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FRAMEWORKS: Jeremiah

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FRAMEWORKS: Jeremiah 50: A Word against Babylon [1]

 

[Preliminary Comment: Although Babylon [or Babylonia] under Nebuchadnezzar features very largely in the records of this book as God's instrument of correction, it does not mean they will get away with their idolatry [v.2], and for the way they treated Israel [v.11] and their pride and arrogance [v.31,32]. It is a chapter full of warning of what WILL come.]

 

 

v.1 Lead in to the next two chapters

v.1  This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians:

 

v.2 A clear warning: the capture of Babylon

v.2  ‘Announce and proclaim among the nations,
    lift up a banner and proclaim it;
    keep nothing back, but say,
“Babylon will be captured;
    Bel will be put to shame,
    Marduk filled with terror.
Her images will be put to shame
    and her idols filled with terror.”
   

v.3 Their end will come from the north

v.3  A nation from the north will attack her
    and lay waste her land.
No one will live in it;
    both people and animals will flee away.

 

v.4,5 The result will mean the Jews returning to the land to seek the Lord

v.4  ‘In those days, at that time,'
    declares the Lord,
‘the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
    will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
v.5  They will ask the way to Zion
    and turn their faces towards it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
    in an everlasting covenant
    that will not be forgotten.

 

v.6,7 For years they had been subject to attack for their unfaithfulness

v.6  ‘My people have been lost sheep;
    their shepherds have led them astray
    and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill
    and forgot their own resting place.
v.7  Whoever found them devoured them;
    their enemies said, “We are not guilty,
for they sinned against the Lord , their verdant pasture,
    the Lord , the hope of their ancestors.”

 

v.8 But now they will be able to flee Babylon and return home

v.8  ‘Flee out of Babylon;
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.

 

v.9,10 God will others to overpower them
v.9  For I will stir up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations from the land of the north.
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
v.10  So Babylonia will be plundered;
    all who plunder her will have their fill,'
declares the Lord.

 

v.11,12 They will answer for their bad attitude towards Israel in the past

v.11  ‘Because you rejoice and are glad,
    you who pillage my inheritance,
because you frolic like a heifer threshing corn
    and neigh like stallions,
v.12  your mother will be greatly ashamed;
    she who gave you birth will be disgraced.
She will be the least of the nations –
    a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.
   

v.13 She will be utterly brought down

v.13  Because of the Lord 's anger she will not be inhabited
    but will be completely desolate.
All who pass Babylon will be appalled;
    they will scoff because of all her wounds.

 

v.14-16 So let the enemy come and bring her down

v.14  ‘Take up your positions round Babylon,
    all you who draw the bow.
Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,
    for she has sinned against the Lord.
v.15  Shout against her on every side!
    She surrenders, her towers fall,
    her walls are torn down.
Since this is the vengeance of the Lord,
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her as she has done to others.
v.16  Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.
Because of the sword of the oppressor
    let everyone return to their own people,
    let everyone flee to their own land.

 

v.17 Israel have a history of being subjugated by those more powerful

v.17  ‘Israel is a scattered flock
    that lions have chased away.
The first to devour them
    was the king of Assyria;
the last to crush their bones
    was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.'

 

v.18 Thus Babylon will pay for her part in that

v.18  Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
    as I punished the king of Assyria.
    

v.19 And out of it, Israel will be returned home

v.19  But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture,
    and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
their appetite will be satisfied
    on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
    

v.20 Israel will know a cleansing and a forgiveness

v.20  In those days, at that time,'
    declares the Lord,
‘search will be made for Israel's guilt,
    but there will be none,
and for the sins of Judah,
    but none will be found,
    for I will forgive the remnant I spare.

 

v.21-30 Thus war will come against Babylon and bring her down

v.21  ‘Attack the land of Merathaim
    and those who live in Pekod.
Pursue, kill and completely destroy them,'
declares the Lord.
    ‘Do everything I have commanded you.
v.22  The noise of battle is in the land,
    the noise of great destruction!
v.23  How broken and shattered
    is the hammer of the whole earth!
How desolate is Babylon
    among the nations!
v.24  I set a trap for you, Babylon,
    and you were caught before you knew it;
you were found and captured
    because you opposed the Lord.
v.25  The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do
    in the land of the Babylonians.
v.26  Come against her from afar.
    Break open her granaries;
    pile her up like heaps of grain.
Completely destroy her
    and leave her no remnant.
v.27  Kill all her young bulls;
    let them go down to the slaughter!
Woe to them! For their day has come,
    the time for them to be punished.
v.28  Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon
    declaring in Zion
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.

v.29  ‘Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.
Encamp all round her;
    let no one escape.
Repay her for her deeds;
    do to her as she has done.
For she defied the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
v.30  Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,'
declares the Lord .
   

v.31,32 This will be a work of God for their arrogance

v.31  ‘See, I am against you, you arrogant one,'
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
‘for your day has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
v.32  The arrogant one will stumble and fall
    and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.'

 

v.33 Israel may be oppressed prisoners in another land….

v.33  This is what the Lord Almighty says:

‘The people of Israel are oppressed,
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.
    

v.34 …. but God is strong and will work to deliver them

v.34  Yet their Redeemer is strong;
    the Lord Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
    so that he may bring rest to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

 

v.35-37 So it will come about by the sword, i.e. a violent deliverance

v.35  ‘A sword against the Babylonians!'
    declares the Lord  –
‘against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise men!
v.36  A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!
    They will be filled with terror.
v.37  A sword against her horses and chariots
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.
A sword against her treasures!
    They will be plundered.
    

v.38,39 A drought will also come to wear them down in their idolatry

v.38  A drought on her waters!
    They will dry up.
For it is a land of idols,
    idols that will go mad with terror.

v.39  ‘So desert creatures and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.
    

v.40 Sodom & Gomorrah are examples of what the Lord will do

v.40  As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
    along with their neighbouring towns,'
declares the Lord,
‘so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.

 

v.41,42 But this time it will come from a powerful army from the north

v.41  ‘Look! An army is coming from the north;
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
v.42  They are armed with bows and spears;
    they are cruel and without mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
    

v.43-46 When the king hears of what is coming he will tremble

v.43  The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labour.
v.44  Like a lion coming up from Jordan's thickets
    to a rich pasture-land,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?
    And what shepherd can stand against me?'

v.45  Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians:
the young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
v.46  At the sound of Babylon's capture the earth will tremble;
    its cry will resound among the nations.

   

    

Continue to Chapter 51