New English Translation
Judgment Against Babylon
1 The LORD spoke concerning Babylon and the land of Babylonia through the prophet Jeremiah.
2 "Announce the news among the nations! Proclaim it! Signal for people to pay attention! Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say: 'Babylon will be captured. Bel will be put to shame. Marduk will be dismayed. Babylon's idols will be put to shame. Her disgusting images will be dismayed.
3 For a nation from the north will attack Babylon. It will lay her land waste. People and animals will flee out of it. No one will inhabit it.'
4 "When that time comes," says the LORD, "the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together. They will come back with tears of repentance as they seek the LORD their God.
5 They will ask the way to Zion; they will turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the LORD in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten.
6 "My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have allow them to go astray. They have wandered around in the mountains. They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. They have forgotten their resting place.
7 All who encountered them devoured them. Their enemies who did this said, 'We are not liable for punishment! For those people have sinned against the LORD, their true pasture. They have sinned against the LORD in whom their ancestors trusted.'
8 "People of Judah, get out of Babylon quickly! Leave the land of Babylonia! Be the first to depart! Be like the male goats that lead the herd.
9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon a host of mighty nations from the land of the north. They will set up their battle lines against her. They will come from the north and capture her. Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier who does not return from the battle empty-handed.
10 Babylonia will be plundered. Those who plunder it will take all they want," says the LORD.
11 "People of Babylonia, you plundered my people. That made you happy and glad. You frolic about like calves in a pasture. Your joyous sounds are like the neighs of a stallion.
12 But Babylonia will be put to great shame. The land where you were born will be disgraced. Indeed, Babylonia will become the least important of all nations. It will become a dry and barren desert.
13 After I vent my wrath on it Babylon will be uninhabited. It will be totally desolate. All who pass by will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn because of all the disasters that have happened to it.
14 "Take up your battle positions all around Babylon, all you soldiers who are armed with bows. Shoot all your arrows at her! Do not hold any back! For she has sinned against the LORD.
15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city. She will throw up her hands in surrender. Her towers will fall. Her walls will be torn down. Because I, the LORD, am wreaking revenge, take out your vengeance on her! Do to her as she has done!
16 Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon. Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time. Let all the foreigners return to their own people. Let them hurry back to their own lands to escape destruction by that enemy army.
17 "The people of Israel are like scattered sheep which lions have chased away. First the king of Assyria devoured them. Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones.
18 So I, the LORD God of Israel who rules over all, say: 'I will punish the king of Babylon and his land just as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture. They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan. They will eat until they are full on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead.
20 When that time comes, no guilt will be found in Israel. No sin will be found in Judah. For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive. I, the LORD, affirm it!'"
21 The LORD says, "Attack the land of Merathaim and the people who live in Pekod! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them! Do just as I have commanded you!
22 The noise of battle can be heard in the land of Babylonia. There is the sound of great destruction.
23 Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces. But see how that 'hammer' has been broken and shattered! See what an object of horror Babylon has become among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you, Babylon; you were caught before you knew it. You fought against me. So you were found and captured.
25 I have opened up the place where my weapons are stored. I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath. For I, the LORD God who rules over all, have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia.
26 Come from far away and attack Babylonia! Open up the places where she stores her grain! Pile her up in ruins! Destroy her completely! Do not leave anyone alive!
27 Kill all her soldiers! Let them be slaughtered! They are doomed, for their day of reckoning has come, the time for them to be punished."
28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon. They are coming to Zion to declare there how the LORD our God is getting revenge, getting revenge for what they have done to his temple.
29 "Call for archers to come against Babylon! Summon against her all who draw the bow! Set up camp all around the city! Do not allow anyone to escape! Pay her back for what she has done. Do to her what she has done to others. For she has proudly defied me, the Holy One of Israel.
30 So her young men will fall in her city squares. All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time," says the LORD.
31 "Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city," says the LORD God who rules over all. "Indeed, your day of reckoning has come, the time when I will punish you.
32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city; no one will help you get up. I will set fire to your towns; it will burn up everything that surrounds you."
33 The LORD who rules over all says, "The people of Israel are oppressed. So too are the people of Judah. All those who took them captive are holding them prisoners. They refuse to set them free.
34 But the one who will rescue them is strong. He is known as the LORD who rules over all. He will strongly champion their cause. As a result he will bring peace and rest to the earth, but trouble and turmoil to the people who inhabit Babylonia.
35 "Destructive forces will come against the Babylonians," says the LORD. "They will come against the people who inhabit Babylonia, against her leaders and her men of wisdom.
36 Destructive forces will come against her false prophets; they will be shown to be fools! Destructive forces will come against her soldiers; they will be filled with terror!
37 Destructive forces will come against her horses and her chariots. Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her; they will be as frightened as women! Destructive forces will come against her treasures; they will be taken away as plunder!
38 A drought will come upon her land; her rivers and canals will be dried up. All of this will happen because her land is filled with idols. Her people act like madmen because of those idols they fear.
39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there. Ostriches will dwell in it too. But no people will ever live there again. No one will dwell there for all time to come.
40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns. No one will live there. No human being will settle in it," says the LORD.
41 "Look! An army is about to come from the north. A mighty nation and many kings are stirring into action in faraway parts of the earth.
42 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride forth on their horses. Lined up in formation like men going into battle, they are coming against you, fair Babylon!
43 The king of Babylon will become paralyzed with fear when he hears news of their coming. Anguish will grip him, agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby.
44 "A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it. So too I will chase the Babylonians off of their land. Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose. For there is no one like me. There is no one who can call me to account. There is no ruler that can stand up against me.
45 So listen to what I, the LORD, have planned against Babylon, what I intend to do to the people who inhabit the land of Babylonia. Their little ones will be dragged off. I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.
46 The people of the earth will quake when they hear Babylon has been captured. Her cries of anguish will be heard by the other nations."
King James Version
1 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.
2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.
3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.
4 ¶ In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.
5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
6 My people hath 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 restingplace.
7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.
8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.
9 ¶ For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.
11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;
12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.
14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.
15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.
17 ¶ Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
18 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.
19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.
21 ¶ Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.
22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.
23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.
25 The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.
27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.
28 The voice of them that 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.
29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.
31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.
32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.
33 ¶ Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.
34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 ¶ A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.
37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.
38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.
39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.
46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.