CONCERNING Babylon, the word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.
Declare among the nations and publish and raise an ensign;
publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is fallen, Merodach is put to shame, her idols are confounded and her graven images are broken in pieces.
For out of the north there comes up a nation against her which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell in it;
they shall flee, they shall depart, both man and beast.
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 and seeking the LORD their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces towards it, saying, Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant which shall not be forgotten.
My people have been like lost sheep;
their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have scattered them on the mountains;
they have gone from mountains to hills, they have forgotten their fold.
All who found them have devoured them;
and their adversaries have said, We shall not spare them, because they have sinned against the LORD and against his righteous habitation;
even the LORD, the hope of their families.
Flee from the midst of Babylon and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks.
¶ For, behold, I will stir up and cause to come against Babylon a multitude of many nations from the north country;
and they shall set themselves in array against her;
from thence she shall be taken;
their arrows shall be as those of an expert archer;
none shall return empty.
And the land of the Chaldeans shall be a spoil;
all that plunder her shall be satisfied, says the LORD.
Because you were glad, because you rejoiced over the destruction of my heritage, you leaped for joy like fat heifers and you danced like the rams of the flock:
Your mother is exceedingly ashamed;
she who bore you is confounded: behold, the last of the nations shall become wilderness, waste, and desolation.
Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate;
every one who passes by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her wounds.
Set yourselves in array against Babylon round about;
all you that know how to bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows;
for she has sinned against the LORD.
Shout against her round about;
she has surrendered, her foundations are fallen, her walls are demolished;
for it is the vengeance of the LORD.
Take vengeance upon her;
as she has done to others, do so to her.
Cut off from Babylon both the sower and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest;
because of the fear of the oppressing sword, they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.
Israel is a lost ewe;
the lions have caused him to go astray;
first the king of Assyria has devoured him;
and at last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has inflicted a more grievous wound than the other.
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.
And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and on Mathnin and mount Ephraim and Gilead;
and his soul shall be satisfied.
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 as a remnant.
¶ Go up against the rebellious land, go up against it, and against its inhabitants;
unsheath the sword and destroy them, says the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded you.
A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.
How is the mighty one of the whole earth defeated and taken!
How has Babylon become an amazement among the nations!
Babylon has stumbled and she is taken;
she did not know that she stood up against the LORD.
The LORD has opened his armory and brought forth weapons of his indignation;
for this is the work of the LORD God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
Come against her from round about her, open her gates;
leave her as a naked woman and destroy her utterly;
let nothing be left of her.
Destroy her;
and let all her offspring be delivered to the slaughter;
woe to them!
for their day is come, the time of their punishment.
The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.
Call together great armies against Babylon: all who know how to bend the bow shoot against her round about;
let none be spared;
recompense her according to her works;
according to all that she had done, do to her;
for she has ventured against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all her men of war shall be silenced on that day.
Behold, I am against you, O boaster, says the LORD God of hosts;
for your day has come, the time of your punishment.
And the boaster shall be overthrown and fall, and none shall raise him up;
and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: The children of Israel and the children of Judah are oppressed together;
and all who took them captive have held them fast;
they refused to let them go.
Their Saviour is strong;
the LORD of hosts is his name;
he shall thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, and disquiet all the inhabitants of Babylon.
A sword is upon the Chaldeans, says the LORD, and upon all the inhabitants of Babylon and upon her princes and upon her wise men.
A sword is upon her soothsayers, and they shall be dismayed;
a sword is upon her mighty men, and they shall be defeated.
A sword is upon her horses and upon her chariots and upon all sojourners that are in the midst of her;
and they shall become cowards;
a sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be plundered.
A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up;
for she is the land of the makers of images, who boast in their idols.
Therefore screech-owls shall dwell in her, and ostriches shall inhabit her;
and she shall be no more inhabited for ever;
neither shall she be inhabited throughout generations.
She shall become like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them and their inhabitants;
so no man shall dwell there, neither shall any son of man live there.
Behold, a people is coming from the north, a great nation, and many kings shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth.
They are armed with bows and lances;
they are cruel and have no mercy;
their voices are like the roaring of the sea, and they ride upon horses, arrayed as mighty men to the battle against you, O daughter of Babylon.
The king of Babylon has heard the report of them, and his hands weakened;
anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
Behold, the enemy shall come up like a lion from the thickets of Jordan against the folds of Athan;
and I will make the people suddenly run away from Babylon;
and I will charge young warriors against her;
for who is like me?
Or who shall assail me?
Or what leader is there who can prevail against me?
Therefore, hear the counsel of the LORD which he has taken against Babylon;
and his purposes, that he has proposed against the land of the Chaldeans;
for they shall shear even the least of the flock, and they shall make their folds a desolation upon them.
At the noise of the capture of Babylon the earth is moved and her wailing is heard among the nations.