This is what the LORD says: "See, I will stir1 up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon2 and the people of Leb Kamai.
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I will send foreigners3 to Babylon to winnow4 her and to devastate her land; they will oppose her on every side in the day5 of her disaster.
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Let not the archer string his bow,6 nor let him put on his armor.7 Do not spare her young men; completely destroy her army.
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They will fall8 down slain in Babylon, fatally wounded in her streets.9
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For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken10 by their God, the LORD Almighty, though their land is full of guilt11 before the Holy One of Israel.
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"Flee12 from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins.13 It is time14 for the LORD's vengeance;15 he will pay16 her what she deserves.
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Babylon was a gold cup17 in the LORD's hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.
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Babylon will suddenly fall18 and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm19 for her pain; perhaps she can be healed.
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" 'We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave20 her and each go to his own land, for her judgment21 reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the clouds.'
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" 'The LORD has vindicated22 us; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD our God has done.'23
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"Sharpen the arrows,24 take up the shields!25 The LORD has stirred up the kings26 of the Medes,27 because his purpose28 is to destroy Babylon. The LORD will take vengeance,29 vengeance for his temple.30
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Lift up a banner31 against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen,32 prepare an ambush!33 The LORD will carry out his purpose,34 his decree against the people of Babylon.
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You who live by many waters35 and are rich in treasures,36 your end has come, the time for you to be cut off.37
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The LORD Almighty has sworn by himself:38 I will surely fill you with men, as with a swarm of locusts,39 and they will shout40 in triumph over you.
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"He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom41 and stretched42 out the heavens by his understanding.43
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When he thunders,44 the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain45 and brings out the wind from his storehouses.46
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"Every man is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud;47 they have no breath in them.
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They are worthless,48 the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish.
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He who is the Portion49 of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including the tribe of his inheritance50-- the LORD Almighty is his name.
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"You are my war club,51 my weapon for battle-- with you I shatter52 nations,53 with you I destroy kingdoms,
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with you I shatter horse and rider,54 with you I shatter chariot55 and driver,
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with you I shatter man and woman, with you I shatter old man and youth, with you I shatter young man and maiden,56
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with you I shatter shepherd and flock, with you I shatter farmer and oxen, with you I shatter governors and officials.57
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"Before your eyes I will repay58 Babylon59 and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion," declares the LORD.
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"I am against60 you, O destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth,"61 declares the LORD. "I will stretch out my hand62 against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain.63
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No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone, nor any stone for a foundation, for you will be desolate64 forever," declares the LORD.
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"Lift up a banner65 in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her; summon against her these kingdoms:66 Ararat,67 Minni and Ashkenaz.68 Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts.69
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Prepare the nations for battle against her-- the kings of the Medes,70 their governors and all their officials, and all the countries they rule.71
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The land trembles72 and writhes, for the LORD's purposes73 against Babylon stand-- to lay waste74 the land of Babylon so that no one will live there.75
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Babylon's warriors76 have stopped fighting; they remain in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted; they have become like women.77 Her dwellings are set on fire;78 the bars79 of her gates are broken.
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One courier80 follows another and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon that his entire city is captured,81
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the river crossings seized, the marshes set on fire,82 and the soldiers terrified.83"
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This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "The Daughter of Babylon84 is like a threshing floor85 at the time it is trampled; the time to harvest86 her will soon come.87"
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"Nebuchadnezzar88 king of Babylon has devoured89 us,90 he has thrown us into confusion, he has made us an empty jar. Like a serpent he has swallowed us and filled his stomach with our delicacies, and then has spewed91 us out.
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May the violence92 done to our flesh be upon Babylon," say the inhabitants of Zion. "May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia," says Jerusalem.93
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Therefore, this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause94 and avenge95 you; I will dry up96 her sea and make her springs dry.
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Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt97 of jackals, an object of horror and scorn,98 a place where no one lives.99
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Her people all roar like young lions,100 they growl like lion cubs.
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But while they are aroused, I will set out a feast for them and make them drunk,101 so that they shout with laughter-- then sleep forever102 and not awake," declares the LORD.103
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"I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats.104
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"How Sheshach105 will be captured,106 the boast of the whole earth seized! What a horror107 Babylon will be among the nations!
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The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves108 will cover her.
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Her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert109 land, a land where no one lives, through which no man travels.110
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I will punish Bel111 in Babylon and make him spew out112 what he has swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him. And the wall113 of Babylon will fall.
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"Come out114 of her, my people! Run115 for your lives! Run from the fierce anger116 of the LORD.
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Do not lose heart117 or be afraid118 when rumors119 are heard in the land; one rumor comes this year, another the next, rumors of violence in the land and of ruler against ruler.
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For the time will surely come when I will punish the idols120 of Babylon; her whole land will be disgraced121 and her slain will all lie fallen within her.122
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Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout123 for joy over Babylon, for out of the north124 destroyers125 will attack her," declares the LORD.
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"Babylon must fall because of Israel's slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon.126
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You who have escaped the sword, leave127 and do not linger! Remember128 the LORD in a distant land,129 and think on Jerusalem."
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"We are disgraced,130 for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the LORD's house."131
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"But days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish her idols,132 and throughout her land the wounded will groan.133
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Even if Babylon reaches the sky134 and fortifies her lofty stronghold, I will send destroyers135 against her," declares the LORD.
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"The sound of a cry136 comes from Babylon, the sound of great destruction137 from the land of the Babylonians.
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The LORD will destroy Babylon; he will silence138 her noisy din. Waves139 [of enemies] will rage like great waters; the roar of their voices will resound.
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A destroyer140 will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken.141 For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay142 in full.
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I will make her officials143 and wise144 men drunk,145 her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep146 forever and not awake," declares the King,147 whose name is the LORD Almighty.
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This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Babylon's thick wall148 will be leveled and her high gates149 set on fire; the peoples150 exhaust151 themselves for nothing, the nations' labor is only fuel for the flames."152
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This is the message Jeremiah gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah,153 the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah154 king of Judah in the fourth155 year of his reign.
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Jeremiah had written on a scroll156 about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon--all that had been recorded concerning Babylon.
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He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud.
Then say, 'O LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate157 forever.'
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When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates.158
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Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more159 because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people160 will fall.' "161 The words of Jeremiah end162 here.
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