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Jeremiah 51 (New Living Translation)

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1 This is what the LORD says: "I will stir up a destroyer against Babylon and the people of Babylonia. a 2 Foreigners will come and winnow her, blowing her away as chaff. They will come from every side to rise against her in her day of trouble. 3 Don't let the archers put on their armor or draw their bows. No one will be spared! Young and old alike will be completely destroyed. b 4 They will fall dead in the land of the Babylonians, c slashed to death in her streets. 5 For the LORD Almighty has not forsaken Israel and Judah. He is still their God, even though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel." 6 Flee from Babylon! Save yourselves! Don't get trapped in her punishment! It is the LORD's time for vengeance; he will fully repay her. 7 Babylon has been like a golden cup in the LORD's hands, a cup from which he made the whole earth drink and go mad. 8 But now suddenly, Babylon, too, has fallen. Weep for her, and give her medicine. Perhaps she can yet be healed. 9 We would have helped her if we could, but nothing can save her now. Let her go; abandon her. Return now to your own land, for her judgment will be so great it cannot be measured. 10 The LORD has vindicated us. Come, let us announce in Jerusalem d everything the LORD our God has done. 11 Sharpen the arrows! Lift up the shields! For the LORD has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes to march against Babylon and destroy her. This is his vengeance against those who desecrated his Temple. 12 Raise the battle flag against Babylon! Reinforce the guard and station the watchmen. Prepare an ambush, for the LORD will fulfill all his plans against Babylon. 13 You are a city rich with water, a great center of commerce, but your end has come. The thread of your life is cut. 14 The LORD Almighty has taken this vow and has sworn to it by his own name: "Your cities will be filled with enemies, like fields filled with locusts, and they will lift their shouts of triumph over you." 15 He made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. He has stretched out the heavens by his understanding. 16 When he speaks, there is thunder in the heavens. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses. 17 Compared to him, all people are foolish and have no knowledge at all! They make idols, but the idols will disgrace their makers, for they are frauds. They have no life or power in them. 18 Idols are worthless; they are lies! The time is coming when they will all be destroyed. 19 But the God of Israel e is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including his people, his own special possession. The LORD Almighty is his name! 20 "You f are my battle-ax and sword," says the LORD. "With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms. 21 With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer. 22 With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens. 23 With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers." 24 "As you watch, I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia g for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem," says the LORD. 25 "Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth! I am your enemy," says the LORD. "I will raise my fist against you, to roll you down from the heights. When I am finished, you will be nothing but a heap of rubble. 26 You will be desolate forever. Even your stones will never again be used for building. You will be completely wiped out," says the LORD. 27 Signal many nations to mobilize for war against Babylon. Sound the battle cry! Bring out the armies of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a leader, and bring a multitude of horses! 28 Bring against her the armies of the kings of the Medes and their generals, and the armies of all the countries they rule. 29 Babylon trembles and writhes in pain, for everything the LORD has planned against her stands unchanged. Babylon will be left desolate without a single inhabitant. 30 Her mightiest warriors no longer fight. They stay in their barracks. Their courage is gone. They have become as fearful as women. The invaders have burned the houses and broken down the city gates. 31 Messengers from every side come running to the king to tell him all is lost! 32 All the escape routes are blocked. The fortifications are burning, and the army is in panic. 33 For the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Babylon is like wheat on a threshing floor, about to be trampled. In just a little while her harvest will begin." 34 "King Nebuchadnezzar h of Babylon has eaten and crushed us and emptied out our strength. He has swallowed us like a great monster and filled his belly with our riches. He has thrown us out of our own country. 35 May Babylon be repaid for all the violence she did to us," say the people of Jerusalem. "May the people of Babylonia be paid in full for all the blood they spilled," says Jerusalem. 36 The LORD says to Jerusalem, "I will be your lawyer to plead your case, and I will avenge you. I will dry up her river, her water supply, 37 and Babylon will become a heap of rubble, haunted by jackals. It will be an object of horror and contempt, without a single person living there." 38 "In their drunken feasts, the people of Babylon roar like lions. 39 And while they lie inflamed with all their wine, I will prepare a different kind of feast for them. I will make them drink until they fall asleep, never again to waken," says the LORD. 40 "I will bring them like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats to be sacrificed." 41 "How Babylon i is fallen -- great Babylon, praised throughout the earth! The world can scarcely believe its eyes at her fall! 42 The sea has risen over Babylon; she is covered by its waves. 43 Her cities now lie in ruins; she is a dry wilderness where no one lives or even passes by. 44 And I will punish Bel, the god of Babylon, and pull from his mouth what he has taken. The nations will no longer come and worship him. The wall of Babylon has fallen." 45 "Listen, my people, flee from Babylon. Save yourselves! Run from the LORD's fierce anger. 46 But do not panic when you hear the first rumor of approaching forces. For rumors will keep coming year by year. Then there will be a time of violence as the leaders fight against each other. 47 For the time is surely coming when I will punish this great city and all her idols. Her whole land will be disgraced, and her dead will lie in the streets. 48 The heavens and earth will rejoice, for out of the north will come destroying armies against Babylon," says the LORD. 49 "Just as Babylon killed the people of Israel and others throughout the world, so must her people be killed. 50 Go, you who escaped the sword! Do not stand and watch -- flee while you can! Remember the LORD, even though you are in a far-off land, and think about your home in Jerusalem." 51 "We are ashamed," the people say. "We are insulted and disgraced because the LORD's Temple has been defiled by foreigners." 52 "Yes," says the LORD, "but the time is coming when Babylon's idols will be destroyed. The groans of her wounded people will be heard throughout the land. 53 Though Babylon reaches as high as the heavens, and though she increases her strength immeasurably, I will send enemies to plunder her," says the LORD. 54 Listen! Hear the cry of Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians. 55 For the LORD is destroying Babylon. He will silence her. Waves of enemies pound against her; the noise of battle rings through the city. 56 Destroying armies come against Babylon. Her mighty men are captured, and their weapons break in their hands. For the LORD is a God who gives just punishment, and he is giving Babylon all she deserves. 57 "I will make drunk her officials, wise men, rulers, captains, and warriors," says the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty. "They will fall asleep and never wake up again!" 58 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The wide walls of Babylon will be leveled to the ground, and her high gates will be burned. The builders from many lands have worked in vain, for their work will be destroyed by fire!" 59 The prophet Jeremiah gave this message to Zedekiah's staff officer, Seraiah son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with King Zedekiah of Judah. This was during the fourth year of Zedekiah's reign. j 60 Jeremiah had recorded on a scroll all the terrible disasters that would soon come upon Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, read aloud everything on this scroll. 62 Then say, 'LORD, you have said that you will destroy Babylon so that neither people nor animals will remain here. She will lie empty and abandoned forever.' 63 Then, when you have finished reading the scroll, tie it to a stone, and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, 'In this same way Babylon and her people will sink, never again to rise, because of the disasters I will bring upon her.' "This is the end of Jeremiah's messages.
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