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Jeremiah - Chapter 51

1 Yahweh says this: Against Babylon and the inhabitants of Leb-Kamai I shall rouse a destructive wind.

2 I shall send winnowers to Babylon to winnow her and leave her country bare, for she will be beleaguered on all sides, on the day of disaster.

3 Let no archer bend his bow! Let no man swagger in his breastplate!-No quarter for her young men! Curse her whole army with destruction!

4 In the country of the Chaldaeans the slaughtered will fall, in the streets of Babylon, those run through by the sword.

5 For Israel and Judah have not been bereft of their God, Yahweh Sabaoth, although their country was full of sin against the Holy One of Israel.

6 Escape from Babylon (save your lives, each one of you); do not perish for her guilt, for now is the time for Yahweh's vengeance: he will pay her her reward!

7 Babylon was a golden cup in Yahweh's hand, she made the whole world drunk, the nations drank her wine and then went mad.

8 Babylon has suddenly fallen, is broken: wail for her! Fetch balm for her wounds, perhaps she can be cured!

9 -'We tried to cure Babylon; she has got no better. Leave her alone and let us each go to his own country.' -Yes, her sentence reaches to the sky, rises to the very clouds.

10 Yahweh has shown the uprightness of our cause. Come, let us tell in Zion what Yahweh our God has done.

11 Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! Yahweh has roused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because he has a plan against Babylon to destroy it; this is Yahweh's revenge, revenge for his Temple.

12 Against the walls of Babylon raise the standard! Strengthen the guard! Post the sentries! Take up concealed positions! For Yahweh has both planned and done what he promised he would to the inhabitants of Babylon.

13 Enthroned beside abundant waters, rich in treasures, you now meet your end, the finish of your pillaging.

14 By his own self Yahweh Sabaoth has sworn: I shall fill you with men as though with grasshoppers, and over you they will raise the triumph-shout.

15 By his power he made the earth, by his wisdom set the world firm, by his discernment spread out the heavens.

16 When he thunders there is a roaring of waters in heaven; he raises clouds from the furthest limits of the earth, makes the lightning flash for the downpour, and brings the wind from his storehouse.

17 At this everyone stands stupefied, uncomprehending, every goldsmith blushes for his idols; his castings are but delusion, with no breath in them.

18 They are futile, a laughable production, when the time comes for them to be punished, they will vanish.

19 The Heritage of Jacob is not like these, for he is the maker of everything, and Israel is the tribe that is his heritage; His name is Yahweh Sabaoth.

20 You were my mace, a weapon of war. With you I crushed nations, struck kingdoms down,

21 with you crushed horse and rider, with you crushed chariot and charioteer,

22 with you crushed man and woman, with you crushed old man and young, with you crushed young man and girl,

23 with you crushed shepherd and flock, with you crushed ploughman and team, with you crushed governors and magistrates,

24 and I shall repay Babylon and the inhabitants of Chaldaea, before your eyes, for all the wrongs they have done to Zion, Yahweh declares.

25 I am setting myself against you, mountain of destruction, Yahweh declares, destroyer of the whole world! I shall reach out my hand for you and send you tumbling from the crags and make you a burnt-out mountain.

26 No corner-stone will be taken from you again and no foundation-stone, for you will be a desert for ever, Yahweh declares.

27 Raise the standard throughout the world, sound the trumpet among the nations! Consecrate nations to make war on her; summon kingdoms against her: Ararat, Minni, Ashkenaz; appoint a recruiting-officer for her enemies, bring up the cavalry, bristling like locusts.

28 Consecrate nations to make war on her: the kings of Media, her governors, all her magistrates and the whole territory under their rule.

29 Then the earth trembled and writhed, for Yahweh's plan against Babylon was being executed: to change the country of Babylon into an unpopulated desert.

30 The warriors of Babylon have done with fighting, they have stayed inside their fortresses; their courage exhausted, they are now like women. Her houses are on fire, her gates are shattered.

31 Courier follows close on courier, messenger on messenger, to tell the king of Babylon that his city has been taken from all sides,

32 the fords occupied, the bastions burnt down and the fighting men seized with panic.

33 For Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: the daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor when it is being trodden: a little while, and then the time for harvesting her will come.

34 He devoured me, consumed me, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, left me like an empty dish, like the Dragon he has swallowed me whole, filled his belly with my titbits and threw me out.

35 'On Babylon be the wounds I suffered!' the daughter of Zion will say. 'On the inhabitants of Chaldaea be my blood!' Jerusalem will say.

36 So, Yahweh says this: Look, I am taking up your cause to make sure you are avenged. I shall dry her river up, make her springs run dry.

37 Babylon will become a heap of stones, the lair of jackals, a thing of horror and of scorn, with no one living in it.

38 Like lions they roar together, they growl like lions' whelps.

39 Are they feverish? I will prepare them a drink and make them drink until they are tipsy and fall into an everlasting sleep, never to wake again, Yahweh declares.

40 I will drag them away to the slaughterhouse like lambs, like rams and goats.

41 What! Has Sheshak been taken, been conquered, the pride of the whole world? What a thing of horror Babylon has become throughout the nations!

42 The sea has risen over Babylon, she sinks beneath its boisterous waves.

43 Her towns have been turned into wasteland, a parched land, a desert, a country where no one lives and where nobody goes.

44 I shall punish Bel in Babylon and make him disgorge what he has swallowed. In future the nations will stream to him no more. The very walls of Babylon will fall.

45 Get out of her, my people; save your lives, each one of you, from Yahweh's furious anger.

46 But do not be faint-hearted! Do not take fright at rumours hawked round the country: one rumour spreads one year, next year another follows; violence rules on earth and one tyrant succeeds another.

47 So look, the days are coming when I shall punish the idols of Babylon. Her entire country will be humbled, with all her slaughtered lying on home-soil.

48 The heaven and earth and all within them will shout for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers from the north are coming to her, Yahweh declares.

49 Babylon in her turn must fall, you slaughtered ones of Israel, just as through Babylon there fell men slaughtered all over the world.

50 You who have escaped her sword, leave her, do not wait! Remember Yahweh from afar, let Jerusalem come into your mind.

51 -'We were ashamed when we heard of the outrage, we were covered in confusion because foreigners had entered the Temple of Yahweh's holy places.'

52 -So look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall punish her idols, and the wounded will groan throughout her country.

53 Were Babylon to scale the heavens or reinforce her towering citadel, destroyers would still come to her on my orders, Yahweh declares.

54 The din of shouting from Babylon, of immense destruction, from the country of the Chaldaeans!

55 Yes, Yahweh is laying Babylon waste and silencing her monstrous din, whose waves used to roar like the ocean and their tumultuous voices rang out.

56 For the destroyer has fallen on Babylon, her warriors are captured, their bows are broken. Yes, Yahweh is a God of retribution, he never fails to repay.

57 I shall make her princes and her sages drink, her governors, her magistrates, her warriors; they will fall into an everlasting sleep, never to wake again, declares the King, whose name is Yahweh Sabaoth.

58 Yahweh Sabaoth says this: The walls of Babylon the Great will be rased to the ground, and her lofty gates will be burnt down. Thus peoples toil for nothing and nations wear themselves out, for the flames.

59 This is the order that the prophet Jeremiah gave to Seraiah son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah when Seraiah left for Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was lord chamberlain.

60 Now, on one sheet, Jeremiah had written down the entire disaster that was to befall Babylon, that is, all these words recorded here against Babylon.

61 Jeremiah then said to Seraiah, 'When you reach Babylon, see to it that you read all these words aloud.

62 Then say, "You, Yahweh, have promised to destroy this place, so that no one will live here ever again, neither human nor animal, and it will be desolate for ever."

63 Then, when you have finished reading this sheet, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates,

64 with the words, "So shall Babylon sink, never to rise again from the disaster which I am going to bring on her." ' Thus far the words of Jeremiah.

Book of Jeremiah Chapters

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