Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
Jeremiah was probably written after Babylon conquered Jerusalem and destroyed her temple.
This chapter needs to be read through the eyes of God. On one hand, Babylon is a historical, virtual kingdom used by God for God’s purposes. On the other hand, Babylon is a spirit. Babylon’s spirit moves into the kingdoms she conquers. Ultimately, at the end of the age, Babylon’s spirit is in Jerusalem. Babylon’s spirit is in the Antichrist, indwelt by Satan, turning Jerusalem into a harlot of idolatry, globalism, and despotism.
Jeremiah 51 covers both.
What should I learn from this chapter?
- The Spirits of the Nations. See Topic: The Spirits of Nations. See notes in Isaiah 21
- Jerusalem is called Babylon. (See Revelation chapter 17)
- What is Babylon?
- a secret mode of writing practiced among the Jews of unknown antiquity
- The prophecies of the last days
- The prophecy of the Medes and the Persians (Cyrus) (See Isaiah Isaiah 44:28 and Isaiah 45:1)
- The eternal nature of God’s timing
Babylon’s spirit is one of globalism (the tower of Babylon), idolatry, and despotism. She fulfills the prophecies of the end times when Babylon (the Antichrist) reigns in Jerusalem as a one world government, currency, despotism, and religion. Probably under the auspices of the “Club of Rome” whose desire is to save the planet by man made means and money.
Some of Jeremiah 51 addresses the end times Babylon and some of it addresses the story of Daniel 5 when Cyrus conquers Belshazzar. Sometimes it means both.
God directs scripture in the history of coils seeing all events in the eternal present.
The Utter Destruction of Babylon
Jeremiah 51:1 Thus says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ):
“Behold, I will raise up against Babylon,
Against those who dwell in Leb Kamai,
- Read as: The Midst of Those Who Rise Up Against Me; a code word for Chaldea, Babylonia. See verse 41.
A destroying wind (army).
Jeremiah 51:2 And I will send winnowers to Babylon,
Who shall winnow her and empty her land.
For in the day of doom
They shall be against her all around.
Jeremiah 51:3 Against her let the archer bend his bow,
And lift himself up against her in his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
Utterly destroy all her army.
Jeremiah 51:4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans,
And those thrust through in her streets.
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.”
Jeremiah 51:6 Flee from the midst of Babylon,
And every one save his life!
Do not be cut off in her iniquity,
For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance;
He shall recompense her.
- A term used for the seven year tribulation
Jeremiah 51:7 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 deranged.
- Prophetic of Jerusalem during the 7 year tribulation
Jeremiah 51:8 Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed.
Wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
Perhaps she may be healed.
Jeremiah 51:9 We would have healed Babylon,
But she is not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country;
For her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.
Jeremiah 51:10 The Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) has revealed our righteousness.
Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) our God (‘ĕlōhîm).
Jeremiah 51:11 Make the arrows bright (Polish the arrows!)
Gather the shields!
The Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes.
- The “spirit” of the Medes is to destroy Babylon. It is God’s vengeance to Babylon for destroying the temple in Jerusalem.
For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it,
Because it is the vengeance of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ),
The vengeance for His temple.
Jeremiah 51:12 Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon;
Make the guard strong,
Set up the watchmen,
Prepare the ambushes.
For the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) has both devised and done
What He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon.
Jeremiah 51:13 O you who dwell by many waters,
Abundant in treasures,
Your end has come,
The measure of your covetousness.
Jeremiah 51:14 The Lord(Yᵊhōvâ) of hosts has sworn by Himself:
“Surely I will fill you with men, as with locusts,
And they shall lift up a shout against you.”
- Note: men and armies are often described as locusts when they are invasive.
Jeremiah 51:15 He has made the earth by His power;
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And stretched out the heaven by His understanding.
Jeremiah 51:16 When He utters His voice—
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
“He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightnings for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”
Jeremiah 51:17 Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;
Every metal smith is put to shame by the carved image;
For his molded image is falsehood,
And there is no breath in them.
Jeremiah 51:18 They are futile, a work of errors;
In the time of their punishment they shall perish.
Jeremiah 51:19 The Portion of Jacob is not like them,
For He is the Maker of all things;
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance.
The Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) of hosts is His name.
Jeremiah 51:20 “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war:
For with you I will break the nation in pieces;
With you I will destroy kingdoms;
God used Babylon as a weapon, a battle-ax to destroy kingdoms including His darling Israel for all the sins she committed against Him.
Jeremiah 51:21 With you I will break in pieces the horse and its rider;
With you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider;
Jeremiah 51:22 With you also I will break in pieces man and woman;
With you I will break in pieces old and young;
With you I will break in pieces the young man and the maiden;
Jeremiah 51:23 With you also I will break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
With you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen;
And with you I will break in pieces governors and rulers.
Jeremiah 51:24 “And I will repay Babylon (whose spirit resides in Jerusalem)
And all the inhabitants of Chaldea
For all the evil they have done
In Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 51:25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain (kingdom),
Who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord.
“And I will stretch out My hand against you,
Roll you down from the rocks,
And make you a burnt mountain.
Jeremiah 51:26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner
Nor a stone for a foundation,
But you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.
- When the walls had deteriorated, Babylon’s ruins were used to house wild animals as a zoo.
Jeremiah 51:27 Set up a banner in the land,
Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations against her,
Call the kingdoms together against her:
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a general against her;
Cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts.
Jeremiah 51:28 Prepare against her the nations,
With the kings of the Medes,
Its governors and all its rulers,
All the land of his dominion.
Jeremiah 51:29 And the land will tremble and sorrow;
For every purpose of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) shall be performed against Babylon,
To make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant.
Jeremiah 51:30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting,
They have remained in their strongholds;
Their might has failed,
They became like women;
They have burned her dwelling places,
The bars of her gate are broken.
Jeremiah 51:31 One runner will run to meet another,
And one messenger to meet another,
To show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on all sides;
- This prophecy did not take place when Cyrus took Babylon, it is therefore assumed it is a prophecy of future events concerning Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 51:32 The passages are blocked,
The reeds they have burned with fire,
And the men of war are terrified.
Jeremiah 51:33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
“The daughter of Babylon (Jerusalem) is like a threshing floor
When it is time to thresh her;
Yet a little while
And the time of her harvest will come.”
- Jerusalem during the tribulation is called a “threshing floor”. She is called Babylon because the Antichrist indwelt by the spirit of Babylon is ruling in Jerusalem. Her harvest (for the tribulation saints) comes at the end of the tribulation when Jesus returns to set up his kingdom on earth.
Jeremiah 51:34 “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 monster;
He has filled his stomach with my delicacies,
He has spit me out.
- Nebuchadnezzar is being compared to the Satanic Leviathan, the monster in a sea of people, the beast who comes out of the sea in Revelation.
- He is compared to the Satanic sea monster who spit up Jonah on the shore of the gentiles.
- He is compared to the Satanic sea monster who swallowed up Jesus at His death, held Jesus in his stomach like Jonah, and spit up Jesus at His resurrection.
- The Leviathan is Satan who indwells the Antichrist in the middle of the tribulation.
Jeremiah 51:35 Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,”
The inhabitant of Zion will say;
“And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!”
Jerusalem will say.
Jeremiah 51:36 Therefore thus says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ):
“Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.
Jeremiah 51:37 Babylon shall become a heap,
A dwelling place for jackals (desert dragons),
An astonishment and a hissing,
Without an inhabitant.
Jeremiah 51:38 They shall roar together like lions,
They shall growl like lions’ whelps.
Jeremiah 51:39 In their excitement I will prepare their feasts;
I will make them drunk,
That they may rejoice,
And sleep a perpetual sleep
And not awake,” says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ).
This verse is specific for events occurring the night Cyrus took Babylon and killed Belshazzar, King of Babylon. See Daniel chapter 5 for notes.
Jeremiah 51:40 “I will bring them down
Like lambs to the slaughter,
Like rams with male goats.
Jeremiah 51:41 “Oh, how Sheshach (A code word for Babylon, Jer. 25:26) is taken!
Oh, how the praise of the whole earth is seized!
How Babylon has become desolate among the nations!
Sheshach (Hebrew: ששך), whose king is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in Jeremiah 25:26, is supposed to be equivalent to Babel (Babylon), according to a secret mode of writing practiced among the Jews of unknown antiquity, which consisted in substituting the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet for the first, the next to last one for the second, and so on. Thus the letters sh, sh, ch become b, b, l, i.e., Babel (see: Atbash cipher Paul Y. Hoskisson. “Jeremiah’s Game”. Insights. Retrieved 30 March 2013.)This code is called the Atbash Cipher and was utilized to decrypt.
The city “Sheshach” does not appear on any map nor in any other documents, save the book of Jeremiah. The Atbash Cipher was applied and out of “Sheshach” came the word “Babel”. This is supposed to be confirmed by a reference to Jeremiah 51:41, where Sheshach and Babylon are in parallel clauses. There seems to be no reason to doubt that Babylon is here intended by this name.(See Streane‘s Jeremiah)
A similar instance of this Hebrew cryptographic method occurs in Jeremiah 51:1, where Leb Kamai is code for Chaldea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheshach
Jeremiah 51:42 The sea (of people) has come up over Babylon;
She is covered with the multitude of its waves (armies).
Jeremiah 51:43 Her cities are a desolation,
A dry land and a wilderness,
A land where no one dwells,
Through which no son of man passes.
Jeremiah 51:44 I will punish Bel (A Babylonian god signifying “lord” or “master”) in Babylon,
And I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed;
And the nations shall not stream to him anymore.
Yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
Jeremiah 51:45 “My people (the Jews), go out of the midst of her!
And let everyone deliver himself (Lit. his soul) from the fierce anger of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ).
Jeremiah 51:46 And lest your heart faint,
And you fear for the rumor that will be heard in the land
(A rumor will come one year, and after that, in another year
A rumor will come, and violence in the land,
Ruler against ruler),
Jeremiah 51:47 Therefore behold, the days are coming
That I will bring judgment on the carved images of Babylon;
Her whole land shall be ashamed,
And all her slain shall fall in her midst.
Jeremiah 51:48 Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them
Shall sing joyously over Babylon;
For the plunderers shall come to her from the north,” says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ).
Jeremiah 51:49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall,
So at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.
- Prophetic probably Armageddon.
Jeremiah 51:50 You who have escaped the sword,
Get away! Do not stand still!
Remember the Lord afar off,
And let Jerusalem come to your mind.
Jeremiah 51:51 We are ashamed because we have heard reproach.
Shame has covered our faces,
For strangers have come into the sanctuaries (holy places) of the Lord’s (Yᵊhōvâ‘s) house.
Jeremiah 51:52 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ),
“That I will bring judgment on her carved images,
And throughout all her land the wounded shall groan.
Jeremiah 51:53 Though Babylon were to mount (ascend) up to heaven,
And though she were to fortify the height of her strength,
Yet from Me plunderers would come to her,” says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ).
Jeremiah 51:54 The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
And great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans,
Jeremiah 51:55 Because the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) is plundering Babylon
And silencing her loud voice,
Though her waves roar like great waters,
And the noise of their voice is uttered,
Jeremiah 51:56 Because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon,
And her mighty men are taken.
Every one of their bows is broken;
For the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) is the God (‘ēl) of recompense,
He will surely repay.
Jeremiah 51:57 “And I will make drunk
Her princes and wise men,
Her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men.
And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep
And not awake,” says the King,
Whose name is the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) of hosts (ṣāḇā’).
- Perfect prophecy of Cyrus conquering Babylon. Read Daniel 5.
Jeremiah 51:58 Thus says the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) of hosts (ṣāḇā’):
“The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken (Lit. laid utterly bare),
And her high gates shall be burned with fire;
The people will labor in vain,
And the nations, because of the fire;
And they shall be weary.”
Jeremiah’s Command to Seraiah
Jeremiah 51:59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And Seraiah was the quartermaster.
Jeremiah 51:60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon.
Jeremiah 51:61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words,
Jeremiah 51:62 then you shall say, ‘O Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’
- Babylon deteriorates until there is nothing left of its splendor. The spirit of Babylon remains because demons never die, they just wait for the next opportunity.
- God will destroy the spirit of Babylon at the end of days.