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Russian Invasion of Israel - 13. Jeremiah chapter 51

13.THE DESTRUCTION OF BABYLON. 

      Part 3: Jeremiah chapter 51

 

 

As we read on into chapter 51, it may help to keep it in mind that when Jeremiah wrote this book he did not divide it into chapters. If he had, he would have probably written chapters 50 & 51 as one chapter. For Jeremiah chapter 51:1 – 58 continues to give us a number of views of the destruction of Babylon. 

 

Jeremiah 51:1 This says the LORD: “Look and see,  I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind. 2 And I will send unto Babylon winnowers that shall fan her, and shall empty her land; for in the day of trouble they shall be against her and surround her. 

 

In verses 1 & 2, again God foretells of and army coming against Babylon and surrounding Babylon with archers, capable of firing missiles and bullets into the city. Like and army of winnowers, they will totally remove and destroy all the unrighteous people of Babylon. Then verse 3 describes how Babylon will be surrounded by archers, riflemen, who will shoot and kill anyone who moves or raises his head to look over a wall or around a corner. Then in the final assault the attacking troops will storm the Babylonian defenders and thrust them through with sword and bayonet, in the streets of Babylon.    

 

Jeremiah 51:3 Against him (of Babylon) that crouches down (so he thinks he cannot be seen) let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifts himself up in his armoured coat (peering over walls and around corners); and spare you not her young men; destroy you totally all her host (the defenders of Babylon). 4 So the slain (of Babylon) shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they are thrust through in her streets.                                             (Words in italics added)

 

In verses 5 & 6 we go back before the siege of Babylon, where first God reminds the children of Israel and the children of Judah, that He has not forsaken them. Then God warns them to flee the coming destruction of Babylon, for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance upon Babylon for what she has done. 

 

Verse 8b & 9a Before the time of Babylon’s fall, not only did many unrighteous people flood into Babylon, but also a number of righteous Jews and Christians, some came as slaves, others came to preach righteousness and salvation to the lost. They shall wail and cry bitterly for the lost of Babylon, just as God the Father will also cry bitterly for the lost of Babylon. They will cry, we could have healed and saved them, but they would not be healed and saved. Let us now return home, everyone to his own country. The news of Babylon’s judgement reaches the sky, the realm for the angels, even as high as the clouds, the dwelling place of God. The Jews and the Children of Israel say (in verse 10) Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.  

 

Jeremiah 51:5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by His God the LORD of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.” 6 Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his soul! Do not be cut off in her sin, for this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He shall give a just recompense, He shall repay her. 7 Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are mad. 8 Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed. 9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; for her judgement reaches to the sky and is lifted up into the clouds. 10 The Lord has revealed our righteousness. Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

 

Then again in verses 11 – 14, God gives us another look at the armies coming against Babylon in the spirit of the kings of the Medes. (That is to say, it is not the kings of the Medes who come against the Babylon, but an army that comes in the spirit of the kings of the Medes.

 

Jeremiah 51:11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his plans against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance for His temple. 12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, and prepare the ambushes. For the LORD has both planed and done that which He spake against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 You that dwells upon many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come and the measure of your dishonest gain. 14 The LORD of hosts has sworn by Himself, saying, surely I will fill you with enemy troops, as a plague of caterpillars. They shall lift up a shout against you.

 

Then we look at fact that God is the creator the earth, the world and the sky.

 

Jeremiah 51:15 He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the sky by His understanding. 16 At the sound of His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the sky; and He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: He makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of His treasures.

 

In verses 17 & 18, God looks at the foolishness of the people of the world who worship idols. For this foolishness, on the day the Lord visits this world with judgement, the people of the world will perish. Then in verse 19 we are told that the Portion of the children of Israel are not like them. The Portion of the children of Israel is none other than God Himself, the maker of everything and Israel is His inheritance.

 

Jeremiah 51:17 Every man is brutish and ignorant without knowledge; every metal smith is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their reckoning they shall perish. 19 The Portion of Jacob is not like them; for He, the LORD of hosts is His name, is the maker and former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance: 

 

God is the maker and former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance: Christ is the olive tree, the children of Israel are the natural branches, and we who are in Christ, are the wild branches that have been grafted into the olive tree (Romans chapter 11). Thus we also through Christ become God’s inheritance.

 

At the time of Babylon’s reckoning they shall perish, but not so those, both the natural and the wild branches who are in Christ, for these are God’s inheritance.

 

In verses 20 – 23 God refers to Babylon as His battleaxe and His weapons of war, for God raised Babylon to break and destroy the wicked nations of the world. But because Babylon was over zealous in this work of destruction, even to the destroying Zion; God will raise another in the spirit of the Meds to repay Babylon for the evil they have done (verses 11 & 24).  

 

When the Med’s captured Babylon in 539 B.C., Babylon was not destroyed; however in a time still to come others will come in the spirit of the Meds to repay Babylon for the evil they have done.      

 

Jeremiah 51:20 You are my battle axe and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms; 21 And with you will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with you will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;  22 With you I will also break in pieces man and woman; and with you I will break in pieces old and young; and with you I will  break in pieces the young man and the woman;  23 I will also break in pieces with you the shepherd and his flock; and with you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen; and with you I will break in pieces captains and rulers.  24 And I will repay unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, says the LORD. 

 

God is against Babylon, the destroying mountain who destroys the earth; therefore God will destroy Babylon and leave it desolate forever.

 

Jeremiah 51:25 Look and see, I am against you, O destroying mountain, says the LORD, you who destroys all the earth: and I will stretch out My hand upon you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain.  26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, or a stone for foundations; but you shall be desolate forever, says the LORD.

 

In verses 27 - 32, God gives us another look at the armies of the world coming against Babylon and her destruction. First the command would go out to set up a standard in the land. In days before telephones and radios, at time of war, a king would call his citizens to arms by raising a standard (a flag) though out the land above every city and town. Although verse 27 only mentions calling the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashchenaz together against Babylon, this is only symbolic for all the nations north of Babylon. For in verse 28 it goes on to call against Babylon the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. So this vast army that comes from the north will include all the nations and kings of the Meds. 

 

Who are the Meds? It says in verse 1; the LORD has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his plans against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance for His temple. So this army that comes against Babylon is not the army of the Meds, but an army from the north that comes in the spirit of the Meds.  

 

Jeremiah 51:27 Set you up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars.  28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.  29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon desolate and without an inhabitant.  

 

Because of fear the mighty men of Babylon will stop fighting, and like women they will hide in their deep underground shelters, while above them their dwellings and the cities defences are destroyed. Runners will be sent out to assess the situation. For this to happen, it would seem most likely that the commander of the forces surrounding Babylon, will guarantee these runners safety, and possibly an escort while they carry out this assessment. They will discover and report back to the king of Babylon, all is destroyed and all the roads out of Babylon are closed, and that even the reeds around Babylon have been burnt to the ground, so there shall be no shelter for those trying to escape. The soldiers of Babylon who remain in their underground shelters are terrified, for they know there is no escape. 

 

Jeremiah 51:30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased from fighting, and they have remain in their holds: their might has failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken. 31 One runner shall run to meet another and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that the outer edges of his city are taken; 32 that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frighted. 

 

In verse 33 God says the time of Babylon’s harvest has come. Babylon sowed death and destruction upon the nations of the world, now it is time for Babylon to reap death and destruction upon herself. In verse 34 - 35 God is saying when you touch My people you touch Me, when you harm My people you harm Me. Therefore let the violence you done to Me, will be done to you. And the inhabitants of Zion say; let my blood be upon the inhabitants of Babylon. 

 

Jeremiah 51:33 For this says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her. Very soon, and the time of her harvest shall come.  34 The inhabitants of Zion shall say; Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me up like a dragon, he has filled his belly with my delicates, he has cast me out.  35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, and Jerusalem shall say; my blood shall be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea. 

 

In verse 36 God says that He will plead Jerusalem’s case against Babylon. Then in verses 37 God announces judgement against Babylon; Babylon shall be destroyed and no one will dwell there anymore.

 

Jeremiah 51:36 Therefore this says the LORD; Look and see, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for you; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. 37 And Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment and an hissing, without an inhabitant.

 

In verses 38 to 44 God tells us how this punishment will be carried out. First when they receive news of the armies coming against them from the north and the east. The soldiers of Babylon shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps. Then in the heat of their excitement and anger, they will make feasts, become drunk and rejoice, then their enemies will come and destroy them.

  

Jeremiah 51:38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps.  39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says the LORD.  40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats.  41 How is Sheshach (Babylon) taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! How is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!  42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.  43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwells, neither does any son of man pass thereby.  44 And I will punish Bel (their god) in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall.                                                         (Strikethrough and translations in italics added)

 

Verses 45 to 48. In this passage God warns His people to flee Babylon and its coming destruction. 

 

Jeremiah 51:45 My people, depart you out of the midst of her, and every man deliver your soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.  46 And lest your heart faint, and fear not because of the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall come both one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.  47 Therefore, look and see, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. 

 

When will this destruction of Babylon come? 

 

 

Back in chapter 50 verse 38, we were 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.

 

It sound very possible that in order to prepare the way for the armies from the east, the head waters of both the Euphrates and Tigris rivers will be dammed. Therefore great amounts of water will be locked up and held back from Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans. 

 

Keeping in mind, these great a amounts of water being held back from Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans, let us now look at chapter 51 verses 36 & 42. In these two verses the Hebrew word sea, although usually used to describe a sea, can also be used to describe a large river, like the Euphrates.

 

In verse 36 we are told God will dry up Babylon’s sea. 

 

Jeremiah 51:36 Therefore this says the LORD; Look and see, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for you; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.   

 

Given that the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers are the only large waters anywhere near Babylon, to dry up Babylon’s sea, must mean to dry up the Euphrates, and possibly the Tigris rivers.

 

Then in verse 42 we are told that after Babylon has fallen; The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. 

 

Given that Revelation 16:18 - 19 tells us that both Babylon and the cities of the world will be destroyed by a great earthquake, is it not possible that dams holding back the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers will be breached by this same earthquake, releasing this vest sea of water that will come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. 

 

In verses 20 – 23 God refers to Babylon as His battleaxe and His weapons of war, for God raised Babylon to break and destroy the wicked nations of the world. But because Babylon was over zealous in this work of destruction, even to the destroying Zion; God will raise another in the spirit of the Meds to repay Babylon for the evil they have done (verses 11 & 24).  

 

If we turn back the clock seven years before the destruction of Babylon, we find ourselves in the middle of the Seven Year Covenant. At that time the forces enter Jerusalem, deport many Jews as slaves to Babylon and occupy Jerusalem for 3½ years. These 3½ years are the time of the great tribulation; after which the forces of the beast pull out of Jerusalem and Judah. It is then we enter this time mention in verse 46 of which it says; fear not because of the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall come both one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.  

 

For two years after the great tribulation there shall be rumour about the coming fall of Babylon. After those two years the armies of Gog of Magog shall in invade Judah and be destroyed by God as they approach Jerusalem. Then the sun and the moon shall be darkened. This darkening of the sun and the moon is God’s warning to His people, both Jews and Christians to flee from Babylon. For in approximately five months after the destruction of the armies Gog of Magog, the armies of the east shall surround and lay siege to Babylon for one year and one month, Then Babylon shall fall. So between the defeat of the armies of Gog, and the arrival of the armies of the east at Babylon, there is a five month window allowing the Jew held captive in Babylon to escape to Jerusalem. Once the armies from the east have surrounded Babylon, no one will be able to leave Babylon. Although many Jews will make their escape during those five months, many will also remain and become trapped. 

 

1½ years after Babylon has been surrounded, Babylon will fall and both the angels in the sky and men upon the earth will sing for joy, for Babylon has fallen.      

 

Jeremiah 51:48 Then the sky (the angels) and the earth (mankind), and all that is in them, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, says the LORD. 49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. 50 You that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.                                                                          (Words in italics added)

 

By a miracle of God, a number of the Jews that remain in Babylon during the 1½ years siege have survived. These will escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into their mind.  

 

Verse 51 takes us back in time to when the forces of the beast captured Jerusalem, and the shame this brought upon the Children of Israel. But then in verse 52 – 58 God again reminds His people of Babylon’s coming destruction.

 

Jeremiah 51:51 We are ashamed because we have heard reproach; shame has covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuary of the LORD’S house.  52 Therefore, look and see, the days come, says the LORD, that I will bring punishment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.  53 Though Babylon should mount up to the sky, and though she should fortify the heights of her strength, yet from me spoilers shall come unto her, says the LORD.  54 A sound of a cry comes from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:  55 Because the LORD has spoiled and destroyed Babylon. Out of her comes a great voice; as when waves do roar like great waters, the noise of their voice is raised:  

 

In Jeremiah 50:41 – 42 it says; 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. They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea. When this army comes against Babylon, not only will the cries of fear and terror be heard from the people of Babylon, but also the attacking troops will roar with the noise of their voices sounding like great waters. 

 

Jeremiah 51:56 Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompense shall surely repay.  57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.  58 This says the LORD of hosts; the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and because of the fire they shall be weary.

 

After the fall of Babylon the armies from the east and the armies from the north quickly move south to invade Israel. The beast on hearing of the approach of armies of the north and the east sends his army north to Great Plain of Megiddo. There, three and a half days after the fall of Jerusalem to the army of the beast, the armies of the world and the army of the beast are destroyed by the power of God at the Battle of Armageddon. 

 

 

 

Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by

VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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