The destructive wind against Babylon (Jer 51:1-51:2)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘I am going to stir up

A destructive wind

Against Babylon,

Against the inhabitants

Of Leb-qamai.

I will send winnowers

To Babylon.

They shall winnow her.

They shall empty

Her land,

When they come

Against her

From every side,

On the day of trouble.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that he was going to stir up a very destructive wind against Babylon and the people of Leb-qamai, which is a cryptogram for Kasdim in Chaldea. Yahweh was going to send winnowers, people who separate chaff from the good grain, who would throw grain into the air and let the wind take away the useless chaff. These winnowers were going to empty out the land of Babylon. All of this would happen on a future day of trouble when people would come from all sides against her. In the Septuagint Greek translation, this long chapter is numbered 28, not chapter 51 as here.

The planned attack on Babylon (Jer 50:9-50:10)

“‘I am going to stir up

Those against Babylon.

I am bringing

A company of great nations,

Against Babylon,

From the north country.

They shall array themselves

Against her.

From there

She shall be taken.

Their arrows are

Like the arrows                                

Of a skilled warrior

Who does not return

Empty-handed.

Chaldea shall be

Plundered.

All who plunder her

Shall be sated.’

Says Yahweh.”

Here the attack on Babylon is not from one country, but a series of countries, all from the north, as usual. Yahweh was going to stir up these attackers. Their arrows would be like those of skilled archers. Chaldea would be plundered so that everyone would have their fill.

Oracle about Egypt (Isa 19:1-19:4)

“An oracle concerning Egypt.

See!

Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud.

He comes to Egypt.

The idols of Egypt

Will tremble at his presence.

The heart of the Egyptians

Will melt within them.

‘I will stir up

Egyptians against Egyptians.

They will fight

One against the other,

Neighbor against neighbor,

City against city,

Kingdom against kingdom.

The spirit of the Egyptians,

Within them,

Will be emptied out.

I will confound their plans.

They will consult

The idols,

The spirits of the dead,

The ghosts,

The mediums,

The wizards,

And the familiar spirits.

I will destroy the Egyptians

Into the hand of a hard master.

A fierce king will rule over them.’

So says the Sovereign,

Yahweh of hosts.”

Isaiah presents an oracle of Yahweh about Egypt. He said that Yahweh was riding high on a cloud as he came to Egypt as the false idols of Egypt trembled. The hearts of the Egyptians began to melt. Then Yahweh said that he was going to stir up fighting among the Egyptians themselves against each other, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. They would all lose their spirit. They would be confused. Then they would consult their idols, their dead spirits, their ghosts, their mediums, their wizards, and all kinds of their strange spirits. Yahweh said that he was going to destroy the Egyptians as he was going to hand them over to a fierce king. Clearly Yahweh has spoken.