54 Cries of agony are heard from Babylon.
Sounds of terrible destruction are heard
from the land of the Babylonians.
55 Yahweh will destroy Babylon.
He will silence the loud noise coming from it.
Waves of enemies will come roaring in like raging water.
The noise will be heard everywhere.
56 A destroyer will attack Babylon,
its soldiers will be captured,
and their bows and arrows will be broken.
“I, Yahweh, am a God who punishes evil.
I will certainly punish them.
57 I will make their officials and wise men drunk,
along with their governors, officers, and soldiers.
They will fall into a deep sleep and never wake up,”
declares the Melek, whose name is Yahweh Tsebaoth.
58 This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says:
The thick walls of Babylon will be leveled,
and its high gates will be set on fire.
People exhaust themselves for nothing.
The nations wear themselves out only to have a fire.
59 This is the message that the prophet Jeremiah gave to Seraiah, son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah, when Seraiah went to Babylon with King Zedekiah of Judah in the fourth year of Zedekiah’s rule. (Seraiah was the quartermaster.)
60 Jeremiah wrote on a scroll all the disasters that would happen to Babylon. He wrote all these things that have been written about Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all this. 62 Then say, ‘Yahweh, you have threatened to destroy this place so that no person or animal will live here, and it will become a permanent ruin.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. 64 Say, ‘Babylon will sink like this scroll. It will never rise again because of the disasters that I will bring on it.’”
The words of Jeremiah end here.
The Fall of Jerusalem(A)
52 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 2 Zedekiah did what Yahweh considered evil, as Jehoiakim had done. 3 Yahweh became angry with Jerusalem and Judah and threw the people out of his sight.
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 On the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem with his entire army. They set up camp and built dirt ramps around the city walls. 5 The blockade of the city lasted until Zedekiah’s eleventh year as king. 6 On the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city became so severe that the common people had no food.
7 The enemy broke through the city walls, and all Judah’s soldiers fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden. While the Babylonians were attacking the city from all sides, they took the road to the plain of Jericho. 8 The Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah and caught up with him in the plain of Jericho. His entire army had deserted him. 9 The Babylonians captured the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in Hamath, where the king of Babylon passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons as Zedekiah watched. He also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. 11 Then he blinded Zedekiah and put him in bronze shackles. The king of Babylon took him to Babylon and put him in a prison, where he stayed until he died.
12 On the tenth day of the fifth month of Nebuchadnezzar’s nineteenth year as king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, who was the captain of the guard and an officer of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 13 He burned down Yahweh’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem. Every important building was burned down. 14 The entire Babylonian army that was with the captain of the guard tore down the walls around Jerusalem.
15 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, captured the few people left in the city, those who surrendered to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population. 16 But Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, left some of the poorest people in the land to work in the vineyards and on the farms.
17 The Babylonians broke apart the bronze pillars of Yahweh’s temple, the stands, and the bronze pool in Yahweh’s temple. They shipped all the bronze to Babylon. 18 They took the pots, shovels, snuffers, bowls, dishes, and all the bronze utensils used in the temple service. 19 The captain of the guard also took pans, incense burners, bowls, pots, lamp stands, dishes, and the bowls used for wine offerings. The captain of the guard took all of the trays and bowls that were made of gold or silver. 20 The bronze from the 2 pillars, the pool, and the 12 bronze bulls under the stands that King Solomon had made for Yahweh’s temple couldn’t be weighed. 21 One pillar was 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference. It was three inches thick and hollow. 22 The capital that was on it was 7½ feet high with a filigree and pomegranates around it. They were all made of bronze. The second pillar was the same. It also had pomegranates. 23 There were 96 pomegranates on the sides. The total number of pomegranates on the surrounding filigree was 100.
24 The captain of the guard took the chief priest Seraiah, the second priest Zephaniah, and the 3 doorkeepers. 25 From the city he also took an army commander, 7 men who had access to the king whom he found in the city, the scribe who was in charge of the militia, and 60 common people whom he found in the city. 26 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 The king of Babylon executed them at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. So the people of Judah were captives as they left their land.
28 These are the people Nebuchadnezzar took captive: In his seventh year as king, he took 3,023 Jews. 29 In his eighteenth year, Nebuchadnezzar took 832 people from Jerusalem. 30 In Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year as king, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took away 745 Jews. In all, 4,600 people were taken away.
King Jehoiakin Released from Prison(B)
31 On the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the imprisonment of King Jehoiakin of Judah, King Evil Merodach of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, freed King Jehoiakin of Judah and released him from prison. 32 He treated him well and gave him a special position higher than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 Jehoiakin no longer wore prison clothes, and he ate his meals in the king’s presence as long as he lived. 34 The king of Babylon gave him a daily food allowance as long as he lived.
3 Remind believers to willingly place themselves under the authority of government officials. Believers should obey them and be ready to help them with every good thing they do. 2 Believers shouldn’t curse anyone or be quarrelsome, but they should be gentle and show courtesy to everyone.
What God Did for Us
3 Indeed, we, too, were once stupid, disobedient, and misled. We were slaves to many kinds of lusts and pleasures. We were mean and jealous. We were hated, and we hated each other.
4 However, when God our Savior made his kindness and love for humanity appear, 5 he saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain his approval. Instead, because of his mercy he saved us through the washing in which the Holy Spirit gives us new birth and renewal. 6 God poured a generous amount of the Spirit on us through Yeshua Christ our Savior. 7 As a result, God in his kindness[a] has given us his approval and we have become heirs who have the confidence that we have everlasting life. 8 This is a statement that can be trusted. I want you to insist on these things so that those who believe in God can concentrate on setting an example by doing good things. This is good and helps other people.
Advice for Titus
9 Avoid foolish controversies, arguments about genealogies, quarrels, and fights about Moses’ Teachings. This is useless and worthless. 10 Have nothing to do with people who continue to teach false doctrine after you have warned them once or twice. 11 You know that people like this are corrupt. They are sinners condemned by their own actions.
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, hurry to visit me in the city of Nicopolis. I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Give Zenas the lawyer and Apollos your best support for their trip so that they will have everything they need.
14 Our people should also learn how to set an example by doing good things when urgent needs arise so that they can live productive lives.
15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet our faithful friends.
God’s good will[b] be with all of you.
A psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Shout happily to Yahweh, all the earth.
2 Serve Yahweh cheerfully.
Come into his presence with a joyful song.
3 Realize that Yahweh alone is Elohim.
He made us, and we are his.[a]
We are his people and the sheep in his care.
4 Enter his gates with a song of thanksgiving.
Come into his courtyards with a song of praise.
Give thanks to him; praise his name.
5 Yahweh is good.
His mercy endures forever.
His faithfulness endures throughout every generation.
- Psalm 100:3 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Targum, Latin; other Hebrew manuscripts “and not we ourselves.”
18 Like a madman who shoots flaming arrows, arrows, and death,
19 so is the person who tricks his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”