The Bible – Old Testament
Thus says the LORD: See! I rouse against Babylon, and against those who live in Chaldea, a destroying wind.
Against Babylon I will send winnowers to winnow her and lay waste her land; They shall besiege her from all sides on the day of affliction.
Let the bowman draw his bow, and flaunt his coat of mail; Spare not her young men, doom her entire army.
The slain shall fall in the land of Chaldea, the transfixed, in her streets;
For Israel and Judah are not widowed of their God, the LORD of hosts, And the Chaldean land is full of guilt to be punished by the Holy One of Israel.
Flee out of Babylon; let each one save his life, perish not for her guilt; This is a time of vengeance for the LORD, he pays her her due.
Babylon was a golden cup in the hand of the LORD which made the whole earth drunk; The nations drank its wine, with this they have become mad.
Babylon suddenly falls and is crushed: howl over her! Bring balm for her wounds, in case she can be healed.
“We have tried to heal Babylon, but she cannot be healed. Leave her, let us go, each to his own land.” Her judgment reaches heaven, it touches the clouds.
The LORD has brought to light our just cause; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD, our God, has done.
1 Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers; The LORD has stirred up the spirit of Media’s kings; Babylon he is resolved to destroy. Yes, it is the vengeance of the LORD, vengeance for his temple.
Against the walls of Babylon raise a signal, make strong the watch; Post sentries, arrange ambushes! For the LORD has planned and he will carry out his threat against the inhabitants of Babylon.
You who dwell by mighty waters, rich in treasure, Your end has come, the term at which you shall be cut off!
The LORD of hosts has sworn by himself: I will fill you with men as numerous as locusts, who shall raise over you the vintage shout!
He has sworn who made the earth by his power, and established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his skill.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar, and he brings up clouds from the end of the earth; He makes the lightning flash in the rain, and releases stormwinds from their chambers.
Every man is stupid, ignorant; every artisan is put to shame by his idol: He molded a fraud, without breath of life.
Nothingness are they, a ridiculous work, that will perish in their time of punishment.
Not like these is the portion of Jacob, he is the creator of all things; Israel is his very own tribe, LORD of hosts is his name.
You are my hammer, my weapon for war; With you I shatter nations, with you I destroy kingdoms.
With you I shatter horse and rider, with you I shatter chariot and driver.
With you I shatter man and wife, with you I shatter old and young, with you I shatter the youth and maiden.
With you I shatter the shepherd and his flock, with you I shatter the farmer and his team, with you I shatter satraps and prefects.
Thus will I repay Babylon, and all who live in Chaldea All the evil they did to Zion, as you shall see with your own eyes, says the LORD.
Beware! I am against you, destroying mountain, destroyer of the entire earth, says the LORD; I will stretch forth my hand against you, roll you down over the cliffs, and make you a burnt mountain:
They will not take from you a cornerstone, or a foundation stone; Ruins forever shall you be, says the LORD.
2 Raise a signal on the earth, blow the trumpet among the nations; Dedicate peoples to war against her, summon against her the kingdoms, Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; Appoint recruiting officers against her, send up horses like bristling locusts.
Dedicate peoples to war against her: the king of Media, Its governors and all its prefects, every land in his domain.
The earth quakes and writhes, the LORD’S plan against Babylon is carried out, Turning the land of Babylon into a desert where no one lives.
Babylon’s warriors have ceased to fight, they remain in their strongholds; Dried up is their strength, they have become women. Burned are their homes, and broken their bars.
One runner meets another, herald meets herald, Telling the king of Babylon that all his city is taken.
The fords have been seized, and the fortresses set on fire, while warriors are in panic.
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trodden; Yet a little while, and the harvest time will come for her.
3 He has consumed me, routed me, (Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,) he has left me as an empty vessel; He has swallowed me like a dragon: filled his belly with my delights, and cast me out.
My torn flesh be upon Babylon, says the city on Zion; My blood upon the people of Chaldea, says Jerusalem.
But now, thus says the LORD: Surely I will defend your cause, I will avenge you; I will dry up her sea, and drain her fountain.
Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; A place of horror and ridicule, where no one lives.
They all roar like lions, growl like lion cubs.
When they are parched, I will set a drink before them to make them drunk, that they may be overcome with perpetual sleep, never to awaken, says the LORD.
I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats.
How has she been seized, made captive, the glory of the whole world! What a horror has Babylon become among nations:
against Babylon the sea rises, she is overwhelmed by the roaring waves!
Her cities have become a desert, parched and arid land Where no man lives, and no one passes through.
I will punish Bel in Babylon, and make him disgorge what he swallowed; peoples shall stream to him no more. The wall of Babylon falls!
Leave her, my people, let each one save himself from the burning wrath of the LORD.
Be not discouraged for fear of rumors spread in the land; this year the rumor comes, then violence in the land, tyrant against tyrant.
But behold, the days are coming when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land shall be put to shame, and all her slain shall lie fallen within her.
Then heaven, and earth, and everything in them shall shout over Babylon with joy, when the destroyers come against her from the north, says the LORD.
Babylon, too, must fall, O slain of Israel, as at the hands of Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.
You who have escaped the sword, go on, stand not still; Remember the LORD from afar, let Jerusalem come to your minds.
We are ashamed because we have heard taunts, confusion covers our faces; strangers have entered the holy places of the house of the LORD.
But behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will punish her idols, and in her whole land the wounded will groan.
Though Babylon scale the heavens, and make her strong heights inaccessible, destroyers from me shall reach her, says the LORD.
Hear! loud cries from Babylon, dire destruction from the land of the Chaldeans;
For the LORD lays Babylon waste, stills her loud cry, Though her waves were roaring like mighty waters, and their clamor was heard afar.
For the destroyer comes upon her, (Babylon,) her heroes are captured, their bows broken; The LORD is a God who requites, he will surely repay.
I will make her princes and her wise men drunk, her governors, her prefects, and her warriors, so that they sleep an eternal sleep, never to awaken, says the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: The walls of spacious Babylon shall be leveled utterly; her lofty gates shall be destroyed by fire. The toil of the nations is for nothing; for the flames the peoples weary themselves.
4 This was the errand given by the prophet Jeremiah to Seraiah, son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon for the king in the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah; Seraiah was chief quartermaster.
5 Jeremiah had written all the misfortune that was to befall Babylon in a single book: all these words that were written against Babylon.
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: When you reach Babylon, see that you read aloud all these words,
and then say: O LORD, you yourself threatened to destroy this place, so that neither man nor beast should dwell in it, since it would remain an everlasting desert.
When you have finished reading this book, tie a stone to it and throw it in the Euphrates,
6 and say: Thus shall Babylon sink. Never shall she rise, because of the evil I am bringing upon her. (To “weary themselves” are the words of Jeremiah.)
1  Media’s kings: the Medes dwelt with the Persians in the land now known as Iran. At the time these words were written the Medes were the dominant people of the two, but within a short time the Persians had gained the ascendancy.
2  Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: regions or people in what is now Armenia, subject at this time to Media.
3  Me, my: refers to Jerusalem.
4  Seraiah: the brother of Baruch; cf ⇒ Jeremiah 32:12. The king: Zedekiah. Perhaps Seraiah went to Babylon to explain away the presence of foreign ambassadors in Jerusalem that same year; cf ⇒ Jeremiah 27:3.
5  Jeremiah prophesied against Babylon, even as he foretold Judah’s release from Babylon’s power (⇒ Jeremiah 3:14-18; ⇒ 32:15; ⇒ 33:6-9, ⇒ 12-13); but his book against Babylon was thrown in the Euphrates (⇒ Jeremiah 51:63). The preceding oracles were composed by later writers; see note on ⇒ Jeremiah 50:1-⇒ 51:58.
6  To “weary themselves” are the words of Jeremiah: an editorial remark concerning the end of ⇒ Jeremiah 51:58.