Yirmeyah 51

1 1 Thus saith Hashem: Hineni, I will stir up against Bavel, and against them that dwell in Lev Kamai [i.e., Babylon] a ruach mashchit (spirit of destruction);
2 And will send unto Bavel winnowers, that shall blow her chaff away, and shall empty her land; for in the Yom Ra’ah (Day of Disaster) they shall be against her on every side.
3 Against her let the archer bend his keshet, and against her let him rise up in his armor; and spare ye not her bochurim; destroy ye utterly all her army.
4 Thus the slain shall fall in the Eretz Kasdim, and they that are thrust through in her streets.
5 For Yisroel hath not been forsaken nor Yehudah by Elohav, by Hashem Tzva’os; though their land be filled with asham (guilt) against Kadosh Yisroel.
6 Flee out of the midst of Bavel, and deliver every ish his nefesh; be not slain because of her avon; for this is the time of Hashem’s vengeance; He will render unto her a full recompence.
7 Bavel hath been a Kos Zahav in the yad Hashem, that made kol ha’aretz drunken; the Goyim drank of her yayin; therefore the Goyim go mad.
8 Bavel is suddenly fallen and broken; wail for her; take balm for her pain, perhaps she may be healed.
9 We would have healed Bavel, but she cannot be healed; forsake her, and let us go every ish into his own country; for her mishpat reacheth unto Shomayim, and is lifted up even to the skies.
10 Hashem hath brought forth tzidkoteinu (our righteousness, vindication); come, and let us declare in Tziyon the ma’aseh Hashem Eloheinu.
11 Sharpen the khitzim (arrows); take up the shields; Hashem hath stirred up the ruach of the melachim of the Medes: for His mezimah (plan) is against Bavel, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of Hashem, the vengeance for His Heikhal.
12 Lift up the nes (banner) upon the chomat Bavel, reinforce the mishmeret (guard), station the shomrim (watchmen), prepare the ambushes; for Hashem hath both devised and done that which He spoke against the inhabitants of Bavel.
13 O thou that dwellest upon mayim rabbim, abundant in otzarot, thine end is come, and the cubit of thy being cut off.
14 Hashem Tzva’os hath sworn by His Nefesh, saying, Surely I will fill thee with adam, as with locusts; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.
15 He hath made Eretz by His ko’ach, He hath established the tevel by His chochmah, and hath stretched out Shomayim by His tevunah.
16 When He thundereth His voice, there is a tumult of mayim in Shomayim; and He bringeth up clouds from the ends of ha’aretz; He maketh lightnings with matar, and bringeth forth the ru’ach out of his otzarot.
17 Kol adam is dull-hearted and without da’as; every goldsmith is shamed by the pesel; for his nesekh (molten image) is sheker, and there is no ruach in them.
18 They are hevel (futile, vain), the work of delusion; in the time of their pekudah they shall perish.
19 The Chelek Ya’akov (Portion of Jacob) is not like them; for the Yotzer (Maker) of all things is He; and Yisroel is the Shevet of His nachalah: Hashem Tzva’os Shmo.
20 Thou art my battle ax and klei milchamah (weapons of war); for with thee will I break in pieces the Goyim, and with thee will I destroy mamlechot (kingdoms);
21 And with thee will I break in pieces the sus and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the merkavah and his rider;
22 With thee also will I break in pieces ish and isha; and with thee will I break in pieces zaken and na’ar; and with thee will I break in pieces the bochur and the betulah;
23 I will also break in pieces with thee the ro’eh and his eder; and with thee will I break in pieces the ikkar (farmer) and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces pachot (rulers) and seganim (officials).
24 And I will render unto Bavel and to all the inhabitants of Kasdim all their ra’ah that they have done in Tziyon in your sight, saith Hashem.
25 Hineni, I am against thee, O Har HaMashchit (Destroying Mountain), saith Hashem, which destroyest kol ha’aretz; and I will stretch out Mine Yad upon thee, and roll thee down from the cliffs, and will make thee a har serefah (burned out mountain).
26 And they shall not take of thee an even (stone) for a pinnah (cornerstone), nor an even (stone) for mosadot (foundations); but thou shalt be desolate forever, saith Hashem.
27 Lift ye up a nes (banner) in ha’aretz, blow the shofar among the Goyim, prepare the Goyim against her, call together against her the mamlechot of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkhenaz; appoint a commander against her; cause the sus to come up like the swarming locusts.
28 Prepare against her the Goyim with the melachim (kings) of the Medes, the pachot (rulers) thereof, and all the seganim (officials) thereof, and all the countries ruled thereof.
29 And ha’aretz shall shake and tremble; for every purpose of Hashem shall be performed against Bavel, to make eretz Bavel a desolation without an inhabitant.
30 The Gibborim of Bavel have ceased to fight, they have remained in their metzadot (strongholds); their gevurah (might) hath failed; they became as nashim; they have burned her mishkenot (dwelling places); her bars are broken.
31 One runner shall run to meet another, and one maggid (messenger) to meet another maggid, to show Melech Bavel that his city is captured on all sides,
32 And that the ma’abarot (fords, river-crossings) have been seized, and the marshes burned with eish, and the anshei hamilchamah are terrified.
33 For thus saith Hashem Tzva’os Elohei Yisroel: Bat Bavel is like a goren (threshing floor), when it is time to trample her; yet a little while, and the time of her katzir shall come.
34 Nevuchadretzar Melech Bavel hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like Tannin (Monster), he hath filled his belly with delicacies of me, he hath vomited me out.
35 The chamas done to me and to my flesh be upon Bavel, shall the inhabitant of Tziyon say; my dahm upon the inhabitants of Kasdim, shall Yerushalayim say.
36 Therefore thus saith Hashem; Hineni, I will defend thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her yam, and make her makor (spring) dry.
37 And Bavel shall become heaps of ruin, a ma’on for jackals, a horror to behold, astonishment, and a hissing, without an inhabitant.
38 They shall roar together like lions; they shall growl as cubs of arayot (lions).
39 In their excitement I will prepare their mishtim (feasts), and I will make them shikkor, that they may rejoice, and sleep shenat olam (a perpetual sleep), and never awake, saith Hashem.
40 I will bring them down like lambs litvo’ach (to the slaughter, see Isaiah 53:7), like rams with male goats.
41 How is Sheshach [Babylon] taken! And how is the tehillat kol ha’aretz seized! How is Bavel become a horror to behold among the Goyim!
42 The yam (sea) will arise over Bavel; she is covered with the tumult of the waves thereof.
43 Her towns are a horror to behold, a dry land, and an aravah, a land wherein no ish dwelleth, neither doth any ben adam pass thereby.
44 And I will punish Bel [Marduk] in Bavel, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath gulped down; and the Goyim shall not stream together any more unto him; indeed, the chomat Bavel shall fall.
45 My people, come ye out of the midst of her, and save ye every ish his nefesh from the charon af Hashem.
46 And lest your lev faint, and ye fear at the rumor that shall be heard in ha’aretz; a rumor shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumor, rumors of chamas in ha’aretz, moshel (ruler) against moshel.
47 Therefore, hinei, the days are coming when I will visit [in punishment] the pesalim of Bavel; and her whole land shall be shamed, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the Shomayim and ha’aretz, and all that is therein, shall sing joyously over Bavel; for the plunderers shall come unto her from the tzafon (north), saith Hashem.
49 Bavel must fall because of the slain of Yisroel as the slain of kol ha’aretz have fallen because of Bavel.
50 Ye that have escaped the cherev, leave, stand not still; remember Hashem afar off, and let Yerushalayim come into your heart.
51 We are ashamed, because we have heard cherpah; shame hath covered our faces; for zarim are come into the Mikdeshei Beis Hashem.
52 Wherefore, hinei, the days are coming, saith Hashem, that I will visit [in punishment] her pesalim (graven images); and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Bavel should ascend to Shomayim, and though she should fortify the height of her stronghold, yet from Me shall plunderers come unto her, saith Hashem.
54 A sound of a cry cometh from Bavel, and shever gadol (great destruction) from Eretz Kasdim;
55 Because Hashem hath plundered Bavel, and silenced her kol gadol (great voice); when her waves do roar like mayim rabbim, the sound of her roaring resounds;
56 Because the plunderer is come upon her, even upon Bavel, and her gibborim are taken, every one of their keshatot (bows) is broken; for El Gemulot Hashem (Hashem the G-d of Recompense) shall surely repay.
57 And I will make shikkor (drunk) her sarim, and her chachamim, her pachot (rulers), and her seganim (officials), and her gibborim; and they shall sleep a shenat olam (perpetual sleep), and never awake, saith HaMelech Hashem Tzva’os Shmo.
58 Thus saith Hashem Tzva’os: The thick chomot Bavel shall be utterly broken, and her high she’arim shall be burned with eish; and the people shall labor in vain, and the peoples wear themselves out only for eish.
59 The Davar which Yirmeyah HaNavi commanded Serayah Ben Neriyah Ben Machseiyah, when he went with Tzidkiyah Melech Yehudah into Bavel in the fourth year of his reign. And this Serayah was sar menuchah (quartermaster).
60 So Yirmeyah wrote in a sefer all the ra’ah that should come upon Bavel, even all these devarim that are written against Bavel.
61 And Yirmeyah said to Serayah, When thou comest to Bavel, and shalt see, and shalt read all these Devarim;
62 Then shalt thou say, Hashem, Thou hast spoken against this makom, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither adam nor behemah, but that it shall be desolate forever.
63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this sefer, that thou shalt bind an even (stone) to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates;
64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Bavel sink, and shall rise no more because of the ra’ah that I will bring upon her. Thus far are the Devarim of Yirmeyah.

Yirmeyah 51 Commentary

Chapter 51

Babylon's doom; God's controversy with her; encouragements from thence to the Israel of God. (1-58) The confirming of this. (59-64)

Verses 1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, ( revelation 18:9 revelation 18:19 ) . The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.

Verses 59-64 This prophecy is sent to Babylon, to the captives there, by Seraiah, who is to read it to his countrymen in captivity. Let them with faith see the end of these threatening powers, and comfort themselves herewith. When we see what this world is, how glittering its shows, and how flattering its proposals, let us read in the book of the Lord that it shall shortly be desolate. The book must be thrown into the river Euphrates. The fall of the New Testament Babylon is thus represented, ( Revelation 18:21 ) . Those that sink under the weight of God's wrath and curse, sink for ever. Babylon, and every antichrist, will soon sink and rise no more for ever. Let us hope in God's word, and quietly wait for his salvation; then we shall see, but shall not share, the destruction of the wicked.

Chapter Summary


The former part of this chapter is a continuation of the prophecy of the preceding chapter, concerning the destruction of Babylon, Jer 51:1-58; the latter part of it contains a prophecy of Jeremiah sent to the captives in Babylon by the hand of Seraiah, with the copy of the above prophecy against Babylon, and an order to fasten a stone to it, and cast it into the river Euphrates, as a sign, confirming the utter and irreparable ruin of Babylon, Jer 51:59-64.

Yirmeyah 51 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.