The battles in southern and eastern Babylon (Jer 50:21-50:22)

“‘Go to the land

Of Merathaim!

Go up against her!

Attack the inhabitants

Of Pekod!

Utterly destroy

The last of them!’

Says Yahweh.

‘Do all

That I have commanded you!

The noise of battle

Is in the land

With great destruction!’”

They were to go to the southern Babylonian town of Merathaim, meaning “double rebellion.” They were to attack the people at Pekod, an eastern Babylonian tribe that means “punishment.” They were to utterly destroy all these people down to the very last of them. Yahweh was commanding this so that they should battle until there was great destruction in the land. It is not clear how the Judeans and Israelites got weapons since they were in captivity. However, this may be a description of the Persian invasion of Babylon.

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.