The future fall of Babylon (Jer 51:47-51:49)

“‘Assuredly

The days are coming

When I will punish

The images of Babylon.

Her whole land

Shall be put to shame.

All her slain

Shall fall in her midst.

Then the heavens,

With the earth,

As well as all that is in them,

Shall shout for joy

Over Babylon.

The destroyers

Shall come against them

Out of the north.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Babylon must fall

For the slain of Israel.

The slain of all the earth

Have fallen

Because of Babylon.’”

Babylon would fall. Yahweh was going to put the Babylonians with their images to shame. Many of them would die. Thus there would be shouts of joy from heaven and earth. These new destroyers, like the ones of old, would come out of the north. Babylon was going to fall because Babylon had killed many of the Israelites. This punishment was definitely coming to Babylon.

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The foolish idol makers (Jer 51:17-51:19)

“Everyone is stupid.

Everyone is

Without knowledge.

Goldsmiths

Are put to shame

By their idols.

Their images

Are false.

There is no breath

In them.

They are worthless,

A work of delusion.

At the time

Of their punishment,

They shall perish.

Not like these,

Is Yahweh,

The portion of Jacob.

He is the one

Who formed all things.

Israel is

The tribe

Of his inheritance.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name.”

Once again, Yahweh, via Jeremiah, chides the foolish idol makers. These image makers are stupid without any knowledge. These goldsmiths are put to shame because their images are false, a worthless work of delusion without any breathe. They will all perish on the day of punishment. Yahweh, on the other hand, is not like these idols or idol makers. He is the portion of Jacob with his tribe of Israel as his inheritance. Yahweh of hosts is the name of the one who has formed all things.

Drought and wild animals in Babylon (Jer 50:38-50:40)

“‘A drought

Against her waters!

Thus they may be dried up!

It is a land of images.

They go mad

Over idols.

Therefore,

Wild animals

Shall live

With hyenas

In Babylon.

Ostriches

Shall inhabit her.

She shall never again

Be inhabited

For all generations.

As when God overthrew

Sodom and

Gomorrah,

With their neighbors,

So no one

Shall live there.

No one

Shall settle there.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was clear. He was going to make Babylon an abandoned desert. The waters of the land would dry up and leave a drought. It is hard to believe that he meant the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. He wanted their images and idols destroyed.   Thus wild animals, hyenas, and ostriches would live in Babylon. No humans would live or settle in Babylon. It would become like the ancient destroyed cites of Sodom and Gomorrah as in Genesis, chapter 19, a desolation.

Lamentation over Judah (Jer 8:18-8:20)

“My joy is gone.

Grief is upon me.

My heart is sick.

Hark!

The cry of my poor people

From far and wide in the land!

‘Is Yahweh not in Zion?

Is her King not in her?’

‘Why have they provoked me to anger?

They have their images.

They have their foreign idols?’

‘The harvest is past.

The summer is ended.

We are not saved.’

Jeremiah laments the situation in Judah. His joy is gone. His grief has made him heartsick. The cry of the poor people can be heard far and wide all over the land. Why hasn’t Yahweh helped? Why is the king gone? They have provoked Yahweh to anger with their images of foreign idols. The harvest has past as summer has ended. They are not saved. What can he do?

The boast of the king of Assyria (Isa 10:8-10:11)

“The King of Assyria says.

‘Are not my commanders all kings?

Is not Calno

Like Carchemish?

Is not Hamath

Like Arpad?

Is not Samaria

Like Damascus?

As my hand has reached

To the kingdoms of the idols

Whose images

Were greater than those of Jerusalem.

They were greater than those of Samaria.

Shall I not do to Jerusalem

As I have done to Samaria?

Shall I not do to her idols

As I have done to the Samarian images?’”

King Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727 BCE), the king of Assyria said that he had commanders in his army that could become kings. He cited the examples of his capture of various towns or cities like Calno in 742 BCE and Carchemish, which is now on the border between Turkey and Syria, but was part of the Syrian empire that was lost in 738 BCE. There also was the capture of other western Syrian town of Hama or Hamath and Arpad that were in this same area that Tiglath-Pileser III captured in 741 BCE. Finally there was Damascus, also in Syria, that was captured in 732 BCE. King Menahem of Samaria was the king of northern Israel from 743-738 BCE, who paid tribute to the King of Assyria, as mentioned in 2 Chronicles, chapter 26, and 2 Kings, chapter 15. Now King Tiglath-Pileser III was thinking of attacking Jerusalem. What he had done to Samaria, he would the same to Judah by destroying their images, since he thought that Yahweh was just another idol god.