August 22, Jeremiah 47-50

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47 This is the word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah about the Philistines before Pharaoh defeated Gaza. This is what the Lord says:

Look, water is rising from the north
and becoming an overflowing wadi.
It will overflow the land and everything in it,
the cities and their inhabitants.
The people will cry out,
and every inhabitant of the land will wail.
At the sound of the stomping hooves of his stallions,
the rumbling of his chariots,
and the clatter of their wheels,
fathers will not turn back for their sons.
They will be utterly helpless[a]
on account of the day that is coming
to destroy all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
every remaining ally.
Indeed, the Lord is about to destroy the Philistines,
the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.[b]
Baldness is coming to Gaza;
Ashkelon will become silent.
Remnant of their valley,
how long will you gash yourself?
Oh, sword of the Lord!
How long will you be restless?
Go back to your sheath;
be still; be silent!
How can it[c] rest
when the Lord has given it a command?
He has assigned it
against Ashkelon and the shore of the sea.

Prophecies against Moab

48 About Moab, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says:

Woe to Nebo, because it is about to be destroyed;
Kiriathaim will be put to shame; it will be taken captive.
The fortress will be put to shame and dismayed!
There is no longer praise for Moab;
they plan harm against her in Heshbon:
Come, let’s cut her off from nationhood.
Also, Madmen, you will be silenced;
the sword will follow you.
A voice cries out from Horonaim,
“devastation and a crushing blow!”
Moab will be shattered;
her little ones will cry out.
For on the Ascent to Luhith
they will be weeping continually,[d]
and on the descent to Horonaim
will be heard cries of distress over the destruction:
Flee! Save your lives!
Be like a juniper bush[e] in the wilderness.
Because you trust in your works and treasures,
you will be captured also.
Chemosh will go into exile
with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will move against every town;
not one town will escape.
The valley will perish,
and the plain will be annihilated,
as the Lord has said.
Make Moab a salt marsh,[f]
for she will run away;[g]
her towns will become a desolation,
without inhabitant.
10 The one who does
the Lord’s business deceitfully[h] is cursed,
and the one who withholds
his sword from bloodshed is cursed.
11 Moab has been left quiet since his youth,
settled like wine on its dregs.
He hasn’t been poured from one container to another
or gone into exile.
So his taste has remained the same,
and his aroma hasn’t changed.
12 Therefore look, the days are coming—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
when I will send pourers to him, who will pour him out.
They will empty his containers
and smash his jars.
13 Moab will be put to shame because of Chemosh,
just as the house of Israel was put to shame
because of Bethel that they trusted in.
14 How can you say, “We are warriors—
valiant men for battle”?
15 The destroyer of Moab and its towns
has come up,[i]
and the best of its young men
have gone down to slaughter.
This is the King’s declaration;
the Lord of Armies is his name.
16 Moab’s calamity is near at hand;
his disaster is rushing swiftly.
17 Mourn for him, all you surrounding nations,
everyone who knows his name.
Say, “How the mighty scepter is shattered,
the glorious staff!”
18 Come down from glory; sit on parched ground,
resident of the daughter of Dibon,
for the destroyer of Moab has come against you;
he has destroyed your fortresses.
19 Stand by the highway and watch,
resident of Aroer!
Ask him who is fleeing or her who is escaping,
“What happened?”
20 Moab is put to shame, indeed dismayed.
Wail and cry out!
Declare by the Arnon
that Moab is destroyed.

21 “Judgment has come to the land of the plateau—to Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth-diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, Beth-meon, 24 Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the towns of the land of Moab, those far and near. 25 Moab’s horn is chopped off; his arm is shattered.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

26 “Make him drunk, because he has exalted himself against the Lord. Moab will wallow in his own vomit, and he will also become a laughingstock. 27 Wasn’t Israel a laughingstock to you? Was he ever found among thieves? For whenever you speak of him you shake your head.”

28 Abandon the towns! Live in the cliffs,
residents of Moab!
Be like a dove
that nests inside the mouth of a cave.

29 We have heard of Moab’s pride,
great pride, indeed—
his insolence, arrogance, pride,
and haughty heart.
30 I know his outburst.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
It is empty.
His boast is empty.
31 Therefore, I will wail over Moab.
I will cry out for Moab, all of it;
he will moan for the men of Kir-heres.
32 I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah,
with more than the weeping for Jazer.
Your tendrils have extended to the sea;
they have reached to the sea and to Jazer.[j]
The destroyer has fallen on your summer fruit and grape harvest.
33 Gladness and celebration are taken from the fertile field
and from the land of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the winepresses;
no one will tread with shouts of joy.
The shouting is not a shout of joy.

34 “There is a cry from Heshbon to Elealeh; they make their voices heard as far as Jahaz—from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah—because even the Waters of Nimrim have become desolate. 35 In Moab, I will stop”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the one who offers sacrifices on the high place and burns incense to his gods. 36 Therefore, my heart moans like flutes for Moab, and my heart moans like flutes for the people of Kir-heres. And therefore, the wealth he has gained has perished. 37 Indeed, every head is bald and every beard is chopped short. On every hand is a gash and sackcloth around the waist. 38 On all the rooftops of Moab and in her public squares, everyone is mourning because I have shattered Moab like a jar no one wants.” This is the Lord’s declaration. 39 “How broken it is! They wail! How Moab has turned his back! He is ashamed. Moab will become a laughingstock and a shock to all those around him.”

40 For this is what the Lord says:

Look! He will swoop down like an eagle
and spread his wings against Moab.
41 The towns have[k] been captured,
and the strongholds seized.
In that day the heart of Moab’s warriors
will be like the heart of a woman with contractions.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a people
because he has exalted himself against the Lord.
43 Panic, pit, and trap
await you, resident of Moab.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
44 He who flees from the panic will fall in the pit,
and he who climbs from the pit
will be captured in the trap,
for I will bring against Moab
the year of their punishment.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

45 Those who flee will stand exhausted in Heshbon’s shadow
because fire has come out from Heshbon
and a flame from within Sihon.
It will devour Moab’s forehead
and the skull of the noisemakers.
46 Woe to you, Moab!
The people of Chemosh have perished
because your sons have been taken captive
and your daughters have gone into captivity.
47 Yet, I will restore the fortunes[l] of Moab in the last days.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
The judgment on Moab ends here.

Prophecies against Ammon

49 About the Ammonites, this is what the Lord says:

Does Israel have no sons?
Is he without an heir?
Why then has Milcom[m][n] dispossessed Gad
and his people settled in their cities?
Therefore look, the days are coming—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
when I will make the shout of battle heard
against Rabbah of the Ammonites.
It will become a desolate mound,
and its surrounding villages will be set on fire.
Israel will dispossess their dispossessors,
says the Lord.
Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is devastated;
cry out, daughters of Rabbah!
Clothe yourselves with sackcloth, and lament;
run back and forth within your walls,[o]
because Milcom will go into exile
together with his priests and officials.
Why do you boast about your valleys,
your flowing valley,[p]
you faithless daughter—
you who trust in your treasures
and say, “Who can attack me?”
Look, I am about to bring terror on you—
this is the declaration of the Lord God of Armies—
from all those around you.
You will be banished, each person headlong,
with no one to gather up the fugitives.
But after that, I will restore the fortunes[q] of the Ammonites.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Prophecies against Edom

About Edom, this is what the Lord of Armies says:

Is there no longer wisdom in Teman?
Has counsel perished from the prudent?
Has their wisdom rotted away?
Run! Turn back! Lie low,
residents of Dedan,
for I will bring Esau’s calamity on him
at the time I punish him.
If grape harvesters came to you,
wouldn’t they leave a few grapes?
Were thieves to come in the night,
they would destroy only what they wanted.
10 But I will strip Esau bare;
I will uncover his secret places.
He will try to hide, but he will be unable.
His descendants will be destroyed
along with his relatives and neighbors.
He will exist no longer.
11 Abandon your fatherless; I will preserve them;
let your widows trust in me.

12 For this is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, can you possibly remain unpunished? You will not remain unpunished, for you must drink it too. 13 For by myself I have sworn”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“Bozrah[r] will become a desolation, a disgrace, a ruin, and an example for cursing, and all its surrounding cities will become ruins forever.”

14 I have heard an envoy from the Lord;
a messenger has been sent among the nations:
Assemble yourselves to come against her.
Rise up for war!

15 I will certainly make you insignificant among the nations,
despised among humanity.
16 As to the terror you cause,[s]
your arrogant heart has deceived you.
You who live in the clefts of the rock,[t]
you who occupy the mountain summit,
though you elevate your nest like the eagles,
even from there I will bring you down.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

17 “Edom will become a desolation. Everyone who passes by her will be appalled and scoff because of all her wounds. 18 As when Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown along with their neighbors,” says the Lord, “no one will live there; no human being will stay in it even temporarily.

19 “Look, it will be like a lion coming from the thickets[u] of the Jordan to the watered grazing land. I will chase Edom away from her land in a flash. I will appoint whoever is chosen for her. For who is like me? Who will issue me a summons? Who is the shepherd who can stand against me?”

20 Therefore, hear the plans that the Lord has drawn up against Edom and the strategies he has devised against the people of Teman: The flock’s little lambs will certainly be dragged away, and their grazing land will be made desolate because of them. 21 At the sound of their fall the earth will quake; the sound of her cry will be heard at the Red Sea. 22 Look! It will be like an eagle soaring upward, then swooping down and spreading its wings over Bozrah. In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman with contractions.

Prophecies against Damascus

23 About Damascus:

Hamath and Arpad are put to shame,
for they have heard a bad report and are agitated,
like[v] the anxious sea that cannot be calmed.
24 Damascus has become weak;
she has turned to run;
panic has gripped her.
Distress and labor pains have seized her
like a woman in labor.
25 How can the city of praise not be abandoned,
the town that brings me joy?
26 Therefore, her young men will fall in her public squares;
all the warriors will perish in that day.
This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.
27 I will set fire to the wall of Damascus;
it will consume Ben-hadad’s citadels.

Prophecies against Kedar and Hazor

28 About Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated, this is what the Lord says:

Rise up, attack Kedar,
and destroy the people of the east!
29 They will take their tents and their flocks
along with their tent curtains and all their equipment.
They will take their camels for themselves.
They will call out to them,
“Terror is on every side!”
30 Run! Escape quickly! Lie low,
residents of Hazor—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
has drawn up a plan against you;
he has devised a strategy against you.

31 Rise up, attack a nation at ease,
one living in security.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
They have no doors, not even a gate bar;
they live alone.
32 Their camels will become plunder,
and their massive herds of cattle will become spoil.
I will scatter them to the wind in every direction,
those who clip the hair on their temples;
I will bring calamity on them across all their borders.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
33 Hazor will become a jackals’ den,
a desolation forever.
No one will live there;
no human being will stay in it even temporarily.

Prophecies against Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam[w] at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. 35 This is what the Lord of Armies says:

I am about to shatter Elam’s bow,
the source[x] of their might.
36 I will bring the four winds against Elam
from the four corners of the heavens,
and I will scatter them to all these winds.
There will not be a nation
to which Elam’s banished ones will not go.
37 I will devastate Elam before their enemies,
before those who intend to take their lives.
I will bring disaster on them,
my burning anger.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will send the sword after them
until I finish them off.
38 I will set my throne in Elam,
and I will destroy the king and officials from there.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

39 Yet, in the last days,
I will restore the fortunes of Elam.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Prophecies against Babylon

50 This is the word the Lord spoke about Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through the prophet Jeremiah:

Announce to the nations;
proclaim and raise up a signal flag;
proclaim, and hide nothing.
Say, “Babylon is captured;
Bel is put to shame;
Marduk is terrified.”
Her idols are put to shame;
her false gods, devastated.
For a nation from the north will attack her;
it will make her land desolate.
No one will be living in it—
both people and animals will escape.[y]
In those days and at that time—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
the Israelites and Judeans will come together,
weeping as they come,
and will seek the Lord their God.
They will ask about Zion,
turning their faces to this road.
They will come and join themselves[z] to the Lord
in a permanent covenant that will never be forgotten.

My people were lost sheep;
their shepherds led them astray,
guiding them the wrong way in the mountains.
They wandered from mountain to hill;
they forgot their resting place.
Whoever found them devoured them.
Their adversaries said, “We’re not guilty;
instead, they have sinned against the Lord,
their righteous grazing land,
the hope of their ancestors, the Lord.”

Escape from Babylon;
depart from the Chaldeans’ land.
Be like the rams that lead the flock.
For I will soon stir up and bring against Babylon
an assembly of great nations from the north country.
They will line up in battle formation against her;
from there she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like a skilled[aa] warrior
who does not return empty-handed.
10 The Chaldeans will become plunder;
all Babylon’s plunderers will be fully satisfied.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
11 Because you rejoice,
because you celebrate—
you who plundered my inheritance—
because you frolic like a young cow treading grain
and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be utterly humiliated;
she who bore you will be put to shame.
Look! She will lag behind all[ab] the nations—
an arid wilderness, a desert.
13 Because of the Lord’s wrath,
she will not be inhabited;
she will become a desolation, every bit of her.
Everyone who passes through Babylon
will be appalled
and scoff because of all her wounds.
14 Line up in battle formation around Babylon,
all you archers!
Shoot at her! Do not spare an arrow,
for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Raise a war cry against her on every side!
She has thrown up her hands in surrender;
her defense towers have fallen;
her walls are demolished.
Since this is the Lord’s vengeance,
take your vengeance on her;
as she has done, do the same to her.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon
as well as him who wields the sickle at harvest time.
Because of the oppressor’s sword,
each will turn to his own people,
each will flee to his own land.

The Return of God’s People

17 Israel is a stray lamb, chased by lions.
The first who devoured him was the king of Assyria;
the last who crushed his bones
was King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

18 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am about to punish the king of Babylon and his land just as I punished the king of Assyria.

19 I will return Israel to his grazing land,
and he will feed on Carmel and Bashan;
he will be satisfied
in the hill country of Ephraim and of Gilead.
20 In those days and at that time—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
one will search for Israel’s iniquity,
but there will be none,
and for Judah’s sins,
but they will not be found,
for I will forgive those I leave as a remnant.

The Invasion of Babylon

21 Attack the land of Merathaim,
and those living in Pekod.
Put them to the sword;
completely destroy them—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
do everything I have commanded you.
22 The sound of war is in the land—
a crushing blow!
23 How the hammer of the whole earth
is cut down and smashed!
What a horror Babylon has become
among the nations!
24 Babylon, I laid a trap for you, and you were caught,
but you did not even know it.
You were found and captured
because you pitted yourself against the Lord.
25 The Lord opened his armory
and brought out his weapons of wrath,
because it is a task of the Lord God of Armies
in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the most distant places.[ac]
Open her granaries;
pile her up like mounds of grain
and completely destroy her.
Leave her no survivors.
27 Put all her young bulls to the sword;
let them go down to the slaughter.
Woe to them because their day has come,
the time of their punishment.

The Humiliation of Babylon

28 There is a voice of fugitives and refugees
from the land of Babylon.
The voice announces in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God,
the vengeance for his temple.
29 Summon the archers to Babylon,
all who string the bow;
camp all around her; let none escape.
Repay her according to her deeds;
just as she has done, do the same to her,
for she has acted arrogantly against the Lord,
against the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall
in her public squares;
all the warriors will perish in that day.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
31 Look, I am against you, you arrogant one—
this is the declaration of
the Lord God of Armies—
for your day has come,
the time when I will punish you.
32 The arrogant will stumble and fall
with no one to pick him up.
I will set fire to his cities,
and it will consume everything around him.

The Desolation of Babylon

33 This is what the Lord of Armies says:

Israelites and Judeans alike have been oppressed.
All their captors hold them fast;
they refuse to release them.
34 Their Redeemer is strong;
the Lord of Armies is his name.
He will fervently champion their cause
so that he might bring rest to the earth
but turmoil to those who live in Babylon.
35 A sword is over the Chaldeans—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
against those who live in Babylon,
against her officials, and against her sages.
36 A sword is against the diviners,
and they will act foolishly.
A sword is against her heroic warriors,
and they will be terrified.
37 A sword is against his horses and chariots
and against all the foreigners among them,
and they will be like women.
A sword is against her treasuries,
and they will be plundered.
38 A drought will come on her waters,
and they will be dried up.
For it is a land of carved images,
and they go mad because of terrifying things.[ad]

39 Therefore, desert creatures[ae] will live with hyenas,
and ostriches will also live in her.
It will never again be inhabited
or lived in through all generations.
40 Just as God demolished Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighboring towns—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
so no one will live there;
no human being will stay in it even temporarily
as a temporary resident.

The Conquest of Babylon

41 Look! A people comes from the north.
A great nation and many kings will be stirred up
from the remote regions of the earth.
42 They grasp bow and javelin.
They are cruel and show no mercy.
Their voice roars like the sea,
and they ride on horses,
lined up like men in battle formation
against you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard about them;
his hands have become weak.
Distress has seized him—
pain, like a woman in labor.

44 “Look, it will be like a lion coming from the thickets[af] of the Jordan to the watered grazing land. I will chase Babylon[ag] away from her land in a flash. I will appoint whoever is chosen for her. For who is like me? Who will issue me a summons? Who is the shepherd who can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear the plans that the Lord has drawn up against Babylon and the strategies he has devised against the land of the Chaldeans: Certainly the flock’s little lambs will be dragged away; certainly the grazing land will be made desolate because of them. 46 At the sound of Babylon’s conquest the earth will quake; a cry will be heard among the nations.

God is a just God. He punishes sin. We see this in today’s reading. He was ready to judge all of the peoples of the earth because of their wickedness. Here is the great news for people living in 2020…God sent his son Jesus to take the wrath of God. He sent Jesus to be the satisfaction of God’s wrath toward sin. All of us were born sinners and under the coming wrath of God, but Jesus made it possible to escape the wrath of God and have a personal relationship with him instead. When you read what we read today, always remember where you came from. Always remember you were under wrath, but Jesus miraculously saved you to a new life and a new future.

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