1 The word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.
2 Declare you 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. 3 For out of the north there comes up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell in it: they shall move, they shall depart, both man and beast. 4 In those days, and in that time, says 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. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces toward it, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
6 My people have 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 resting place. 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.
8 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the male goats before the flocks. 9 For, lo, I will raise up 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 there she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a skilled warrior; none shall return in vain. 10 And Chaldea shall be a plunder: all that plunder her shall be satisfied, says the LORD. 11 Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, O you destroyers of my heritage, because you have grown fat like a heifer threshing grain, and bellow like bulls; 12 Your mother shall be utterly confounded; she that bore you shall be ashamed: behold, the least of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. 13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: everyone that goes by Babylon shall be appalled, and hiss at all her plagues. 14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all you that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she has sinned against the LORD. 15 Shout against her round about: she has given her hand: her foundations have fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she has done, do unto her. 16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land.
17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria has devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones.
18 Therefore thus says 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.
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. 20 In those days, and in that time, says 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 preserve.
21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, says the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded you. 22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. 23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how has Babylon become a desolation among the nations! 24 I have laid a snare for you, and you are also taken, O Babylon, and you were not aware: you are found, and also caught, because you have contended against the LORD. 25 The LORD has opened his armory, and has brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. 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. 27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day has come, the time of their punishment.
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. 29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all you that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none of them escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she has done, do unto her: for she has been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, says the LORD. 31 Behold, I am against you, O you most proud, says the Lord GOD of hosts: for your day has come, the time that I will punish you. 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.
33 Thus says 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. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon. 35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, says the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. 36 A sword is upon the diviners; and they shall become fools: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. 37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mixed 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. 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 over their idols.
39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert shall dwell there with the jackals, and the ostriches shall dwell in it: and it shall be no more inhabited forever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, says the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell in it.
41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the ends of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, everyone set in array, like a man for the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon has heard the report of them, and his hands grew feeble: anguish took hold of him, and birth pangs as of a woman in travail.
44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the thickets 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 arraign me? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
45 Therefore hear you the counsel of the LORD, that he has taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he has 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. 46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.