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;
Heb. heart. rise.
a destroying wind
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.
in the day
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.
Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.
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.
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.
he will render
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.
Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
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.
The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.
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.
Heb. pure. the Lord hath.
Of Cyaxares king of Media, called "Darius the Mede" in scripture; and of Cyrus his nephew, king of persia, presumptive heir of the throne of his uncle.
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.
Heb. liers in wait.
the Lord hath both
O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.
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.
Heb. his soul. as with.
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.
by his wisdom
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.
or, noise. and he causeth.
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.
brutish by his knowledge
or, more brutish than to know. for his.
They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
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.
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;
or, in thee, or, by thee. break.
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;
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;
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.
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.
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.
desolate for ever
Heb. everlasting desolations.
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.
Bochart reasonably concludes Ararat and Minni to be the greater and lesser Armenia; and Ashchenaz he thinks formed part of Phrygia near the Hellespont, part of that country being called Ascania by Homer. Cyrus had conquered Armenia, defeated Croesus king of Lydia, (B.C. 548,) and subdued several nations from the Egean sea to the Euphrates, before he marched against Babylon; and Xenophon also informs us that there were not only Armenians, but both Phrygians and Cappadocians in the army of Cyrus.
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.
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.
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.
Accordingly, the Babylonians, after the loss of a battle or two, never recovered their courage to the face the enemy in the field, they retired within their walls; and the first time that Cyrus came with his army before the place he could not provoke them to venture forth, though he challenged the king to fight a duel with him; and the last time he came he consulted with his officers respecting the best mode of carrying on the siege "since," said he, "they do not come out to fight."
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,
And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.
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.
it is time to thresh her
or, in the time that he thresheth her. the time.
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.
he hath made
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.
Heb. My violence.
or, remainder. inhabitant. Heb. inhabitress.
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.
I will plead
See on ch.
and I will
And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps.
or, shake themselves.
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.
I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats.
How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!
Sheshach was probably an idol worshipped at Babylon, from which the city derived this name; and the festival which was held when the city was taken, when they were heated with wine, was perhaps observed in honour of it.
The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
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.
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.
I will punish
I will bring
My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.
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.
or, let not.
a rumour shall
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.
do judgment upon
Heb. visit upon.
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.
As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.
As Babylon, etc
or, Both Babylon is to fall, O ye slain of Israel and with Babylon shall fall the slain of all the country. hath.
Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
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.
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.
her graven images
This was verified when Xerxes destroyed all the temples of Babylon, B.C. 479.
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.
A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:
Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered:
Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.
And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.
The broad walls of Babylon
or, The walls of broad Babylon. According to the testimony of Herodotus, the circumference of the walls of Babylon was 480 stadia, or 60 miles, their breadth 50 cubits, and their height 200 cubits; but when Darius became master of the place, B.C. 516, he took away all their 100 gates of brass, and beat down their walls to 50 cubits; and now not a vestige of these immense fortifications remains, to mark the site of this once mighty city!
or, made naked. high gates.
The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince.
or, on the behalf of. quiet prince. or, prince of Menucha, or chief chamberlain.
So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;
and shalt see
Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
thou shalt bind
This was the emblem of its overthrow and irretrievable ruin; and the same emblem is employed in Re 18:21, to denote the utter ruin of mystical Babylon.
And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.