Jeremiah 50

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The concept of the unchangeable nature of God could best be described as divine law, the one law which Yahweh, the God of the Bible, established to govern his own actions. It is, quite simply, the governing element of all that pertains to or proceeds from the nature of God. It is foundational to all that God does, for he is eternally consistent, unchanging. The unchangeable nature of God is encapsulated in the word immutability. Immutability is that principle of God which remains perpetual regardless of time, people, or circumstance. – John D. Garr, Our Lost Legacy: Christianity’s Hebrew Heritage

A Prophecy from Jeremiah concerning Babylon…

The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet: 2 “Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed. Her images are put to shame,   her idols are dismayed” (Jer 50:1-2 ESV).

According to Genesis 10:10, Nimrod founded Babylon as his capital. The name “Babylon” comes from the Hebrew word “Babel,” and was derived from the action of the LORD in confounding their language.  The word “Babel” actually means “confusion.”  And “Babylon,” throughout history, became a symbol of the pride of man and his inevitable Fall.

Well over a 100 years before, Isaiah predicted the rise of Babylon and its subsequent fall. At that time, Babylon was merely a vassal state of the Assyrian Empire—of which Nineveh was the capital city.  And, therefore, to the undiscerning ear, Isaiah’s Prophecies were ludicrous.

“For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away. 4 “In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten’ (Jer 50:3-5 ESV).

The Medes and Persians would come from the north to invade Babylon, though their invasion would only be a partial fulfillment of this prophecy, as they would not make “none” to dwell in Babylon. While Babylon is a “desolation” today—and has been for quite some time,” the Book of Revelations says that it will be rebuilt in the Last Days and then completely destroyed.  And at the Second Coming, Israel will be completely restored, as according to the “everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.”

“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. 7 All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the Lord, their habitation of righteousness, the Lord, the hope of their fathers’ (Jer 50:6-7 ESV).

The enemies of Israel have overstepped their bounds and “sinned against the LORD.” Thus, they have incurred wrath upon themselves.

“Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. 9 For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a gathering of great nations, from the north country. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed. 10 Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, declares the Lord. 11 “Though you rejoice, though you exult, O plunderers of my heritage, though you frolic like a heifer in the pasture, and neigh like stallions, 12 your mother shall be utterly shamed, and she who bore you shall be disgraced.  Behold, she shall be the last of the nations, a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert (Jer 50:8-12 ESV).

Babylon was so rich that all the invaders would fill themselves to the full with their plunder. While it was true that idol worshipping pagan Babylon had been used by God as an instrument of chastisement, they did not do it with pity but with rejoicing and brought judgment upon their own heads.

Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited but shall be an utter desolation; everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled, and hiss because of all her wounds. 14 Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around, all you who bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord. 15 Raise a shout against her all around; she has surrendered; her bulwarks have fallen;   her walls are thrown down. For this is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance on her; do to her as she has done. 16 Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest; because of the sword of the oppressor, every one shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land (Jer 50:13-16 ESV).

Upon the invasion by the Medes and the Persians, many of the people from other nations who were in Babylon—whether slaves or high officials—would take the opportunity to flee.

“Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones. 18 Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 I will restore Israel to his pasture, and he shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and his desire shall be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead. 20 In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant (Jer 50:17-20 ESV).

The emblem of both the Assyrians and the Babylonians—who greatly persecuted Israel and Judah—was the “lion.”

How the hammer of the whole earth is cut down and broken! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations! 24 I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon, and you did not know it; you were found and caught, because you opposed the Lord. 25 The Lord has opened his armory and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Lord God of hosts has a work to do in the land of the Chaldeans. 26 Come against her from every quarter; open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction; let nothing be left of her (Jer 50:23-26 ESV).

Babylon is left to the last because it represents the entire rebellion against Jehovah God. Its founder was Nimrod, whose name in the Hebrew is “Marad,” which means “to rebel” or “we will rebel” and which points to a violent and open rebellion against God.  Nimrod established the first kingdom and the first great universal false religion opposing God.

“Behold, I am against you, O proud one, declares the Lord God of hosts, for your day has come, the time when I will punish you. 32 The proud one shall stumble and fall, with none to raise him up, and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all that is around him. 33 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon (Jer 30:31-34 ESV).

In the Hebrew, it actually says, “O Pride!” Babylon represents the whole of mankind in his rebellion against God with pride being her crowning sin.

And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38 NASB).