This is the word the LORD spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon1 and the land of the Babyloniansa:
"Announce and proclaim2 among the nations, lift up a banner3 and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, 'Babylon will be captured;4 Bel5 will be put to shame,6 Marduk7 filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols8 filled with terror.'
A nation from the north9 will attack her and lay waste her land. No one will live10 in it; both men and animals11 will flee away.
"In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "the people of Israel and the people of Judah together12 will go in tears13 to seek14 the LORD their God.
They will ask the way15 to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come16 and bind themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant17 that will not be forgotten.
"My people have been lost sheep;18 their shepherds19 have led them astray20 and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill21 and forgot their own resting place.227
Whoever found them devoured23 them; their enemies said, 'We are not guilty,24 for they sinned against the LORD, their true pasture, the LORD, the hope25 of their fathers.'
"Flee26 out of Babylon;27 leave the land of the Babylonians, and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir28 up and bring against Babylon an alliance of great nations29 from the land of the north.30 They will take up their positions against her, and from the north she will be captured.31 Their arrows32 will be like skilled warriors who do not return empty-handed.
So Babyloniab will be plundered;33 all who plunder her will have their fill," declares the LORD.
"Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance,34 because you frolic like a heifer35 threshing grain and neigh like stallions,
your mother will be greatly ashamed; she who gave you birth will be disgraced.36 She will be the least of the nations-- a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.3713
Because of the LORD's anger she will not be inhabited but will be completely desolate.38 All who pass Babylon will be horrified39 and scoff40 because of all her wounds.4114
"Take up your positions around Babylon, all you who draw the bow.42 Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,43 for she has sinned against the LORD.
Shout44 against her on every side! She surrenders, her towers fall, her walls45 are torn down. Since this is the vengeance46 of the LORD, take vengeance on her; do to her47 as she has done to others.4816
Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the reaper with his sickle at harvest. Because of the sword49 of the oppressor let everyone return to his own people,50 let everyone flee to his own land.5117
"Israel is a scattered flock52 that lions53 have chased away. The first to devour54 him was the king55 of Assyria; the last to crush his bones56 was Nebuchadnezzar57 king58 of Babylon."
Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I will punish the king of Babylon and his land as I punished the king59 of Assyria.6019
But I will bring61 Israel back to his own pasture and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan; his appetite will be satisfied62 on the hills63 of Ephraim and Gilead.6420
In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none,65 and for the sins66 of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive67 the remnant68 I spare.
"Attack the land of Merathaim and those who live in Pekod.69 Pursue, kill and completely destroyc them," declares the LORD. "Do everything I have commanded you.
The noise70 of battle is in the land, the noise of great destruction!
How broken and shattered is the hammer71 of the whole earth!72 How desolate73 is Babylon among the nations!
I set a trap74 for you, O Babylon, and you were caught before you knew it; you were found and captured75 because you opposed76 the LORD.
The LORD has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons77 of his wrath, for the Sovereign LORD Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.7826
Come against her from afar.79 Break open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain.80 Completely destroy81 her and leave her no remnant.
Kill all her young bulls;82 let them go down to the slaughter!83 Woe to them! For their day84 has come, the time85 for them to be punished.
Listen to the fugitives86 and refugees from Babylon declaring in Zion87 how the LORD our God has taken vengeance,88 vengeance for his temple.8929
"Summon archers against Babylon, all those who draw the bow.90 Encamp all around her; let no one escape.91 Repay92 her for her deeds;93 do to her as she has done. For she has defied94 the LORD, the Holy One95 of Israel.
Therefore, her young men96 will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day," declares the LORD.
"See, I am against97 you, O arrogant one," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty, "for your day98 has come, the time for you to be punished.
The arrogant99 one will stumble and fall100 and no one will help her up;101 I will kindle a fire102 in her towns that will consume all who are around her."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The people of Israel are oppressed,103 and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go.10434
Yet their Redeemer105 is strong; the LORD Almighty106 is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause107 so that he may bring rest108 to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.
"A sword109 against the Babylonians!"110 declares the LORD-- "against those who live in Babylon and against her officials and wise111 men!
A sword against her false prophets! They will become fools. A sword against her warriors!112 They will be filled with terror.11337
A sword against her horses and chariots114 and all the foreigners in her ranks! They will become women.115 A sword against her treasures!116 They will be plundered.
A drought ond her waters!117 They will dry118 up. For it is a land of idols,119 idols that will go mad with terror.
"So desert creatures120 and hyenas will live there, and there the owl will dwell. It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation.12140
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah122 along with their neighboring towns," declares the LORD, "so no one will live there; no man will dwell in it.12341
"Look! An army is coming from the north;124 a great nation and many kings are being stirred125 up from the ends of the earth.12642
They are armed with bows127 and spears; they are cruel128 and without mercy.129 They sound like the roaring sea130 as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Babylon.13143
The king of Babylon has heard reports about them, and his hands hang limp.132 Anguish has gripped him, pain like that of a woman in labor.13344
Like a lion coming up from Jordan's thickets134 to a rich pastureland, I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen135 one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me?136 And what shepherd can stand against me?"
Therefore, hear what the LORD has planned against Babylon, what he has purposed137 against the land of the Babylonians:138 The young of the flock will be dragged away; he will completely destroy their pasture because of them.
At the sound of Babylon's capture the earth will tremble;139 its cry140 will resound among the nations.