Old Testament

Jeremiah 50
A Prophecy About Babylon and Israel
501The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet.
2Declare and proclaim this among the nations.
Set up a signal flag.
Proclaim and do not hide it.
Say this:
Babylon has been taken.
Bel has been put to shame.
Marduk is terrified.
Babylon's images have been put to shame.
Her filthy idols are terrified.
3A nation has come up against her out of the north.
It will make her land desolate,
and no one will dwell in it.
Both man and animal have wandered away.
They are gone.
4In those days, and in that time, declares the Lord,
the people of Israel will come,
they and the people of Judah together with them.
They will come weeping,
and they will seek the Lord their God.
5They will ask the way to Zion and turn toward it,
saying, “Come, join yourselves to the Lord
in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.”
6My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have turned them aside on the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill.
They have forgotten their resting place.
7All who found them have devoured them.
Their enemies said, “We are not guilty,
because they sinned against the Lord,
who is their rightful pasture,
the Lord, the hope of their fathers.”
8Flee from Babylon!
Leave the land of the Chaldeans.
Be like the male goats that lead the flock.
9Watch, I will stir up and bring against Babylon
an assembly of great nations from the land of the north.
They will array themselves against her,
and she will be taken away captive from there.
Their arrows will be like those of a skilled warrior
who does not return empty-handed.
10Chaldea will be plundered.
All who prey on her will have their fill, declares the Lord.
11Because you are glad and rejoice,
you who plunder my inheritance,
because you leap like a heifer that treads out the grain,
and you neigh like strong horses,
12your mother will be completely put to shame.
She who gave birth to you will be humiliated.
Watch, she will become the least of the nations,
a wilderness, a desert, a wasteland.
13Because of the Lord's wrath she will not be inhabited.
She will be completely desolate.
Everyone who passes by Babylon will be astonished.
Everyone will mock her because of all her wounds.
14Line up for battle against Babylon and surround her.
All you who bend the bow, shoot at her.
Don't save any arrows,
because she has sinned against the Lord.
15Shout against her from all sides.
She surrenders!
Her fortifications[] have fallen.
Her walls have been thrown down.
This is the vengeance of the Lord.
Take vengeance on her!
Do to her as she has done to others!
16Cut off the sower from Babylon,
and the one who swings the sickle at harvest time.
They will each return to their own people.
They will each flee to their own land
because they fear the sword of the oppressor.
17Israel is a scattered flock of sheep that lions have chased away.
First, the king of Assyria devoured him.
Now, the last to crush his bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
18Therefore this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says:
I will certainly punish the king of Babylon and his land,
as I punished the king of Assyria.
19I will restore Israel to his pasture.
He will feed on Carmel and in Bashan.
His soul will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
20In those days and at that time, declares the Lord,
the guilt of Israel will be sought,
but there will be none.
The sins of Judah will be sought,
but they will not be found,
for I will forgive the survivors whom I spare.
21Go up against the land of Merathaim
and against those who live in Pekod.
Kill them and destroy them, declares the Lord.
Do everything I have commanded you.
22The noise of battle is in the land,
the noise of great destruction.
23How the hammer of the whole earth
is smashed and broken to pieces!
How Babylon has become a horror among the nations!
24I set a trap for you, Babylon,
and you were caught before you knew it.
You were found and captured,
because you fought against the Lord.
25The Lord has opened his arsenal
and brought out his weapons of wrath,
for the Lord God of Armies has work to do
in the land of the Chaldeans.
26Come against her from far away.
Open up her granaries,
and pile her up like heaps of grain.
Destroy her completely.
Let nothing be left.
27Kill all her young bulls.[]
Let them go down to the slaughter.
Woe to them, for their day has come,
the time for their punishment.
28Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon!
They proclaim in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God,
vengeance for what was done to his temple.
29Call the archers to Babylon,
all those who bend the bow.
Set up camp all around her.
Don't let her escape.
Pay her back for her deeds.
Do to her what she has done,
because she has defied the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel.
30Therefore her young men will fall in the streets.
All her soldiers will be silenced in that day, declares the Lord.
31Look, I am against you, you proud one, declares the Lord God of Armies.
Your day has come,
the time for your punishment.
32The proud king[] will stumble and fall,
and no one will help him up.
In his cities I will start a fire
that will consume everyone around him.
33This is what the Lord of Armies says.
The children of Israel and the children of Judah are oppressed.
All their captors hold them fast.
They refuse to let them go.
34But their Redeemer is strong.
The Lord of Armies is his name.
He himself will take up their cause
so that he may bring rest to the earth,
and unrest to those who live in Babylon.
35A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the Lord,
and against those who live in Babylon,
against her officials and her wise men!
36A sword against her empty boasters!
They will become fools.
A sword against her strong warriors!
They will be filled with terror.
37A sword against their horses and chariots!
All the foreigners in her ranks will become as weak as women.
A sword against her treasures!
They will be looted.
38A sword against her waters!
They will be dried up,
because it is a land of idols,
and they are driven mad by those dreadful images.
39That is why desert animals and hyenas[] will live there,
and shrieking ostriches will dwell there.
It will never again be inhabited.
It will never be lived in from generation to generation.
40Just as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighboring cities, declares the Lord,
no one will dwell there.
No one will live there even as a temporary resident.
41Look! A people comes from the north!
A great nation and many kings are being stirred up
from the ends of the earth.
42They take up bow and spear.
They are cruel and merciless.
Their roar sounds like the sea.
They ride on horses,
arrayed in battle formation against you, daughter of Babylon.
43The king of Babylon has heard the report about them,
and his hands hang limp.
Anguish grips him,
pains like a woman in labor.
44Watch this!
Like a lion coming out of the thickets of the Jordan
into the pastures that are always green,
I will suddenly chase Babylon away from its land,
and I will appoint whomever I chose over it.
For who is like me?
Who can challenge me?
What shepherd can stand before me?
45Therefore hear what the Lord has planned for Babylon,
and what he intends to do against the land of the Chaldeans:
Even the little ones of the flock will be dragged away.
He will make their pasture desolate because of them.
46The earth will tremble at the noise of Babylon's fall.
Their cry will be heard among the nations.


  • 50:15 The meaning of the Hebrew word translated fortifications is uncertain. The Greek reads battlements; the Latin reads foundations.
  • 50:27 Perhaps a reference to young warriors
  • 50:32 The Hebrew text does not contain the word king, but the pronouns shift from feminine to masculine, suggesting a reference to the king.
  • 50:39 The meaning of this Hebrew term is uncertain.