Jer. 50:1The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

 

This chapter begins by identifying the message as directed against Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans.  It stood out to me that the word “and” has been added; this seems to emphasize the place more than the people in the place.  This makes sense to me in light of the distant future application that is implied by much of the wording.

 

In reading through this chapter, it was interesting to note the continued use of familiar word pictures in describing the effects of the judgments being declared.  I know that these prophecies made application to events to which God’s people in Babylon could make connection, but I am convinced that the wording used in parts of this prophecy indicate that complete fulfillment is yet future and will occur during the days of God’s vengeance in the last seven years on planet earth preceding the return of the Lord Jesus to establish His kingdom.

 

Isaiah records a companion prophecy in chapters 13-14 regarding Babylon, and the Apostle John records a prophecy concerning the destruction of Babylon in Revelation 17-18.

 

Jer. 50:2 Declare 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.

 

Jeremiah’s message begins with a declaration in the past tense that Babylon has been conquered and Bel, their false god, put to shame.  Merodach seems to be another name for Bel.  The idols to this false god are pictured shattered and proven impotent on behalf of the people who worshipped them. 

 

When God declares a prophecy, He sees it as a fait accompli.  His word always accomplishes His will.

 

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

 

Jer. 50:3 For 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.

 

Babylon’s enemy is seen coming from the north.  This enemy will ruin the land and make it “an object of horror” (from the NAS95).  Point is made that man and beast will flee from the land.  From my perspective today, it would make sense for this to be a reference to nuclear or biological warfare of some type.

 

 

 

Babylon was eventually conquered by a confederation of the Medes and Persians, but they did not inflict the type of destruction described in this verse.  History records that they actually came in without a fight and just took control.  An excerpt from my journal in Isaiah provides further food for thought.

Isaiah 13:17-18 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.  Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. 

As prophets normally do, Isaiah speaks the prophetic message without knowledge of the exact how and when of its fulfillment.  Sometimes the message includes portions of prophecy that will be fulfilled at different times; sometimes there are types involved in a partial fulfillment (i.e. Antiochus Epiphanes as a type of the antichrist in Daniel).  History tells us that the Medes did conquer Babylon, but not with the violence described here.  This makes me wonder if the destruction of Babylon referenced in Revelation will be a result of God using forces from the area of the conquering Medes of Daniel’s time.

According to International Turkey Network (itnet.org), the Kurds believe they are descendants of the biblical Medes and that they have a strong case based on geographical, linguistic and cultural factors. [end excerpt]

Jer. 50:4 In 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.

Jer. 50:5 They 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.

 

“In those days…time” – When the land of Babylon is ruined….

 

That time is described as one in which the whole nation of Israel, all 12 tribes, will seek to join themselves in covenant to the LORD with a commitment to keep that covenant forever.  Though the returning captives from Babylon did establish covenant with God upon their return, it is obvious that covenant is not in force today.

 

Nehemiah 9:36–38 “Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it: And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.”

 

The covenant referred to in verse 5 is yet in Israel’s future, and I believe makes reference to the believing remnant that will be birthed during the time of Jacob’s trouble, another reference to the last seven years on planet earth before Messiah returns to set up His kingdom.  I believe these are the times also referenced by the prophets Hosea and Ezekiel.

 

Hosea 3:4–5 “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”

 

Ezekiel 36:26–28 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

 

Ezekiel provides the key to the people being able to keep covenant.  God is going to put His Spirit within them to empower them.

 

Jer. 50:6 My 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.

Jer. 50:7 All 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.

 

God compares the people to lost sheep without good shepherds to lead them according to the law of God.  In fact, their spiritual overseers, their shepherds, were responsible for leading them away from the truth of God’s word.  They’ve wandered among the different kingdoms on earth, both large and small, and have forgotten their spiritual roots.  They have forgotten that their “restingplace” can only be found in covenant with God.

 

Leviticus 26:3–12 “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them….ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid….For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you….And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.”

 

Verse 7 seems to be saying that the Jews would face hatred and enemies everywhere they went.  These enemies would justify their mistreatment of them based upon their sin against the LORD, the very One in whom their fathers had invested their faith and hope for the future.

 

It’s interesting to me that the wording is such that, though Jesus was not to come until hundreds of years later, application can be made to the abominable actions of the “christian” church towards the Jewish people throughout church history.  Even today, many protestant denominations have determined that God has rejected the Jew and regard them with disgust or irrelevance accordingly.

 

Jer. 50:8 Remove 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.

Jer. 50:9 ¶ For, 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.

Jer. 50:10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.

 

This section of verses is a call to the people of God to get out of Babylon in light of the coming attack of an enemy conglomerate of nations from the north.  “He goats” lead the flock.  The call is to lead the way out; don’t wait to be led out.  This enemy is seen as possessing arrows that sound very much like the smart guided missiles of today; they will always hit their mark.  This enemy army will then proceed to spoil the land of all its treasures. 

 

I don’t believe the reference is to the attack of the Medes and Persians because God had already identified Cyrus as the vessel through whom the Israelites would be encouraged to return to Israel and rebuild the temple and allowed to take many of the temple treasures with them.  There was no reason for them to flee.

 

Ezra 1:1–8 “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem…. Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.”

 

Though the call for God’s people to flee Babylon sounds very similar to the call described in Revelation 18, I don’t think application is specific.  In Revelation the people of the world respond to the destruction of Babylon with mourning because of the economic impact.  There is no mention of a great military attack by an alliance of nations against them; it is clear that their destruction will come at the hand of Almighty God through death, famine, and fire.  The destruction is to be complete with no opportunity for taking any loot.

 

Still thinking……

 

Jer. 50:11 Because 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;

Jer. 50:12 Your 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.

Jer. 50:13 Because 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.

 

It is clear that this attack on Babylon is declared as a judgment against them because of the way they had mistreated the Jews.  I am reminded that prophecy is often presented as a whole, when in actuality the fulfillment may be intended to occur in phases.  This was demonstrated by Jesus when He read from the scroll in Isaiah and stopped in the middle of a sentence regarding the part that He was fulfilling at that time.

 

Luke 4:16–21 “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

 

Notice that the rest of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled; this will occur at His second coming.

 

Isaiah 61:1–3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

 

In this regard, I think the connection to the destruction declared for end times does apply.

 

Isaiah 13:19–21 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”

 

 

Jer. 50:14 Put 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.

Jer. 50:15 Shout 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.

Jer. 50:16 Cut 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.

 

In these verses the alliance of nations coming against Babylon are encouraged to surround her and spare no effort in unleashing destroying weapons against her.  God is declaring this attack to be a result of His judgment against her for her sin against Him.  He is determined to see that she reaps what she has sown in light of her mistreatment of His people.  I doubt, however, that the enemies attacking Babylon realize that they are vessels of judgment in the hand of God.  The message declares God’s intent to make the nation barren.

 

Again, this section is challenging my thoughts.  Judah’s time in captivity in Babylon was one in which they were encouraged to settle down and live in peace with their captors.  It would seem that this prophecy is in reference to actions taken against the Jews in times after the 70 years of captivity.  It’s likely that this judgment does have application however, to the relish with which they completely destroyed Jerusalem and God’s Temple.

 

I can’t help but think that there is also valid application regarding the treatment of Israel by Iraq in fairly recent years. 

 

Jer. 50:17 Israel 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.

Jer. 50:18 Therefore 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.

 

This section of verses starts out making reference to how Assyria had taken captives of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Nebuchadnezzar had completed the destruction of the nation by taking those in the Southern Kingdom captive.  This had resulted in the people of Israel being scattered throughout the nations.  God declares that Babylon and its king would be punished for their actions against the Jews just as Assyria and its king had been punished.

 

The death of Sennacherib, the king that took Northern Israel captive, is recorded in 2Kings. 

 

2 Kings 19:36–37 “So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.”

 

Maybe the death of Belshazzar as recorded in Daniel 5 is the fulfillment of this part of the prophecy.

 

Daniel 5:30–31 “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”

 

Interestingly enough, Assyria had been conquered by Babylon and Babylon would be conquered by the Medes and Persians.  Again, though vessels of judgment in the hand of the LORD, they are acting in accordance with their own desires and choices.  They are still accountable for those choices.  It’s an example of God formulating His plan by incorporating the choices of men according to His amazing foreknowledge.

 

Jer. 50:19 And 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.

Jer. 50:20 In 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.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if the prophets proclaimed everything in strict chronological order.  These verses identify themselves as yet future since they speak of a time when the sins of the whole nation of Israel have been completely forgiven.  It will be a time of prosperity and peace like never before in Israel’s history.  The clear implication is that this time of redemption will be according to God’s mercy and grace.  The Hebrew for those “reserved” is a direct reference to the “remnant” that God has promised to reserve and establish under the New Covenant in fellowship with Him.  These prosperous times were also foretold by Isaiah and Ezekiel.

 

Isaiah 65:9–10 “And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.”

 

Ezekiel 34:13–14 “And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.”

 

Jer. 50:21 ¶ Go 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.

Jer. 50:22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.

Jer. 50:23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

 

According to Strong’s Concordance, Merathaim is an epithet for Babylon and Pekod is a symbolic name for Babylon.  The command from the LORD is for the nations to completely destroy Babylon.  Babylon had earned the reputation of hammer of the “whole earth.”  It was almost unthinkable to see her destroyed.

 

I am sure that many thought this true of the mighty Babylonian Empire before it was conquered by the Medes and Persians.  However, as noted previously, Babylon was not utterly destroyed by that conquest.  I can’t help but think that the primary fulfillment of this prophecy is yet future in connection with the Kingdom of the Antichrist.  I think this result is more in line with the destruction of Babylon recorded in Revelation 18.

 

Revelation 18:18–19 “And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.”

 

This makes me think of how America has been regarded by the nations.  Sadly, I think our fall is going to be regarded by the nations in the same way.

 

Jer. 50:24 I 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.

Jer. 50:25 The 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.

 

God is again making clear through His prophet that He is the One directing this judgment against Babylon.  This sounds more descriptive of how the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon.  The snare laid is probably a reference to the false sense of security that had resulted from her long-time rule and authority.  The prophet Daniel describes how the king and his lords were partying when the enemy came in and took over.  Cyrus and his armies diverted the Euphrates River and marched into the city on the dry riverbed.

 

Verse 25 seems to have more reference to the verses in Revelation 18 that attribute the destruction of Babylon to death, famine and fire that are described as plagues of God’s judgment.

 

Again, as is often the case, the message is one of more than one application or of near and far fulfillment.

 

Jer. 50:26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

Jer. 50:27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

 

These verses make it clear that the final fulfillment of this prophecy will result in the complete destruction of Babylon, though I am sure that the people considered it to reference the defeat by Cyrus.  We know that Belshazzar was killed, and I would assume the lords that were partying with him. 

The dead are pictured lying in heaps.  The fighting men were referred to as “bullocks” in chapter 46, and that comparison would make sense here as well.  “The time of their visitation” is a phrase referencing the time of judgment.

 

Jer. 50:28 The 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.

Jer. 50:29 Call 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.

Jer. 50:30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.

 

In my mind this again would seem to apply more to a time after the take over by Cyrus.  There is a call for those fleeing from Babylon to go to Zion and declare how God has avenged His temple.  The natural assumption is to think that this is in reference to the destruction of the Temple by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar.  From my perspective, it would allow for application to the time that the temple is desecrated by the Antichrist whom I believe will be headquartered in Babylon until that time.  The arrows being shot could well be a reference to guided nuclear missiles that will result in the final destruction of Babylon by fire.  Only time will tell.

 

I think it is significant to note that again God’s harshest judgment is declared against those who lift themselves up in pride against Him.  I pity those poor souls who today so arrogantly and defiantly declare themselves in opposition to God and those who so manipulate His word as they boldly present their false teachings.

 

Jer. 50:31 Behold, 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.

Jer. 50:32 And 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.

 

God continues to emphasize how He hates pride and is against those who choose to align themselves against Him in pride.   I am reminded that pride is the first thing on the list of the seven things most hated by God.

 

Proverbs 6:16–17 “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look….”

 

Satan’s sin was a result of his pride.  It’s interesting that this is told us most explicitly in Isaiah’s passage regarding judgment against the king of Babylon. Also it is interesting to me to note that after Satan is thrown out of heaven, he chooses to indwell the Antichrist and desecrate God’s temple as he begins the 3.5 years of complete authority granted him by God.  How does he desecrate the temple?  By placing his throne in the temple and declaring himself to be God.

 

Isaiah 14:12–15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

 

Revelation 13:4–5 “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

 

2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

 

Jer. 50:33 ¶ Thus 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.

 

It’s much easier to see how God’s people could make application of the messages of the prophets to their times since they were unaware of the future applications of these prophecies that become clearer as time marches on.  The Lord Jesus affirms this to be true by referencing the abomination of desolation spoken of Daniel as an event yet future.  Until that time, I am sure the Jewish people had assumed that prophecy to have been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, who in retrospect we can now understand to be a type of the coming Antichrist.  (See the journal on Daniel 11 for more details.)

 

These verses speak of the captives of Israel as being oppressed and under the ruling authority of their enemies without hope of escape.  The first thing that jumped into my mind was the plight of the Jews in Russia as depicted in “The Fiddler on the Roof.”  Of course, the Jews have faced much oppression in the nations of the world throughout history.  The policy of many European countries was to establish ghettos to which the Jews were confined for the most part.  The Spanish Inquisition resulted in the death of thousands of Jews before they were finally expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella.  Germany’s ultimate solution for the Jews was enacted in the concentration camps of World War II—to name a few.    

 

Jer. 50:34 Their 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.

 

Though God has acted in judgment against His people, His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still in force.  He has provided a Redeemer in the person of His precious Son, Jesus Christ, who will eventually assume the throne of David and give peace to the land of Israel.  In the process, He will completely destroy Babylon.  To “disquiet” the people of Babylon is to put them in fear through His awesome display of power.

 

The prophet Micah understood that God would provide a redeemer, an intercessor that would allow His people to enter the His presence.

 

Micah 7:9 “I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.”

 

Jer. 50:35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

Jer. 50:36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

Jer. 50:37 A 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.

 

The sword is representative of God’s judgment as declared by His word.  God’s word is pictured in scripture as a sword that is effective in accomplishing His purposes.

 

Ephesians 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….”

 

Revelation 19:11–15 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war….and his name is called The Word of God…. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

 

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

 

God’s judgment is pictured as acting against all the wicked in Babylon—men of royalty, men thought to possess wisdom, proud men, and mighty men.  His judgment will render ineffective their horses, chariots and mercenaries; these hired soldiers will melt in fear before the judgment of God.  His judgment will also result in the loss of all her treasures.

 

Jer. 50:38 A 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.

Jer. 50:39 Therefore 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.

Jer. 50:40 As 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.

 

God’s judgment will include a drought throughout the land.  God then declares that His judgment is also because of their worship of false gods—another testimony to her pride in rejecting the one true God. 

 

The destruction of Babylon will culminate in it no longer existing as a nation.  The land will be left to the wild beasts of the desert and the wild beasts of the islands.  The Hebrew for “islands” makes reference to the howling sounds made by the creatures.  God emphasizes the fact that Babylon will never again be inhabited by man after this judgment, so we know that it is yet future. Just to be clear, its destruction is compared to that of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities of the plains.  Though never again has Babylon risen to great significance on the world stage, it has been continually inhabited throughout history.

 

Isaiah declares this same truth in his prophecy against Babylon.

 

Isaiah 13:19–21 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”

 

Jer. 50:41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

Jer. 50:42 They 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.

Jer. 50:43 The 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.

 

These verses are interesting in light of God’s declaration that according to how Babylon has treated His people, so will they be treated (v29 above).  In chapter 6 Jeremiah was declaring the warning of the coming attack of Babylon against Judah using almost the same language.

 

Jeremiah 6:22–24 “Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.”

 

This section of verses is again confusing to me as to the application.  The king and his lords were partying when Cyrus took the city.  It’s hard to think that it applies to the Antichrist, although we do know that he will experience opposition according to the prophecy of Daniel.

 

Daniel 11:40 & 44 “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over….But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”

 

The Hebrew for the word “trouble” in the verses from Daniel above does make reference to causing fear or alarm.

 

Jer. 50:44 Behold, 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?

Jer. 50:45 Therefore 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.

 

I think the translation from the CJB is clearer:              It will be like a lion coming up from the thickets of the Yarden against a strong settlement; in an instant I will chase him away and appoint over it whomever I choose.  For who is like me? Who can call me to account?  What shepherd can stand up to me?”

 

The primary point of these verses is that the LORD is sovereign and all powerful; He is in complete control over all that is happening.  There is no being on earth that can stand against Him.  His judgment has been declared against the whole land and not even the weakest among them will be spared.

 

Jer. 50:46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.

 

It’s interesting to note that the fall of Edom is said to reverberate as far as the Red Sea, while the fall of Babylon seems to reverberate through the nations, implying the known world.  That correlates perfectly with the fall of Babylon declared in both Isaiah and Revelation.

 

Isaiah 14:9–10 “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?”

 

Revelation 18:9 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning….”

 

The prophet’s message regarding the judgment of Babylon is continued in the next chapter.