Babylon Will Be Captured
1 The Lord told me to say:

Announce what will happen
and don't leave anything out.
2 Raise the signal flags;
shout so all nations can hear—
Babylon will be captured!

Marduk, Babylon's god,
will be ashamed and terrified,
and his idols broken.
3 The attack on the Babylonians
will come from the north;
they and their animals will run,
leaving the land empty.
Israel and Judah Will Return to Their Land
4 The Lord said:

People of Israel and Judah,
when these things happen
you will weep, and together
you will return to your land
and worship me,
the Lord your God.
5 You will ask the way to Zion
and then come and join with me
in making an agreement
you won't break or forget.

6 My people, you are lost sheep
abandoned in the mountains
by their shepherds.
You don't even remember
your resting place.
7 I am your true pastureland,
the one who gave hope
to your ancestors.
But you abandoned me,
so when your enemies found you,
they felt no guilt
as they gobbled you up.

8 Escape from Babylonia,
my people.
Get out of that country!
Don't wait for anyone else.
9 In the north I am bringing
great nations together.
They will attack Babylon
and capture it.
The arrows they shoot
are like the best soldiers,
always finding their target.
10 Babylonia will be conquered,
and its enemies will carry off
everything they want.
Babylon Will Be Disgraced
The Lord said:

11 People of Babylonia,
you were glad
to rob my people.
You had a good time,
making more noise
than horses
and jumping around
like calves threshing grain.
12 The city of Babylon
was like a mother to you.
But it will be disgraced
and become nothing
but a barren desert.
13 My anger will destroy Babylon,
and no one will live there.
Everyone who passes by
will be shocked to see
what has happened.

14 Babylon has rebelled against me.
Archers, take your places.
Shoot all your arrows at Babylon.
15 Attack from every side!

Babylon surrenders!
The enemy tears down
its walls and towers.
I am taking my revenge
by doing to Babylon what it did
to other cities.
16 There is no one in Babylonia
to plant or harvest crops.
Even foreigners who lived there
have left for their homelands,
afraid of the enemy armies.

17 Israel is a flock of sheep
scattered by hungry lions.
The king of Assyria
first gobbled Israel up.
Then Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylonia,
crunched on Israel's bones.
18 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
the God of Israel,
punished the king of Assyria,
and I will also punish
the king of Babylonia.
19 But I will bring Israel
back to its own land.
The people will be like sheep
eating their fill
on Mount Carmel
and in Bashan,
in the hill country of Ephraim
and in Gilead.
20 I will rescue a few people
from Israel and Judah.
I will forgive them so completely
that their sin and guilt
will disappear,
never to be found.
The Lord's Commands to the Enemies of Babylonia
21 The Lord said:

I have told
the enemies of Babylonia,
“Attack the people of Merathaim
and Pekod.
Kill them all!
Destroy their possessions!”

22 Sounds of war
and the noise of destruction
can be heard.
23 Babylonia was a hammer
pounding every country,
but now it lies broken.
What a shock to the nations
of the world!

24 Babylonia challenged me,
the Lord God All-Powerful,
but that nation doesn't know
it is caught in a trap
that I set.
25 I've brought out my weapons,
and with them I will put a curse
on Babylonia.

26 Come from far away,
you enemies of Babylon!
Pile up the grain
from its storehouses,
and destroy it completely,
along with everything else.
27 Kill the soldiers of Babylonia,
because the time has come
for them to be punished.

28 The Babylonian army
destroyed my temple,
but soon I will take revenge.
Then refugees from Babylon
will tell about it in Zion.

29 Attack Babylon, enemy archers;
set up camp around the city,
and don't let anyone escape.
It challenged me, the holy God,
so do to it
what it did to other cities.
Proud Babylon Will Fall
30 People of Babylon,
I, the Lord, promise
that even your best soldiers
will lie dead in the streets.

31 Babylon, you should be named,
“The Proud One.”
But the time has come when I,
the Lord All-Powerful,
will punish you.
32 You are proud,
but you will stumble and fall,
and no one will help you up.
I will set your villages on fire,
and everything around you
will go up in flames.

33 You Babylonians were cruel
to Israel and Judah.
You took them captive, and now
you refuse to let them go.
34 But I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will rescue and protect them.
I will bring peace to their land
and trouble to yours.
35 I have declared war on you,
your officials, and advisors.
36 This war will prove
that your prophets
are liars and fools.
And it will frighten
your warriors.
37 Then your chariot horses
and the foreigners in your army
will refuse to go into battle,
and the enemy will carry away
everything you treasure.
38 Your rivers and canals
will dry up.

All of this will happen,
because your land
is full of idols,
and they have made fools
of you.
39 Never again will people live
in your land—
only desert animals, jackals,
and unclean birds.
40 I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
and the nearby towns,
and I will destroy Babylon
just as completely.
No one will live there again.
Babylonia Is Invaded
The Lord said:

41 Far to the north,
a nation and its allies
have been awakened.
They are powerful
and ready for war.
42 Bows and arrows and swords
are in their hands.
The soldiers are cruel
and show no pity.
The hoofbeats of their horses echo
like ocean waves
crashing against the shore.
The army has lined up for battle
and is coming to attack you,
people of Babylonia!

43 Ever since your king heard
about this army,
he has been weak with fear;
he twists and turns in pain
like a woman giving birth.
44 Babylonia, I will attack you
like a lion from the forest,
attacking sheep in a meadow
along the Jordan.
In a moment the flock runs,
and the land is empty.
Who will I choose to attack you?
I will do it myself!
No one can force me to fight
or chase me away.
45 Listen to my plans for you,
people of Babylonia.
Your children will be dragged off,
and your country destroyed.
46 The sounds of your destruction
will be heard among the nations,
and the earth will shake.