June 3, 2022 Read Together

June 3, 2022 Read Together

June 3, 2022

Jeremiah 47

Prophecy against Philistia

The Lord’s word to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines before Pharaoh conquered Gaza.

The Lord proclaims:

    Waters are rising from the north
        and turning into a raging flood.
They will engulf the land and everything in it,
    the towns and those living in them.
The people cry out;
    all who live there scream.
At the pounding of the stallions’ hooves,
    at the deafening roar of the chariots’ wheels,
        parents abandon children,
        so paralyzed are they with fear.
Because the time is coming
    for the Philistines’ destruction,
    for cutting off from Tyre and Sidon
        anyone who might try to save Gaza,
    because the Lord will destroy the Philistines,
    the few left from the island of Caphtor.
Mourning will come upon Gaza;
    silence will cover Ashkelon,
        the few left in their valley.
How long will you gash yourselves in grief?
    You sword of the Lord,
    how long until you are silent?
Return to your sheath;
    rest and be still!
How can you be silent
    when the Lord has directed you
        to attack Ashkelon and the coast line?

Jeremiah 48

Prophecy against Moab

Concerning Moab:

The Lord of heavenly forces,

    the God of Israel, proclaims:
How awful for Nebo;
    it lies in ruins.
Kirathaim is captured and shamed;
    the fortress is disgraced,
        reduced to rubble.
No one sings Moab’s praise any longer!
    In Heshbon they are hatching
        a plot against her:
    “Come, let’s bring down the nation!”
    You too, Madmen, will be silenced;
        the sword will pursue you.
Listen to the cries for help from Horonaim:
    “Destruction and massive devastation!”
Moab is shattered;
    its young cry for help.
On the way up to Luhith,
        there is uncontrollable weeping.
    On the way down to Horonaim,
        they hear sobs of anguish.
Run for your lives!
    Be like Aroer[e] in the desert.
Because you have relied
        on your own strength and treasures,
    you also will be captured.
Chemosh will go into exile,
    together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will sweep through every town;
    no town will escape.
The valleys will be ravaged;
    the plateaus will be destroyed,
        because the Lord has declared it so.
Give wings to Moab,
    and it would fly away
        because its towns lie in ruins,
        with no one left in them.

10 Cursed is the one who is halfhearted
    in doing the Lord’s work.
Cursed is the one who restrains
    the sword from bloodshed.
11 From early on Moab has been at ease,
        like wine[g] left to settle on its sediment.
    It hasn’t been poured into jars;
        nor has Moab been taken into exile.
    Therefore, its taste is still pleasant,
        and its aroma is the same.

12 But the time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will send to him someone to spill it—to pour out his wine and to smash his jars. 13 And Moab will be put to shame on account of Chemosh, just as the people of Israel were put to shame on account of Bethel, in which they trusted.

14 How can you claim,
    “We’re soldiers; we’re war heroes”?
15 Moab is doomed;
    its towns will surrender;
    its elite forces will go down in defeat,
        declares the king whose name is the Lord of heavenly forces.
16 Moab’s destruction is near;
    its downfall approaches rapidly.
17 Grieve for this nation,
    you neighbors of Moab,
    all you who know his name.
Proclaim how its mighty scepter
    and magnificent staff are shattered!

18 Come down from your lofty place
        and sit in the dust,
    you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon;
        because Moab’s destroyer
        has arrived to level your fortresses.
19 Stand by the roads and watch,
    you inhabitants of Aroer.
Ask the men who flee
    and the women who run off,
        “What’s happened?”
20 Moab is shamed and shocked;
    weep and wail!
Tell it by the Arnon River:
    Moab’s been destroyed!

21 Judgment has come to the towns of the plateau—
        to Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath,
22         to Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim,
23         to Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon,
24         to Kerioth and Bozrah,
    to all the towns of Moab, far and near.

25 Moab’s horn is cut off;
    its arm is broken,
        declares the Lord.
26 Get Moab drunk,
    because it has exalted itself above the Lord.
Moab will collapse in its vomit
    and become the butt of every joke.
27 Wasn’t Israel the butt of your jokes?
    Didn’t you shake your head
        as if they were thieves
            caught in the act?
28 Leave your towns, head for the cliffs,
        you people of Moab.
Hide like a dove
    that nests in the mouth of a cave.

29 We have heard of Moab’s pride:
    arrogant, puffed up, exalted,
        high and mighty, boastful!
30 I myself know about its arrogance,
    declares the Lord,
        the idle talk, the empty deeds.
31 But I’ll still wail for Moab;
    I’ll cry out for all Moab;
        I’ll[l] sob for the people of Kir-heres.
32             I’ll weep for you, vine of Sibmah,
                more than I would for Jazer.
Though your branches extended to the sea
    and reached the coast of Jazer,
        now the destroyer has come
            to harvest your grapes and summer fruits.
33 Joy and gladness have been taken
    from the orchards and farms of Moab.
    I have stopped making wine in the presses.
    No one shouts with joy
        while treading the grapes.
Though there are shouts,
    they are not shouts of joy!
34 Screams are heard from Heshbon
    to Elealeh and Jahaz;
        their cries resound from Zoar
        to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah.
Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35     I’ll put an end to Moab,
        declares the Lord,
        for making offerings on the shrines,
            and worshipping their gods.

36 Therefore, my heart wails for Moab
        like a mournful flute that plays the dirge;
    my heart wails for the people of Kir-heres,
        like a mournful flute.
        Their abundance is now gone.
37 Every head is shaved,
    every beard is cut off,
    every hand is slashed,
    and everyone wears mourning clothes.
38 On every housetop of Moab
    and in all its streets,
        there’s nothing but mourning.
I have shattered Moab
    like a pottery vessel no one wants,
        declares the Lord.
39 How it’s shattered! Go wail!
How Moab turns away!
    What shame!
Moab has become the butt of every joke,
    horrific to all its neighbors.

40 The Lord proclaims:
    Look! One who soars like an eagle
        and spreads its wings over Moab.
41 The towns will be captured;
    the strongholds will be seized.
On that day, the heart of every soldier from Moab
    will be like that of a woman in the throes of labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed once and for all
    because it has exalted itself above the Lord.

43 Terror, traps, and trackers
    are upon you, people of Moab,
            declares the Lord.
44 Those who flee from terror
        will fall into a pit;
    those who escape the pit
        will be captured by the trap.
I will bring upon Moab
    the year of its punishment,
        declares the Lord.
45 In Heshbon tired refugees seek shelter.
    But fire is raging in Heshbon,
        flames from the house of Sihon.
It has burned up part of Moab,
    including the leader of this rebellious nation.
46 How terrible for you, Moab;
    the people of Chemosh have perished.
Your sons have been carried off;
    your daughters have been taken captive.
47 But in the days to come
    I’ll bring back Moab from captivity,
        declares the Lord.
    Such is the judgment on Moab.

Jeremiah 49

Prophecy against the Ammonites

Concerning the Ammonites, the Lord proclaims:

Doesn’t Israel have children?

    Aren’t there heirs to his land?
Why then has Milcom taken over Gad?
    Why have his people settled in its towns?
Therefore, the time is coming,
        declares the Lord,
    when I will sound the battle alarm against Rabbah,
        the capital city of the Ammonites.
The city will be demolished,
    and its neighboring villages
        will be burned to the ground.
Then Israel will repossess
    the land seized by its captors,
        says the Lord.
Weep, you people of Heshbon;
    Ai has been destroyed.
Wail, you daughters of Rabbah;
    put on funeral clothing,
        cry your eyes out,
        run for shelter.[r]
Milcom will surely go into exile,
    together with his priests and ministers.

Why do you brag about your strength?
    Your strength is exhausted,[s]
        you rebellious daughter.
You trust in your treasures,
    never imagining who would attack you.
I’m the one who will terrify you from every side,
    declares the Lord of heavenly forces.
Every one of you will be scattered about;
    no one will gather those who fled.
Afterward, though, I will bring back
    the Ammonites from captivity,
        declares the Lord.

Prophecy against Edom

Concerning Edom, the Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
Is wisdom no longer in Teman?
    Has good sense vanished from the perceptive?
        Are they no longer wise?
Turn, flee, and run for cover,
    you inhabitants of Dedan.
I’m bringing disaster on Esau:
    its day of reckoning.
If workers would come to you to pick grapes,
    they would at least leave a few on the vine.
If thieves would come in the night,
    they would take only what they needed.
10 But me? I will strip Esau bare.
    I will expose his hiding places,
        and he will find no place to take cover.
His offspring, family, and acquaintances will perish,
    and there will be no one left to say,
11 “Leave me your orphans,
    and I’ll look after them;
        trust your widows into my care.”

12 The Lord proclaims: If the innocent must drink the cup, why do you expect to escape punishment? You won’t! You will drink it! 13 I myself swear, declares the Lord, that Bozrah will become an object of horror and scorn, a wasteland and a curse. And all of its towns will lie in ruins forever.

14 I have heard a report from the Lord
    that a messenger is sent among the nations:
Join forces and come against her;
    prepare for war!
15 I’m about to cut you down to size before the nations;
    you will be scorned by everyone.
16 The terror you have inflicted on others has deceived you,
    as has your own pride.
Though you live in a fortress
        and occupy the high ground;
    though you nest on high like the eagles,
        I will bring you down,
            declares the Lord.
17 Then Edom will become a wasteland.
    All who pass by will be shocked by its injuries.
18 It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
    and their surrounding towns,
        says the Lord.
        No one will live there;
        no human will dwell in it.
19 Like a lion coming up
    from the jungle of the Jordan
        to a well-watered meadow,
        so I will suddenly chase down Edom
            and single out its choicest of rams.
Who is like me?
    Who can direct me?
    What shepherd can withstand me?
20 Therefore, listen to the counsel
    that the Lord has for Edom
    and the plans he’s devised
        against the people of Teman:
        The little ones of the flock
            will be dragged off,
        as their pasture watches
            in utter disbelief.
21 The earth quakes
    as the Edomites go down;
        their screams echo
            as far as the Reed Sea.
22 Look! One who mounts up and soars like an eagle,
    who swoops down and spreads his wings over Bozrah.
On that day, the heart of every soldier from Edom
    will be like that of a woman in the throes of labor.

Prophecy against Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus:
Hamath and Arpad lose heart
    when they hear the bad news.
They are trembling with fear,
    like the raging sea,
        which can’t become quiet.
24 Damascus staggers about;
    she tries to flee,
        but panic overwhelms her.
She’s gripped by anguish and pain,
    like a woman in labor.
25 Forsaken[y] is the renowned city,
    city of my delight.
26 Yes, her young men will fall in the streets,
    and her soldiers will be silent on that day,
        declares the Lord of heavenly forces.
27 I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
    it will burn up the fortresses of Ben-hadad.

Prophecy against Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar defeated, the Lord proclaims:

Get ready to attack Kedar;
    destroy the people from the east!
29 Seize[z] their tents and their flocks,
    their belongings and all their goods.
Take off with their camels
    and shout as you go:
        “Panic Lurks Everywhere!”
30 Run away; take cover,
    you people of Hazor,
        declares the Lord.
Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar
    has taken counsel and devised a plan against you.
31 Get ready to attack a nation
    that feels safe and secure,
        declares the Lord,
    one without barred gates
    that lives by itself.
32 Their camels will become plunder;
    their many cattle will be pillaged.
I will scatter to the winds those who are clean-shaven,
    and I will bring disaster on them from every side,
        declares the Lord.
33 Hazor will become a den for wild dogs,
    a wilderness forever.
No one will live there;
    no human will dwell in it.

Prophecy against Elam

34 This is what the Lord told the prophet Jeremiah concerning Elam at the beginning of the rule of Judah’s King Zedekiah. 35 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

I’m going to break the bow of Elam,
    the backbone of its military might.
36 I will bring against Elam four winds
    from the four corners of heaven,
        and I will scatter them to the winds.
    Those banished from Elam will migrate to every nation.
37 I will terrify Elam before their enemies,
    before those who seek to kill them.
I will bring disaster upon them,
    my fierce anger,
        declares the Lord.
I will send the sword to attack them
    until I have destroyed them all.
38 I will establish my rule in Elam
    and dispose of its king and officials,
        declares the Lord.
39 But in the days to come
    I will bring back the captives of Elam,
        declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 50

Prophecy against Babylon

This is what the Lord said concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians through the prophet Jeremiah:

Tell the nations;

    proclaim it far and wide!
Set up a flag;
    proclaim it far and wide!
Hold nothing back;
    just shout it:
“Babylon is captured;
    Bel is shamed;
Marduk is panic-stricken.
    Her images are shamed;
        her idols are panic-stricken.”
A nation from the north
    has risen up against her.
It will decimate her land,
    and no one will live in it.
        Every living thing will flee.
In those days and at that time,
        declares the Lord,
    the people of Israel and Judah
        will come out of Babylon together;
    with weeping they will leave
        as they seek the Lord their God.
They will search for Zion,
    turning their faces toward it.
They will come and
    unite with the Lord,
    in an everlasting covenant
        that will never be forgotten.
My people were lost sheep;
        their shepherds led them astray;
    they deserted them on the mountains,
        where they wandered off among the hills,
                forgetting their resting place.
All who found them devoured them;
        and their attackers said,
    “It’s not our fault,
        because they have sinned against the Lord,
            the true pasture,
            the hope of their ancestors—the Lord.”
Now wander far from Babylon.
        Get out of that country.
    Like rams of the flock,
        lead the way home.
I’m stirring up against Babylon
    a coalition of mighty nations.
It will mobilize in the north,
    and from there she will be captured.
Their arrows are like those of an expert archer
    who does not return empty-handed.
10 Babylon will be defeated;
    its attackers will carry off all that they want,
        declares the Lord.

11 Sure, you gloat and rejoice,
        you plunderers of my possession.
Sure, you dance around like a calf
    and neigh like a stallion.
12 But Mother Babylon will be humiliated;
    the one who bore you will be disgraced.
She will become the least of the nations:
    a wilderness, a desert, and parched land.
13 Because of the Lord’s anger,
    no one will live there;
        she will be reduced to total ruin.
All who pass by Babylon will be shocked;
    they will gasp at all her injuries.
14 Take up your positions around Babylon,
        all you archers;
    now shoot at her;
        save none of your arrows,
        because she’s sinned against the Lord.
15 Raise a victory shout against her on every side!
    She’s surrendered;
        her towers have collapsed;
        her walls are destroyed.
This is the Lord’s retribution;
    now pay her back:
        do to her what she’s done to others!
16 Cut Babylon off from those who plant
    and those who harvest the crops,
        because of its ruthless sword.
Now return, all of you, to your people;
    flee to your homeland!

17 Israelites are scattered sheep,
    driven away by lions.
First the king of Assyria devoured them,
    and now Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar has ravaged them.

18 Therefore, the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims:

I’m going to punish the king of Babylon and his land,
    just as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will restore Israel to their pasture;
    they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
    they will eat their fill
        in the highlands of Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days and at that time,
        declares the Lord,
    if one searches for the sin of Israel,
        they will find nothing;
    if one seeks out the wrongdoing of Judah,
        they will look in vain.
            I will forgive those I have spared.

21 Attack the land of Merathaim;
        crush those living in Pekod.
    Ruin and destroy them,
        declares the Lord;
    do all I have commanded you.
22 There’s the sound of war in the land
    and enormous devastation.
23 How the hammer of the whole earth
    has been broken and shattered into pieces!
How Babylon has become a wasteland
    among the nations!
24 You set a trap for others, Babylon,
    but you yourself were caught in it unaware;
        you have been found and captured
        because you have defied the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out his brutal weapons.
The Lord God of heavenly forces
    has a job to do in the land of the Babylonians.
26 Come against her from every side;
    throw open her granaries;
    pile her up like stalks of grain;
    totally destroy her;
    leave nothing intact.
27 Destroy all her bulls;
    prepare them for slaughter.
How terrible for them!
    Their time has come,
        the day of reckoning.
28 A voice of fugitives and refugees,
        from the land of Babylon,
    declaring in Zion
        the retribution of the Lord our God
            because of what has been done to his temple.
29 Send the archers against Babylon,
    all who draw the bow!
Surround her
    and let no one escape.
Pay her back for her deeds;
    do to her what she’s done to others.
She has acted arrogantly toward the Lord,
    the holy one of Israel!

30 Therefore, her soldiers will fall in the streets;
    all her warriors will be silenced on that day,
        declares the Lord.
31 I’m against you, you arrogant one!
    declares the Lord God of heavenly forces.
Your day has come,
    your time of reckoning.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall,
    and no one will help her up.
I’ll set your cities on fire,
    and it will consume all that’s around her.
33 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
The people of Israel were oppressed,
    together with the people of Judah.
Their captors held them
    and refused to let them go.
34 Yet their redeemer is strong;
    the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.
He will surely defend their cause
    and give them rest in the land.
But he will unsettle the people of Babylon.

35 A sword against Babylon and its people,
    declares the Lord,
        along with its officials and sages.
36 A sword against its diviners
    so that they become fools.
A sword against its warriors
    so that they are terrified.
37 A sword against its horses and chariots,
    and the mercenaries in its midst
        so that they lose courage.
A sword against its treasures
    so that they are looted.
38 A sword against the water supplies
    so that they dry up.
It is truly the land of idols,
    idols about which they have gone utterly mad!
39 Therefore, Babylon will become a ghost town,
    a place for desert animals,
        hyenas, and ravenous birds.
No one will live there again;
    no one will make it their home.
40 Just as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors,
        declares the Lord,
    so no one will live in Babylon
        or settle there again.

41 Look! An army is on the move
    from the northern regions.
A powerful nation and many kings are coming
    from the ends of the earth.
42 Equipped with bow and spear,
    they are cruel and show no mercy.
Their horsemen sound like the roaring sea,
    arrayed in battle formation against you,
    Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports of them
    and is panic-stricken;
    distress overwhelms him,
        pain like that of a woman in labor.

44 Like a lion coming up from
        the jungle of the Jordan
    to a well-watered meadow,
        so I will suddenly chase down Babylon
        and single out its choicest of rams.
Who is like me?
    Who can direct me?
    What shepherd can withstand me?
45 Therefore, listen to the counsel
    that the Lord has for Babylon
    and the plans he’s devised
        against the land of Babylon:
    The little ones of the flock
        will be dragged off,
        as their pasture watches
        in utter disbelief.
46 The earth quakes
    at the sound of Babylon’s capture;
        its screams echo throughout the world.

Jeremiah 51

The Lord proclaims:

I’m stirring up a violent wind against Babylon
    and those who live in Leb-qamai.
I will send mercenaries to Babylon
    who will sift her and clear out her land.
They will surround her
    on the day of disaster.
Let the archers draw their bows;
    let them prepare their armor.
Show no mercy to her young men;
    wipe out her entire company!
They will fall wounded in the land of Babylon,
    struck down in her streets.
God, the Lord of heavenly forces,
    hasn’t abandoned Israel and Judah,
        even though they live in a land filled with guilt
            before the holy one of Israel.
Escape from Babylon;
    each of you run for your lives!
Don’t perish because of her guilt,
    because this is the time
    for the Lord’s retribution,
        a day of reckoning for all that Babylon has done.

Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;
    it made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine
    and went mad.
But suddenly Babylon fell
    and shattered into pieces.
Wail for her!
    Bring medicine for her pain;
        perhaps she will recover.
We tried to cure Babylon,
    but she was beyond help.
Let’s depart from her
    and return to your own country, each of you.
Her punishment reaches to heaven
    and extends to the clouds.
10 The Lord has come to our defense,
    so let’s declare in Zion
        what the Lord our God has done!

11 Sharpen your arrows;
    prepare your shields.
The Lord is stirring up
    the spirit of kings from Media.
    He intends to destroy Babylon;
    this is the Lord’s retribution,
        a day of reckoning for his temple.
12 Set up a flag on the walls of Babylon,
    fortify the guards,
    post watchmen,
    prepare an ambush,
        because the Lord has a plan
        against the inhabitants of Babylon.
He will accomplish it,
    just as he said he would.
13 You live beside a great river,
    and you are rich in treasures.
But your time has come;
    your cruelty has caught up with you.
14 The Lord of heavenly forces has sworn by his own name:
    I’m going to fill your cities
        with soldiers like a swarm of locusts;
    they will celebrate their victory over you.

15 God made the earth by his might,
    shaped the world by his wisdom,
        and crafted the skies by his knowledge.
16 At the sound of God’s voice,
    the heavenly waters roar.
        God raises the clouds from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain
    and sends the wind from his treasuries.
17 Everyone is too foolish to understand;
    every smith is shamed by his idols,
        for their images are shams;
        they aren’t alive.
18 They are a delusion, a charade;
    at the appointed time they will be ruined!
19 But the portion of Jacob is utterly different,
    for he has formed all things,
    including his very own tribe;
        the Lord of heavenly forces is his name!

20 You are my hammer,
    my weapon of war.
With you I will crush the nations.
    With you I will destroy kingdoms.
21     With you I will crush horse and rider.
    With you I will crush chariot and driver.
22     With you I will crush men and women.
    With you I will crush old and young.
    With you I will crush young men and young women.
23     With you I will crush shepherds and flocks.
    With you I will crush farmers and oxen.
    With you I will crush governors and officials.

24 I will repay Babylon and all its inhabitants
    for the terrible things
    they have done to Zion in your sight,
        declares the Lord.
25 I’m against you, you mountain of destruction,
        declares the Lord,
    you destroyer of the whole earth!
I will reach out against you;
    I will topple you from your heights;
    I will turn you into a rubbish heap.
26 They will never remove a cornerstone
    or a foundation stone from you.
You will be a wasteland forever,
    declares the Lord.

27 Set up a flag in the land;
    sound the alarm among the nations!
Prepare them for war against her;
    summon kingdoms against her—
        Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander against her;
    call up the troops,
        like swarms of locusts!
28 Prepare the nations for war against her,
    the kings of Media,
    its governors, all its officials,
    and all the countries they rule.

29 The earth quakes and trembles
    because the Lord’s plans against Babylon are fulfilled:
        to reduce Babylon to a wasteland,
        with no one left in it.
30 Babylon’s warriors quit fighting;
    they hide in their fortifications.
Their strength is worn out;
    their courage is gone!
Babylon’s houses are burned down,
    and its gates are smashed.
31 Courier joins courier,
    messenger joins messenger
        to relate the news to the king of Babylon
        that his entire city has fallen.
32 The river crossings are blocked;
    the marshes are on fire;
    the soldiers are terrified.

33 The Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims:

Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor
    ready to be trampled down.
        In a little while her harvest will come.

34 Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar has eaten us alive;
    he’s drained us of strength;
        he’s left us for dead.
He’s gobbled us up like a great sea monster;
    he’s filled his belly with our treasures;
        and he’s spit us out.
35 May Babylon be violated as our bodies were,
    say the inhabitants of Zion.
May our blood be on the Babylonians,
    say those from Jerusalem.
36 Therefore, the Lord proclaims:
        I’m going to defend your cause;
        I’ll turn the tables on your attacker.
        I’ll dry up her sea;
        I’ll shut up her springs.
37 Babylon will become a heap of ruins,
    a den of wild dogs, a wasteland
        with no one left in it.

38 Like lions they will roar together;
    they will growl like lions’ cubs.
39 They are ready to devour,
    so I’ll prepare the feast
        and mix the drinks!
But after their noisy drunkenness,
    they will fall fast asleep.
    They will sleep forever,
        never to get up,
        declares the Lord.
40 I’ll lead them off
    like lambs for slaughter,
    like rams and goats.

41 How Sheshach has been defeated,
    the pride of the whole earth taken captive!
How Babylon has become a wasteland
    among the nations!
42 The sea has risen over Babylon;
    its pounding waves overwhelm her.
43 Her towns are devastated;
    her land is scorched and barren,
        a place where no one lives
        or dares to pass through.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon;
    I will force him to vomit what he’s consumed.
Then nations will no longer stream to him,
    and Babylon’s walls will collapse!

45 Get out of Babylon, my people!
    Run for your lives
        from the Lord’s fierce anger.
46 Don’t be distracted or frightened
    by the rumors you hear in the land.
        Sometimes you hear one thing
        and another time something else:
    rumors of violence and uprisings.
47 The time is coming
    when I will deal with Babylon’s idols;
    the whole land will be disgraced,
        and her wounded will fall in her midst.
48 Then all creation will rejoice over Babylon,
    because out of the north
    destroying armies will come to attack her,
        declares the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall
    for the dead in Israel,
        as the dead of all the earth
        have fallen to Babylon.

50 You survivors of war,
    leave now; don’t delay!
Remember the Lord,
    from a faraway land.
Keep Jerusalem alive in your hearts.

51 We’re humiliated by their taunts;
    we’re disgraced that strangers have violated the sacred places
        of the Lord’s temple.

52 The time is coming,
    declares the Lord,
        when I will deal with her idols,
        and the wounded in her land will groan.
53 Even if Babylon scales the heavens
    and strengthens its towering defenses,
        the destroying armies will still come
        against her, at my command,
            declares the Lord.
54 Listen to the cries for help from Babylon,
    signs of massive devastation in the land,
        declares the Lord.
55 The Lord is destroying Babylon
    and silencing her outcry,
        whose roar is like the crushing waves,
        a deafening crash.
56 He certainly comes against her;
    the destroyer comes against Babylon.
Her warriors are captured;
    their bows are broken.
The Lord is an exacting God
    who repays in full.
57 I’ll make her leaders and sages drunk,
    her governors, officials, and warriors as well.
They will sleep forever, never to get up,
    declares the king,
        whose name is the Lord of heavenly forces.
58 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
    Babylon’s massive walls will come down,
        down to the ground;
        and its high gates will be burned to the ground.

People labor in vain;
    nations toil for nothing but ashes!

59 This is what the prophet Jeremiah instructed the staff officer Seraiah, Neriah’s son and Mahseiah’s grandson, when Seraiah went to Babylon with Judah’s King Zedekiah in the fourth year of his rule. 60 Jeremiah wrote down in a single scroll all the disasters that would happen to Babylon—all these things concerning Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah: When you get to Babylon, see to it that you read all these words. 62 Then say, “Lord, you declared that this place will be destroyed and nothing will remain in it—neither human nor animal; that it will forever be a wasteland!” 63 When you finish reading the scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, “In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the disaster I’m bringing against it.”

Jeremiah’s words end here.

Jeremiah 52

Rule of Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem

Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal; she was a daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. He did evil in the Lord’s eyes just as Jehoiachin had done. It was because the Lord was angry against Jerusalem and Judah that he thrust them out of his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

In the ninth year, the tenth month, and the tenth day of the month, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem with all of his army. He camped beside the city and built a siege wall around it. The city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city reached a point that no food remained for the people. The enemy entered the city, and all the soldiers fled by night along the gate between the two walls by the royal gardens. So the Babylonians surrounded the city while the soldiers fled toward the desert plain. However, the Babylonian army chased down Zedekiah and caught him in the plains of Jericho. (His entire army had fled from him.) They arrested the king and brought him before the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And he pronounced sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah’s children before his very own eyes, and he slaughtered all Judah’s officers at Riblah. 11 Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in chains. The king of Babylon dragged him off to Babylon and put him in prison, where he remained until he died.

12 In the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan commander of the guard came to Jerusalem on behalf of his king. 13 He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the important buildings. 14 The entire Babylonian army and the commander of the guard destroyed the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 15 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard deported some of the poorest people, the rest of the people left in the city, a few skilled workers, and those who had joined the king of Babylon. 16 But Nebuzaradan commander of the guard left some of the poor to tend the vineyards and till the land.

17 The Babylonians broke apart the bronze columns, the stands, and the bronze Sea in the Lord’s temple. They carried the bronze to Babylon. 18 They took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the sprinkling bowls, the incense dishes, and all the bronze equipment used for the temple services. 19 The commander of the guard took whatever gold or silver he could find as well: the small bowls, the fire pans, the sprinkling bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the basins, and the offering bowls. 20 There was too much bronze to be weighed: two columns, the bronze Sea and the twelve bronze bulls that held it up, and the stands, all of which Solomon had made for the Lord’s temple. 21 Each column was about twenty-seven feet high and eighteen feet around. They were hollow, but the bronze was about three inches thick. 22 Each had a capital of bronze above it that towered seven and a half feet high, and each had an ornate design of bronze pomegranates around it. The second column was the same, also with pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides, a total of one hundred pomegranates around the ornate design.

24 The commander of the guard also took Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the deputy priest, and the three doorkeepers. 25 From the city, he took a eunuch who was appointed over the army and the seven royal advisors who remained in the city. He also took the scribe of the commander of the army in charge of military conscription and sixty military personnel who were found in the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 The king of Babylon struck them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And Judah went away from its land into exile.

28 This is the number of people whom Nebuchadnezzar deported: In the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans. 29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, he took 832 people from Jerusalem. 30 In the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, he dispatched Nebuzaradan commander of the guard, who deported 745 Judeans. Altogether, 4,600 were taken captive.

31 Judah’s King Jehoiachin had been in exile for thirty-seven years when Awil-merodach became king in Babylon. He took note of Jehoiachin’s plight and released him from prison on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of that very year. 32 Awil-merodach treated Jehoiachin kindly and gave him a throne higher than those of the other kings with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin discarded his prison clothes and ate his meals at the king’s table for the rest of his life. 34 The Babylonian king provided him daily provisions for the rest of his life, right up until he died.


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