The final destruction of Babylon (Jer 51:54-51:57)

“Listen!

A cry from Babylon!

A great crashing

From the land

Of the Chaldeans!

Yahweh is laying

Babylon waste!

Yahweh is stilling

Her loud clamor!

Their waves roar

Like many waters!

The sound of their clamor

Resounds!

A destroyer has come

Against her!

Against Babylon!

Her warriors are taken.

Their bows are broken.

Yahweh is

A God of recompense.

He will repay in full.

‘I will make drunk

Her officials,

Her sage wise men,

Her governors,

Her deputies,

Her warriors.

They shall sleep

A perpetual sleep.

They shall not wake.’

Says the King,

Whose name is

Yahweh of hosts.”

They will hear the cry of Babylon as its destruction takes place. Yahweh will destroy the land of the Chaldeans as he lays waste to Babylon. Loud noises like roaring waters will be heard in Babylon. A destroyer came against Babylon. The warriors were taken. Their bows were broken. Yahweh is a God of rewards. Thus, he will demand a payment in full. He will make all their officials, sages, governors, deputies, and warriors drunk. They will sleep an eternal sleep, so that they will never again wake up. Thus the God king, Yahweh of hosts has spoken. The final destruction of Babylon will take place as he wishes.

 

Yahweh and the battle in Babylon (Jer 51:11-51:14)

“Sharpen the arrows!

Fill the quivers!

Yahweh has stirred up

The spirit of the kings

Of the Medes.

His purpose concerning Babylon

Is to destroy it.

That is the vengeance of Yahweh,

That is the vengeance

For his temple.

Raise a standard

Against the walls of Babylon!

Make the watch strong!

Post sentinels!

Prepare the ambushes!

Yahweh has both planned

As well as done

What he spoke

Concerning the inhabitants

Of Babylon.

You who live

By mighty waters,

Rich in treasures,

Your end has come.

The thread of your life

Is cut.

Yahweh of hosts

Has sworn by himself.

Surely I will fill you

With troops,

Like a swarm of locusts.

They shall raise

A shout of victory

Over you.”

Here there is a serious of commands from Yahweh, via Jeremiah. The warriors were to have their quivers ready full of arrows. Yahweh has stirred up the Medes, the people to the north of Babylon with the Persians. They were going to destroy Babylon because of Yahweh’s vengeance for what the Babylonians had done to his temple in Jerusalem. There was going to be an invasion of Babylon with wise watchmen and sentinels as well as strong ambushes. Yahweh had planned and carried out his word against Babylon, the land of mighty waters such as the Euphrates and the Tigris, with all their treasures. Their end has come. The thread of their life has been cut. There will be troops in Babylon, like swarms of locusts, shouting about victory.

The fall of Edom (Jer 49:21-49:22)

“At the sound of their fall,

The earth shall tremble.

The sound of their cry

Shall be heard

At the Red Sea.

Look!

He shall mount up.

He shall swoop down

Like an eagle.

He shall spread his wings

Against Bozrah.

The heart of the warriors

Of Edom,

On that day,

Shall be

Like the heart

Of a woman in labor.”

The fall of the Edomites would be so loud that the earth would tremble like an earthquake. The sounds of the cries from Edom could be heard as far away as the Red Sea in Egypt. As in the preceding chapter about Moab, the king of Babylon would swoop down like a spread eagle upon the major capital city of Bozrah. Then, just like in the preceding chapter again, the Edomite warriors, like the Moabite warriors, would become like women in labor. However, there is no mention of a restoration of Edom, like earlier for Moab and Ammon.

The day of retribution for Yahweh (Jer 46:10-46:12)

“That day is

The day of Yahweh!

God of hosts!

A day of retribution

To gain vindication

From his foes!

The sword shall devour!

The sword shall be sated!

The sword shall drink

Its fill of their blood!

Yahweh,

God of hosts,

Holds a sacrifice

In the land of the north

By the Euphrates River.

Go up to Gilead!

Take balm!

O virgin daughter Egypt!

In vain,

You have used

Many medicines.

There is no healing for you.

The nations have heard

Of your shame.

The earth is full

Of your cry.

The warrior has stumbled

Against warrior.

They have both fallen together.”

The day of reckoning for Yahweh was the defeat of Egypt. Clearly Jeremiah and Yahweh are pro-Babylon and anti-Egypt. This will be a day of retribution and vindication against Yahweh’s foes. The sword will devour them and drink their blood, like a sacrifice in this land north of the Euphrates River. This virgin daughter Egypt would find it useless to seek any medicines to cure her. Not even the balms of Gilead would help Egypt. There will be no healing. Everyone would have heard of their shame and their cries. Their warriors have stumbled against each other as they fell.

The new Exodus (Isa 43:16-43:19)

“Thus says Yahweh.

He makes a way

In the sea.

He makes a path

In the mighty waters.

He brings out chariots.

He brings out horses.

He brings out armies.

He brings out warriors.

They lie down.

They cannot rise.

They are extinguished.

They are quenched like a wick.

Do not remember the former things!

Do not consider the things of old!

I am about to do a new thing.

Now it springs forth.

Do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness.

I will make rivers in the desert.”

Second Isaiah seems to have Yahweh imply that there will be second Exodus. Yahweh would make a way for them through the sea and the mighty warriors. Despite the fact that chariots, horses, armies, and warriors will come after them, these armies will lie down and not rise again. They will be extinguished like a candle wick. They should not remember the former past old things because there will be a new way in the wilderness. They should be able to see it, since there will be rivers in the desert.

Oracle about Kedar (Isa 21:16-21:17)

“Thus Yahweh said to me.

‘Within a year,

According to the years of a hired worker,

All the glory of Kedar

Will come to an end.

The remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors

Will be few.’

Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

Has spoken.”

Kedar was another wandering northern Arab tribe. This time Yahweh spoke the oracle to Isaiah. Apparently, the Kedar tribe was more aggressive, since within a hired worker’s year, their glory would come to an end. Their warriors and their bows would be few. This clearly was a spoken oracle by Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Yahweh’s army (Isa 13:2-13:3)

“On a bare hill

Raise a signal.

Cry aloud to them.

Wave the hand

For them to enter

The gates of the nobles.

I myself have commanded

My consecrated ones.

I have summoned

My warriors,

My proudly exulting ones,

To execute my anger.”

Now Yahweh speaks to Isaiah in his vision. Yahweh was on a hill. He gave a signal to give a loud cry. He waved his hand for them to enter through the gates of the nobles. Interesting enough, the name of Babylon was derived from the term “gate of God.” Yahweh commanded his consecrated ones, his proud exulting warriors, to execute his anger. This appears to be a reference to the Persian soldiers in the 6th century BCE when they were to enter into Babylon through one of the gates. This was not an Israelite army, but a foreign army that Yahweh sent to attack Babylon.