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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Jeremiah 51:1-64

51**  Says Jehovah, Here I am setting in motion against Babylon and against the inhabitants of Leb-Kamai a blasting wind; 2*  and I will send Babylon winnowers who will winnow her and empty out her country because they are against her on all sides on the day of disaster. 3**  Let the archer not bend his bow nor hold himself high in his hauberk; and do not spare her young men, destroy all her levies without quarter, 4  and let dying men fall in the Chaldean country and stabbed men in her streets, 5  because Israel and Judah is not widowed from his God Jehovah of Armies; for their country is full of condemnation from the Holy One of Israel. 6  Flee from within Babylon and save your own lives, do not get them cut off for her guilt, because it is a time of vengeance of Jehovah’s, he is paying her off. 7  Babylon has been a gold cup in Jehovah’s hand, intoxicating all the earth; nations drank her wine, therefore nations went wild. 8*  Babylon has had a sudden fall and broken her bones; scream over her, get balsam for her wound, maybe she can be healed. 9  We have been treating Babylon, but she does not get well; leave her and let us go to our own countries, because her sentence reaches to the skies and mounts up to the heavens. 10  Jehovah has brought out the rightfulness of our claims; come and let us tell in Sion the story of our God Jehovah’s work. 11  Whet the arrows, grasp the bucklers! Jehovah has roused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his design is against Babylon to devastate it; for it is Jehovah’s vengeance, the vengeance for his temple. 12*  Hoist a signal toward Babylon’s wall; strengthen the watch, set up watchers; get ready the ambushed men, because Jehovah has both planned out and executed what he had threatened against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13*  You that are lodged by a great water, you that are great in stores of treasure, the end of you is come, the length to cut you off at. 14  Jehovah of Armies has sworn by himself “I have filled you with humanity like grasshoppers, and they shall answer each other with whoops over you.” 15  He who made the earth by his power, set the world firm by his wisdom, and stretched the sky by his insight, 16  when he collects a drift of water in the sky and brings up vapor from earth’s end, makes lightnings for the rain and brings wind out of his storehouses. 17  All mankind is too stupid to know; every smelter is too ashamed for a statue, for his castings are counterfeit, they have no spirit in them. 18  They are nothings, a joke; at their time of punishment they perish. 19  Not like these is Jacob’s portion; for the Shaper of all is his inheritance, his name is Jehovah. 20  I have you for a hammer, a weapon of battle, and with you I smash nations and with you I wreck kingdoms, 21*  and with you I smash pony and rider, and with you I smash chariot and driver, 22  and with you I smash man and woman, and with you I smash old man and child, and with you I smash young man and maiden, 23  and with you I smash shepherd and flock, and with you I smash plowman and team, and with you I smash governors and viceroys. 24  And I will pay back to Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea all the mischief they have done in Sion, before your eyes, quoth Jehovah. 25  Have at you, mountain of ruin, quoth Jehovah, ruiner of all the earth! I will stretch my hand over you and roll you off the cliffs and make you a burnt mountain, 26  and they shall not take from you capstone nor foundation-stone; for you shall be a perpetual desolation, quoth Jehovah. 27*  Raise a signal in the earth, blow a ram-horn among the nations, declare against her a war of nations, summon against her the kingdoms of Armenia, Minni, and Ashkenaz, appoint a mustering officer against her, bring up ponies like shedding grasshoppers. 28  Declare against her a war of nations, the king of the Medes, his governors and viceroys and all the country under his dominion. 29  And the earth shook and danced because Jehovah’s plans were carried out against Babylon, to make the country of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant. 30  Babylon’s champions fail to fight, they sit still in the fastnesses; their heroism has evaporated, they have become women. They have set fire to its residences, its bars are broken. 31  Runner meets runner and news-bringer meets news-bringer, running to tell the king of Babylon that his city is every bit taken, 32  and the ferries are seized and they have burned off the pools, and the soldiers are in consternation. 33  For Israel’s God Jehovah of Armies says, The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor at the time when it is being trampled; a little longer, and it will have harvesttime coming. 34**  “King Nebucadressar of Babylon has eaten me up, hashed me, set me up like an empty dish, gulped me down like a crocodile, filled his paunch with my delicacies, washed me down; 35*  let my outrage and my mangling be upon Babylon,” the dame of Sion shall say; “and my blood on the inhabitants of Chaldea,” Jerusalem shall say. 36  So Jehovah says, Here I am going to take up your cause and execute your vengeance, and dry off her sea and dry out her spring; 37  and Babylon shall become stone-heaps, a retreat of jackals, a desolation and a thing to whistle at, with not an inhabitant. 38  Together they are roaring like two-year-old lions—they snarl like lion cubs. 39**  I will set their banquet with drugs and intoxicate them so that they shall sink into unconsciousness and sleep a perpetual sleep and never wake, quoth Jehovah. 40  I will bring them down like lambs to slaughtering, like rams with he-goats. 41*  How Sheshac is stormed and the praise of all the earth captured! how Babylon has become a thing to stand aghast at among the nations! 42  The sea has come up upon Babylon; she is covered with the uproar of its waves. 43  Her cities have become a desolation, a thirsty desert country; not a man shall live in them and not a human being pass through them. 44*  And I will see to Babylon in Babylon, and bring her meals out of her mouth, and nations shall not stream to her again. Babylon’s wall too has fallen. 45*  Come out from her, my people, and save your own lives from Jehovah’s anger. 46**  And you are not to be discouraged and afraid at the rumoring that is heard in the country: in one year there will come a rumor and after it in another year a rumor, and outrage in the country, ruler upon ruler. 47  Therefore here are days coming when I will have it out with Babylon’s carvings, and all her country shall be put to shame, and all her killed shall fall in her; 48  and sky and earth and everything in them shall jubilate over Babylon, because out of the north ravagers are coming for her, quoth Jehovah. 49*  Babylon both was for the falling of the killed of Israel, and at Babylon fell the killed of all the earth. 50  Survivors from the sword, go, do not stand still! at this distance remember Jehovah and bring Jerusalem to mind. 51  We were put to shame because we heard taunts; humiliation covered our faces because strangers had come in over the sanctuaries of Jehovah’s house. 52  So here are days coming, quoth Jehovah, when I will have it out with her carvings and in all her country mortally wounded men shall be groaning. 53  Though Babylon runs up to the sky and though she makes the fortifications lofty, from me will ravagers come for her, quoth Jehovah. 54  A sound of an outcry from Babylon and of a great crash from the Chaldean country! 55*  for Jehovah is making havoc of Babylon and abolishing loud voices out of her; and their waves shall roar, the din of their noise resounding like that of a great water. 56  For a ravager is coming against her, against Babylon, and her champions will be taken prisoners when their bows are shivered; for Jehovah is a God of retribution, and pay he will. 57  And I will make her captains and her wise men drunk, her governors and her viceroys and her champions, and they shall fall into an eternal sleep and never wake, quoth the King, whose name is Jehovah of Armies. 58  Says Jehovah of Armies, Babylon’s broad wall shall be stripped away and her high gates shall be set on fire; and peoples toil bootlessly, and folk upon folk spends itself to feed fire. 59  The word with which the prophet Jeremiah charged Seraiah the son of Nerijah the son of Mahsejah when he went to Babylon with King Sidkijah of Judah in the year four of his reign, Seraiah being harbinger. 60  Jeremiah wrote the disaster that was to come to Babylon in one screed, all these words that are written regarding Babylon, 61  and Jeremiah said to Seraiah “When you come to Babylon you are to read aloud all aloud all these words 62  and say ‘Jehovah, you have given your word as to this place for extirpating it so that there should be nobody living in it, man or beast, because it is to be an eternal desolation’; 63  and when you have finished reading this document you are to tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates 64  and say ‘Like this shall Babylon sink and never come up, because of the disaster I am bringing upon it.’” “Spends itself to feed fire”—up to here are the words of Jeremiah.


51:1 Leb-Kamai is a cryptogram for the Chaldeans
51:1 (blasting wind) Or baleful spirit
51:2 Var.* send Babylon strangers who
51:3 Lit. the bender
51:3 (hold himself high in his hauberk) Susp.
51:8 Or went wild; Babylon has suddenly dropped and broken. Scream
51:12 (set up watchers) Susp.
51:13 Lit. the cubit ( that is, half-yard) to cut you off at
51:21 Lit. chariot and rider
51:27 (shedding) Unc.; the Hebrew word is chosen to rhyme with the word for mustering officer
51:34 (hashed) Unc.; susp.
51:34 Or with the most delicate parts of me
51:35 Lit. my outrage and my flesh
51:39 Var. In their heat I will set their banquet and intoxicate
51:39 Var. shall be gleeful and fall into a perpetual
51:41 Sheshac is a cryptogram for Babylon
51:44 Lit. brings her swallowings out of
51:45-48 Var. omits these four verses
51:46 Lit. And not to be
51:46 Lit. and there will come in a year the rumor and after it in a year the rumor, and outrage
51:49 Susp.; unc.
51:55 Conj. that several words originally stood between out of her and loud voices and have been lost in copying