The desolation of Babylon (Jer 51:41-51:43)

“How Sheshach is taken!

The pride

Of the whole earth

Has been seized!

How Babylon has become

An object of horror

Among the nations!

The sea has risen

Over Babylon.

She has been covered

By its tumultuous waves.

Her cities have become

An object of horror,

A land of drought,

A desert,

A land in which no one lives.

No mortal person

Passes through.”

Sheshach is an atbash cipher for Babylon. This once proud country has been seized. Thus Babylon has become an object of horror to all the countries. The strong waves of the sea have covered her land. Her cities are horrible. They are like a dried up desert, where no one lives and no one even passes by.

 

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The destruction of Bozrah (Jer 49:13-49:13)

“Says Yahweh.

‘I have sworn

By myself

That Bozrah

Shall become

An object

Of horror,

Of ridicule,

Of a waste,

Of cursing.

All her towns

Shall be

Perpetual wastes.’”

Bozrah was the capital city of Edom in northern Edom, modern day Jordan.   Yahweh swore to himself that this capital of the Edomites would become an object of horror, a place of ridicule and a waste, as well as a cursed place. All its surrounding towns would become perpetual waste sites.

The punishment by the king of Babylon (Jer 25:8-25:9)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Because you have not obeyed

My words,

I am going to send

For all the tribes of the north.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I am going to send

Even for King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

My servant.

I will bring them

Against this land

With its inhabitants.

I will bring them

Against all these nations around.

I will utterly destroy them.

I will make them

An object of horror.

A hissing,

An everlasting disgrace.’”

Yahweh declared, via Jeremiah, that the people of Judah had not obeyed his words. Therefore, there would be an invasion from the north. In particular, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was the servant of Yahweh, was going to come to this land in order to take away its inhabitants. Note that the king of Babylon was considered a servant of Yahweh, not his opponent. This usage indicates Jeremiah’s favoritism towards Babylon. Yahweh was going to utterly destroy them and their neighbors, so that they would be an object of horror, with people hissing at them in disgrace.