The Lord against Babylon
1 This is what Yahweh says:
1 “I will stir up a devastating wind against Babylon and the Chal deans.
2 I will send foreigners to Babylon
2 to winnow her and lay waste her land.
2 On the day of her affliction
2 they will besiege her from all sides.
3 Let not her archers bend their bows,
3 let them not stand up in their armor.
3 Spare not her young men;
3 destroy the host of her warriors.
4 They will fall fatally wounded
4 in the streets of Babylon.
5 For Israel and Judah have not been forgotten by their God, Yahweh Sabaoth,
5 though their land is guilt-ridden
5 before the Holy One of Israel.
6 Save your lives, flee from Babylon!
6 Partake not of her punishment;
6 this is a time of Yahweh’s vengeance,
6 a time of his recompense to her.
7 Babylon was a golden cup in Yah weh’s hand,
7 a cup which made the whole earth drunk.
7 The nations drank her wine,
7 and they have become mad.
8 Babylon’s fall is sudden.
8 Wail for her, wail!
8 Bring balm for her wounds,
8 if she could yet be healed.
9 ‘We have tried to heal Babylon,
9 but she is beyond healing.
9 Let us go back, each to his own land,
9 and leave her to her judgment
9 which rises up to heaven.’
10 Yahweh has defended our rights,
10 come, let us declare in Zion
10 what our God Yahweh has done.
11 Sharpen the arrows,
11 take up the shields!
11 Yahweh has aroused Media’s kings
11 in his resolve to destroy Babylon.
11 This is Yahweh’s vengeance,
11 vengeance for his temple.
12 Raise a flag on the walls of Babylon,
12 and make the watch strong.
12 Post guards, prepare an ambush!
12 Yahweh will carry out his purpose, his words against the people of Baby lon.
13 You who dwell by mighty waters,
13 you who are rich in treasures,
13 this is your end; the time
13 for you to be cut off has come.
14 Yahweh Sabaoth has sworn:
14 Surely I will fill you with troops,
14 thick as a swarm of locusts;
14 they will exult over you and raise the vintage shout.
15 He made the earth by his power,
15 founded the world by his wisdom,
15 spread out the sky by his discernment.
16 When he thunders, the heaven roars;
16 from the earth he makes clouds rise;
16 he sends lightning with the rain,
16 and from his vaults brings out the wind.
17 Everyone stand stupefied at this;
17 artisans blush, for the idols they made
17 have no life and are a fraud.
18 They are worthless, ridiculous;
18 when judgment comes they will perish.
19 The Portion of Jacob is not like them,
19 for he is the creator of all;
19 Yahweh Sabaoth is his name,
19 and his heritage is Israel.
19 The hammer of Yahweh
20 You were my hammer, my weapon of war. With you I wrecked nations, with you I demolished kingdoms.
21 With you I wrecked horse and rider, chariot and charioteer. 22 With you I wrecked man and woman, youth and aged, young man and maiden.
23 With you I wrecked shepherd and flock, farmer and draft animal, rulers and officials.
24 But now I will repay Babylon and those who dwell in Chaldea for the wrong they did to Zion. 25 I am against you, ravaging mountain, ravager of the whole earth! It is Yahweh who speaks.
25 I will lay my hands on you, roll you down over the crags, and make you a parched, eroded mountain. 26 No cornerstone will be taken from you, or foundation stone; forever shall you be a ruins, Yahweh says.
27 Raise a signal on the earth, among the nations blow the trumpet. Prepare the nations for war, summon the kingdoms to battle Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Marshal a great force against her; bring up the cavalry, swarming and bristling.
28 Prepare the nations to battle her, the Medes with their kings, their governors and officials, all the countries they rule.
29 The earth trembles and writhes as Yahweh carries out his process of turning the land of Babylon into a desert where no one lives. 30 Her warriors have ceased to fight; they cower in their strongholds. Their strength is dried up, their homes are burned and their gates broken.
31 One after another couriers run to the king, bringing news that his entire city is fallen: 32 The fords have been seized, the fortresses set afire, and all the warriors terrified. 33 Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says: Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trodden. A little while, and the time of the harvest grain will come for her.”
34 The people of Zion said: ‘Ne buchad nez zar, king of Babylon, has consumed and routed me. He has left me as an empty vessel. Like a dragon he has swallowed me, and filled his belly; he cast me out of my Eden.
35 May the violence done to my flesh be upon Babylon, says the city of Zion. May my blood be upon the Chaldeans,’ says Jerusalem.
36 Yahweh says to his people: “See now, I defend your cause and avenge you. I will dry up her sea and drain her springs. 37 Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and derision, a place where no one lives.
38 Her people will roar like lions; they will growl like lion cubs. 39 But while they are feverish, I will prepare a drink for them and make them drunk till they grow drowsy and fall into eternal sleep, never to wake up again.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like goats and rams.
41 How has Babylon been seized, the glory of the world taken captive! How has Babylon become a horror among nations!
42 The sea has risen over Babylon and covered her with its roaring waves. 43 Her cities have become desolate, a land of drought and a desert, a land where no one dwells, a land through which no one travels.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon and make him belch out what he devoured. No longer will nations stream to him. The wall of Babylon has fallen.
45 My people, come out of her! Run for your lives! Run from Yah weh’s fierce anger. 46 Do not lose heart or be afraid when rumors are heard, when rumors come year after year, rumors of violence and disaster, intrigues of ruler against ruler.
47 The time will surely come when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her land will be put to shame when all around her lie slain. 48 Then heaven and earth and all therein will rejoice over Babylon, for out of the north the destroyers will come to attack her – it is Yahweh who speaks.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel, just as the slain of all the earth have fallen be cause of Babylon.
50 You who have escaped the sword, leave and do not linger. Remember Yah weh from this far country and think of Jerusalem:
51 ‘We have been put to shame, dishonor has covered our faces; because aliens have entered the holy places of Yahweh’s house.’
52 But days will come – Yahweh declares – when I will punish her idols, the wounded will groan all over her land. 53 Though Babylon mount skyward, though she fortify her heights, the mere threat of the destroyers I send is enough to make her terrified.
54 Listen! Loud cries from Babylon, the sound of terrible destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! 55 That is Yahweh laying waste the city, silencing her monstrous din. Well may her waves roar and their clamor be heard afar! 56 Upon Baby lon the destroyer has come; her warriors are captured, their bows are broken.
56 For Yahweh is a God who rewards, who re pays her enemies in full. 57 I will make her rulers and sages drunk, her governors, her officers and warriors; they will sleep the sleep of death and never awake, says the King whose name is Yahweh Sabaoth.
58 Yahweh Sabaoth says this: The wide ramparts of Babylon will be razed to the ground, her high gates burned down. The people’s labor will go to naught; the nation’s toil will end in fire.”
The written oracle thrown into the river
59 This is the message Jeremiah gave to Seraiah, son of Neriah who is Mah seiah’s son, when he went to Babylon at the command of Zedekiah, who was then in the fourth year of his reign as king of Judah.
60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll the entire disaster that was to befall Babylon – all these words recorded here.
61 Jeremiah then said to Se raiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say: ‘Yahweh, you yourself have proclaimed that this place will be destroyed, that neither people nor beast will ever live here again, for it will remain desolate forever.’
63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say: “So will Babylon sink and rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her.”
64 Here end the words of Jeremiah.