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A Message about Ammon

49This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the Lord says:

“Are there no descendants of Israel
to inherit the land of Gad?
Why are you, who worship Molech,[a]
living in its towns?
2In the days to come,” says the Lord,
“I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah.
It will become a desolate heap of ruins,
and the neighboring towns will be burned.
Then Israel will take back the land
you took from her,” says the Lord.

3“Cry out, O Heshbon,
for the town of Ai is destroyed.
Weep, O people of Rabbah!
Put on your clothes of mourning.
Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges,
for your god Molech, with his priests and officials,
will be hauled off to distant lands.
4You are proud of your fertile valleys,
but they will soon be ruined.
You trusted in your wealth,
you rebellious daughter,
and thought no one could ever harm you.
5But look! I will bring terror upon you,”
says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“Your neighbors will chase you from your land,
and no one will help your exiles as they flee.
6But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites
in days to come.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Messages about Edom

7This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“Is there no wisdom in Teman?
Is no one left to give wise counsel?
8Turn and flee!
Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan!
For when I bring disaster on Edom,[b]
I will punish you, too!
9Those who harvest grapes
always leave a few for the poor.
If thieves came at night,
they would not take everything.
10But I will strip bare the land of Edom,
and there will be no place left to hide.
Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors
will all be destroyed,
and Edom itself will be no more.
11But I will protect the orphans who remain among you.
Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.”

12And this is what the Lord says: “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment! 13For I have sworn by my own name,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.”

14I have heard a message from the Lord
that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say,
“Form a coalition against Edom,
and prepare for battle!”

15The Lord says to Edom,
“I will cut you down to size among the nations.
You will be despised by all.
16You have been deceived
by the fear you inspire in others
and by your own pride.
You live in a rock fortress
and control the mountain heights.
But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles,
I will bring you crashing down,”
says the Lord.

17“Edom will be an object of horror.
All who pass by will be appalled
and will gasp at the destruction they see there.
18It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord.
“No one will live there;
no one will inhabit it.
19I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,
leaping on the sheep in the pasture.
I will chase Edom from its land,
and I will appoint the leader of my choice.
For who is like me, and who can challenge me?
What ruler can oppose my will?”

20Listen to the Lord’s plans against Edom
and the people of Teman.
Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,
and their homes will be destroyed.
21The earth will shake with the noise of Edom’s fall,
and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea.[c]
22Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle,
spreading his wings over Bozrah.
Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish
like a woman in labor.

A Message about Damascus

23This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the Lord says:

“The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear,
for they have heard the news of their destruction.
Their hearts are troubled
like a wild sea in a raging storm.
24Damascus has become feeble,
and all her people turn to flee.
Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her
as they grip a woman in labor.
25That famous city, a city of joy,
will be forsaken!
26Her young men will fall in the streets and die.
Her soldiers will all be killed,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
27“And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus
that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.”

A Message about Kedar and Hazor

28This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King Nebuchadnezzar[d] of Babylon. This is what the Lord says:

“Advance against Kedar!
Destroy the warriors from the East!
29Their flocks and tents will be captured,
and their household goods and camels will be taken away.
Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard:
‘We are terrorized at every turn!’
30Run for your lives,” says the Lord.
“Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor,
for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you
and is preparing to destroy you.

31“Go up and attack that complacent nation,”
says the Lord.
“Its people live alone in the desert
without walls or gates.
32Their camels and other livestock will all be yours.
I will scatter to the winds these people
who live in remote places.[e]
I will bring calamity upon them
from every direction,” says the Lord.
33“Hazor will be inhabited by jackals,
and it will be desolate forever.
No one will live there;
no one will inhabit it.”

A Message about Elam

34This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the Lord at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. 35This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“I will destroy the archers of Elam—
the best of their forces.
36I will bring enemies from all directions,
and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
They will be exiled to countries around the world.
37I myself will go with Elam’s enemies to shatter it.
In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster
upon the people of Elam,” says the Lord.
“Their enemies will chase them with the sword
until I have destroyed them completely.
38I will set my throne in Elam,” says the Lord,
“and I will destroy its king and officials.
39But I will restore the fortunes of Elam
in days to come.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”

A Message about Babylon

50The Lord gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians.[f] 2This is what the Lord says:

“Tell the whole world,
and keep nothing back.
Raise a signal flag
to tell everyone that Babylon will fall!
Her images and idols[g] will be shattered.
Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced.
3For a nation will attack her from the north
and bring such destruction that no one will live there again.
Everything will be gone;
both people and animals will flee.

Hope for Israel and Judah

4“In those coming days,”
says the Lord,
“the people of Israel will return home
together with the people of Judah.
They will come weeping
and seeking the Lord their God.
5They will ask the way to Jerusalem[h]
and will start back home again.
They will bind themselves to the Lord
with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.

6“My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them astray
and turned them loose in the mountains.
They have lost their way
and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.
7All who found them devoured them.
Their enemies said,
‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them,
for they sinned against the Lord,
their true place of rest,
and the hope of their ancestors.’

8“But now, flee from Babylon!
Leave the land of the Babylonians.
Like male goats at the head of the flock,
lead my people home again.
9For I am raising up an army
of great nations from the north.
They will join forces to attack Babylon,
and she will be captured.
The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark;
they will not miss!
10Babylonia[i] will be looted
until the attackers are glutted with loot.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

Babylon’s Sure Fall

11“You rejoice and are glad,
you who plundered my chosen people.
You frisk about like a calf in a meadow
and neigh like a stallion.
12But your homeland[j] will be overwhelmed
with shame and disgrace.
You will become the least of nations—
a wilderness, a dry and desolate land.
13Because of the Lord’s anger,
Babylon will become a deserted wasteland.
All who pass by will be horrified
and will gasp at the destruction they see there.

14“Yes, prepare to attack Babylon,
all you surrounding nations.
Let your archers shoot at her; spare no arrows.
For she has sinned against the Lord.
15Shout war cries against her from every side.
Look! She surrenders!
Her walls have fallen.
It is the Lord’s vengeance,
so take vengeance on her.
Do to her as she has done to others!
16Take from Babylon all those who plant crops;
send all the harvesters away.
Because of the sword of the enemy,
everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands.

Hope for God’s People

17“The Israelites are like sheep
that have been scattered by lions.
First the king of Assyria ate them up.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar[k] of Babylon cracked their bones.”
18Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the God of Israel, says:
“Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land,
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
19And I will bring Israel home again to its own land,
to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan,
and to be satisfied once more
in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.
20In those days,” says the Lord,
“no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah,
for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.

The Lord’s Judgment on Babylon

21“Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim
and against the people of Pekod.
Pursue, kill, and completely destroy[l] them,
as I have commanded you,” says the Lord.
22“Let the battle cry be heard in the land,
a shout of great destruction.
23Babylon, the mightiest hammer in all the earth,
lies broken and shattered.
Babylon is desolate among the nations!
24Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you.
You are caught, for you have fought against the Lord.
25The Lord has opened his armory
and brought out weapons to vent his fury.
The terror that falls upon the Babylonians
will be the work of the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
26Yes, come against her from distant lands.
Break open her granaries.
Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble.
Destroy her completely, and leave nothing!
27Destroy even her young bulls—
it will be terrible for them, too!
Slaughter them all!
For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come.
28Listen to the people who have escaped from Babylon,
as they tell in Jerusalem
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance
against those who destroyed his Temple.

29“Send out a call for archers to come to Babylon.
Surround the city so none can escape.
Do to her as she has done to others,
for she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
30Her young men will fall in the streets and die.
Her soldiers will all be killed,”
says the Lord.

31“See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,”
says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“Your day of reckoning has arrived—
the day when I will punish you.
32O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall,
and no one will raise you up.
For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon
that will burn up everything around them.”

33This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged.
Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go.
34But the one who redeems them is strong.
His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
He will defend them
and give them rest again in Israel.
But for the people of Babylon
there will be no rest!

35“The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,”
says the Lord.
“It will strike the people of Babylon—
her officials and wise men, too.
36The sword will strike her wise counselors,
and they will become fools.
The sword will strike her mightiest warriors,
and panic will seize them.
37The sword will strike her horses and chariots
and her allies from other lands,
and they will all become like women.
The sword will strike her treasures,
and they all will be plundered.
38A drought[m] will strike her water supply,
causing it to dry up.
And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols,
and the people are madly in love with them.

39“Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas.
It will be a home for owls.
Never again will people live there;
it will lie desolate forever.
40I will destroy it as I[n] destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord.
“No one will live there;
no one will inhabit it.

41“Look! A great army is coming from the north.
A great nation and many kings
are rising against you from far-off lands.
42They are armed with bows and spears.
They are cruel and show no mercy.
As they ride forward on horses,
they sound like a roaring sea.
They are coming in battle formation,
planning to destroy you, Babylon.
43The king of Babylon has heard reports about the enemy,
and he is weak with fright.
Pangs of anguish have gripped him,
like those of a woman in labor.

44“I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,
leaping on the sheep in the pasture.
I will chase Babylon from its land,
and I will appoint the leader of my choice.
For who is like me, and who can challenge me?
What ruler can oppose my will?”

45Listen to the Lord’s plans against Babylon
and the land of the Babylonians.
Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,
and their homes will be destroyed.
46The earth will shake with the shout, “Babylon has been taken!”
and its cry of despair will be heard around the world.

Footnotes

  1. 49:1 Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; also in 49:3.
  2. 49:8 Hebrew Esau; also in 49:10.
  3. 49:21 Hebrew sea of reeds.
  4. 49:28 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 49:30.
  5. 49:32 Or who clip the corners of their hair.
  6. 50:1 Or Chaldeans; also in 50:8, 25, 35, 45.
  7. 50:2 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.
  8. 50:5 Hebrew Zion; also in 50:28.
  9. 50:10 Or Chaldea.
  10. 50:12 Hebrew your mother.
  11. 50:17 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
  12. 50:21 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
  13. 50:38 Or sword; the Hebrew words for drought and sword are very similar.
  14. 50:40 Hebrew as God.
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