When Babylon had finished serving God’s purpose of punishing Judah for her sins, it would be punished and crushed for its own. Babylon was destroyed in 539 B.C. by the Medo-Persians (Daniel 5:30). Babylon is also used in scripture as a symbol of all evil.
Verse 1 – The word of the Lord spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.
Verse 2 – “Declare among the nations, proclaim, and set up a standard; proclaim, and do not conceal it – say, ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is shamed. Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are humiliated, her images are broken in pieces.’ (Bel and Merodach were the two principal idols of the Babylonians.)
Verse 3 – For out of the north a nation comes up against her, which shall make her land desolate, and no one shall dwell therein. They shall move, they shall depart, both man and beast.
The nation from the north was Medo-Persia, that would become the next world power. Cyrus took the city by surprise and brought the nation to its knees in 539 B.C (Daniel 5:30, 31).
Verse 4 – “In those days and in that time,” says the Lord, “The children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; with continual weeping they shall come, and seek the Lord their God.
Verse 5 – They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces toward it, saying, ‘Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that will not be forgotten.’
When judgement begins on Babylon, the children of Judah will come out of captivity, and some of the children of Israel. They will be weeping for their sin and glad God showed mercy on them.
Verse 6 – “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.
Verse 7 – All who found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’
Verse 8 – “Move from the midst of Babylon, go out of the land of the Chaldeans; and be like the rams before the flocks.
Verse 9 – For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; none shall return in vain.
Verse 10 – And Chaldea shall become plunder; all who plunder her shall be satisfied,” says the Lord.
Verse 11 – “Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, you destroyers of My heritage, because you have grown fat like a heifer threshing grain, and you bellow like bulls,
Verse 12 – Your mother shall be deeply ashamed; she who bore you shall be ashamed. Behold, the least of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land and a desert.
Babylon had turned cities into wastelands, but now would be turned into a wilderness. Babylon had also plundered all these cities and had become very rich. Now the Persians were going to plunder them.
Verse 13 – Because of the wrath of the LOrd she shall not be inhabited, but she shall be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified and hiss at all her plagues.
Verse 14 – “Put yourselves in array against Babylon all around, all you who bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord.
Verse 15 – Shout against her all around; she has given her hand, her foundations have fallen, her walls are thrown down; for it is the vengeance of the Lord. Take vengeance on her. As she has done, so do to her.
The world has a saying, “What goes around, will come around; what you dish out, you will receive.” The Bible says it this way, “You will reap what you sow.” We can all look back in our lives and see what we’ve sown. If you sow discord, strife, and evil, that’s exactly what you will reap in and on your own life. It’s a very strong principle that can either benefit or tear down. If you want good things that you sow into others, then only sow what is good!
Verse 16 – Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him who handles the sickle at harvest time. For fear of the oppressing sword everyone shall turn to his own people, and everyone shall flee to his own land.
The sower and the one who wields the sickle (the farmer) depict the rural population that will feel the onslaught of warfare even before the city dwellers.
Verse 17 – “Israel is like scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away. First the king of Assyria devoured him; now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones.”
Verse 18 – Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.
Verse 19 – But I will bring back Israel to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan; his soul shall be satisfied on Mount Ephraim and Gilead.
Verse 20 – In those days and in that time,” says the Lord, “The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; for I will pardon those whom I preserve.
God would punish wicked Babylon as He punished Assyria for what they had done to Israel. Assyria was crushed by Babylon, over which it had once ruled. But in the midst of this judgment, God promises to restore the Jews and give them forgiveness of their sins. Even if someone searched for their guilt, there will be none.
Verse 21 – “Go up against the land of Merathaim, against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod (Merathaim was located in southern Babylon; Pekod was in eastern Babylon). Waste and utterly destroy them,” says the Lord, ‘And do according to all that I have commanded you.
Verse 22 – A sound of battle is in the land, and of a great destruction.
Verse 23 – How the hammer of the whole earth has been cut apart a broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among nations! I have laid a snare for you;
Verse 24 – You have indeed been trapped, O Babylon, and you were not aware; you have been found and also caught, because you have contended against the Lord.
Babylon is called “the hammer of the whole earth.” They had hunted and set traps. Now they would be the trapped.
Verse 25 – The Lord has opened His armory, and has brought out the weapons of His indignation; for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
Verse 26 – Come against her from the farthest border; open her storehouse; cast her up as heaps of ruins, and destroy her utterly; let nothing of her be left.
Verse 27 – Slay all her bulls, let them go down to the slaughter. Woe to them! For their day has come, the time of their punishment.
Verse 28 – The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon declares in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of His temple.
Verse 29 – “Call together the archers against Babylon. All you who bend the bow, encamp against it all around; let none of them escape. Repay her according to her work; according to all she has done, do to her; for she has been proud against the Lord. Against the Holy One of Israel.
Verse 30 – Therefore her young men shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord.
Verse 31 – “Behold, I am against you, O you most proud!” says the Lord God of hosts; “For your day has come, the time that I will punish you.
Verse 32 – The most proud shall stumble and fall, and no one will raise him up; I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all around him.”
Verse 33 – Thus says the Lord of host: “The children of Israel were oppressed, along with the children of Judah; all who took them captive have held them fast; they have refused to let them go.
Verse 34 – Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case, that He may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
Pride (arrogance), was Babylon’s characteristic sin. Pride comes from feeling self-sufficient or believing that we don’t need God. Proud nations or persons, however, will eventually fail because they refuse to recognize God as the ultimate power.
Verse 35 – “A sword is against the Chaldeans,: says the Lord, “Against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her princes and her wise-men.
Verse 36 – A sword is against the soothsayers, and they will be fools. A sword is against her mighty men, and they will be dismayed.
Verse 37 – A sword is against their horses, against their chariots, and against all the mixed peoples who are in their midst; and they will become like women. A sword is against her treasures, and they will be robbed.
Verse 38 – A drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up. For it is the land of carved images, and they are insane with their idols.
A sword hung over the head of God’s enemies. The channel of the Euphrates had dried up, by which Cyrus army entered the city.
Verse 39 – “Therefore the wild desert beasts shall dwell there with the jackals, and the ostriches shall dwell in it. It shall be inhabited no more forever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
Babylon remains a wasteland to this day. Babylon was a major city of ancient Mesopotamia in the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Babylon is the place where the Tower of Babel was built and God destroyed it in Genesis. Also the same Babylon where Daniel had his dreams of this last generation. The same Babylon where Nebuchadnezzar had his dream of his own empire ending and the Lord returning to destroy the last one world government. Google Babylon today at Google Earth.
Verse 40 – As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities,” says the Lord, “So no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it.
Babylon’s destruction will be as permanent as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24, 25; Isaiah 13:19). Cyrus only took away their government, but Seleucus Nicanor, and Grecian prince, utterly destroyed Babylon, so that in the time of Adrian the Roman emperor, there was nothing left standing of that great city.
Verse 41 – “Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation and many kings shall be raised up from the ends of the earth.
Verse 42 – They shall hold the bow and the lance; they are cruel and shall not show mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea; they shall ride on horses, set in array, like a man for the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon.
Verse 43 – “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, and his hands grow feeble; anguish has taken hold of him, pangs as of a woman in childbirth.
Verse 44 – “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the flooding of the Jordan against the habitation of the strong; but I will make them suddenly run away from her. And who is chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? And who is that shepherd who will withstand Me?”
Verse 45 – Therefore hear the counsel of the Lord that He has taken against Babylon, and His purposes that He has proposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the lest of the flock shall draw them out; surely He will make their habitation desolate with them.
Verse 46 – At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth trembles, and the cry is heard among the nations.
This invader was Cyrus, who attacked Babylon by surprise and overthrew it. The world was shocked that its greatest empire was overthrown so quickly. No earthly power, no matter how great, can last forever, only God’s kingdom can.