The judgement message against Babylon continues in the longest chapter in the book of Jeremiah, concluding with a special message to Babylon.
Verse 1 – Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, against those who dwell in Leb Kamai, a destroying wind.
Verse 2 – And I will send winnower’s to Babylon, who shall winnow her and empty her land. For in the day of doom they shall be against her all around.
Winnower’s worked to separate the wheat from the chaff. When they threw the mixture in the air, the wind blew away the useless chaff while the wheat settled to the floor. Check out Matthew 3:12, when John the Baptist says Jesus will separate the wheat from the chaff.
Verse 3 – Against her let the archer bend his bow, and lift himself up against her in his armor. Do not spare her young men; utterly destroy all her army.
Verse 4 – Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and those thrust through in her streets.
Verse 5 – For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by His God, the Lord of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”
Verse 6 – Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her.
Verse 7 – Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged.
Verse 8 – Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.
Babylon’s great wealth is depicted as a gold cup. Previously, Babylon had been God’s instrument of wrath to judge the nations, now it is her turn to drink the cup of God’s wrath.
Verse 9 – We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; for her judgement reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.
Verse 10 – The Lord has revealed our righteousness. Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.
Verse 11 – Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of His temple.
Babylon’s enemies are mentioned for the first time in these verses as the Medes. Cyrus, king of Persia, had once allied with Babylon to defeat Nineveh (capital of the Assyrian empire) in 612 B.C. Then the Medes joined Persia to defeat Babylon (539 B.C.).
Verse 12 – Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon; make the guard strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes. For the Lord has both devised and done what He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon.
Though the Medes and the Persians were the instruments that God used to destroy Babylon, it was His plan and He’s the one who executed it.
Verse 13 – O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness.
Verse 14 – The Lord of hosts has sworn by Himself: “Surely I will fill you with men as with locusts, and they shall lift up a shout against you.”
Verse 15 – He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding.
Verse 16 – When He utters His voice – there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasures.”
The omnipotence of God is manifested in the works of creation. The wisdom of our God is seen in the omniscience of providing for every living thing. Everything He created by His power, has the ability to procreate and multiply. Our God is amazing in everything He is and does!
Verse 17 – Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge; every metalsmith is put to shame by the carved image; for he’s molded image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
Verse 18 – They are futile, a work of errors; in the time of their punishment they shall perish.
Verse 19 – The Portion of Jacob is not like them for He is the Maker of all things; and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance. The Lord of hosts is His name.
So many people now of days put their trust and security in things that rust and decay but God is eternal and will never not exists. When we place our trust and devotion in this Mighty Creators Hands, we will have eternity with Him too!
Verse 20 – “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; with you I will destroy kingdoms:
Verse 21 – With you I will break in pieces the horses and its rider; with you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider;
Verse 22 – With you also I will break in pieces man and woman; with you I will break in pieces old and young; with you I will break in pieces the young man and the maiden;
Verse 23 – With you also I will break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; with you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen; and with you I will break in pieces governors and rulers.
The phrase “with you”, you being God’s battle, falls ten times in these verses like the beat of a heavy war drum.
Verse 24 – “And I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all the evil they have done in Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.
Verse 25 – “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord. “And I will stretch out My hand against you, roll you down from the rocks, and make you a burnt mountain.
Babylon was not only high in power and greatness, but had high walls and towers, that it looked like from a distance like a high rocky mountain. They had destroyed many cities and people and now they would burn like a burnt offering.
Verse 26 – They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.
Never again will Babylon have a seat of greatness and never again will they be an empire to rule over other nations.
Verse 27 – Set up a banner in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations against her, call the kingdoms together against her: Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts.
Verse 28 – Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes. Its governors and all its rulers, all the land of his dominion.
Verse 29 – And the land will tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant.
Three kingdoms of the Median Empire-Arat, Minni, Ashkenaz – are invited to join in battle against Babylon. These kingdoms were northwest of Babylon in what is today generally called Armenia. Arat occupied southwestern Turkey and the northern regions of Iraq and Iran, about the same area the Kurdish people live today.
Verse 30 – The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, they have remained in their strongholds; their might has failed, they became like women; they have burned her dwelling places, the bars of her gates are broken.
The reed-filled marshes that surrounded Babylon were set on fire, cutting off escape and flushing out fugitives.
Verse 31 – One runner will run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on all sides;
Verse 30 – The passages are blocked, the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are terrified.
Verse 33 – For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor when it is time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.”
Verse 34 – “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me; he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me up like a monster; he has filled his stomach with my delicacies, he has spit me out.
Verse 35 – Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,” the inhabitant of Zion will say; “And by blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!” Jerusalem will say.
Verse 36 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance on you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.
This verse may refer to Cyrus who took Babylon by surprise by diverting the river that ran through the city far upstream and walking in on dry river beds. Unlike Jerusalem, Babylon would not be restored.
Verse 37 – Babylon shall become a heap, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant.
Verse 38 – They shall roar together like lions, they shall grow like lion’s whelps.
Verse 39 – In their excitement I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drink, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,” says the Lord.
Just as lions are excited over their prey, this verse refers to what happened in Daniel 5:1-4.
Belshazzar, the king of Babylon made a great feast for thousands and had the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God by his father Nebuchadnezzar. They all drank from these vessels and praised the gods of gold, silver, and bronze, and iron, wood, and stone. However, after Daniel read the hand writing on the wall, that very night Belshazzar was slain and Darius the Mede received the kingdom. I can’t wait to get to Daniel because all the these prophecies of Jeremiah will unfold, right before our eyes!
Verse 40 – “I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats.
Verse 41 – “Oh, how Sheshach is taken! Oh, how the praise of the whole earth is seized! How Babylon has become desolate among the nations!
Verse 42 – The sea has come up over Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of its waves.
Verse 43 – Her cities are a desolation, a dry land and a wilderness, land where no one dwells, through which no son of man passes.
Verse 44 – I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed; and the nations shall not stream to him anymore. Yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
Bel is one of the names of Maruk, the chief god of the city of Babylon. God was going to destroy two things Babylon was famous for, their great wall and their god. Towers rose above these walls 60 feet and the walls ere wide enough for chariots to drive on.
Verse 45 – “My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.
Verse 46 – And lest your heart faint, and your fear for the rumor that will be heard in the land; a rumor will come one year, and after that, in another year a rumor will come, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
Verse 47 – Therefore behold, the days are coming that I will bring judgment on the carved images of Babylon; her whole land shall be ashamed, and all her slain shall fall in her midst.
Verse 48 – Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them shall sing joyously over Babylon; for the plunders shall come to her from the north,” says the Lord. (Before the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans, the church had similar warnings in Matthew 24:6, 7.)
Verse 49 – As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.
Verse 50 – You who have escaped the sword, get away! Do not stand still! Remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come to your mind.
Verse 51 – We are ashamed because we have heard reproach. Shame has covered our faces, for strangers have come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.
The people were paralyzed with guilt over their past. They had watched as the Babylonian army had desecrated God’s temple in Jerusalem. But God told them to get moving and return because He was going to destroy Babylon.
Verse 52 – “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will bring judgement on her carved images, and throughout all her land the wounded shall groan.
Verse 53 – Though Babylon were to mount up to heaven, and though she were to fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me plunders would come to her,: says the Lord.
Verse 54 – The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans,
Verse 55 – because the Lord is plundering Babylon and silencing her loud voice, though her waves roar like great waters, and the noise of their voice is uttered,
Verse 56 – because the plunder comes against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men are taken. Everyone of their bows is broken; for the Lord is the God of recompense, He will surely repay.
Recompense – return; restore; repay. This is one reason why God tells us not to go after others when they have done us wrong; God is the one who will restore that which was lost or stolen. No one can restore like our God can!
Verse 57 – “And I will make drunk her princes and wise men, her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men. And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,” says the king, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
Verse 58 – Thus says the Lord of hosts: “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; the people will labor in vain, and the nations, because of the fire; and they shall be weary.”
Verse 59 – The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And Seraiah was the quartermaster.
Jeremiah could not visit Babylon, so he sent the message with Seraiah, the officer who cared for the comforts of the army. Seraiah was probably Baruch’s brother (32:12). This prophecy was many years before Babylon was destroyed.
Verse 60 – So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon.
Verse 61 – And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words,
Verse 62 – “then you shall say, ‘O Lord, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’
Verse 63 – “Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates.
Jeremiah must have made a copy of this book and hid it, or we would not have it.
Verse 64 – “Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’ ” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.