The LORD's Judgment on Babylon
51 1 Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against those who dwell in Lebkamai, a destroying wind. 2 I will send to Babylon strangers, who shall winnow her; and they shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her around. 3 Against him who bends let the archer bend his bow, and against him who lifts himself up in his coat of mail: and don’t spare her young men; utterly destroy all her army. 4 They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and thrust through in her streets. 5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of Yahweh of Armies; though 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; don’t be cut off in her iniquity: for it is the time of Yahweh’s vengeance; he will render to her a recompense. 7 Babylon has been a golden cup in Yahweh’s hand, who made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. 8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: wail 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 everyone into his own country; for her judgment reaches to heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. 10 Yahweh has brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of Yahweh our God. 11 Make sharp the arrows; hold firm the shields: Yahweh has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it: for it is the vengeance of Yahweh, the vengeance of his temple. 12 Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for Yahweh has both purposed and done that which he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 You who dwell on many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness. 14 Yahweh of Armies has sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill you with men, as with the canker worm; and they shall lift up a shout against you. 15 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens: 16 when he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightning for the rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasuries. 17 Every man is become brutish and is without knowledge; every goldsmith is disappointed by his 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 these; for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: Yahweh of Armies is his name. 20 You are my battle axe and weapons of war: and with you will I break in pieces the nations; and with you will I destroy kingdoms; 21 and with you will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; 22 and with you will I break in pieces the chariot and him who rides therein; and with you will I break in pieces man and woman; and with you will I break in pieces the old man and the youth; and with you will I break in pieces the young man and the virgin; 23 and with you will I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; and with you will I break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen; and with you will I break in pieces governors and deputies. 24 I will render to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, says Yahweh. 25 Behold, I am against you, destroying mountain, says Yahweh, which destroys all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand on you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain. 26 They shall not take of you a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but you shall be desolate for ever, says Yahweh. 27 Set 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 Ashkenaz: appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough canker worm. 28 Prepare against her the nations, the kings of the Medes, its governors, and all its deputies, and all the land of their dominion. 29 The land trembles and is in pain; for the purposes of Yahweh against Babylon do stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they remain in their strongholds; their might has failed; they are become as women: her dwelling places are set on fire; her bars are broken. 31 One runner will run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on every quarter: 32 and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frightened. 33 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while, and the time of harvest shall come for her. 34 Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has, like a monster, swallowed me up, he has filled his maw with my delicacies; he has cast me out. 35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be on Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and, My blood be on the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. 36 Therefore thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for you; and I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry. 37 Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment, and a hissing, without inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like young lions; they shall growl as lions’ cubs. 39 When they are heated, I will make their feast, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says Yahweh. 40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats. 41 How is Sheshach taken! and the praise of the whole earth seized! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! 42 The sea is come up on 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 in which no man dwells, neither does any son of man pass thereby. 44 I will execute judgment on Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more to him: yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall. 45 My people, go away from the midst of her, and save yourselves every man from the fierce anger of Yahweh. 46 Don’t let your heart faint, neither fear for the news that shall be heard in the land; for news shall come one year, and after that in another year shall come news, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. 47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will execute judgment on the engraved images of Babylon; and her whole land shall be confounded; and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. 48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers shall come to her from the north, says Yahweh. 49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the land. 50 You who have escaped the sword, go, don’t stand still; remember Yahweh from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. 51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach; confusion has covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of Yahweh’s house. 52 Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will execute judgment on her engraved images; and through all her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon should mount up to the sky, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall destroyers come to her, says Yahweh. 54 The sound of a cry from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! 55 For Yahweh lays Babylon waste, and destroys out of her the great voice; and their waves roar like many waters; the noise of their voice is uttered: 56 for the destroyer is come on her, even on Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, their bows are broken in pieces; for Yahweh is a God of recompenses, he will surely requite. 57 I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her governors and her deputies, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake up, says the King, whose name is Yahweh of Armies. 58 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.
59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, 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 quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come on Babylon, even all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words, 62 and say, Yahweh, you have spoken concerning this place, to cut it off, that none shall dwell therein, neither man nor animal, but that it shall be desolate forever. 63 It shall be, when you have made an end of reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates: 64 and you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring on her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are 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 the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For through the anger of Yahweh did it happen in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
The Fall of Jerusalem
4 It happened in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about. 5 So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 6 In the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 7 Then a breach was made in the city, 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 against the city all around;) and they went toward the Arabah. 8 But 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 Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment on him. 10 The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he killed also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 He put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death.
The Captivity of Judah
12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, who stood before the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem: 13 and he burned the house of Yahweh, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burned he with fire. 14 All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around. 15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the poorest of the people, and the residue of the people who were left in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the residue of the multitude. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to be vineyard keepers and farmers. 17 The pillars of brass that were in the house of Yahweh, and the bases and the bronze sea that were in the house of Yahweh, did the Chaldeans break in pieces, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon. 18 The pots also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered, took they away. 19 The cups, and the fire pans, and the basins, and the pots, and the lampstands, and the spoons, and the bowls—that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver,—the captain of the guard took away. 20 The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve bronze bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made for the house of Yahweh. The brass of all these vessels was without weight. 21 As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a line of twelve cubits did compass it; and its thickness was four fingers: it was hollow. 22 A capital of brass was on it; and the height of the one capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital all around, all of brass: and the second pillar also had like these, and pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were one hundred on the network all around.
24 The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold: 25 and out of the city he took an officer who was set over the men of war; and seven men of those who saw the king’s face, who were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. 27 The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land. 28 This is the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand twenty-three Jews; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty-two persons; 30 in the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty-five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.
Jehoiachin Released and Honored in Babylon
31 It happened in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison; 32 and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, 33 and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life: 34 and for his allowance, there 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.