1 The Lord says, ”I will cause a powerful, destructive wind to blow against Babylon and the Babylonian people. 2 I will send foreigners to winnow Babylon, and they will take everything from the city. Armies will surround the city, and there will be terrible destruction. 3 The Babylonian soldiers will not get to use their bows and arrows. Those soldiers will not even put on their armor. Don’t feel sorry for the soldiers of Babylon. Destroy her army completely! 4 Babylon’s soldiers will be killed in the land of the Chaldeans. They will be badly wounded in the streets of Babylon.” 5 The Lord All-Powerful did not leave Israel and Judah alone, like a woman whose husband has died. God did not leave those people. No! Those people are guilty of leaving the Holy One of Israel. They left him, but he has not left them. 6 Run away from Babylon. Run to save your lives! Don’t stay and be killed because of Babylon’s sins! It is time for the Lord to punish the people of Babylon for the bad things they did. Babylon will get the punishment that she should have. 7 Babylon was like a golden cup in the Lord’s hand. Babylon made the whole world drunk. The nations drank Babylon’s wine. So they went crazy. 8 But Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Cry for her! Get medicine for her pain! Maybe she can be healed! 9 We tried to heal Babylon, but she can’t be healed. So let us leave her, and let each of us go to our own country. God in heaven will decide Babylon’s punishment. He will decide what will happen to Babylon. 10 The Lord got even for us. Come, let’s tell about that in Zion. Let us tell about the things that the Lord our God has done. 11 Sharpen the arrows! Get your shields! The Lord stirred up the kings of the Medes. He has stirred them up because he wants to destroy Babylon. The Lord will give the people of Babylon the punishment that they deserve. The army from Babylon destroyed the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. So the Lord will give them the punishment they should have. 12 Lift up a flag against the walls of Babylon. Bring more guards. Put the watchmen in their places. Get ready for a secret attack. The Lord will do what he has planned. He will do what he said he would do against the people of Babylon. 13 Babylon, you live near much water. You are rich with treasures. But your end as a nation has come. It is time for you to be destroyed. 14 The Lord All-Powerful used his name to make this promise: “Babylon, I will fill you with many enemy soldiers. They will be like a swarm of locusts. They will win their war against you. And they will stand over you and shout the cry of victory.” 15 The Lord used his great power and made the earth. He used his wisdom to build the world. He used his understanding to stretch out the skies. 16 When he thunders, the water in the skies roar. He sends clouds all over the earth. He sends lightning with the rain. He brings out the wind from his storehouses. 17 But people are so stupid. They don’t understand what God has done. Skilled workers make statues of false gods. Those statues are only false gods. They show how foolish that worker is. Those statues are not alive. 18 Those idols are worthless. People made those idols, and they are nothing but a joke. Their time of judgment will come, and those idols will be destroyed. 19 But Jacob’s Portion ˻(God)˼ is not like those worthless statues. People didn’t make God, God made his people. God made everything. His name is the Lord All-Powerful. 20 ˻The Lord says,˼ “˻Babylon,˼ you are my club. I used you to smash nations. I used you to destroy kingdoms. 21 I used you to smash horse and rider. I used you to smash chariot and driver. 22 I used you to smash men and women. I used you to smash men, old and young. I used you to smash young men and young women. 23 I used you to smash shepherds and flocks. I used you to smash farmers and cows. I used you to smash governors and important officials. 24 But I will pay Babylon back. I will pay all the Babylonian people back. I will pay them back for all the bad things that they did to Zion. I will pay them back so that you can see it, Judah.” The Lord said those things. 25 The Lord says, “Babylon, you are a destroying mountain, and I am against you. Babylon, you destroyed the whole country, and I am against you. I will put my hand out against you. I will roll you off the cliffs. I will make you into a burned-up mountain. 26 People will not take any rocks from Babylon to use for the foundation of a building. People will not find any rocks big enough for cornerstones. Why? Because your city will be a pile of broken rocks forever.” The Lord said these things. 27 “Lift up the war flag in the land! Blow the trumpet in all the nations! Prepare the nations for war against Babylon! Call these kingdoms to come fight against Babylon: Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Choose a commander to lead the army against her. Send so many horses that they are like a swarm of locusts. 28 Get the nations ready for battle against her. Get the kings of the Medes ready. Get their governors and all their important officials ready. Get all the countries they rule ready for battle against Babylon. 29 The land shakes and moves like it is in pain. It will shake when the Lord does what he planned to Babylon. The Lord’s plan is to make the land of Babylon into an empty desert. No person will live there. 30 Babylon’s soldiers have stopped fighting. They stay in their forts. Their strength is gone. They have become like scared women. Babylon’s houses are burning. The bars of her gates are broken. 31 One messenger follows another. Messenger follows messenger. They announce to the king of Babylon that his whole city has been captured. 32 The places where people cross the rivers have been captured. The swamplands are burning. All of Babylon’s soldiers are afraid.” 33 The Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: “Babylon is like a threshing floor. At harvest time, people beat grain to separate the good parts from the chaff. And the time to beat Babylon is coming soon. 34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, destroyed us in the past. In the past, Nebuchadnezzar hurt us. In the past, he took our people away, and we became like an empty jar. He took the best we had. He was like a giant monster that ate everything until it was full. He took the best we had and threw us away. 35 Babylon did terrible things to hurt us. Now I want those things to happen to Babylon.” The people living in Zion said these things: “The people of Babylon are guilty of killing our people. Now they are being punished for the bad things they did.” The city of Jerusalem said those things. 36 So the Lord says: “I will defend you, Judah. I will make sure that Babylon is punished. I will dry up Babylon’s sea. And I will make her water springs become dry. 37 Babylon will become a pile of ruined buildings. Babylon will be a place for wild dogs to live. People will look at that pile of rocks and be amazed. People will shake their heads when they think about Babylon. Babylon will be a place where no people live. 38 “The people of Babylon are like roaring young lions. They growl like baby lions. 39 Those people are acting like powerful lions. I will give a party for them. I will make them drunk. They will laugh and have a good time. And then they will sleep forever. They will never wake up.” The Lord said these things. 40 “Babylon will be like sheep, rams, and goats waiting to be killed. I will lead them to the slaughter. 41 “Sheshach will be defeated. The best and proudest country of the whole earth will be taken captive. People from other nations will look at Babylon, and the things they see will make them afraid. 42 The sea will rise over Babylon. Its roaring waves will cover her. 43 Babylon will be like a dry, desert land. Its cities will be empty ruins. No people will live in those cities. No people will even travel through them. 44 I will punish the false god Bel in Babylon. I will make him vomit out the people that he swallowed. The wall around Babylon will fall. And other nations will stop coming to Babylon. 45 Come out of the city of Babylon, my people. Run to save your lives. Run from the Lord’s great anger. 46 “Don’t be sad, my people. Rumors will spread, but don’t be afraid. One rumor comes this year. Another rumor will come next year. There will be rumors about terrible fighting in the country. There will be rumors about rulers fighting against other rulers. 47 The time will surely come— I will punish the false gods of Babylon. And the whole land of Babylon will be put to shame. There will be many, many dead people, lying in the streets of that city. 48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout with joy about Babylon. They will shout because an army came from the north and fought against Babylon.” The Lord said these things. 49 “Babylon killed people from Israel. Babylon killed people from every place on earth. So Babylon must fall! 50 You people escaped the swords. You must hurry and leave Babylon. Don’t wait! You are in a faraway land. But remember the Lord where you are. And remember Jerusalem.” 51 “We people of Judah are ashamed. We have been insulted. Why? Because strangers have gone into the Holy Places of the Lord’s temple.” 52 The Lord says, “The time is coming, when I will punish the idols of Babylon. At that time, wounded people will cry with pain everywhere in that country. 53 Babylon might grow until she touches the sky. Babylon might make her forts strong. But I will send people to fight against that city. And those people will destroy her.” The Lord said these things. 54 “We can hear people crying in Babylon. We hear the sound of people destroying things in the land of Babylon. 55 The Lord will destroy Babylon very soon. He will stop the loud noises in that city. Enemies will come roaring in like ocean waves. People all around will hear that roar. 56 The army will come and destroy Babylon. Babylon’s soldiers will be captured. Their bows will be broken. Why? Because the Lord punishes people for the bad things they do. The Lord gives them the full punishment that they deserve. 57 I will make Babylon’s wise men and important officials drunk. I will make the governors, officers, and soldiers drunk too. Then they will sleep forever. They will never wake up.” The King said these things. His name is the Lord All-Powerful. 58 The Lord All-Powerful says: “Babylon’s thick, strong wall will be pulled down. Her high gates will be burned. The people of Babylon will work hard, but it will not help. They will become very tired trying to save the city. But they will only become fuel for the flames.” 59 This is the message that Jeremiah gave to the officer Seraiah. Seraiah was the son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah. Seraiah went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah. This happened in the fourth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah. At that time, Jeremiah gave this message to Seraiah, the officer. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll all the terrible things that would happen to Babylon. He had written all these things about Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “Seraiah, go to Babylon. Be sure to read this message so all the people can hear you. 62 Then say, 'Lord, you have said that you will destroy this place, Babylon. You will destroy it so that no people or animals will live in it. This place will be an empty ruin forever.’ 63 After you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it. Then throw this scroll into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, 'In the same way, Babylon will sink. Babylon will rise no more. Babylon will sink because of the terrible things that I will make happen here.’” The words of Jeremiah end here.