Jeremiah chapter 51

Jeremiah continues his prophesy against Babylon. The LORD God is sovereign over Babylon and will summon the nations to destroy it.





VERSE 1. The LORD says: “Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against those who dwell in Lebkamai, a destroying wind.

Lebkamai. This Hebrew word means “heart of my adversaries.”

In the Hebrew alphabet, when you reverse the consonants for Lebkamai, you get the word Chaldea.


VERSE 2. I will send to Babylon strangers, who will winnow her. They will empty her land; for in the day of trouble they will be against her all around.


VERSE 3. Against him who bends, let the archer bend his bow, also against him who lifts himself up in his coat of mail. Don’t spare her young men! Utterly destroy all her army!

Utterly destroy all her army. In those days, some enemies had to be be destroyed. Warfare was required.

In our day, for a disciple, our main enemy is our own resistance to God’s will. It needs to be destroyed. Spiritual warfare is required.


VERSE 4. They will fall down slain in the land of the Kasdim, and thrust through in her streets.


VERSE 5. For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by his God, by the LORD of Hosts; though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel.

Israel is not forsaken. The LORD God promises to be with us always, even to the ends of the world. Read more »


VERSE 6. “Flee out of the middle of Babylon! Everyone save his own life! Don’t be cut off in her iniquity; for it is the time of the LORD’s vengeance. He will render to her a recompense.

KJV translation. Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.

Flee out of the midst of Babylon. Babylon was the Evil Empire of the Old Testament era. It was ominous and all-powerful.

In our day, some Christians believe the Roman Catholic church is the “Babylonian Empire” of the New Testament era! Their goal is to get people to “flee out of Babylon.” They urge people to leave the Roman Catholic church and join their church.


VERSE 7. Babylon has been a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, who made all the earth drunk. The nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations have gone mad.


VERSE 8. Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed! Wail for her! Take balm for her pain. Perhaps she may be healed.


VERSE 9. “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her, and let’s each go into his own country; for her judgment reaches to heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.


VERSE 10. ‘The LORD has produced our righteousness: come, and let’s declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.’

The LORD has produced our righteousness. The righteousness of the Old Testament people was not their own. Rather, it was a gift of the LORD God.


VERSE 11. “Make the arrows sharp! Hold the shields firmly! The LORD has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it; for it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.


VERSE 12. Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon! Make the watch strong! Set the watchmen, and prepare the ambushes; for the LORD has both purposed and done that which he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.


VERSE 13 You who dwell on many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness.


VERSE 14. The LORD of Hosts has sworn by himself, saying, ‘Surely I will fill you with men, as with the canker worm; and they will lift up a shout against you.’

as with the canker worm. Invaders will cover Babylon like a swarm of locusts.


VERSE 15. “He has made the earth by his power. He has established the world by his wisdom. By his understanding he has stretched out the heavens.


VERSE 16. When he utters his voice, there is a roar of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and brings the wind out of his treasuries.


VERSE 17. “Every man has become brutish without knowledge. Every goldsmith is disappointed by his image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

brutish without knowledge. Some people boast that they do not know very much. And that they domineer other people.


VERSE 18. They are vanity, a work of delusion. In the time of their visitation, they will perish.


VERSE 19. The portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the former of all things; including the tribe of his inheritance: The LORD of Hosts is his name.


VERSE 20. “You are my battle ax and weapons of war. With you I will break the nations into pieces. With you I will destroy kingdoms.


VERSE 21. With you I will break in pieces the horse and his rider.


VERSE 22. With you I will break in pieces the chariot and him who rides therein. With you I will break in pieces man and woman. With you I will break in pieces the old man and the youth. With you I will break in pieces the young man and the virgin.


VERSE 23. With you I will break in pieces the shepherd and his flock. With you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke. With you I will break in pieces governors and deputies.


VERSE 24. “I will render to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of the Kasdim for all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight,” says the LORD.


VERSE 25. “Behold, I am against you, destroying mountain,” says the LORD, “which destroys all the earth. I will stretch out my hand on you, roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burned mountain.


VERSE 26. They won’t take a cornerstone from you, nor a stone for foundations; but you will be desolate forever,” says the LORD.

you will be desolate forever. This has not happened yet. Babylon is not desolate.


VERSE 27. “Set up a standard in the land! Blow the shofar among the nations! Prepare the nations against her! Call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz! Appoint a marshal against her! Cause the horses to come up as the rough canker worm!


VERSE 28. Prepare against her the nations, the kings of the Medes, its governors, and all its deputies, and all the land of their dominion!


VERSE 29. The land trembles and is in pain; for the purposes of the LORD against Babylon stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant.


VERSE 30. The mighty men of Babylon have stopped fighting, they remain in their strongholds. Their might has failed. They have become as women. Her dwelling places are set on fire. Her bars are broken.


VERSE 31. One runner will run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on every quarter.


VERSE 32. So the passages are seized. They have burned the reeds with fire. The men of war are frightened.”


VERSE 33. For the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel says: “The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden. Yet a little while, and the time of harvest comes for her.”


VERSE 34. “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me. He has crushed me. He has made me an empty vessel. He has, like a monster, swallowed me up. He has filled his mouth with my delicacies. He has cast me out.


VERSE 35. May the violence done to me and to my flesh be on Babylon!” the inhabitant of Zion will say; and, “May my blood be on the inhabitants of Kasdim!” will Jerusalem say.

the violence done to me. A day of vengeance is coming. Perpetrators of violence will receive what their deeds have earned.


VERSE. 36 Therefore the LORD says: “Behold, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry.

I will … take vengeance for you. This day of vengeance will be done by the LORD God.


VERSE 37. Babylon will become heaps, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment, and a hissing, without inhabitant.


VERSE 38. They will roar together like young lions. They will growl as lions’ cubs.


VERSE 39. When they are heated, I will make their feast, and I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake up,” says the LORD.


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

like lambs to the slaughter. The Lord Jesus Christ was led to the cross like a lamb to the slaughter.


VERSE 41. “How Sheshach is taken! How the praise of the whole earth seized! How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations!


VERSE 42. The sea has come up on Babylon. She is covered with the multitude of its waves.


VERSE 43. Her cities have become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land in which no man dwells. No son of man passes by it.


VERSE 44. I will execute judgment on Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up. The nations will not flow any more to him. Yes, the wall of Babylon will fall.

Bel in Babylon. Bel was the chief deity and protecting god of Babylon. Bel was also known as Marduk and as the storm god Enlil.


VERSE 45. “My people, go away from the middle of her, and each of you save yourselves from the LORD’s fierce anger.

HCSB translation. Come out from among her, My people! Save your lives, each of you, from the Lord’s burning anger.

Come out from among her. God exhorts his people to stop being involved with the evil Babylonian Empire.


VERSE 46. Don’t let your heart faint. Don’t fear for the news that will be heard in the land. For news will come one year, and after that in another year news will come, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.


VERSE 47. Therefore behold, the days come that I will execute judgment on the engraved images of Babylon; and her whole land will be confounded. All her slain will fall in the middle of her.


VERSE 48. Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, will sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers will come to her from the north,” says the LORD.

sing for joy over Babylon. Heaven and earth will shout for joy over God’s victory.

Revelation 18:20. Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her.


VERSE 49. “As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so the slain of all the land will fall at Babylon.


VERSE 50. You who have escaped the sword, go! Don’t stand still! Remember the LORD from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.”


VERSE 51. “We are confounded, because we have heard reproach. Confusion has covered our faces, for strangers have come into the sanctuaries of the LORD’s house.”


VERSE 52. “Therefore behold, the days come,” says the LORD, “that I will execute judgment on her engraved images; and through all her land the wounded will groan.


VERSE 53. Though Babylon should mount up to the sky, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet destroyers will come to her from me,” says the LORD.

destroyers will come to her from me. The LORD God will send a powerful people to destroy Babylon.


VERSE 54. “The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Kasdim!


VERSE 55. For the LORD lays Babylon waste, and destroys out of her the great voice! Their waves roar like many waters. The noise of their voice is uttered.

Their waves roar like many waters. This sound will come from waves of enemy soldiers attacking the city.

The noise of their voice is uttered. The roar of the invader’s voices sound forth over the other sounds of the battle.


VERSE 56. For the destroyer has come on her, even on Babylon. Her mighty men are taken. Their bows are broken in pieces, for the LORD is a God of retribution. He will surely repay.


VERSE 57. I will make her princes, her wise men, her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men drunk. They will sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake up,” says the King, whose name is the LORD of Hosts.


VERSE 58. The LORD of Hosts says: “The wide walls of Babylon will be utterly overthrown. Her high gates will be burned with fire. The peoples will labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they will be weary.”


VERSE 59. The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now Seraiah was chief quartermaster.


VERSE 60. Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come on Babylon, even all these words that are written concerning Babylon.


VERSE 61. Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words,

HCSB translation. Jeremiah told Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud.

read all these words aloud. This is an exhortation to read the Scriptures aloud.

Joshua 1:8. This scroll of the Torah shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.

Jeremiah 51:61. Jeremiah told Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. (HCSB translation)


VERSE 62. and say, ‘LORD, you have spoken concerning this place, to cut it off, that no one will dwell in it, neither man nor animal, but that it will be desolate forever.’


VERSE 63. It will be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the middle of the Euphrates.


VERSE 64. Then you shall say, ‘Thus will Babylon sink, and will not rise again because of the evil that I will bring on her; and they will be weary.’ ” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. That is, “The words of Jeremiah end here” (NIV translation).


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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.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.