The sound of an outcry [comes] from Babylon,
And [the sound] of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
For the Lord is going to destroy Babylon and make her a ruin,
And He will still her great voice [that hums with city life].
And the waves [of her conquerors] roar like great waters,
The noise of their voices is raised up [like the marching of an army].
For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon;
And her mighty warriors will be captured,
Their bows are shattered;
For the Lord is a God of [just] restitution;
He will fully repay.
“I will make her princes and her wise men drunk,
Her governors and her commanders and her mighty warriors;
They will sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up,”
Says the King—the Lord of hosts is His name.
58 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“The [a]broad wall of Babylon will be completely overthrown and the foundations razed
And her high gates will be set on fire;
The peoples will labor in vain,
And the nations become exhausted [only] for fire [that will destroy their work].”(A)
59 The message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now this Seraiah was chief chamberlain or quartermaster [and brother of Baruch]. 60 So Jeremiah wrote in a single scroll all the disaster which would come on Babylon, [that is] all these words which have been written concerning Babylon. 61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you come to Babylon, see to it that you read all these words aloud, 62 and say, ‘You, O Lord, have promised concerning this place to cut it off and destroy it, so that there shall be nothing living in it, neither man nor animal, but it will be perpetually desolate.’ 63 And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you shall tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink down and not rise because of the disaster that I will bring on her; and the Babylonians will become [hopelessly] exhausted.’” Thus the words of Jeremiah are completed.(B)
The Fall of Jerusalem
52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of [b]Jeremiah of Libnah.(C) 2 He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord like all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For all this came about in Jerusalem and Judah because of the anger of the Lord, and [in the end] He cast them from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 Now it came about in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem; and they camped against it and built moveable towers and siege mounds all around it.(D) 5 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.(E) 6 In the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 7 Then the city was broken into, and all the soldiers fled. They left the city at night [as Ezekiel prophesied] passing through the gate between the two walls by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. They fled by way of the Arabah (the Jordan Valley).(F) 8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and his entire army was scattered from him. 9 Then they seized the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the [Syrian] land of Hamath [on the northern border of Israel], where he pronounced sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he also killed all the princes of Judah at Riblah. 11 Then the king of Babylon blinded Zedekiah, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon and there he put him in prison [c][in a mill] until the day of his death.(G)
12 Now in the fifth month, on the tenth day, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan captain of the guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 13 He burned down the house of the Lord and the king’s palace and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house or important structure he set on fire. 14 So all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took away into exile some of the poorest of the people, those who were left in the city [at the time it was captured], along with those who deserted to join the king of Babylon [during the siege] and the rest of the artisans. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and farmers.
17 Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the pillars of bronze which belonged to the house of the Lord, and the bronze pedestals [which supported the ten basins] and the [enormous] bronze Sea, which were in the house of the Lord, and carried all the bronze to Babylon. 18 They also took away the pots [for carrying away ashes] and the shovels and the snuffers and the bowls and the spoons and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 19 The captain of the guard also took away the [small] bowls and the firepans and the basins and the pots and the lampstands and the incense cups and the bowls for the drink offerings—whatever was made of fine gold and whatever was made of fine silver. 20 The two pillars, the one [enormous] Sea (basin), and [d]the twelve bronze bulls under the Sea, and the stands, which King Solomon had made for the house of the Lord—the bronze of all these things was beyond weighing. 21 Concerning the pillars, the height of each pillar was eighteen cubits (twenty-seven feet), and a line [an ornamental molding] of twelve cubits (eighteen feet) went around its circumference; it was four fingers thick, and [the pillar was] hollow. 22 A capital of bronze was on [top of] it. The height of each capital was five cubits (seven and one-half feet), with a lattice-work and pomegranates around it, all of bronze. The second pillar also, with its pomegranates, was similar to these. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; and a hundred pomegranates were on the lattice-work all around.
24 Then the captain of the guard took [as prisoners] Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three doorkeepers. 25 He also took out of the city one official who was overseer of the soldiers, and seven of the king’s advisers who were found in the city, and the scribe of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men who were still in the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 Then the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was led away into exile from its own land.
28 This is the number of people whom Nebuchadnezzar took captive and exiled: in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, [he took captive] 832 persons from Jerusalem; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the [Babylonian] guard took captive 745 Jewish people; there were 4,600 persons in all.
31 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin [also called Coniah and Jeconiah] king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, [e]showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison.(H) 32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne above the thrones of the kings who were [captives] with him in Babylon. 33 Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly at the king’s table all the days of his life. 34 And his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king of Babylon, a daily portion [according to his needs] until the day of his death, [f]all the days of his life.
- Jeremiah 51:58 Babylon was surrounded by a moat and two separate walls approximately fifty feet high. Both walls consisted of two layers. The outer layer of the outer wall was twenty-five feet thick, and the inner layer twenty-three feet thick. The outer layer of the inner defensive wall was twenty-one feet thick, and the inner layer twelve feet thick. These walls were so massive that archeologists estimate that 180 million bricks were required for their construction. Babylon’s immense ruins may still be seen—an amazing, enduring testimony to the power of God.
- Jeremiah 52:1 A different man from the prophet and author of this book.
- Jeremiah 52:11 The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) translates this word “mill.” This may imply that the Chaldeans treated Zedekiah in his old age to the same fate Samson suffered when he was a Philistine captive (Judg 16:21).
- Jeremiah 52:20 King Ahaz had previously removed the twelve bronze bulls (1 Kin 7:25) from under the big basin and had replaced them with a substructure of stone (2 Kin 16:17), but unfortunately he had not put them beyond the reach of the Chaldeans.
- Jeremiah 52:31 Lit lifted up the head of.
- Jeremiah 52:34 The purpose of these last few words may be to avoid ending the book with the word “death.” The general purpose of the last four verses seems to have been to leave the reader with the comforting thought that even in exile the Lord remembered His people and softened the heart of the conqueror toward David’s descendant. Note also the contrast between Zedekiah, who remained in prison until his death (v 11), and Jehoiachin, who was set free and treated with honor until his death.
3 Remind people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready and willing to do good, 2 to slander or abuse no one, to be kind and conciliatory and gentle, showing unqualified consideration and courtesy toward everyone. 3 For we too once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various sinful desires and pleasures, spending and wasting our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared [in human form as the Man, Jesus Christ], 5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that we would be justified [made free of the guilt of sin] by His [compassionate, undeserved] grace, and that we would be [acknowledged as acceptable to Him and] made heirs of eternal life [actually experiencing it] according to our hope (His guarantee). 8 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying; and concerning these things I want you to speak with great confidence, so that those who have believed God [that is, those who have trusted in, relied on, and accepted Christ Jesus as Savior,] will be careful to participate in doing good and honorable things. These things are excellent [in themselves] and profitable for the people. 9 But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him], 11 well aware that such a person is twisted and is sinning; he is convicted and self-condemned [and is gratified by causing confusion among believers].
12 When I send Artemas or [perhaps] Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they are supplied and lack nothing. 14 Our people must learn to do good deeds to meet necessary demands [whatever the occasion may require], so that they will not be unproductive.
15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with all of you.
All Men Exhorted to Praise God.
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
100 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, [a]not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.(A)
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.
- Psalm 100:3 Some mss read His we are.