The judgment of Babylon and the redemption of Israel, 1-46.
1 [The word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.]
2 "Declare among the nations and publish, and set up a standard. Publish, and do not conceal. Say, 'Babylon is taken. Bel is confounded. Merodach is broken in pieces. Her idols are confounded. Her images are broken in pieces.'
3 For out of the north there comes a nation against her which shall make her land desolate, and no one shall dwell in it. They shall remove and they shall depart, both man and beast.
4 "In those days and in that time," says the LORD, "the children of Israel shall come—they and the children of Judah together—going and weeping. They shall go and seek the LORD their God. 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 shall not be forgotten.'
6 "My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have caused them to go astray. They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill. They have forgotten their resting-place.
7 All who found them have devoured them. And their adversaries said, 'We do not offend because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.'
8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon and go forth from the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the male goats before the flocks.
9 For behold, I will raise and cause to come against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country. And they shall set themselves in array against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man. No one shall return in vain.
10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil. All who spoil her shall be satisfied," says the LORD.
11 "Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, O destroyers of my heritage, because you have grown fat as the heifer at grass and bellow as bulls,
12 Your mother shall be greatly confounded. She who bore you shall be ashamed. Behold, the hindmost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be astonished and hiss at all her plagues.
14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon on every side. All you who bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the LORD.
15 Shout against her on every side. She has given her hand. Her foundations have fallen. Her walls are thrown down. Since it is the vengeance of the LORD, take vengeance upon her. As she has done, do to her.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him who handles the sickle in the time of harvest. For fear of the oppressing sword they shall each turn to his people and shall each flee to his own land.
17 "Israel is a scattered sheep. The lions have driven him away. First the king of Assyria has devoured him, and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones. 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. 19 And I will bring Israel back to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days and in that time,' says the LORD, 'the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none, and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found, for I will pardon those whom I reserve.'
21 "Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. Waste and utterly destroy after them," says the LORD, "and do according to all that I have commanded you.
22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.
23 How the hammer of the whole earth is cut apart and broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations!
24 I have laid a snare for you, and you are also taken, O Babylon, and you were not aware. You are found and also caught because you have striven against the LORD."
25 The LORD has opened his armory and has brought forth the weapons of his indignation, for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the utmost border. Open her store-houses. Cast her up as heaps and destroy her utterly. Let nothing of her be left.
27 Slay all her bulls. Let them go down to the slaughter. Woe to them! For their day has come, the time of their visitation.
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.
29 "Call together the archers against Babylon. All you who bend the bow, encamp against it on every side. Let none thereof escape. Recompense her according to her work. According to all that she has done, do to her, for she has been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men shall fall in the streets and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day," says the LORD.
31 "Behold, I am against you, O most proud," says the Lord GOD of hosts, "for your day has come, the time that I will visit you.
32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and no one shall raise him up. And I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all around him."
33 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together. And all who took them captives held them fast. They refused to let them go.
34 Their Redeemer is strong. The LORD of hosts is his name. He will thoroughly plead their cause so that he may give rest to the land and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans," says the LORD, "and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
36 A sword is upon the liars, and they shall be foolish. A sword is upon her mighty men, and they shall be dismayed.
37 A sword is upon their horses, upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people who are in the midst of her, and they shall become as women. A sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed.
38 A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up. For it is the land of engraved images, and they are mad upon their idols.
39 Therefore, the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein. And it shall be no longer inhabited forever, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities," says the LORD, "so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the borders of the earth.
42 They shall hold the bow and the lance. They are cruel and will not show mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea and they shall ride upon horses, each put in array, like a man to the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard their report and his hands became feeble. Anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
44 "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of the Jordan to the habitation of the strong, but I will make them suddenly run away from her. And who is a chosen man who I may appoint over her? For who is like me? And who will appoint me the time? And who is that shepherd who will stand before me?" 45 Therefore, hear the counsel of the LORD that he has taken against Babylon, and also his purposes that he has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans. Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out. Surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them. 46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 50[➚]