1The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet: (Isa 13:1; Isa 21:1; Jer 51:59)2“Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed. Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.’ (Isa 21:9; Isa 46:1)3“For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away. (Ps 135:8; Jer 1:14; Jer 50:13; Jer 50:23; Jer 51:29; Jer 51:62)4“In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. (Ezr 8:21; Ps 126:6; Jer 3:18; Jer 31:9; Jer 31:18; Ho 3:5)5They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’ (Isa 2:3; Jer 31:21; Jer 32:40)6“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. (Isa 53:6; Jer 50:17; Eze 34:1; Zec 10:2; Mt 18:12; Lu 15:4)7All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the Lord, their habitation of righteousness, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’ (Jer 14:8; Jer 31:23; Jer 40:2; Jer 50:14)8“Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. (Isa 48:20; Jer 51:6; Jer 51:45)9For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a gathering of great nations, from the north country. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed. (Jer 25:14)10Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, declares the Lord. (Jer 25:12)11“Though you rejoice, though you exult, O plunderers of my heritage, though you frolic like a heifer in the pasture, and neigh like stallions, (La 4:21)12your mother shall be utterly shamed, and she who bore you shall be disgraced. Behold, she shall be the last of the nations, a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. (Jer 51:43)13Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited but shall be an utter desolation; everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled, and hiss because of all her wounds. (Jer 18:16; Jer 50:39)14Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around, all you who bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord. (Isa 21:2; Jer 50:7; Jer 50:9; Jer 50:29; Jer 51:3; Jer 51:11)15Raise a shout against her all around; she has surrendered; her bulwarks have fallen; her walls are thrown down. For this is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance on her; do to her as she has done. (Jos 6:16; Jer 46:10; Jer 50:29; Jer 51:6; Jer 51:11; Jer 51:56; Jer 51:58)16Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest; because of the sword of the oppressor, every one shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land. (Isa 13:14; Jer 46:16; Jer 51:9)17“Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones. (2Ki 17:6; 2Ki 18:13; 2Ki 24:10; 2Ki 24:14; 2Ki 25:1; Isa 5:29; Jer 2:15; Jer 4:7; Jer 50:6; Jer 51:34)18Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. (Ps 76:12; Isa 10:12; Isa 14:24; Isa 24:21)19I will restore Israel to his pasture, and he shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and his desire shall be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead. (Eze 34:13; Mic 7:14)20In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant. (Isa 33:24; Isa 40:2; Jer 31:34)21“Go up against the land of Merathaim, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. Kill, and devote them to destruction, declares the Lord, and do all that I have commanded you. (Jer 50:26; Jer 51:3)22The noise of battle is in the land, and great destruction! (Jer 51:54)23How the hammer of the whole earth is cut down and broken! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations! (Isa 14:6; Jer 50:3; Jer 50:13; Re 18:19; Re 18:21)24I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon, and you did not know it; you were found and caught, because you opposed the Lord. (Ps 141:9; Jer 51:31; Da 5:30)25The Lord has opened his armory and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Lord God of hosts has a work to do in the land of the Chaldeans. (Isa 13:5)26Come against her from every quarter; open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction; let nothing be left of her. (Ne 4:2)27Kill all her bulls; let them go down to the slaughter. Woe to them, for their day has come, the time of their punishment. (Ps 22:12; Isa 34:7; Jer 46:21)28“A voice! They flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, vengeance for his temple. (Ps 64:9; Jer 50:8; Jer 51:10; Jer 51:11; Jer 52:13; Da 5:3; Da 5:23)29“Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has proudly defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. (Job 16:13; Isa 47:10; Jer 25:14; Jer 50:14)30Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, declares the Lord. (Jer 49:26)31“Behold, I am against you, O proud one, declares the Lord God of hosts, for your day has come, the time when I will punish you. (Jer 49:8; Jer 50:27; Jer 50:29)32The proud one shall stumble and fall, with none to raise him up, and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all that is around him. (Jer 17:27; Jer 50:29)33“Thus says the Lord of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. (Isa 14:17; Jer 50:17)34Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon. (Isa 43:14; Isa 51:22; Jer 10:16; Jer 51:36)35“A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the Lord, and against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her officials and her wise men! (Jer 51:57; Da 4:6; Da 5:30)36A sword against the diviners, that they may become fools! A sword against her warriors, that they may be destroyed! (Jer 51:57)37A sword against her horses and against her chariots, and against all the foreign troops in her midst, that they may become women! A sword against all her treasures, that they may be plundered! (Isa 45:3; Jer 25:20; Jer 51:30)38A drought against her waters, that they may be dried up! For it is a land of images, and they are mad over idols. (Isa 44:27; Jer 50:2; Jer 51:36; Jer 51:47; Jer 51:52)39“Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. (Isa 13:21)40As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the Lord, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her. (Ge 19:25; Isa 13:19; Jer 51:43)41“Behold, a people comes from the north; a mighty nation and many kings are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth. (Jer 6:22)42They lay hold of bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy. The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea; they ride on horses, arrayed as a man for battle against you, O daughter of Babylon!43“The king of Babylon heard the report of them, and his hands fell helpless; anguish seized him, pain as of a woman in labor.44“Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me? (Job 41:10; Jer 49:19)45Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Babylon, and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the little ones of their flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. (Isa 14:24; Jer 49:20; Jer 51:11; Jer 51:29)46At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.” (Jer 49:21)
New International Version
A message about Babylon
1This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians:2‘Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, “Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Marduk filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror.”3A nation from the north will attack her and lay waste her land. No-one will live in it; both people and animals will flee away.4‘In those days, at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.5They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces towards it. They will come and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.6‘My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting-place.7Whoever found them devoured them; their enemies said, “We are not guilty, for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture, the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.”8‘Flee out of Babylon; leave the land of the Babylonians, and be like the goats that lead the flock.9For I will stir up and bring against Babylon an alliance of great nations from the land of the north. They will take up their positions against her, and from the north she will be captured. Their arrows will be like skilled warriors who do not return empty-handed.10So Babylonia will be plundered; all who plunder her will have their fill,’ declares the Lord.11‘Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing corn and neigh like stallions,12your mother will be greatly ashamed; she who gave you birth will be disgraced. She will be the least of the nations – a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.13Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited but will be completely desolate. All who pass Babylon will be appalled; they will scoff because of all her wounds.14‘Take up your positions round Babylon, all you who draw the bow. Shoot at her! Spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord.15Shout against her on every side! She surrenders, her towers fall, her walls are torn down. Since this is the vengeance of the Lord, take vengeance on her; do to her as she has done to others.16Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the reaper with his sickle at harvest. Because of the sword of the oppressor let everyone return to their own people, let everyone flee to their own land.17‘Israel is a scattered flock that lions have chased away. The first to devour them was the king of Assyria; the last to crush their bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.’18Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land as I punished the king of Assyria.19But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture, and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan; their appetite will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.20In those days, at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.21‘Attack the land of Merathaim and those who live in Pekod. Pursue, kill and completely destroy them,’ declares the Lord. ‘Do everything I have commanded you.22The noise of battle is in the land, the noise of great destruction!23How broken and shattered is the hammer of the whole earth! How desolate is Babylon among the nations!24I set a trap for you, Babylon, and you were caught before you knew it; you were found and captured because you opposed the Lord.25The Lord has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.26Come against her from afar. Break open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain. Completely destroy her and leave her no remnant.27Kill all her young bulls; let them go down to the slaughter! Woe to them! For their day has come, the time for them to be punished.28Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon declaring in Zion how the Lord our God has taken vengeance, vengeance for his temple.29‘Summon archers against Babylon, all those who draw the bow. Encamp all round her; let no-one escape. Repay her for her deeds; do to her as she has done. For she defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.30Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,’ declares the Lord.31‘See, I am against you, you arrogant one,’ declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty, ‘for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.32The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no-one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her.’33This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go.34Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.35‘A sword against the Babylonians!’ declares the Lord – ‘against those who live in Babylon and against her officials and wise men!36A sword against her false prophets! They will become fools. A sword against her warriors! They will be filled with terror.37A sword against her horses and chariots and all the foreigners in her ranks! They will become weaklings. A sword against her treasures! They will be plundered.38A drought on her waters! They will dry up. For it is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.39‘So desert creatures and hyenas will live there, and there the owl will dwell. It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation.40As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah along with their neighbouring towns,’ declares the Lord, ‘so no-one will live there; no people will dwell in it.41‘Look! An army is coming from the north; a great nation and many kings are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.42They are armed with bows and spears; they are cruel and without mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, Daughter Babylon.43The king of Babylon has heard reports about them, and his hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped him, pain like that of a woman in labour.44Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets to a rich pasture-land, I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?’45Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon, what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians: the young of the flock will be dragged away; their pasture will be appalled at their fate.46At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble; its cry will resound among the nations.
King James Version
1The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.2Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.3For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.4In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.5They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying , Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.6My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.7All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.8Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.9For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great 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 of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.10And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.11Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;12Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.13Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.14Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.15Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.16Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.17Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.18Therefore thus saith 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.19And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.20In those days, and in that time, saith 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 them whom I reserve.21Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.22A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.23How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!24I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.25The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.26Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.27Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.28The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.29Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.30Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.31Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.32And the most proud shall stumble 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.33Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.34Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.35A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men .36A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.37A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.38A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.39Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there , and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.40As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.41Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.42They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.43The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.44Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?45Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.46At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.
New International Reader’s Version
A message about Babylon
1Here is the message the LORD spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. It was about the city of Babylon and the land of Babylon. He said,2‘Announce this message among the nations. Lift up a banner. Let the nations hear the message. Do not keep anything back. Say, “Babylon will be captured. The god named Bel will be put to shame. The god named Marduk will be filled with terror. Babylon’s gods will be put to shame. The gods its people made will be filled with terror.”3A nation from the north will attack it. That nation will destroy Babylon. No one will live there. People and animals alike will run away.4‘The days are coming,’ announces the LORD. ‘At that time the people of Israel and Judah will gather together. They will come in tears to me. I am the LORD their God.5They will ask how to get to Zion. Then they will turn their faces towards it. They will come and join themselves to me. They will enter into the covenant I make with them. It will last for ever. It will never be forgotten.6‘My people have been like lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray. They have caused them to wander in the mountains. They have wandered over mountains and hills. They have forgotten that I am their true resting place.7Everyone who found them destroyed them. Their enemies said, “We aren’t guilty. They sinned against the LORD. He gave them everything they needed. He has always been Israel’s hope.”8‘People of Judah, run away from Babylon. Leave the land of Babylon. Be like the goats that lead the flock.9I will stir up great nations that will join forces against Babylon. I will bring them from the land of the north. They will take up their battle positions against Babylon. They will come from the north and capture it. Their arrows will be like skilled soldiers. They will not miss their mark.10So the riches of Babylon will be taken away. All those who steal from it will have more than enough,’ announces the LORD.11‘People of Babylon, you have stolen what belongs to me. That has made you glad and full of joy. You dance around like a young cow on a threshing-floor. You neigh like stallions.12Because of that, you will bring great shame on your land. Your whole nation will be dishonoured. It will become the least important of the nations. It will become a dry and empty desert.13Because I am angry with it, no one will live there. It will be completely deserted. All those who pass by Babylon will be shocked. They will make fun of it because of all its wounds.14‘All you who shoot arrows, take up your battle positions around Babylon. Shoot at it! Do not spare any arrows! Its people have sinned against me.15Shout against them on every side! They are giving up. The towers of the city are falling. Its walls are being pulled down. The LORD is paying back its people. So pay them back yourselves. Do to them what they have done to others.16Do not leave anyone in Babylon to plant the fields. Do not leave anyone to harvest the corn. Let each of them return to their own people. Let them run away to their own land. If they don’t, their enemy’s sword will bring them great harm.17‘Israel is like a scattered flock that lions have chased away. The first lion that ate them up was the king of Assyria. The last one that broke their bones was Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.’18The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, ‘I punished the king of Assyria. In the same way, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land.19But I will bring Israel back to their own grasslands. I will feed them on Mount Carmel and in Bashan. I will satisfy their hunger on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.20The days are coming,’ announces the LORD. ‘At that time people will search for Israel’s guilt. But they will not find any. They will search for Judah’s sins. But they will not find any. That is because I will forgive the people I have spared.21‘Enemies of Babylon, attack their land of Merathaim. Make war against those who live in Pekod. Chase them and kill them. Destroy them completely,’ announces the LORD. ‘Do everything I have commanded you to do.22The noise of battle is heard in the land. It is the noise of a great city being destroyed!23It has been broken to pieces. It was the hammer that broke the whole earth. How empty Babylon is among the nations!24Babylon, I set a trap for you. And you were caught before you knew it. You were found and captured. That is because you opposed me.25I have opened up my storeroom. I have brought out the weapons I use when I am angry. I am the LORD and King who rules over all. I have work to do in the land of the Babylonians.26So come against it from far away. Open up its storerooms. Pile everything up like piles of corn. Completely destroy that country. Do not leave anyone alive there.27Kill all Babylon’s strongest warriors. Let them die in battle. How terrible it will be for them! Their time to be judged has come. Now they will be punished.28Listen to those who have escaped. Listen to those who have returned from Babylon. They are announcing in Zion how I have paid Babylon back. I have paid it back for destroying my temple.29‘Send for men armed with bows and arrows. Send them against Babylon. Set up camp all around it. Do not let anyone escape. Pay it back for what its people have done. Do to them what they have done to others. They have dared to disobey me. I am the Holy One of Israel.30You can be sure its young men will fall dead in the streets. All its soldiers will be put to death at that time,’ announces the LORD.31‘Proud Babylonians, I am against you,’ announces the Lord. The LORD who rules over all says, ‘Your day to be judged has come. It is time for you to be punished.32You proud people will trip and fall. No one will help you up. I will start a fire in your towns. It will burn up everyone around you.’33The LORD who rules over all says, ‘The people of Israel are being treated badly. So are the people of Judah. Those who have captured them are holding them. They refuse to let them go.34But I am strong and will save them. My name is the LORD Who Rules Over All. I will stand up for them. I will bring peace and rest to their land. But I will bring trouble to those who live in Babylon.35‘A sword is coming against the Babylonians!’ announces the LORD. ‘It is coming against those who live in Babylon. It is coming against their officials and wise men.36A sword is coming against their prophets. But they are not really prophets at all! So they will look foolish. A sword is coming against their soldiers! They will be filled with terror.37A sword is coming against their horses and chariots! It is coming against all the hired soldiers in their armies. They will become weak. A sword is coming against their treasures! They will be stolen.38There will not be any rain for their rivers. So they will dry up. Those things will happen because their land is full of statues of gods. Those gods will go crazy with terror.39‘Desert creatures and hyenas will live in Babylon. And so will owls. People will never live there again. It will not be lived in for all time to come.40I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. I also destroyed the towns that were near them,’ announces the LORD. ‘Babylon will be just like them. No one will live there. No human beings will stay there.41‘Look! An army is coming from the north. I am stirring up a great nation and many kings. They are coming from a land that is very far away.42Their soldiers are armed with bows and spears. They are mean. They do not show any mercy at all. They come riding in on their horses. They sound like the roaring ocean. They are lined up for battle. They are coming to attack you, city of Babylon.43The king of Babylon has heard reports about them. His hands can’t help him. He is in great pain. It is like the pain of a woman having a baby.44I will be like a lion coming up from the bushes by the River Jordan. I will hunt in rich grasslands. I will chase the people of Babylon from their land in an instant. What nation will I choose to do this? Which one will I appoint? Is anyone like me? Who would dare to argue with me? What leader can stand against me?’45So listen to what the LORD has planned against Babylon. Hear what he has planned against the land of the Babylonians. Their young people will be dragged away. Their grasslands will be shocked at their fate.46At the news of Babylon’s capture, the earth will shake. The people’s cries will be heard among the nations.