Jeremiah 50

1This is the message the Lord spoke about the nation of Babylon and the Babylonian people. The Lord spoke this message through Jeremiah. 2“Announce this to all nations! Lift up a flag and announce the message! Speak the whole message and say, 'The nation of Babylon will be captured. The god Bel will be put to shame. The god Marduk will be very afraid. Babylon’s idols will be put to shame. Her idol gods will be filled with terror.’ 3A nation from the north will attack Babylon. That nation will make Babylon like an empty desert. No people will live there. Both men and animals will run away from there.” 4The Lord says, ”At that time, the people of Israel and the people of Judah will be together. They will cry and cry together. And together, they will go to look for the Lord their God. 5Those people will ask how to go to Zion. They will start to go in that direction. The people will say, 'Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord. Let’s make an agreement that will last forever. Let’s make an agreement that we will never forget.’ 6“My people have been like lost sheep. Their shepherds ˻(leaders)˼ led them the wrong way, Their leaders made them wander around in the mountains and hills. They forgot where their resting place is. 7Whoever found my people hurt them. And those enemies said, 'We did nothing wrong.’ Those people sinned against the Lord. The Lord was their true resting place. The Lord was the God that their fathers trusted in. 8“Run away from Babylon. Leave the land of the Babylonian people. Be like the goats that lead the flock. 9I will bring many nations together from the north. This group of nations will get ready for war against Babylon. Babylon will be captured by people from the north. Those nations will shoot many arrows at Babylon. Those arrows will be like soldiers that don’t come back from war with their hands empty. 10The enemy will take all the wealth from the Chaldean people. Those soldiers will take all they want.” The Lord said these things. 11“Babylon, you are excited and happy. You took my land. You dance around like a young cow that got into the grain. Your laughter is like the happy sounds that horses make. 12Now your mother will be very ashamed. The woman that gave you birth will be embarrassed. Babylon will be the least important of all the nations. She will be an empty, dry desert. 13The Lord will show his anger, so no people will live there. Babylon will be completely empty. Everyone that passes by Babylon will be afraid. They will shake their heads when they see how badly it has been destroyed. 14“Prepare for war against Babylon. All you soldiers with bows, shoot your arrows at Babylon. Don’t save any of your arrows. Babylon has sinned against the Lord. 15Soldiers around Babylon, shout the cry of victory! Babylon has surrendered! Her walls and towers have been pulled down! The Lord is giving those people the punishment they should have. You nations should give Babylon the punishment she deserves. Do to her what she has done to other nations. 16Don’t let the people from Babylon plant their crops. Don’t let them gather the harvest. The soldiers of Babylon brought many prisoners to their city. Now the enemy soldiers have come, So those prisoners are going back home. Those prisoners are running back to their own countries. 17“Israel is like a flock of sheep that were scattered all over the country. Israel is like sheep that were chased away by lions. The first lion to attack was the king of Assyria. The last lion to crush his bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 18So the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'I will soon punish the king of Babylon and his country. I will punish him like I punished the king of Assyria. 19“I will bring Israel back to his own fields. He will eat food that grows on Mount Carmel and in the land of Bashan. He will eat and be full. He will eat on the hills in the lands of Ephraim and Gilead.” 20The Lord says, ”At that time, people will try hard to find Israel’s guilt. But there will be no guilt. People will try to find Judah’s sins, but no sins will be found. Why? Because I am saving a few survivors from Israel and Judah. And I am forgiving them for all of their sins.” 21The Lord says, ”Attack the country of Merathaim! Attack the people living in Pekod! Attack them! Kill them and completely destroy them! Do everything I commanded you! 22“The noise of battle can be heard all over the country. It is the noise of much destruction. 23Babylon was called 'The Hammer of the Whole Earth.’ But now the 'Hammer’ is shattered. Babylon is the most ruined of the nations. 24Babylon, I set a trap for you. And you were caught before you knew it. You fought against the Lord, so you were found and captured. 25The Lord has opened up his storeroom and brought out the weapons of his anger. The Lord God All-Powerful brought out those weapons because he has work to do in the land of the Chaldean people. 26“Come against Babylon from far away. Break open the storehouses where she keeps her grain. Completely destroy Babylon. Don’t leave anyone alive. Pile her dead bodies like big piles of grain. 27Kill all the young bulls ˻(men)˼ in Babylon. Let them be slaughtered. The time has come for them to be defeated, so it will be very bad for them. It is time for them to be punished. 28People are running out of Babylon. They are escaping from that country and coming to Zion. They are telling everyone the good news about what the Lord is doing. The Lord is giving Babylon the punishment it deserves. The Lord is destroying Babylon, because it destroyed his temple! 29“Call for the men that shoot arrows. Tell them to attack Babylon. Tell them to surround the city. Don’t let anyone escape. Pay her back for the bad things she has done. Do to her what she has done to other nations. Babylon did not respect the Lord. Babylon was very rude to the Holy One of Israel. So punish Babylon. 30Babylon’s young men will be killed in the streets. All her soldiers will die on that day.” The Lord says these things. 31“Babylon, you are too proud. And I am against you.” Our Master, the Lord All-Powerful, says these things. “I am against you, and the time has come for you to be punished. 32Proud Babylon will stumble and fall. And no person will help her get up. I will start a fire in her towns. That fire will completely burn everyone around her.” 33The Lord All-Powerful says: “The people of Israel and Judah are slaves. The enemy took them, and the enemy will not let Israel go. 34But God will get those people back. His name is the Lord God All-Powerful. He will defend those people very strongly. He will defend them so that he can let that land rest. But there will be no rest for the people living in Babylon.” 35The Lord says, “Sword, kill the people living in Babylon. Sword, kill the king’s officials and the wise men of Babylon. 36Sword, kill the priests of Babylon. Those priests will be like foolish people. Sword, kill the soldiers of Babylon. Those soldiers will be full of terror. 37Sword, kill the horses and chariots of Babylon. Sword, kill all the soldiers hired from other countries. Those soldiers will be like frightened women. Sword, destroy the treasures of Babylon. Those treasures will be taken away. 38Sword, strike the waters of Babylon. Those waters will be dried up. Babylon has many, many idols. Those idols show that the people of Babylon are foolish. So bad things will happen to those people. 39“Babylon will never again be filled with people. Wild dogs, ostriches, and other desert animals will live there. But no people will live there ever again. 40God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them. ˻And no person lives in those towns now.˼ In the same way, no people will live in Babylon. And no people will ever go to live there. 41“Look! There are people coming from the north. They come from a powerful nation. Many kings are coming together from all around the world. 42Their armies have bows and spears. The soldiers are cruel. They have no mercy. The soldiers come riding on their horses, and the sound is loud like the roaring sea. They stand in their places, ready for battle. They are ready to attack you, city of Babylon. 43The king of Babylon heard about those armies. And he became very scared. He is so afraid, his hands will not move. His fear makes his stomach hurt like a woman having a baby.” 44˻The Lord says,˼ “Sometimes a lion will come from the thick bushes near the Jordan River. That lion will walk into the fields where people have their animals. ˻and the animals will all run away.˼ I will be like that lion, I will chase Babylon from its land. Who should I choose to do this? There is no person like me. There is no person that can challenge me. ˻So I will do it.˼ No shepherd will come to chase me away. I will chase away the people of Babylon.” 45Listen to what the Lord has planned to do to Babylon. Listen to what the Lord has decided to do to the Babylonian people. “I swear ˻(promise)˼, an enemy will drag away the young kids of Babylon’s flock (people) and Babylon will become an empty pasture. 46Babylon will fall, and that fall will shake the earth. People in all nations will hear about the destruction of Babylon.”

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