50 The word that Jehovah spoke of Babylon, of the Chaldean country, by the prophet Jeremiah. 2 * Announce among the nations and sound it abroad, and raise a signal; sound it abroad, do not suppress it; say “Babylon is taken, and Bel is put to shame, Marduk is dismayed.” 3 * For a nation has come up against her from the north; it shall render her country a desolation, and there shall be no one living in it; man and beast, they have wandered away. 4 * In those days and at that time, quoth Jehovah, the sons of Israel shall come, they and the sons of Judah together; weeping as they go, they shall go and look for their God Jehovah. 5 They shall inquire for Sion, with their faces this way: “come, let us join Jehovah in a perpetual covenant never to be forgotten.” 6 * My people were lost sheep: their shepherds had got them to straying over labyrinths of mountains, they had gone from mountain to hill, had forgotten their sleeping-places. 7 Everybody that found them fed on them, and their foes said “We have no penalty to fear,” as retribution for their having sinned against Jehovah the Meadow of Right, their fathers’ hope Jehovah. 8 Migrate from your place in Babylon and come out of the Chaldean country, and be like he-goats in front of a flock; 9 for here I am rousing and bringing up against Babylon a concourse of great nations out of the north country, and they shall take their places against it; by them it shall be taken. His arrows are like a successful champion who will not come back foiled; 10 and Chaldea shall become booty, all who take booty from her shall have their fill, quoth Jehovah. 11 * Because you are glad and gay, you pillagers of my estate, because you prance like a threshing heifer and whoop like neighing horses, 12 * your mother is put to utmost shame, she who gave birth to you is abashed: there she stands, last of nations, a wilderness of drought and desert. 13 By Jehovah’s wrath she shall not be inhabited, but shall be a desolation altogether; everybody who goes past Babylon shall be aghast and whistle at all the blows that have fallen upon her. 14 Take your stations against Babylon on every side, all you bow-benders; shoot at her, do not spare arrows, because she has sinned against Jehovah. 15 * Raise a cheer against her on every side; she has thrown up her hands, her river-walls are down, her walls are demolished; because it is Jehovah’s vengeance, take vengeance on her; do to her as she did. 16 Cut away sower from Babylon, and wielder of sickle at harvesttime; for fear of the ruthless sword they will each turn toward his own people and each take flight to his own country. 17 Israel is a lonely sheep that lions have driven out; first the king of Assyria ate her, and now last King Nebucadressar of Babylon has gnawed up her bones. 18 So Israel’s God Jehovah says, Here I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his country as I punished the king of Assyria, 19 and I will bring Israel back to his pasture and he shall graze over the Carmel and the Bashan and shall take his fill on the highland of Ephraim and the Gilead. 20 In those days and at that time, quoth Jehovah, Israel’s guilt will be searched for and will not be there; and Judah’s sins, and they will not be found; for I will forgive the remnant that I leave. 21 * About the country Merathaim. Go up against it and against the inhabitants of Pekod; lay them waste and follow them up giving no quarter, quoth Jehovah, and do just as I commissioned you to. 22 Hark, a sound of battles in the country, and a great catastrophe! 23 how the sledgehammer of all the earth is chopped and broken! how Babylon has become a spectacle of horror among the nations! 24 I set a trap for you, and you were caught too, Babylon, before you knew it; you were found, and seized too, because you had challenged Jehovah. 25 Jehovah has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons for hostilities, because this is business for the Lord Jehovah of Armies in the Chaldean country. 26 * Go into her, open her barns to the last one, pile her up like heaps of grain, destroy her without quarter, let there be no remnant of her. 27 Make war on all her steers; down with them to the slaughter; oho for them, for their day is come, the time for seeing to them. 28 Hark, the voice of fugitives and refugees from Babylonia, reporting in Sion the vengeance of our God Jehovah, the vengeance for his temple! 29 Summon archers to Babylon, all who bend bows; besiege her all round; let there be no survivors; pay her what she has earned, do to her just as she did, because she acted presumptuously against Jehovah, against the Holy One of Israel. 30 So her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her warriors shall be silenced on that day, quoth Jehovah. 31 Have at you, presumption, quoth the Lord Jehovah of Armies! for your day is come, the time for seeing to you. 32 * And presumption has stumbled and fallen and has nobody to lift it to its feet; and I will set fire to its cities, fire that shall consume on every side of it. 33 Says Jehovah of Armies, The sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have been victimized together, and all who had carried them off to slavery held on to them, would not let them go. 34 Their Friend in Need is strong; his name is Jehovah of Armies; he will take up their cause so as to give ease to the earth and a shock to the inhabitants of Babylon. 35 Swords against the Chaldeans, quoth Jehovah, and all the inhabitants of Babylon and all its generals and all its wise men! 36 swords against the diviners, and let them show what fools they have made of themselves! swords against its champions, and let them be dismayed! 37 swords against its ponies and its chariots and all the foreign-born population it has within it, and let them become women! swords against its treasuries, and let them be plundered! 38 ** aridity against its waters, and let them dry out! for it is a country of wall carvings, and they run wild with their objects of terror. 39 ** So wildcats shall live there with hyenas, and ostriches shall live in it, and it shall not be inhabited again to perpetuity, not be occupied for generation after generation. 40 As with God’s overthrow of Sodom and Ghomorrah and their neighbors, quoth Jehovah, not a man shall live there nor a human being install himself in it. 41 Here comes a people from the north, a great nation and many kings are roused from earth’s recesses, 42 wielding bow and javelin; they are cruel and unfeeling, and the sound of them roars like the sea; on ponies and chariots they are in line like a fire for battle against you, daughter of Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon has heard the report of them and lost heart; distress has seized upon him, pangs like those of a woman in childbirth. 44 Here, like a lion coming up from the Jordan jungle to a permanent pasture, so on a sudden I will set them running from it; and what young man is there to set over it? for who is like me, and who will challenge me, and what shepherd is there that will stand his ground before me? 45 So listen to Jehovah’s policy that he has planned toward Babylon and his ideas that he has thought of toward the Chaldean country: the shepherd boys will drag them off, pasture shall be aghast at them. 46 At the sound of Babylon’s being taken the earth is shaken and a cry is heard among the nations.
^ 50:2 Var. nations and sound it abroad, do not
^ 50:3 Var. in it, man nor beast. In those
^ 50:4 Var. omits quoth Jehovah
^ 50:6 Lit. over turning-back mountains Unc.; susp.
^ 50:11 Var. prance like calves on greensward
^ 50:12 Or a wilderness, a drought, a desert
^ 50:15 Lit. has given her hands
^ 50:21 Or Against the country Merathaim go up, against it and
^ 50:26 (to the last one) Unc.; susp.
^ 50:32 Var. to its chaparrals
^ 50:38 Var.* swords against its waters Conj. swords against its objects of terror
^ 50:38 (dry out) Var.* be put to shame
^ 50:39 Lit. shall live with
^ 50:39 Or jinns shall live there with ghouls