Jeremiah 50

Prophecy against Babylon

50 The word which the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet:

“Declare and proclaim among the nations.
Proclaim it and lift up a flag,
Do not conceal it. Say,
‘Babylon has been captured,
Bel has been put to shame, [a]Marduk has been [b]shattered;
Her idols have been put to shame, her images have been shattered.’

For a nation has come up against her from the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Whether people or animals, they have wandered off, they have gone!

“In those days and at that time,” declares the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the Lord their God whom they will seek. They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces [c]in its direction; [d]they [e]will come so that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

“My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill,
They have forgotten their resting place.
All who found them have devoured them;
And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty,
Since they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness,
The Lord, the hope of their fathers.’

“Wander away from the midst of Babylon
And [f]go out from the land of the Chaldeans;
Be like male goats [g]at the head of the flock.
For behold, I am going to rouse and bring up against Babylon
A contingent of great nations from the land of the north,
And they will draw up their battle lines against her;
From there she will be taken captive.
Their arrows will be like [h]an expert warrior
Who does not return empty-handed.
10 [i]Chaldea will become plunder;
All who plunder her will have enough,” declares the Lord.

11 “Because you are glad, because you are jubilant,
You who pillage My heritage,
Because you skip about [j]like a threshing heifer
And neigh like [k]stallions,
12 Your mother [l]will be greatly ashamed,
She who gave you birth [m]will be humiliated.
Behold, she will be the least of the nations,
A wilderness, a dry land and a desert.
13 Because of the wrath of the Lord she will not be inhabited,
But she will be completely desolate;
Everyone who passes by Babylon will be horrified
And will hiss because of all her wounds.
14 Draw up your battle lines against Babylon on every side,
All of you who [n]bend the bow;
Shoot at her, do not spare your arrows,
For she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Raise your battle cry against her on every side!
She has given [o]herself up, her towers have fallen,
Her walls have been torn down.
For this is the vengeance of the Lord:
Take vengeance on her;
As she has done to others, so do to her.
16 Eliminate the sower from Babylon
And the one who wields the sickle at the time of harvest;
From [p]the sword of the oppressor
Each of them will turn back to his own people
And each of them will flee to his own land.

17 “Israel is a scattered [q]flock, the lions have driven them away. The first one who devoured him was the king of Assyria, and this last one who has gnawed his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 18 Therefore this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Behold, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel back to his pasture and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan, and his [r]desire will be satisfied in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days and at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for the wrongdoing of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will forgive those whom I leave as a remnant.’

21 “Against the land of [s]Merathaim, go up against it,
And against the inhabitants of [t]Pekod.
Kill and [u]completely destroy them,” declares the Lord,
“And do according to everything that I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land,
And great destruction.
23 How the hammer of the whole earth
Has been cut off and broken!
How Babylon has become
An object of horror among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you and you were also caught, Babylon,
While you yourself were not aware;
You have been found and also seized
Because you have engaged in conflict with the Lord.”
25 The Lord has opened His armory
And has brought out the weapons of His indignation,
For it is a work of the Lord [v]God of armies
In the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come to her from the [w]farthest border;
Open up her barns,
Pile her up like heaps of grain
And [x]completely destroy her,
Let nothing be left to her.
27 Put all her bulls to the sword;
Let them go down to the slaughter!
Woe be upon them, for their day has come,
The time of their punishment.

28 There is a sound of fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon,
To declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God,
Vengeance for His temple.

29 “Summon [y]many against Babylon,
All those who [z]bend the bow:
Encamp against her on every side,
Let there be no escape[aa].
Repay her according to her work;
According to all that she has done, so do to her;
For she has become arrogant against the Lord,
Against the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore her young men will fall in her streets,
And all her men of war will perish on that day,” declares the Lord.
31 “Behold, I am against you, [ab]arrogant one,”
Declares the Lord [ac]God of armies,
“For your day has come,
The time [ad]when I will punish you.
32 The [ae]arrogant one will stumble and fall
With no one to raise him up;
And I will set fire to his cities,
And it will devour all his surroundings.”

33 This is what the Lord of armies says:
“The sons of Israel are oppressed,
And the sons of Judah as well;
And all who took them captive have held them firmly,
They have refused to let them go.
34 Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of armies is His name;
He will vigorously plead their case
So that He may bring rest to their land,
But turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 A sword against the Chaldeans,” declares the Lord,
“And against the inhabitants of Babylon
And against her leaders and her wise men!
36 A sword against the oracle priests, and they will become fools!
A sword against her warriors, and they will be [af]shattered!
37 A sword against [ag]their horses, against [ah]their chariots,
And against all the [ai]foreigners who are in the midst of her,
And they will become women!
A sword against her treasures, and they will be plundered!
38 A [aj]drought on her waters, and they will be dried up!
For it is a land of idols,
And they go insane at frightful images.

39 “Therefore the desert creatures will live there with the jackals;
The ostriches also will live in it.
It will never again be inhabited
Nor lived in from generation to generation.
40 As when God overthrew Sodom
And Gomorrah with its neighbors,” declares the Lord,
“No one will live there,
Nor will [ak]anyone of mankind reside in it.

41 “Behold, a people is coming from the north,
And a great nation and many kings
Will be roused from the remote parts of the earth.
42 They seize their bow and javelin;
They are cruel and have no mercy.
Their voice roars like the sea;
And they ride on horses,
Drawn up like a man for the battle
Against you, daughter of Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard the report about them,
And his hands hang limp;
Distress has gripped him,
Agony like a woman in childbirth.

44 “Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will chase them away from it, and I will appoint over it whoever is chosen. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?” 45 Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against Babylon, and His purposes which He has in mind against the land of the Chaldeans: they will certainly drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; He will certainly make their pasture desolate because of them. 46 At the [al]shout, “Babylon has been conquered!” the earth quakes, and an outcry is heard among the nations.


  1. Jeremiah 50:2 Heb Merodach
  2. Jeremiah 50:2 Or dismayed
  3. Jeremiah 50:5 Lit toward here
  4. Jeremiah 50:5 MT come, that
  5. Jeremiah 50:5 Or will have come
  6. Jeremiah 50:8 Another reading is let them go out
  7. Jeremiah 50:8 Or in front of
  8. Jeremiah 50:9 As in some mss and ancient versions; MT a warrior who makes childless
  9. Jeremiah 50:10 Or the Chaldeans
  10. Jeremiah 50:11 Another reading is in the grass
  11. Jeremiah 50:11 Lit mighty ones
  12. Jeremiah 50:12 Or has become
  13. Jeremiah 50:12 Or has become
  14. Jeremiah 50:14 Lit step on (in order to string)
  15. Jeremiah 50:15 Lit her hand
  16. Jeremiah 50:16 Or the oppressing sword
  17. Jeremiah 50:17 Lit sheep
  18. Jeremiah 50:19 Lit soul
  19. Jeremiah 50:21 Or double rebellion
  20. Jeremiah 50:21 I.e., punishment (uncertain)
  21. Jeremiah 50:21 Lit put under the ban
  22. Jeremiah 50:25 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  23. Jeremiah 50:26 Lit end
  24. Jeremiah 50:26 Lit put under the ban
  25. Jeremiah 50:29 Another reading is archers
  26. Jeremiah 50:29 Lit step on (in order to string)
  27. Jeremiah 50:29 Some mss add to her
  28. Jeremiah 50:31 Lit arrogance
  29. Jeremiah 50:31 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  30. Jeremiah 50:31 Another reading is of your punishment
  31. Jeremiah 50:32 Lit arrogance
  32. Jeremiah 50:36 Or filled with terror
  33. Jeremiah 50:37 Lit his
  34. Jeremiah 50:37 Lit his
  35. Jeremiah 50:37 Lit mixed multitude
  36. Jeremiah 50:38 Another reading is sword
  37. Jeremiah 50:40 Lit a son of man
  38. Jeremiah 50:46 Lit voice