Babylon was destined to fall. Even though Babylon's final demise was years in the future, Jeremiah could see through his prophetic eye that the time for Babylon's fall had come (Jeremiah 51:13).
God had used Babylon to destroy Jerusalem, and for many years the Babylonians ruled over the Jews to the glory of their false god. Now the time had arrived for the Medes to be stirred up to attack the seemingly invincible city of Babylon. History records that the Medes diverted the Euphrates River, which ran through the city of Babylon, and were able to penetrate the massive city walls in one night. When God gets ready to judge a proud nation, the curtain of history has closed for them!
John the Revelator foretold the same collapse for the future economic empire called Babylon: "How terrible, how terrible for Babylon, that great city! In one single moment God's judgment came on her" (Revelation 18:10).
It doesn't matter how great, lofty, and mighty the world's empires are-they will all fall before Jehovah God. His awesome power is described this way: "The Lord is king! Let the nations tremble! He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake!" (Psalm 99:1). We, too, should tremble, remembering what happened to the great Babylon.
51 This is what the Lord says:
“See, I will stir
2 I will send foreigners
they will oppose her on every side
in the day
3 Let not the archer string his bow,
nor let him put on his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
4 They will fall
fatally wounded in her streets.
by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land
before the Holy One of Israel.
Run for your lives!
she made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine;
therefore they have now gone mad.
Wail over her!
perhaps she can be healed.
9 “‘We would have healed Babylon,
but she cannot be healed;
for her judgment
it rises as high as the heavens.’
10 “‘The Lord has vindicated
come, let us tell in Zion
11 “Sharpen the arrows,
take up the shields!
because his purpose
The Lord will take vengeance,
vengeance for his temple.
Reinforce the guard,
prepare an ambush!
The Lord will carry out his purpose,
his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters
your end has come,
the time for you to be destroyed.
and they will shout
15 “He made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
16 When he thunders,
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
17 “Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
they have no breath in them.
18 They are worthless,
when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion
for he is the Maker of all things,
including the people of his inheritance
the Lord Almighty is his name.
my weapon for battle—
with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider,
22 with you I shatter man and woman,
with you I shatter old man and youth,
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock,
with you I shatter farmer and oxen,
with you I shatter governors and officials.
24 “Before your eyes I will repay
25 “I am against
you who destroy the whole earth,”
declares the Lord.
“I will stretch out my hand
roll you off the cliffs,
and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
nor any stone for a foundation,
declares the Lord.
Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations for battle against her;
summon against her these kingdoms:
Appoint a commander against her;
send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her—
the kings of the Medes,
their governors and all their officials,
and all the countries they rule.
for the Lord’s purposes
to lay waste
30 Babylon’s warriors
they remain in their strongholds.
Their strength is exhausted;
they have become weaklings.
Her dwellings are set on fire;
31 One courier
and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
32 the river crossings seized,
the marshes set on fire,
and the soldiers terrified.
33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
at the time it is trampled;
he has thrown us into confusion,
he has made us an empty jar.
Like a serpent he has swallowed us
and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
say the inhabitants of Zion.
“May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”
36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
38 Her people all roar like young lions,
they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused,
I will set out a feast for them
and make them drunk,
so that they shout with laughter—
then sleep forever
40 “I will bring them down
like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and goats.
the boast of the whole earth seized!
among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon;
43 Her towns will be desolate,
a dry and desert
a land where no one lives,
and make him spew out
The nations will no longer stream to him.
45 “Come out
one rumor comes this year, another the next,
rumors of violence in the land
and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come
her whole land will be disgraced
and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
declares the Lord.
49 “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,
just as the slain in all the earth
50 You who have escaped the sword,
and call to mind Jerusalem.”
for we have been insulted
and shame covers our faces,
because foreigners have entered
the holy places of the Lord’s house.”
52 “But days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will punish her idols,
and throughout her land
the wounded will groan.
and fortifies her lofty stronghold,
declares the Lord.
51 This is what the Lord says:
“I will stir up a destroyer against Babylon
and the people of Babylonia.
2 Foreigners will come and winnow her,
blowing her away as chaff.
They will come from every side
to rise against her in her day of trouble.
3 Don’t let the archers put on their armor
or draw their bows.
Don’t spare even her best soldiers!
Let her army be completely destroyed.
4 They will fall dead in the land of the Babylonians,
slashed to death in her streets.
5 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
has not abandoned Israel and Judah.
He is still their God,
even though their land was filled with sin
against the Holy One of Israel.”
6 Flee from Babylon! Save yourselves!
Don’t get trapped in her punishment!
It is the Lord’s time for vengeance;
he will repay her in full.
7 Babylon has been a gold cup in the Lord’s hands,
a cup that made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank Babylon’s wine,
and it drove them all mad.
8 But suddenly Babylon, too, has fallen.
Weep for her.
Give her medicine.
Perhaps she can yet be healed.
9 We would have helped her if we could,
but nothing can save her now.
Let her go; abandon her.
Return now to your own land.
For her punishment reaches to the heavens;
it is so great it cannot be measured.
10 The Lord has vindicated us.
Come, let us announce in Jerusalem
everything the Lord our God has done.
11 Sharpen the arrows!
Lift up the shields!
For the Lord has inspired the kings of the Medes
to march against Babylon and destroy her.
This is his vengeance against those
who desecrated his Temple.
12 Raise the battle flag against Babylon!
Reinforce the guard and station the watchmen.
Prepare an ambush,
for the Lord will fulfill all his plans against Babylon.
13 You are a city by a great river,
a great center of commerce,
but your end has come.
The thread of your life is cut.
14 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has taken this vow
and has sworn to it by his own name:
“Your cities will be filled with enemies,
like fields swarming with locusts,
and they will shout in triumph over you.”
15 The Lord made the earth by his power,
and he preserves it by his wisdom.
With his own understanding
he stretched out the heavens.
16 When he speaks in the thunder,
the heavens roar with rain.
He causes the clouds to rise over the earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
17 The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge!
The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make,
for their carefully shaped works are a fraud.
These idols have no breath or power.
18 Idols are worthless; they are ridiculous lies!
On the day of reckoning they will all be destroyed.
19 But the God of Israel
He is the Creator of everything that exists,
including his people, his own special possession.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
says the Lord.
“With you I will shatter nations
and destroy many kingdoms.
21 With you I will shatter armies—
destroying the horse and rider,
the chariot and charioteer.
22 With you I will shatter men and women,
old people and children,
young men and young women.
23 With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks,
farmers and oxen,
captains and officers.
24 “I will repay Babylon
and the people of Babylonia
for all the wrong they have done
to my people in Jerusalem,” says the Lord.
25 “Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth!
I am your enemy,” says the Lord.
“I will raise my fist against you,
to knock you down from the heights.
When I am finished,
you will be nothing but a heap of burnt rubble.
26 You will be desolate forever.
Even your stones will never again be used for building.
You will be completely wiped out,”
says the Lord.
27 Raise a signal flag to the nations.
Sound the battle cry!
Mobilize them all against Babylon.
Prepare them to fight against her!
Bring out the armies of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander,
and bring a multitude of horses like swarming locusts!
28 Bring against her the armies of the nations—
led by the kings of the Medes
and all their captains and officers.
29 The earth trembles and writhes in pain,
for everything the Lord has planned against Babylon stands unchanged.
Babylon will be left desolate without a single inhabitant.
30 Her mightiest warriors no longer fight.
They stay in their barracks, their courage gone.
They have become like women.
The invaders have burned the houses
and broken down the city gates.
31 The news is passed from one runner to the next
as the messengers hurry to tell the king
that his city has been captured.
32 All the escape routes are blocked.
The marshes have been set aflame,
and the army is in a panic.
33 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the God of Israel, says:
“Babylon is like wheat on a threshing floor,
about to be trampled.
In just a little while
her harvest will begin.”
34 “King Nebuchadnezzar
and drained us of strength.
He has swallowed us like a great monster
and filled his belly with our riches.
He has thrown us out of our own country.
35 Make Babylon suffer as she made us suffer,”
say the people of Zion.
“Make the people of Babylonia pay for spilling our blood,”
36 This is what the Lord says to Jerusalem:
“I will be your lawyer to plead your case,
and I will avenge you.
I will dry up her river,
as well as her springs,
37 and Babylon will become a heap of ruins,
haunted by jackals.
She will be an object of horror and contempt,
a place where no one lives.
38 Her people will roar together like strong lions.
They will growl like lion cubs.
39 And while they lie inflamed with all their wine,
I will prepare a different kind of feast for them.
I will make them drink until they fall asleep,
and they will never wake up again,”
says the Lord.
40 “I will bring them down
like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and goats to be sacrificed.
41 “How Babylon
great Babylon, praised throughout the earth!
Now she has become an object of horror
among the nations.
42 The sea has risen over Babylon;
she is covered by its crashing waves.
43 Her cities now lie in ruins;
she is a dry wasteland
where no one lives or even passes by.
44 And I will punish Bel, the god of Babylon,
and make him vomit up all he has eaten.
The nations will no longer come and worship him.
The wall of Babylon has fallen!
45 “Come out, my people, flee from Babylon.
Save yourselves! Run from the Lord’s fierce anger.
46 But do not panic; don’t be afraid
when you hear the first rumor of approaching forces.
For rumors will keep coming year by year.
Violence will erupt in the land
as the leaders fight against each other.
47 For the time is surely coming
when I will punish this great city and all her idols.
Her whole land will be disgraced,
and her dead will lie in the streets.
48 Then the heavens and earth will rejoice,
for out of the north will come destroying armies
against Babylon,” says the Lord.
49 “Just as Babylon killed the people of Israel
and others throughout the world,
so must her people be killed.
50 Get out, all you who have escaped the sword!
Do not stand and watch—flee while you can!
Remember the Lord, though you are in a far-off land,
and think about your home in Jerusalem.”
51 “We are ashamed,” the people say.
“We are insulted and disgraced
because the Lord’s Temple
has been defiled by foreigners.”
52 “Yes,” says the Lord, “but the time is coming
when I will destroy Babylon’s idols.
The groans of her wounded people
will be heard throughout the land.
53 Though Babylon reaches as high as the heavens
and makes her fortifications incredibly strong,
I will still send enemies to plunder her.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
51 Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;
2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
3 Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.
4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.
5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.
10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.
11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple.
12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the Lord hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.
14 The Lord of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillers; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.
15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.
16 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
17 Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name.
20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;
22 With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;
23 I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.
24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the Lord.
25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the Lord.
27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers.
28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.
29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.
30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken.
31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end,
32 And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.
33 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.
34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.
35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.
37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps.
39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats.
41 How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!
42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the Lord.
49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.
50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord's house.
52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.
2 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers
6 Similarly, encourage the young men
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything,
11 For the grace
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
2 As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching.2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.
3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.
6 In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely.7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
9 Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back10 or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.
11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.
2 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
let the earth shake.
you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
and worship at his footstool;
he is holy.
they called on the Lord
they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
1 The Lord is king!
Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
2 The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
exalted above all the nations.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Your name is holy!
4 Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
and righteousness throughout Israel.
5 Exalt the Lord our God!
Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
and he answered them.
7 He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
8 O Lord our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but you punished them when they went wrong.
9 Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
for the Lord our God is holy!
99 The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
2 The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.
3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
4 The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them.
7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.
8 Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.
9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.
17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.
17 Interfering in someone else’s argument
is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.
17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.