they and the children of Judah together; they will go on their way weeping, and will seek the LORD their God.
will seek the LORD their God. People will seek the LORD God.
VERSE 5. They will inquire concerning Zion with their faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, and join yourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.’
join yourselves to the LORD. The Old Testament foresees Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 6. My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have caused them to go astray. They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill. They have forgotten their resting place.
NLT translation. My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.
My people have been lost sheep. We wonder if Jesus Christ had this verse in mind when he spoke of himself as the Good Shepherd, the one who leaves the 99 and goes off to find the one who had strayed.
They have lost their way. Much of Christian ministry consists of helping people find their way back to the faith.
VERSE 7. All who found them have devoured them. Their adversaries said, ‘We are not guilty, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of righteousness, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.’
VERSE 8. “Flee out of the middle of Babylon! Go out of the land of the Kasdim, and be as the male goats before the flocks.
VERSE 9. For, behold, I will stir up and cause to come up against Babylon a company of great nations from the north country; and they will set themselves in array against her. She will be taken from there. Their arrows will be as of an expert mighty man. None of them will return in vain.
VERSE 10. Kasdim will be a prey. All who prey on her will be satisfied,” says the LORD.
VERSE 11. “Because you are glad, because you rejoice, O you who plunder my heritage, because you are wanton as a heifer that treads out the grain, and neigh as strong horses;
a heifer. To refer to somebody as a heifer is not complimentary:
Judges 14:18. The men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” He said to them, “If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have found out my riddle.”
Jeremiah 50:11. Because you are glad, because you rejoice, O you who plunder my heritage, because you are wanton as a heifer that treads out the grain, and neigh as strong horses;
Hosea 4:16. For Israel has behaved extremely stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer. Then how will the LORD feed them like a lamb in a meadow.
neigh as strong horses. That is, “snort like stallions!” (NAB translation).
VERSE 12. your mother will be utterly disappointed. She who bore you will be confounded. Behold, she will be the least of the nations, a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
VERSE 13. Because of the LORD’s wrath she won’t be inhabited, but she will be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon will be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.
VERSE 14. Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around, all you who bend the bow; shoot at her. Spare no arrows; for she has sinned against the LORD.
VERSE 15. Shout against her all around. She has submitted herself. Her bulwarks have fallen. Her walls have been thrown down, for it is the vengeance of the LORD. Take vengeance on her. As she has done, do to her.
VERSE 16. Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him who handles the sickle in the time of harvest. For fear of the oppressing sword, they will each return to their own people, and they will each flee to their own land.
VERSE 17. “Israel is a hunted sheep. The lions have driven him away. First, the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones.”
Israel is a hunted sheep. Israel was a sheep that strayed.
VERSE 18. Therefore the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.
VERSE 19. I will bring Israel again to his pasture, and he will feed on Carmel and Bashan. His soul will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead.
I will bring Israel again to his pasture. In the future, the LORD God will bring them back to their own land.
VERSE 20. In those days, and in that time,” says the LORD, “the iniquity of Israel will be sought for, and there will be none; also the sins of Judah, and they won’t be found; for I will pardon them whom I leave as a remnant.
VERSE 21. “Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. Kill and utterly destroy after them,” says the LORD, “and do according to all that I have commanded you.
VERSE 22. A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.
VERSE 23. How the hammer of the whole earth is cut apart and broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations!
VERSE 24. I have laid a snare for you, and you are also taken, Babylon, and you weren’t aware. You are found, and also caught, because you have fought against the LORD.
you are also taken. They were ensnared and caught.
VERSE 25. The LORD has opened his armory, and has brought out the weapons of his indignation; for the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, has a work to do in the land of the Kasdim.
VERSE 26. Come against her from the farthest border. Open her storehouses. Cast her up as heaps. Destroy her utterly. Let nothing of her be left.
VERSE 27. Kill all her bulls. Let them go down to the slaughter. Woe to them! For their day has come, the time of their visitation.
VERSE 28. Listen to those who flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.
VERSE 29. “Call together the archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp against her all around. Let none of it escape. Pay her back according to her work. According to all that she has done, do to her; for she has been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
VERSE 30. Therefore her young men will fall in her streets. All her men of war will be brought to silence in that day,” says the LORD.
VERSE 31. “Behold, I am against you, you proud one,” says the Lord, the LORD of Hosts; “for your day has come, the time that I will visit you.
VERSE 32. The proud one will stumble and fall, and no one will raise him up. I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all who are around him.”
VERSE 33. The LORD of Hosts says: “The children of Israel and the children of Judah are oppressed together. All who took them captive hold them fast. They refuse to let them go.
VERSE 34. Their Redeemer is strong: The LORD of Hosts is his name. He will thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
VERSE 35. “A sword is on the Kasdim,” says the LORD, “and on the inhabitants of Babylon, on her princes, and on her wise men.
VERSE 36. A sword is on the boasters, and they will become fools. A sword is on her mighty men, and they will be dismayed.
A sword is on the boasters. That is, “A sword upon the soothsayers” (NAB translation).
VERSE 38. A drought is on her waters, and they will be dried up; for it is a land of engraved images, and they are mad over idols.
VERSE 39. Therefore the wild animals of the desert with the wolves will dwell there. The ostriches will dwell therein; and it will be inhabited no more forever; neither will it be lived in from generation to generation.
VERSE 40. As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and its neighbor cities,” says the LORD, “so no man will dwell there, neither will any son of man live therein.
VERSE 41. “Behold, a people comes from the north; and a great nation and many kings will be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth.
VERSE 42. They take up bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea. They ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Babylon.
VERSE 43. The king of Babylon has heard the news of them, and his hands become feeble: anguish has taken hold of him, pains as of a woman in labor.
VERSE 44. Behold, the enemy will come up like a lion from the pride of the Jordan against the strong habitation; for I will suddenly make them run away from it. Whoever is chosen, I will appoint him over it; for who is like me? Who will appoint me a time? Who is the shepherd who can stand before me?”
who is like me? There is none like the LORD God.
VERSE 45. Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he has taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he has purposed against the land of the Kasdim: Surely they will drag them away, even the little ones of the flock. Surely he will make their habitation desolate over them.
VERSE 46. At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth trembles; and the cry is heard among the nations.
the taking of Babylon. A day will come when Babylon is conquered.
the cry is heard among the nations. All the nations will hear that Babylon was conquered.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.