12.THE DESTRUCTION OF BABYLON.
Part 2: Jeremiah chapter 50
I strongly suggest you read Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51 before reading on.
The destruction of Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:1 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. 2 Declare you among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. 3 For out of the north a nation comes against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell there: they shall flee, they shall depart, both man and beast.
Verse 2 of this passage speaks of the coming destruction of Babylon’s gods, Bel and Merodach, and the breaking into pieces of her idols. Verse 3 speaks of the coming destruction of Babylon and the making desolate of her land and that no longer shall anyone dwell there.
1: The Medes did not destroy the gods of Babylon, but they embraced them as their own.
2: They did not make the land desolate.
3: From that day to this there has always been people dwelling in Babylon.
We can say, this warning to the people of Babylon of the coming destruction has not yet been fulfilled, but it shall be fulfilled in a time yet to come.
As this prophecy is continues in Verses 4 & 5, instead of going forward in time it goes back in time, to describe a time, just prior to the coming destruction of Babylon, when many children of Israel along with many children of Judah come to repentance. Then in verses 6 & 7 it goes back even further in time, to describe the 2,500 years plus, that the children of Israel and the children of Judah have wandered all over the earth.
We often speak of the Jews and the and the 10 lost tribes of Israel; however Jeremiah and the prophets who prophesied during the time of the two kingdoms often spoke of The Children of Judah (who lived in the southern kingdom of Judah) and The Children of Israel (who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel). Thus when the prophets speak of the return of both The Children of Israel and The Children of Judah, they are speaking of (regardless of what tribe they were born of) both those whose ancestors once lived in the northern kingdom of Israel, and those whose ancestors once lived in the southern kingdom of Judah.
In the days just prior to the coming destruction of Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:4 In those days, and in that time, Says the LORD, the children of Israel shall go, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces set towards Zion, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a everlasting covenant that shall not be forgotten.
It is history that the northern kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity by the Assyrians, and scattered like sheep and driven away. Latter Nebuchadnezzar takes the Jews captive to Babylon. Then when the Medes took over Babylon a number of Jews returned to Jerusalem, and ever since then, there, as been a slow returning of Jews to Israel and Judea.
But even though, over the last sixty-years there has been an ever increasing numbers Jews returning to the Promise Land, we have still not seen a return of the children of Israel.
Jeremiah however speaks of both the children of Israel and the children of Judah seeking the LORD and asking their way back to Jerusalem. This is an event that is still to happen, in a time yet to come. How will we find the descendants of those who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel? We could go supper spiritual and say God knows who they are, or we could say by using DNA. By using someone’s DNA it is now possible to identify one’s ancestors over six-hundred-years back, and it won’t be to long before we can trace our family ancestors back over three thousand years. May be some people by using family records can trace their family line back to before the scattering of the children of Israel. I am inclined to believe it will be by a combination of all these things that many, both children of Israel and children of Judah will know their ancestry. Along with this knowledge will come a growing desire of many to return to Jerusalem, and a desire to return to the God of their ancestors.
All around the world we are already seeing within many people groups a growing desire to both return to the land of their ancestors and the gods of their ancestors. However most reject Father God, the true God of their forefathers. Instead, just like their forefathers, many will be lead astray to the worship of many false gods and demons.
The Children of Israel and the Judah have become like sheep that have gone astray but in a time to come they shall return.
I Peter 2:25 For you were as sheep going astray; but have now returned unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jeremiah 50:6 My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them to go astray, they have turned them away from the mountain: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. 7 All that found them have devoured them. Their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.
Jeremiah 50:6 - 7 (Paraphrased) My People, the Children of Israel and the Children of Judah are lost sheep. Their shepherds who should have led them back to God have led them astray; they have turned them away from Jerusalem, God's Holy Mountain, and towards mountain to hill, the high places of pagan gods.
They have forgotten Jerusalem, their resting place and wandered the face of the earth, and wherever they have wandered, all who have found them have devoured them. Their adversaries, those, who have devoured them by beating them and killing them, have said, we have not offended, we are not guilty of murder and genocide, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.
After Cyrus the Med took over Babylon and the kingdoms of the world in 539 BC, he issued an edict in 538 BC allowing the children of Judah to return to Judah and rebuild the temple. From that time, until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD many children of Judah returned to Judah. Then again since the great holocaust of 1939 - 1945 many children of Judah have returned to Judah, but until this day we have not seen a return to Israel of the children of Israel.
The time is coming, and I believe very soon, when both the children of Judah and the children of Israel, (all around the world) will suffer great persecution. For the last 2,000 years the main thrust of this persecution and genocide has been aimed solely against the Children of Judah. This for the Jews, especially over the last hundred years, has helped create a desire within them to return to Jerusalem. Soon, and every soon those from the northern kingdom of Israel will also suffer great persecution and genocide, also helping to create within them a desire to return to Jerusalem. For until we see a mass return to Jerusalem of both the children of Israel and the children of Judah together, it cannot be said that this prophecy in Jeremiah chapter 50 has been fulfilled.
For a moment, let us turn the prophetic clock to the middle of the seven-year covenant (approximately seven-years before the coming destruction of Babylon). The forces of the beast have just invaded Judah and the occupied Jerusalem and placed the abomination of desolation in the temple (Daniel 9:26 - 27). For the next three-and-a-half-years Jerusalem will be occupied by the forces of the beast (Daniel 7:25). Prior to this occupation God through the words of Jesus Christ, warns the saints to flee Jerusalem. Jesus Christ said, "when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains" (Matthew 24:15 - 16). So upon seeing the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, all who understand the writings of Daniel; Jew, Israelite, and Christian shall all flee from Jerusalem.
After they flee Jerusalem, the forces of the beast will occupy Jerusalem, then Beast will deport many Children of Israel and the Children of Judah to Babylon. Approximately five-and-a-half-years later we will see the start of a great flood from all over the world, of both the Children of Israel and the Children of Judah returning to Jerusalem.
Also early in the time of this return, three great-foretold events will happen.
• The sanctuary of the temple in Jerusalem will be cleansed (Daniel 8:13 – 14).
• In one day, 144,000 (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel) will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Deliverer. (Joel 3:14 – 15; & Rev 9:1 – 4).
• The sun and the moon shall be darkened (Matthew 24:29).
It is to God’s people, in the days of these three great-foretold events, that God through the prophet Jeremiah speaks commanding them to return to Jerusalem and warming them of the coming destruction of Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:8 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. 9 For, see, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from there she shall be captured: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
Jeremiah 23:3 I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase 4 And I will set up shepherds over them who shall feed them: and they shall be afraid no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, says the LORD. - - - - - - - - - -
7 Therefore, look and see, the days come, says the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD lives, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD lives, who brought up and led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries wherever I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
In Jeremiah chapter 50:8, God commands the saints to flee from the midst of Babylon and out of the land of the Chaldeans (present day Iraq); and be like rams before the flocks. These saints fleeing Babylon and returning to Jerusalem will be the for-runners of a great return of both The Children of Judah and The Children of Israel to Jerusalem. They shall be like rams before the flocks.
Then in verse 9 & 10 God tells us of an assembly of great nations from the North Country coming against Babylon.
Jeremiah 50: 9 For, see, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from there she shall be captured: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
“Their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.” What this verse is saying, is that it is their arrows that are powerful and intelligent, and that none shall return vain. The days of the prophet Jeremiah, arrows (the missiles of over 2,000 years ago) were not that powerful, and many were fired in vain, either falling short of the mark, or being stopped by the enemy’s shield. They were definitely not intelligent, but many of today’s missiles are intelligent, nearly always hitting their mark and well capable of penetrating all the enemy’s defences.
Jeremiah 50:10 And Chaldea (Most of modern day Iraq, not just Babylon.) shall become plunder; all who plunder her shall be satisfied,” says the LORD. ( Translation in italics added)
All the nations that come against Babylon shall plunder her by taking away all the wealth of Babylon, and they shall be satisfied.
Then in verse 11 God goes on to explain why He allows the nations to plunder Babylon?
Jeremiah 50:11 Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, O you destroyers of My heritage, because you have grown fat as the heifer at grass, and you bellow like bulls.
It was because of the Jews sinned against God that God raised up Babylon to destroy Jerusalem and take the Jews captive back to Babylon. But this is not why God punishes Babylon. God punishes them because; 1: they rejoiced in the destruction of Jerusalem. 2: they grew fat on the plunder of Jerusalem.
There is a warning here to us. While for our own safety, we may at times need to fight and defeat our enemy, we should not rejoice in the destruction of our enemy. Neither should we grow fat at your enemy’s expense. Instead we should heed the words of Jesus Christ and love our enemies, and do good to those who hate us (Matthew 5:43 – 48).
Then verses 12 & 13 describe the condition of Babylon after the nations have plundered her. Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans shall become as the least of the nations, a wilderness. What is a wilderness land? A land with very few if any people living in it. Because of God’s wrath, Babylon shall become uninhabited, and wholly desolate.
Jeremiah 50: 12 Your mother shall be deeply ashamed; she that bore you shall be disappointed: look and see, Babylon has become the least of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. 13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goes by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.
As the prophecy continues, verses 14 to 16 give us another view of Babylon’s destruction; starting with God’s call to the nations to attack Babylon, because she has sinned against God. In verse 15, the attacking army shouts against Babylon. Then Babylon gives her hand. When an army is defeated it gives its hand in surrender. As an expression of surrender, the whole of the surrendering army lifts its hands. Babylon has fallen, for this is the vengeance of God.
Jeremiah 50:14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: (attack Babylon from all sides): all you that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she has sinned against the LORD. 15 From all around her shout against her: she has given her hand (in surrender): her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for this is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she has done, do unto her. 16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword everyone shall turn to his own people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land. (Translation in italics added)
In the last days Babylon will be rebuilt. In a very short time it will be enlarged from a small country town, to a city of millions. These millions of people will come from very nation of the world. Then when Babylon falls, everyone shall turn to his own people, and everyone shall flee to his own land.
Then verse 17 goes back again to the fall of Northern Israel in 721 BC and Judah in 587 BC. For this reason God will punish Babylon (verse 18), and bring Israel back home (verse 19). Verse 17 is history, but as this punishment of Babylon has yet to happen, again we can see a gape period of over 2,500 years between the scattering of Israel in verse 17 and Babylon’s punishment and Israel’s return in verse 19. Verse 19 also mentions some of the territories the returning Israelites will settle in. Included in these territories is the land of Gilead. As this territory is east of the Jordan in present day country of Jordan, this also points to a future time when the territories of Israel will be much larger than they are currently.
Jeremiah 50:17 Israel is scattered like sheep; the lions have driven away: first the king of Assyria has devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones. 18 Therefore this says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Look and see, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days (in which the Children of Israel shall return), and in that time (which is still to come), says the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and none shall be found; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I leave as a remnant. (Translations in italics added.)
The first of those, whom God shall pardon and preserve, will be the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel, 12,000 from each tribe.
Both Joel 3:14 – 15 & Revelation 9:1 – 6 it is revel to us that salvation comes to the Israelites before the sun and the moon are darkened. Also Isaiah 13:9 – 10 gives the sign of the sun and the moon being darkened, as a warning for God’s people to flee from Babylon prior to its destruction. Therefore it should not surprise us that after telling us, in Jeremiah 50:20 of God’s salvation of the Children of Israel, verses 21 to 23 then give us another view of the nations of the world coming against Babylon and Babylon’s coming destruction.
Jeremiah 50:21 I have commanded the enemies of Babylon; “Go up against the land of Merathaim, and against the inhabitants of Pekod, lay waste and utterly destroy them.”
Merathaim and Pekod are thought to be symbolic names for Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans. The M.S.G translates verse 21 has; “Attack Merathaim, the land of rebels! Go after Pekod, country of dom! Hunt them down. Make a clean sweep” God’s decree “These are My orders. Do what I tell you.
Jeremiah 50:22 A sound of battle and of great destruction is in the land. 23 How Babylon the hammer of the whole earth is cut asunder and broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations!
Then begins another view of Babylon’s destruction.
Jeremiah 50:24 I have laid a snare for you, and you are also taken, O Babylon, and you were not aware: you are found, and also caught, because you have contended against the LORD. 25 The LORD has opened His armoury, and has brought forth the weapons of His indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. 26 Come against her from the farthest border (come from the farthest nations), open her storehouses (take away the wealth of Babylon); cast her up as heaps of rubble, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. 27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! For their day is come, the time of their punishment. (Translations in italics added.)
But the righteous, those who listen to and obey the voice of the Lord shall escape before the coming destruction of Babylon. They shall flee to Jerusalem, where they will declare God’s coming vengeance against Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:28 The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of His temple.
After God’s people have fled Babylon, the armies of the world surround Babylon so no one else can escape.
Jeremiah 50:29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all you that bend the bow, camp against it and surround it. Let none there in escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she has done, do unto her: for she has been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore her young men shall fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, says the LORD. 31 Look and see, I am against you, O you most proud, says the Lord GOD of hosts: for your day has come, the time that I will visit you is here. 32 The most proud shall stumble and fall; and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all around about him.
After this we see another view of Babylon’s destruction. Starting in verses 33 and 34 with God telling us why this destruction is coming upon Babylon, and God reminding us of His strength, His ability to defend His people, bring rest to the land of Israel, and disquiet to the inhabitants of Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:33 Therefore says the LORD of hosts; the children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captive held them fast; they refused to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is His name: He shall throughly plead their cause, that He may give rest to the earth, and trouble to the inhabitants of Babylon.
Then from verse 35 to 40 we look at how God gives trouble to the inhabitants of Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, says the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. 36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall be fools (and speak foolishly): a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be broken down. 37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people (from many nations) that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. (Translations in italics added.)
When a nation turns from the ways of God towards the ways of Satan, more and more people tell lies, because Satan the Father of lies now dwells within them (John 8:42 – 45; & Ephesians 2:1 – 3). In verse 36 God curses liars and the curse is “they shall speak foolishly.” Babylon’s mighty men shall become fearful and have mental break downs. Also a mixed multitude of men from many nations will be drawn to Babylon, the sin capital of the world. Like women they shall become fearful and a sword of destruction shall come upon Babylon and they shall be robbed.
As we go on into verse 38, we are told that there will be a drought against Babylon’s waters, and they will be dried up. God’s word also tells us in Revelation 16:12 – 15 that the great river Euphrates will be dried up, preparing the way of the kings from the east, and a great army from the whole world will gather together to the place called Armageddon. But first this great army must capture and destroy Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up, for it is the land of graved images, and they are mad upon their idols.
Babylon will become a city full of carved images and idols.
Then in verses 39 & 40 the prophecy jumps ahead in time, to describe Babylon’s condition after its destruction.
Jeremiah 50:39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the jackals and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbouring cities thereof, says the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
Since God brought destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah, no one has dwelt there from generation to generation. But ever since the man first built cities and dwelt in them, to this day, mankind has always dwelt in Babylon from generation to generation. Babylon has never been destroyed and left inhabited. Therefore we know this passage is referring to the future destruction of Babylon.
Having looked at Babylon’s final destruction in verses 39 & 40. God then, in verses 41 – 46, gives us another look at Babylon’s destruction, starting with the armies of the world coming against Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:41 Look and see, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in and arranged as a man to the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon. The king of Babylon shall become full of fear. 43 The king of Babylon has heard the report of them; his hands slackened and fear took hold of him, as the pains as of a woman in labour.
44 Look and see, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? And who will appoint Me the time? And who is that shepherd that will stand before me?”
When the king of Babylon and those closest to him hear of the armies of the world coming; they will tremble with fear and suddenly run away. Then God will look for another man that He may appoint him ruler over Babylon. Who will be that shepherd that will stand before God and defy the armies of the Lord?
Jeremiah 50:45 “Therefore hear you the counsel of the LORD, that He has taken against Babylon; and His purposes, that He has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them. 46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.”
Verse 44 is a parable. In this parable, the Lion that comes against Babylon represents both God and the armies of the world. God uses the armies of the world as a tool to bring punishment and destruction upon Babylon.
Verse 45 is both a warning to all that defy the ways of God, and a declaration of Babylon’s final punishment. After Babylon’s leaders have fled, it will be the least amongst the people of Babylon, who leads them out to battle against the Lion and the armies of God.
Jeremiah 50:46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth trembles, and the cry is heard among the nations.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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