Jeremiah 51:1

The Utter Destruction of Babylon

1 Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will stir up 1the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon, against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai,[a]

Jeremiah 51:1 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 51:1

Thus saith the Lord, behold, I will raise up against Babylon,
&c.] This is not a new prophecy, but a continuation of the former, and an enlargement of it. The Babylonians being the last and most notorious enemies of the Jews, their destruction is the longer dwelt upon; and as they were against the Lord's people the Lord was against them, and threatens to raise up instruments of his vengeance against them: and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against
that dwell in Babylon, the metropolis of the Chaldeans, the seat and centre of the enemies of God and his people. It is a periphrasis of the Chaldeans; and, so the Targum renders it,

``against the inhabitants of the land of the Chaldeans;''
and so the Septuagint version, against the Chaldeans; and Jarchi and Kimchi observe that according to "athbash", a rule of interpretation with the Jews, the letters in "leb kame", rendered "the midst of them that rise up against me", answer to "Cashdim" or the Chaldeans; however they are no doubt designed; for they rose up against God, by setting up idols of their own; and against his people, by taking and carrying them captive: and now the Lord says he would raise up against them a destroying wind;
a northern one, the army of the Modes and Persians, which should sweep away all before it. The Targum is,
``people that are slayers; whose hearts are lifted up, and are beautiful in stature, and their spirit destroying.''

Jeremiah 51:1 In-Context

1 Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon, against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai,
2 and I will send to Babylon winnowers, and they shall winnow her, and they shall empty her land, when they come against her from every side on the day of trouble.
3 Let not the archer bend his bow, and let him not stand up in his armor. Spare not her young men; devote to destruction all her army.
4 They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and wounded in her streets.
5 For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the LORD of hosts, but the land of the Chaldeans is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel.

Cross References 1

  • 1. [Jeremiah 4:11; Isaiah 21:1]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. A code name for Chaldea
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.