Chapter 18

  1. The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds. And there shall be no nation to which the outcasts of Elam shall not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies and before them that seek their life. And I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, says the Lord. And I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them. And I will set my throne in Elam and will destroy from there the king and the princes, says the Lord. But it shall come to pass in the latter days that I will bring again the captives of Elam, says the Lord.
  2. The word that the Lord spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet: Declare 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. For out of the north there comes 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  3. 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. For behold, 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 there she shall be taken. Their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man, none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil. All that spoil her shall be satisfied, says the Lord, because you were glad, because you rejoiced, O you destroyers of my heritage, because you are grown fat as the heifer at grass and bellow as bulls. Your mother shall be severely confounded, she that bore you shall be ashamed. Behold, the rearmost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land and a desert. 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 astonished and hiss at all her plagues. 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. Shout against her round about. She has 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 has done, do unto her. 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.
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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 reserve. 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. A sound of battle is in the land and of great destruction. How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! How is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! 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 fought against the Lord. 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. 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. Slay all her bullocks, let them go down to the slaughter. Woe unto them, for their day has come, the time of their visitation, 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. Call together the archers against Babylon. All you that bend the bow, camp against it round about. Let none thereof 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.
  5. 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. 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 visit you. 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.
  6. 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. 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 and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
  7. A sword is upon the Chaldeans, says the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. A sword is upon the liars, and they shall become fools. A sword is upon her mighty men and they shall be dismayed. A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in her midst, and they shall become as women. A sword is upon her treasures and they shall be robbed. A drought is upon her waters and they shall be dried up. For it is the land of engraved images, and they are mad over their idols. 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 dwelled in from generation to generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, says the Lord, so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
  8. 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. 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 put in array like a man to the battle against you, O daughter of Babylon. The king of Babylon has heard the report of them and his hands waxed feeble. Anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
  9. 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? Therefore, hear 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. At the noise of the taking of Babylon, the earth is moved and the cry is heard among the nations.
  10. Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind, and will send unto Babylon winnowers that shall winnow her, and shall empty her land. For in the day of trouble, they shall be against her round about. Against him that bends, let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifts himself up in his brigandine. And spare not her young men — destroy utterly all her host. Thus, the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets. For Israel has not been forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of the Lord of Hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel. Flee out of the midst of Babylon and deliver every man his soul. Be not cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance. He will render unto her a recompense. Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand that made all the earth drunk. The nations have drunk of her wine, therefore the nations are mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed. Howl for her, take balm for her pain, if it so be she may be healed.
  11. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her and let us go everyone into his own country. For her judgment reaches unto heaven and is lifted up even to the skies. The Lord has brought forth our righteousness. Come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.
  12. Make bright the arrows, gather the shields. The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For his device is against Babylon, to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple. Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong. Set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes, for the Lord has both devised and done that which he spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. O you that dwell upon many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, and the measure of your covetousness. The Lord of Hosts has sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill you with men as with caterpillars, and they shall lift up a shout against you.
  13. He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom and has stretched out the heaven by his understanding. When he utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings with rain and brings forth the wind out of his treasuries. Every man is brutish by his knowledge. Every founder is confounded by the engraved image, for his molten image is falsehood and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, the work of errors. In the time of their visitation, they shall perish. The portion of Jacob is not like them, for he is the former of all things, and Israel is the rod of his inheritance — the Lord of Hosts is his name.
  14. You are my battle-ax and weapons of war, for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms. And with you will I break in pieces the horse and his rider, and with you will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider. With you also will I break in pieces man and woman, and with you will I break in pieces old and young, and with you will I break in pieces the young man and the virgin. I will also break in pieces with you the shepherd and his flock, and with you will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen, and with you will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, says the Lord. Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, says the Lord which destroys all the earth, and I will stretch out my hand upon you and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain. And they shall not take of you a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations, but you shall be desolate for ever, says the Lord.
  15. Set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations. Prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a captain against her, cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars. Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow, for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Babylon have refused to fight, they have remained in their holds. Their might has failed, they became as women. They have burned her dwelling places, her bars are broken. One courier shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end, and that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frightened. For thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor. It is time to thresh her. Yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me up like a dragon, he has filled his belly with my delicacies, he has cast me out. The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say. And my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.
  16. Therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold, I will plead your cause and take vengeance for you. And I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant. They shall roar together like lions, they shall yell as lions’ whelps. In their heat I will make their feasts and I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice and sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, says the Lord. I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he-goats. How is Sheshach taken, and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! How is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! The sea has come up upon Babylon, she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. Her cities are a desolation, a dry land and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwells, neither does any son of man pass thereby. And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up. And the nations shall not flow together anymore unto him. Yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
  17. My people, go out of her midst and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord. And lest your heart faint and you fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land — a rumor shall both come one year, and after that, in another year shall come a rumor, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler — therefore behold, the days come that I will do judgment upon the engraved images of Babylon. And her whole land shall be confounded and all her slain shall fall in her midst. Then the heaven and the earth and all that is therein shall sing for Babylon, for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, says the Lord.
  18. As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. You that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still. Remember the Lord afar off and let Jerusalem come into your mind. We are confounded because we have heard reproach; shame has covered our faces, for strangers have come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house. Wherefore, behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will do judgment upon her engraved images, and through all her land the wounded shall groan. Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, says the Lord. A sound of a cry comes from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans, because the Lord has spoiled Babylon and destroyed out of her the great voice. When her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered, because the spoiler has come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken. Every one of their bows is broken, for the Lord God of recompenses shall surely repay. And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men. And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, says the King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts. Thus says the Lord of Hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken and her high gates shall be burned with fire. And the people shall labor in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.