The LORD's Judgment on Babylon
51 1 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the heart of those that rise against me, a destroying wind; 2 and I will send unto Babylon strangers, who 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 coat of mail; and spare not her young men: destroy utterly all her host. 4 And the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets. 5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of Jehovah of hosts; for their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. 6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and save every man his life; be ye not cut off in her iniquity: for this is the time of Jehovah's vengeance: he shall render unto her a recompence. 7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in Jehovah's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore have the nations become mad. 8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and ruined. Howl over her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. 9 We have treated Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto the heavens, and is lifted up to the skies. 10 Jehovah hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of Jehovah our God. 11 Sharpen the arrows; take the shields. Jehovah hath stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; for his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it; for this is the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance of his temple. 12 Lift up a banner towards the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for Jehovah hath both devised and done that which he spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 Thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy rapacity. 14 Jehovah of hosts hath sworn by himself, I will assuredly fill thee with men, as with caterpillars; and they shall raise 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 heavens by his understanding. 16 When he uttereth his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the end of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. 17 Every man is become brutish, so as to have no knowledge; every founder is put to shame by the graven image, for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 18 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for it is he that hath formed all things: and [Israel] is the rod of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name. 20 Thou art my maul, [my] weapons of war: and with thee I will break in pieces the nations, and I will with thee destroy kingdoms; 21 and with thee I will break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee I will break in pieces the chariot and its driver; 22 and with thee 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 and with thee will I break in pieces 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 governors and rulers. 24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea, in your sight, all their evil which they have done in Zion, saith Jehovah. 25 Behold, I am against thee, mount of destruction, saith Jehovah, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burning mountain. 26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; for thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith Jehovah. 27 Lift up a banner in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare nations against her; call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the bristly caterpillars. 28 Prepare nations against her, the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their rulers, yea, all the land of their dominion. 29 And the land trembleth and is in pain; for the purposes of Jehovah against Babylon do stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased to fight, they are sitting in the fortresses; their might hath failed, they are become as women: they have set her dwelling places on fire; her bars are broken. 31 Courier runneth to meet courier, and messenger to meet messenger, to announce to the king of Babylon that his city is taken from end to end; 32 and the passages are seized, and the reedy places are burnt with fire, and the men of war are affrighted. 33 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor, at the time of its being trodden; yet a little while, and the time of harvest shall come for her. 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 inhabitress of Zion say; and, My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. 36 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her spring dry. 37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling-place of jackals, an astonishment, and a hissing, without inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like young lions, growl as lions' whelps. 39 When they are heated, I will prepare their drink, and I will make them drunken, that they may exult, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith Jehovah. 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 seized! How is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! 42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of its waves. 43 Her cities are become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land wherein no one dwelleth, neither doth a son of man pass thereby. 44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth what he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon is fallen. 45 Go ye out of the midst of her, my people, and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of Jehovah! 46 lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; for a rumour shall come [one] year, and after that a rumour in [another] year, and violence in the earth, ruler against ruler. 47 Therefore behold, days are coming when I will punish the graven images of Babylon; and her whole land shall be put to shame, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. 48 And the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, shall shout aloud over Babylon; for out of the north the spoilers shall come against her, saith Jehovah. 49 As Babylon 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, stand not still: remember Jehovah from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. 51 —We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach; confusion hath covered our face: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of Jehovah's house. 52 —Therefore behold, days come, saith Jehovah, that I will punish her graven images; and throughout her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon should mount up to the heavens, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith Jehovah. 54 The sound of a cry [cometh] from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans; 55 for Jehovah spoileth Babylon, and he will destroy out of her the great voice; and their waves roar like great waters, the noise of their voice resoundeth. 56 For the spoiler is come against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men are taken; their bows are broken in pieces; for Jehovah, the God of recompences, will certainly requite. 57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her governors, and her rulers, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is Jehovah of hosts. 58 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly laid bare, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; so that the peoples will have laboured in vain, and the nations for the fire: and they shall be weary.
59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Nerijah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now Seraiah was chief chamberlain. 60 And Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, see that thou read all these words; 62 and say, Jehovah, thou hast spoken concerning this place, that thou wilt cut it off, so that none shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. 63 And it shall be, when thou hast ended reading this book, [that] thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates; 64 and shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise, because of the evil that I will bring upon it: and they shall be weary. Thus far the words of Jeremiah.
The Reign of Zedekiah
52 1 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 And he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For, because the anger of Jehovah was against Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
The Fall of Jerusalem
4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth of the month, [that] Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem; and they encamped against it, and built turrets against it round about. 5 And the city was besieged until the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 6 In the fourth month, on the ninth of the month, the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 7 And the city was broken into: and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden (now the Chaldeans were near the city round about); and they went the way toward the plain. 8 And the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. 9 And they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon, unto Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment upon him. 10 And the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; and he slaughtered also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 And he put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with chains of brass; and the king of Babylon carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
The Captivity of Judah
12 And in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, which was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzar-adan, captain of the body-guard, who stood before the king of Babylon, came unto Jerusalem; 13 and he burned the house of Jehovah, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; and every great [man's] house he burned with fire. 14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the body-guard, broke down all the walls of Jerusalem round about. 15 And Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard carried away captive of the poorest sort of the people, and the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the deserters that had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude. 16 But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard left of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen. 17 And the brazen pillars that were in the house of Jehovah, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of Jehovah, the Chaldeans broke up, and carried all the brass thereof to Babylon. 18 The pots also, and the shovels, and the knives, and the bowls, and the cups, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, they took away. 19 And the basons and the censers, and the bowls, and the pots, and the candlesticks, and the cups, and the goblets, that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, the captain of the body-guard took away. 20 The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve brazen oxen that formed the bases, which king Solomon had made for the house of Jehovah: for the brass of all these vessels there was no weight. 21 And as to the pillars: the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a line of twelve cubits encompassed it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow. 22 And the capital upon it was brass, and the height of the one capital [was] five cubits; and the network and the pomegranates, upon the capital round about, all of brass; and similarly for the second pillar, and the pomegranates. 23 And there were ninety-six pomegranates on the [four] sides; all the pomegranates upon the network were a hundred round about.
24 And the captain of the body-guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three doorkeepers. 25 And out of the city he took a eunuch that was set over the men of war, and seven men of them that were in the king's presence, who were found in the city, and the scribe of the captain of the host, who enrolled the people of the land. And sixty men of the people of the land that were found in the midst of the city. 26 And Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah; 27 and the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his land. 28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand and twenty-three Jews; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar [he carried away captive] from Jerusalem eight hundred and thirty-two persons; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred and forty-five persons: all the persons were four thousand six hundred.
Jehoiachin Released and Honored in Babylon
31 And it came to pass in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, [that] Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison; 32 and he spoke kindly unto him, and set his seat above the seat of the kings that were with him in Babylon. 33 And he changed his prison garments; and he ate bread before him continually all the days of his life; 34 and his allowance was a continual allowance given him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.