Jeremiah 50

Listen to Jeremiah 50

Judgment on Babylon

1 The word that the LORD spoke concerning 1Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, 2by Jeremiah the prophet:
2 "Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: 3'Babylon is taken, 4Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed. 5Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.'
3 "For 6out of the north a nation has come up against her, 7which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; 8both man and beast shall flee away.
4 9"In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, 10the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, 11weeping as they come, and they 12shall seek the LORD their God.
5 13They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, 14saying, 'Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an 15everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.'
6 16"My people have been lost sheep. 17Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold.
7 All who found them have devoured them, 18and their enemies have said, 'We are not guilty, for 19they have sinned against the LORD, 20their habitation of righteousness, the LORD, 21the hope of their fathers.'
8 22"Flee from the midst of Babylon, 23and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock.
9 For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon 24a gathering of great nations, from the north country. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed.
10 25Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, declares the LORD.
11 26"Though you rejoice, though you exult, O plunderers of my heritage, though you frolic like a heifer in the pasture, and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother shall be utterly shamed, and she who bore you shall be disgraced. Behold, she shall be the last of the nations, 27a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13 28Because of the wrath of the LORD she shall not be inhabited but shall be an utter desolation; 29everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled, 30and hiss because of all her wounds.
14 31Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around, 32all you who bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows, 33for she has sinned against the LORD.
15 34Raise a shout against her all around; she has surrendered; her bulwarks have fallen; 35her walls are thrown down. For 36this is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance on her; 37do to her as she has done.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest; 38because of the sword of the oppressor, 39every one shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land.
17 40"Israel is a hunted sheep 41driven away by lions. 42First the king of Assyria 43devoured him, and now at last 44Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon 45has gnawed his bones.
18 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, 46I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, 47as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 48I will restore Israel to his pasture, and 49he shall feed on 50Carmel and in 51Bashan, and his desire shall be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in 52Gilead.
20 In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, 53iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for 54I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
21 "Go up against the land of Merathaim,[a] and against the inhabitants of Pekod.[b] Kill, 55and devote them to destruction,[c] declares the LORD, and do all that I have commanded you.
22 56The noise of battle is in the land, and great destruction!
23 57How the hammer of the whole earth is cut down and broken! 58How Babylon 59has become a horror among the nations!
24 60I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon, and 61you did not know it; you were found and caught, because you opposed the LORD.
25 The LORD has opened his armory and brought out 62the weapons of his wrath, for the Lord GOD of hosts has a work to do in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from every quarter; open her granaries; 63pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction; let nothing be left of her.
27 Kill all 64her bulls; let them go down to the slaughter. Woe to them, for their day has come, 65the time of their punishment.
28 "A voice! They 66flee and escape from the land of Babylon, 67to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, vengeance for 68his temple.
29 69"Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. 70Encamp around her; let no one escape. 71Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has 72proudly defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
30 73Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, declares the LORD.
31 "Behold, I am against you, O 74proud one, declares the Lord GOD of hosts, 75for your day has come, the time when I will punish you.
32 76The proud one shall stumble and fall, with none to raise him up, 77and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all that is around him.
33 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 78The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; 79they refuse to let them go.
34 80Their Redeemer is strong; 81the LORD of hosts is his name. 82He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 "A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the LORD, and against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against 83her officials and her 84wise men!
36 A sword against the diviners, that they may become fools! A sword against her 85warriors, that they may be destroyed!
37 A sword against her horses and against her chariots, and against all 86the foreign troops in her midst, that 87they may become women! 88A sword against all her treasures, that they may be plundered!
38 89A drought against her waters, that they may be dried up! 90For it is a land of images, and they are mad over idols.
39 91"Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations.
40 92As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the LORD, 93so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.
41 94"Behold, a people comes from the north; a mighty nation and many kings are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
42 They lay hold of bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy. The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea; they ride on horses, arrayed as a man for battle against you, O daughter of Babylon!
43 "The king of Babylon heard the report of them, and his hands fell helpless; anguish seized him, pain as of a woman in labor.
44 95"Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd 96can stand before me?
45 Therefore hear 97the plan that the LORD has made against Babylon, 98and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: 99Surely the little ones of their flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate.
46 100At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations."

Jeremiah 50 Commentary

Chapter 50

The ruin of Babylon. (1-3,8-16,21-32,35-46;) The redemption of God's people. (4-7,17-20,33,34)

Verses 1-7 The king of Babylon was kind to Jeremiah, yet the prophet must foretell the ruin of that kingdom. If our friends are God's enemies, we dare not speak peace to them. The destruction of Babylon is spoken of as done thoroughly. Here is a word for the comfort of the Jews. They shall return to their God first, then to their own land; the promise of their conversion and reformation makes way for the other promises. Their tears flow not from the sorrow of the world, as when they went into captivity, but from godly sorrow. They shall seek after the Lord as their God, and have no more to do with idols. They shall think of returning to their own country. This represents the return of poor souls to God. In true converts there are sincere desires to attain the end, and constant cares to keep in the way. Their present case is lamented as very sad. The sins of professing Christians never will excuse those who rejoice in destroying them.

Verses 8-20 The desolation that shall be brought upon Babylon is set forth in a variety of expressions. The cause of this destruction is the wrath of the Lord. Babylon shall be wholly desolated; for she hath sinned against the Lord. Sin makes men a mark for the arrows of God's judgments. The mercy promised to the Israel of God, shall not only accompany, but arise from the destruction of Babylon. These sheep shall be gathered from the deserts, and put again into good pasture. All who return to God and their duty, shall find satisfaction of soul in so doing. Deliverances out of trouble are comforts indeed, when fruits of the forgiveness of sin.

Verses 21-32 The forces are mustered and empowered to destroy Babylon. Let them do what God demands, and they shall bring to pass what he threatens. The pride of men's hearts sets God against them, and ripens them apace for ruin. Babylon's pride must be her ruin; she has been proud against the Holy One of Israel; who can keep those up whom God will throw down?

Verses 33-46 It is Israel's comfort in distress, that, though they are weak, their Redeemer is strong. This may be applied to believers, who complain of the dominion of sin and corruption, and of their own weakness and manifold infirmities. Their Redeemer is able to keep what they commit to him; and sin shall not have dominion over them. He will give them that rest which remains for the people of God. Also here is Babylon's sin, and their punishment. The sins are, idolatry and persecution. He that will not save his people in their sins, never will countenance the wickedness of his open enemies. The judgments of God for these sins will lay them waste. In the judgments denounced against prosperous Babylon, and the mercies promised to afflicted Israel, we learn to choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.

Cross References 100

  • 1. See Isa. 13:1 - 14:27; Isaiah 21:1-10
  • 2. [Jeremiah 51:59, 60]
  • 3. Isaiah 21:9
  • 4. See Isaiah 46:1
  • 5. Isaiah 21:9
  • 6. See Jeremiah 1:14
  • 7. ver. 13, 23; Jeremiah 51:29
  • 8. Jeremiah 51:62; [Psalms 135:8]
  • 9. See Jeremiah 3:18
  • 10. See Jeremiah 3:18
  • 11. Jeremiah 31:9, 18; Ezra 8:21; Psalms 126:6
  • 12. Hosea 3:5
  • 13. [Jeremiah 31:21]
  • 14. [Isaiah 2:3]
  • 15. See Jeremiah 32:40
  • 16. ver. 17; Isaiah 53:6; [Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4]
  • 17. Zechariah 10:2; See Ezekiel 34:1-6
  • 18. [Jeremiah 40:2, 3]
  • 19. [ver. 14]
  • 20. Jeremiah 31:23
  • 21. See Jeremiah 14:8
  • 22. Jeremiah 51:6, 45; See Isaiah 48:20
  • 23. Jeremiah 51:6, 45; See Isaiah 48:20
  • 24. See Jeremiah 25:14
  • 25. [Jeremiah 25:12]
  • 26. [Lamentations 4:21]
  • 27. Jeremiah 51:43
  • 28. ver. 39
  • 29. See Jeremiah 18:16
  • 30. See Jeremiah 18:16
  • 31. ver. 9; Jeremiah 51:11; Isaiah 21:2
  • 32. ver. 29; [Jeremiah 51:3]
  • 33. [ver. 7]
  • 34. [Joshua 6:16]
  • 35. Jeremiah 51:58
  • 36. Jeremiah 46:10; Jeremiah 51:6, 11
  • 37. ver. 29; Jeremiah 51:56
  • 38. Jeremiah 46:16
  • 39. [Jeremiah 51:9]; See Isaiah 13:14
  • 40. See ver. 6
  • 41. Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 4:7; Isaiah 5:29
  • 42. 2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:13
  • 43. Jeremiah 51:34
  • 44. 2 Kings 24:10, 14; See 2 Kings 25:1-11
  • 45. [Jeremiah 51:34]
  • 46. Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 24:21; [Psalms 76:12]
  • 47. Isaiah 14:24, 25
  • 48. Ezekiel 34:13, 14
  • 49. Ezekiel 34:13, 14
  • 50. Micah 7:14
  • 51. Micah 7:14
  • 52. Micah 7:14
  • 53. [Isaiah 40:2]
  • 54. Isaiah 33:24; See Jeremiah 31:34
  • 55. ver. 26; [Jeremiah 51:3]
  • 56. Jeremiah 51:54
  • 57. Isaiah 14:6
  • 58. [Revelation 18:19, 21]
  • 59. ver. 3, 13
  • 60. [Psalms 141:9]
  • 61. [Jeremiah 51:31; Daniel 5:30]
  • 62. Isaiah 13:5
  • 63. [Nehemiah 4:2]
  • 64. [Psalms 22:12; Isaiah 34:7, 8]
  • 65. Jeremiah 46:21
  • 66. [ver. 8]
  • 67. Jeremiah 51:10; Psalms 64:9
  • 68. [Jeremiah 51:11; Jeremiah 52:13; Daniel 5:3, 23]
  • 69. [ver. 14; Job 16:13]
  • 70. [ver. 14; Job 16:13]
  • 71. Jeremiah 25:14
  • 72. Isaiah 47:10
  • 73. Jeremiah 49:26
  • 74. [See ver. 29 above]
  • 75. ver. 27; Jeremiah 49:8
  • 76. [See ver. 29 above]
  • 77. See Jeremiah 17:27
  • 78. [ver. 17]
  • 79. [Isaiah 14:17]
  • 80. See Isaiah 43:14
  • 81. See Jeremiah 10:16
  • 82. Jeremiah 51:36; Isaiah 51:22
  • 83. Jeremiah 51:57; Daniel 5:30
  • 84. Daniel 4:6
  • 85. Jeremiah 51:57
  • 86. See Jeremiah 25:20
  • 87. Jeremiah 51:30
  • 88. [Isaiah 45:3]
  • 89. Isaiah 44:27; [Jeremiah 51:36]
  • 90. ver. 2; Jeremiah 51:47, 52
  • 91. Isaiah 13:21, 22
  • 92. Genesis 19:25; See Isaiah 13:19
  • 93. Jeremiah 51:43
  • 94. For ver. 41-43, see Jeremiah 6:22-24
  • 95. For ver. 44-46, see Jeremiah 49:19-21
  • 96. Job 41:10
  • 97. Jeremiah 51:11, 12, 29; Isaiah 14:24
  • 98. Jeremiah 51:11, 12, 29; Isaiah 14:24
  • 99. Jeremiah 49:20
  • 100. See Jeremiah 49:21

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Merathaim means double rebellion
  • [b]. Pekod means punishment
  • [c]. That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)

Chapter Summary


This and the following chapter contain a long prophecy concerning the destruction of Babylon; and which is expressed in such language, that it may be, and is to be, accommodated to the destruction of mystical Babylon; and several passages in the book of the Revelation are borrowed from hence; and it is intermixed with promises and prophecies of the deliverance of God's people from thence, and of the conversion of the Jews, and the restoration of them to their own which will be at that time; see Jer 50:4,5,8,19,20,33,34. The destruction of Babylon in general is proclaimed and declared, and the manner and cause of it, Jer 50:1-13; then the enemies of Babylon are stirred up and animated to proceed against her, and execute the judgments of God upon her, Jer 50:14-30. Next follows the Lord's controversy with her, because of her pride and oppression of his people; and threatens her with the sword, drought, and utter destruction, Jer 50:31-40; and then a description is given of her enemies, that should be the instruments of her destruction, Jer 50:41-44; and the chapter is closed with observing, that this is all according to the counsel and purpose of God, Jer 50:45,46.

Jeremiah 50 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.