Jeremiah 51; Jeremiah 52

1 The LORD proclaims: I'm stirring up a violent wind against Babylon and those who live in Leb-qamai. 2 I will send mercenaries to Babylon who will sift her and clear out her land. They will surround her on the day of disaster. 3 Let the archers draw their bows; let them prepare their armor. Show no mercy to her young men; wipe out her entire company! 4 They will fall wounded in the land of Babylon, struck down in her streets. 5 God, the LORD of heavenly forces, hasn't abandoned Israel and Judah, even though they live in a land filled with guilt before the holy one of Israel. 6 Escape from Babylon; each of you run for your lives! Don't perish because of her guilt, because this is the time for the LORD's retribution, a day of reckoning for all that Babylon has done. 7 Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD's hand; it made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine and went mad. 8 But suddenly Babylon fell and shattered into pieces. Wail for her! Bring medicine for her pain; perhaps she will recover. 9 We tried to cure Babylon, but she was beyond help. Let's depart from her and return to your own country, each of you. Her punishment reaches to heaven and extends to the clouds. 10 The LORD has come to our defense, so let's declare in Zion what the LORD our God has done! 11 Sharpen your arrows; prepare your shields. The LORD is stirring up the spirit of kings from Media. He intends to destroy Babylon; this is the LORD's retribution, a day of reckoning for his temple. 12 Set up a flag on the walls of Babylon, fortify the guards, post watchmen, prepare an ambush, because the LORD has a plan against the inhabitants of Babylon. He will accomplish it, just as he said he would. 13 You live beside a great river, and you are rich in treasures. But your time has come; your cruelty has caught up with you. 14 The LORD of heavenly forces has sworn by his own name: I'm going to fill your cities with soldiers like a swarm of locusts; they will celebrate their victory over you. 15 God made the earth by his might, shaped the world by his wisdom, and crafted the skies by his knowledge. 16 At the sound of God's voice, the heavenly waters roar. God raises the clouds from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and sends the wind from his treasuries. 17 Everyone is too foolish to understand; every smith is shamed by his idols, for their images are shams; they aren't alive. 18 They are a delusion, a charade; at the appointed time they will be ruined! 19 But the portion of Jacob is utterly different, for he has formed all things, including his very own tribe; the LORD of heavenly forces is his name! 20 You are my hammer, my weapon of war. With you I will crush the nations. With you I will destroy kingdoms. 21 With you I will crush horse and rider. With you I will crush chariot and driver. 22 With you I will crush men and women. With you I will crush old and young. With you I will crush young men and young women. 23 With you I will crush shepherds and flocks. With you I will crush farmers and oxen. With you I will crush governors and officials. 24 I will repay Babylon and all its inhabitants for the terrible things they have done to Zion in your sight, declares the LORD. 25 I'm against you, you mountain of destruction, declares the LORD, you destroyer of the whole earth! I will reach out against you; I will topple you from your heights; I will turn you into a rubbish heap. 26 They will never remove a cornerstone or a foundation stone from you. You will be a wasteland forever, declares the LORD. 27 Set up a flag in the land; sound the alarm among the nations! Prepare them for war against her; summon kingdoms against her— Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; call up the troops, like swarms of locusts! 28 Prepare the nations for war against her, the kings of Media, its governors, all its officials, and all the countries they rule. 29 The earth quakes and trembles because the LORD's plans against Babylon are fulfilled: to reduce Babylon to a wasteland, with no one left in it. 30 Babylon's warriors quit fighting; they hide in their fortifications. Their strength is worn out; their courage is gone! Babylon's houses are burned down, and its gates are smashed. 31 Courier joins courier, messenger joins messenger to relate the news to the king of Babylon that his entire city has fallen. 32 The river crossings are blocked; the marshes are on fire; the soldiers are terrified. 33 The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor ready to be trampled down. In a little while her harvest will come. 34 Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar has eaten us alive; he's drained us of strength; he's left us for dead. He's gobbled us up like a great sea monster; he's filled his belly with our treasures; and he's spit us out. 35 May Babylon be violated as our bodies were, say the inhabitants of Zion. May our blood be on the Babylonians, say those from Jerusalem. 36 Therefore, the LORD proclaims: I'm going to defend your cause; I'll turn the tables on your attacker. I'll dry up her sea; I'll shut up her springs. 37 Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a den of wild dogs, a wasteland with no one left in it. 38 Like lions they will roar together; they will growl like lions' cubs. 39 They are ready to devour, so I'll prepare the feast and mix the drinks! But after their noisy drunkenness, they will fall fast asleep. They will sleep forever, never to get up, declares the LORD. 40 I'll lead them off like lambs for slaughter, like rams and goats. 41 How Sheshach has been defeated, the pride of the whole earth taken captive! How Babylon has become a wasteland among the nations! 42 The sea has risen over Babylon; its pounding waves overwhelm her. 43 Her towns are devastated; her land is scorched and barren, a place where no one lives or dares to pass through. 44 I will punish Bel in Babylon; I will force him to vomit what he's consumed. Then nations will no longer stream to him, and Babylon's walls will collapse! 45 Get out of Babylon, my people! Run for your lives from the LORD's fierce anger. 46 Don't be distracted or frightened by the rumors you hear in the land. Sometimes you hear one thing and another time something else: rumors of violence and uprisings. 47 The time is coming when I will deal with Babylon's idols; the whole land will be disgraced, and her wounded will fall in her midst. 48 Then all creation will rejoice over Babylon, because out of the north destroying armies will come to attack her, declares the LORD. 49 Babylon must fall for the dead in Israel, as the dead of all the earth have fallen to Babylon. 50 You survivors of war, leave now; don't delay! Remember the LORD, from a faraway land. Keep Jerusalem alive in your hearts. 51 We're humiliated by their taunts; we're disgraced that strangers have violated the sacred places of the LORD's temple. 52 The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will deal with her idols, and the wounded in her land will groan. 53 Even if Babylon scales the heavens and strengthens its towering defenses, the destroying armies will still come against her, at my command, declares the LORD. 54 Listen to the cries for help from Babylon, signs of massive devastation in the land, declares the LORD. 55 The LORD is destroying Babylon and silencing her outcry, whose roar is like the crushing waves, a deafening crash. 56 He certainly comes against her; the destroyer comes against Babylon. Her warriors are captured; their bows are broken. The LORD is an exacting God who repays in full. 57 I'll make her leaders and sages drunk, her governors, officials, and warriors as well. They will sleep forever, never to get up, declares the king, whose name is the LORD of heavenly forces. 58 The LORD of heavenly forces proclaims: Babylon's massive walls will come down, down to the ground; and its high gates will be burned to the ground. People labor in vain; nations toil for nothing but ashes! 59 This is what the prophet Jeremiah instructed the staff officer Seraiah, Neriah's son and Mahseiah's grandson, when Seraiah went to Babylon with Judah's King Zedekiah in the fourth year of his rule. Jeremiah's words end here. 60 Jeremiah wrote down in a single scroll all the disasters that would happen to Babylon—all these things concerning Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah: When you get to Babylon, see to it that you read all these words. 62 Then say, "LORD, you declared that this place will be destroyed and nothing will remain in it—neither human nor animal; that it will forever be a wasteland!" 63 When you finish reading the scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, "In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the disaster I'm bringing against it."
1 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal; she was a daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 2 He did evil in the LORD's eyes just as Jehoiachin had done. 3 It was because the LORD was angry against Jerusalem and Judah that he thrust them out of his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 In the ninth year, the tenth month, and the tenth day of the month, Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem with all of his army. He camped beside the city and built a siege wall around it. 5 The city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 6 On the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city reached a point that no food remained for the people. 7 The enemy entered the city, and all the soldiers fled by night along the gate between the two walls by the royal gardens. So the Babylonians surrounded the city while the soldiers fled toward the desert plain. 8 However, the Babylonian army chased down Zedekiah and caught him in the plains of Jericho. (His entire army had fled from him.) 9 They arrested the king and brought him before the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And he pronounced sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah's children before his very own eyes, and he slaughtered all Judah's officers at Riblah. 11 Then he gouged out Zedekiah's eyes and bound him in chains. The king of Babylon dragged him off to Babylon and put him in prison, where he remained until he died. 12 In the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan commander of the guard came to Jerusalem on behalf of his king. 13 He burned down the LORD's temple, the royal palace, all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the important buildings. 14 The entire Babylonian army and the commander of the guard destroyed the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 15 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard deported some of the poorest people, the rest of the people left in the city, a few skilled workers, and those who had joined the king of Babylon. 16 But Nebuzaradan commander of the guard left some of the poor to tend the vineyards and till the land. 17 The Babylonians broke apart the bronze columns, the stands, and the bronze Sea in the LORD's temple. They carried the bronze to Babylon. 18 They took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the sprinkling bowls, the incense dishes, and all the bronze equipment used for the temple services. 19 The commander of the guard took whatever gold or silver he could find as well: the small bowls, the fire pans, the sprinkling bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the basins, and the offering bowls. 20 There was too much bronze to be weighed: two columns, the bronze Sea and the twelve bronze bulls that held it up, and the stands, all of which Solomon had made for the LORD's temple. 21 Each column was about twenty-seven feet high and eighteen feet around. They were hollow, but the bronze was about three inches thick. 22 Each had a capital of bronze above it that towered seven and a half feet high, and each had an ornate design of bronze pomegranates around it. The second column was the same, also with pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides, a total of one hundred pomegranates around the ornate design. 24 The commander of the guard also took Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the deputy priest, and the three doorkeepers. 25 From the city, he took a eunuch who was appointed over the army and the seven royal advisors who remained in the city. He also took the scribe of the commander of the army in charge of military conscription and sixty military personnel who were found in the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 The king of Babylon struck them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And Judah went away from its land into exile. 28 This is the number of people whom Nebuchadnezzar deported: In the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans. 29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, he took 832 people from Jerusalem. 30 In the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, he dispatched Nebuzaradan commander of the guard, who deported 745 Judeans. Altogether, 4,600 were taken captive. 31 Judah's King Jehoiachin had been in exile for thirty-seven years when Awil-merodach became king in Babylon. He took note of Jehoiachin's plight and released him from prison on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of that very year. 32 Awil-merodach treated Jehoiachin kindly and gave him a throne higher than those of the other kings with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin discarded his prison clothes and ate his meals at the king's table for the rest of his life. 34 The Babylonian king provided him daily provisions for the rest of his life, right up until he died.
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