Study of Jeremiah, Chapters 49-50 Deceit

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warning

When someone comes to us and tells us that something bad will happen, why would we choose to ignore their warning?  Especially, if this person has been truthful and correct in the past.  Is it stubbornness?  Ignorance?  Arrogance?  Pride?  Or maybe just a combination of all?  There is proponent to our human nature in all of us that deceives us by giving us the false security that we cannot be taken down; defeated, also known as the deceit of the devil.  When we turn from God, we open ourselves up to this deceit.  Let’s be sure of one thing…God will have His day of punishment upon this earth.  It is up to you which side you will be on:  God, or Satan.

Jeremiah 49:1-6Jeremiah 49:1-6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

49 1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities? Concerning: or, Against their king: or, Melcom 2 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD. 3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together. their king: or, Melcom 4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me? thy...: or, thy valley floweth away 5 Behold, I will bring a fear upon thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts, from all those that be about thee; and ye shall be driven out every man right forth; and none shall gather up him that wandereth. 6 And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.  

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1 This message was given concerning the Ammonites.  This is what the LORD says:
“Are there no descendants of Israel
to inherit the land of Gad?
Why are you, who worship Molech,
living in its towns?
2 In the days to come,” says the LORD,
“I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah.
It will become a desolate heap of ruins,
and the neighboring towns will be burned.
Then Israel will take back the land
you took from her,” says the LORD.
3 “Cry out, O Heshbon,
for the town of Ai is destroyed.
Weep, O people of Rabah!
Put on your clothes of mourning.
Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges,
for your god Molech, with his priest and officials,
will be hauled off to distant lands.
4 You are proud of your fertile valleys,
but they will soon be ruined.
You trusted in your wealth,
you rebellious daughter,
and thought no one could ever harm you.
5 But look!  I will bring terror upon you,”
says the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
“Your neighbors will chase you from your land,
and no one will help your exiles as they flee.
6 But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites
in days to come.
I, the LORD, have spoken.”

The Ammonites, as the Moabites, were descendants of Lot through an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters [Genesis 19:30-38Genesis 19:30-38
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37 And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.  

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].  God had condemned the Ammonites for stealing land from the Israelites, and for worshiping the idol Molech.  As with other false gods in that time, sacrificing children was a common ritual.  The Ammonites were boastful about their beautiful lands and their wealth.  But God shows how misplaced that boasting is by destroying the land.  They were deceived into believing that no one could ever harm them.  Do you believe that you are safe from the hand of God?

At some point in time, God will restore good fortune to the lands of Ammon, or ‘bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon’ [KJV].  Bring again the captivity means God will restore.  See Jeremiah 29:14Jeremiah 29:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.  

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  God will also do this with Egypt [Jeremiah 46:26Jeremiah 46:26
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD.  

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], Moab [Jeremiah 48:47Jeremiah 48:47
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47 Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.  

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], and Elam [Jeremiah 49:39Jeremiah 49:39
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.  

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].

Jeremiah 49:7-22Jeremiah 49:7-22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished? 8 Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit him. turn...: or, they are turned back 9 If grapegatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough. till...: Heb. their sufficiency 10 But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbours, and he is not. 11 Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me. 12 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it. 13 For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes. 14 I have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle. 15 For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men. 16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD. 17 Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. 18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it. 19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me? appoint me...: or, convent me in judgment? 20 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them. 21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea. Red sea: Heb. Weedy sea 22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.  

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7 This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says:

“Is there no wisdom in Teman?

Is no one left to give wise counsel?

8 Turn and flee!

Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan!

For when I bring disaster on Edom,

I will punish you, too!

9 Those who harvest grapes

always leave a few for the poor.

If thieves came at night,

they would not take everything.

10 But I will strip bare the land of Edom,

and there will be no place left to hide.

Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors

will all be destroyed,

and Edom itself will be no more.

11 But I will protect the orphans who remain among you.

Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.”

12 And this is what the LORD says:  “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you!  You will not go unpunished!  You must drink this cup of judgment!  13 For I have sworn by my own name,” says the LORD, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed.  All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.”

14 I have heard a message from the LORD

that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say,

“Form a coalition against Edom,

and prepare for battle!”

15 The LORD says to Edom,

“I will cut you down to size among the nations.

You will be despised by all.

16 You have been deceived

by the fear you inspire in others

and by your own pride.

You live in a rock fortress

and control the mountain heights.

But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles,

I will bring you crashing down,”

says the LORD.

17 “Edom will be an object of horror.

All who pass by will be appalled

and will gasp at the destruction they see there.

18 It will be lie the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

and their neighboring towns,” says the LORD.

“No one will live there;

no one will inhabit it.

19 I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,

leaping on the sheep in the pasture.

I will chase Edom from its land,

and I will appoint the leader of my choice.

For who is like me, and who can challenge me?

What ruler can oppose my will?”

20 Listen to the LORD’S ans against Edom

and the people of Teman.

Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,

and their homes will be destroyed.

21 The earth will shake with the noise of Edom’s fall,

and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea.

22 Look!  The enemy swoops down like an eagle,

spreading his wings over Bozrah.

Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish

like a woman in labor.

The nations of Israel and Edom descended from Jacob and his twin brother Esau, respectively, sons of Isaac.  There was a constant territorial conflict between both nations, and when Jerusalem was destroyed, Edom rejoiced.  The Edomites were subject of more judgment prophecies in the Bible than any other nation [Psalm 137:7Psalm 137:7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. Rase it: Heb. Make bare  

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; Isaiah 34:1-17; 63:1-6Isaiah 34:1-17; 63:1-6
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34 1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. all that...: Heb. the fulness thereof 2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. 3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. 4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. 5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. 6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. 7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. unicorns: or, rhinocerots soaked: or, drunken 8 For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. 9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. 11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. cormorant: or, pelican 12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. owls: or, ostriches: Heb. daughters of the owl 14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. The wild...desert: Heb. Ziim the wild...island: Heb. Ijim screech...: or, night monster 15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. 16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. 17 And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein. 63 1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. glorious: Heb. decked 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.  

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; Lamentations 4:21-22Lamentations 4:21-22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. 22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins. The...: or, Thine iniquity discover...: or, carry thee captive for thy sins  

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; Ezekiel 25:12-14; 35:1-15Ezekiel 25:12-14; 35:1-15
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12 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; by...: Heb. by revenging revengement 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. they...: or, they shall fall by the sword unto Dedan 14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD. 35 1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it, 3 And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate. most...: Heb. desolation and desolation 4 I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. 5 Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: perpetual...: or, hatred of old shed...: Heb. poured out the children force: Heb. hands 6 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. 7 Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. most...: Heb. desolation and desolation 8 And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword. 9 I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there: whereas...: or, though the LORD was there 11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee. 12 And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. to consume: Heb. to devour 13 Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them. boasted: Heb. magnified 14 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate. 15 As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD.  

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; Amos 1:11-12Amos 1:11-12
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11 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever: did cast...: Heb. corrupted his compassions 12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.  

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; Obadiah; and Malachi 1:2-5Malachi 1:2-5
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2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel. from: or, upon: Heb. from upon  

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].  Teman was a town in the northern part of Edom.  It was known for its wisdom, but even their great wisdom could save them from God’s judgment.  The people of Edom believed they were safe from any type of destruction because they lived in the clefts of the rock, but its destruction will be so great that it is compared to Sodom and Gomorrah, and their cry of despair will be like the cry of the doomed Egyptians at the Red Sea.

Jeremiah 49:23-27Jeremiah 49:23-27
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet. fainthearted: Heb. melted on...: or, as on the sea 24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. 25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy! 26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts. 27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.  

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23 This message was given concerning Damascus.  This is what the LORD says:

“The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear,

for they have heard the news of their destruction.

Their hearts are troubled

like a wild sea in a raging storm.

24 Damascus has become feeble,

and all her people turn to flee.

Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her

as they grip a woman in labor.

25 That famous city, a city of joy,

will be forsaken!

26 Her young men will fall in the streets and die.

Her soldiers will all be killed,”

says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

27 “And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus

that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.”

Hamath and Arpad are both in the Damascus region.  The people of these cities are stricken with shame and fear because they have heard of the coming destruction from God.  In Amos 1:4-5Amos 1:4-5
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4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. 5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD. the plain...: or, Bikathaven the house...: or, Betheden  

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, we can see that Nebuchadnezzar defeated Damascus, which was north of Israel and was the capital of Aram, in 605 B.C.  We are not given a specific reason as to why the defeat, but Aram was completely destroyed.

Jeremiah 49:28-33Jeremiah 49:28-33
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28 Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east. 29 Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side. 30 Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you. get...: Heb. flit greatly 31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone. wealthy: or, that is at ease 32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD. in...: Heb. cut off into corners, or, that have the corners of their hair polled 33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.  

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28 This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  This is what the LORD says:

“Advance against Kedar!

Destroy the warriors from the East!

29 Their flocks and tents will be captured,

and their household goods and camels will be taken away.

Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard:

‘We are terrorized at every turn!’

30 Run for your lives,” says the LORD.

“Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor,

for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you

and is preparing to destroy you.

31 “Go up and attack that complacent nation,”

says the LORD.

“its people live along in the desert

without walls or gates.

32 Their camels and other livestock will all be yours.

I will scatter to the winds these people

who live in remote places.

I will bring calamity upon them

from every direction,” says the LORD.

33 “Hazor will be inhabited by jackals,

and it will be desolate forever.

No one will live there;

no one will inhabit it.”

Kedar and Hazor were nomadic communities of Arabia.  They lived in the desert, without walls or protection, lifting up their tents and poles, moving place to place.  Without roots in any established city, they depend on their livestock, food, and trade for survival.  Without protection, they are an easy target and both tribes will be captured by Nebuchadnezzar.  The land that is left will not be fit for humans.  It will only be suitable for jackals.

Jeremiah 49:34-39Jeremiah 49:34-39
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, 35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. 36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. 37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them: 38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD. 39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.  

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34 This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the LORD at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.  35 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says:

“I will destroy the archers of Elam –

the best of their forces.

36 I will bring enemies from all directions,

and I will scatter the people of Elam to their four winds.

They will be exiled to countries around the world.

37 I myself will go with Elam’s enemies to shatter it.

In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster

upon the people of Elam,” says the LORD,

“Their enemies will chase them with the sword

until I have destroyed them completely.

38 I will set my throne in Elam,” Says the LORD,

“and I will destroy its king and officials

39 But I will restore the fortunes of Elam

in days to come.

I, the LORD, have spoken!”

This prophecy took place in about 597 B.C. when Zedekiah was still king of Judah.  In Genesis 10:1,22Genesis 10:1,22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. 22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. Arphaxad: Heb. Arpachshad  

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, Elam is mentioned as one of the sons of Shem, who was Noah’s son.  The Elamites were continuously at odds with the Hebrews and were known as a warring people.  They were also known for their skill in archery [Isaiah 22:6Isaiah 22:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. uncovered: Heb. made naked  

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] which served them well when they were taken into the Persian Empire in around 539 B.C.  We can see that God’s wrath is specific to Elam’s skill in archery in this message.  The reference to the four winds tells us the severity of this destruction and the people will be scattered around the world.  All of the idol worship will be destroyed and God will be restored as the rightful leader and King, and then God will restore Elam itself.

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Babylon

Babylon was a powerful empire that was a tool in taking down many nations, but that did not spare them punishment for their own sins.  In Daniel 5:30-31Daniel 5:30-31
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old. being...: Chaldee he as the son of, etc about: or, now  

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, we can see that Babylon was taken down and destroyed by he Medo-Persians in 539 B.C.

Jeremiah 50:1-3Jeremiah 50:1-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

50 1 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. by...: Heb. by the hand of Jeremiah 2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. set up: Heb. lift up 3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.  

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1 The LORD gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians.  2 This is what the LORD says:

“Tell the whole world,

and keep nothing back.

Raise a signal flag

to tell everyone that Babylon will fall!

Her images and idols will be shattered.

Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced.

3 For a nation will attack her from the north

and bring such destruction that no one will live there again.

Everything will be gone;

both people and animals will flee.

The nation coming from the north to destroy Babylon is Medo-Persia.  They would become the next world power.  Babylon is used throughout the Bible in scripture as a symbol of evil.  Keeping the end times in mind, we will see this happen once again and it will be final.

Jeremiah 50:4-10Jeremiah 50:4-10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. 6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. restingplace: Heb. place to lie down in 7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers. 8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. 9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. expert...: or, destroyer 10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.  

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4 “In those coming days,”

says the LORD,

“the people of Israel will return home

together with the people of Judah.

They will come weeping

and seeking the LORD their God.

5 They will ask the way to Jerusalem

and will start back home again.

They will bind themselves to the LORD

with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.

6 “My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds have led them astray

and turned them loose in the mountains.

They have lost their way

and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.

7 All who found them devoured them.

Their enemies said,

‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them,

for they sinned against the LORD,

their true place of rest,

and the hope of their ancestors.’

8 “But no, flee from Babylon!

Leave the land of the Babylonians.

Like male goats at the head of the flock,

lead my people home again.

9 For I am raising up an army

of great nations from the north.

They will join forces to attack Babylon,

and she will be captured.

The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark;

they will not miss!

10 Babylonia will be looted

until the attackers are glutted with loot.

I, the LORD, have spoken!

Prior to God’s punishment on Babylon, He allows the exiles to flee Babylon and go back to Israel, their home.  Babylon had been utilized as an asset for the destruction of many sinful nations, but now God’s wrath has turned on Babylon itself.

Jeremiah 50:11-16Jeremiah 50:11-16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls; fat: Heb. big, or, corpulent bellow...: or, neigh as steeds 12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. 13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. 14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD. 15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her. 16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land. sickle; or, scythe  

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11 “You rejoice and are glad,

you who plundered my chosen people.

You frisk about like a calf in a meadow

and neigh like a stallion.

12 But your homeland will be overwhelmed

with shame and disgrace.

You will become the least of nations –

a wilderness, a dry and desolate land.

13 Because of the LORD’S anger,

Babylon will become a deserted wasteland.

All who pass by will be horrified

and will gasp at the destruction they see there.

14 “Yes, prepare to attack Babylon,

all you surrounding nations.

Let your archers shoot at her; spare no arrows.

For she has sinned against the LORD.

15 Shout war cries against her from every side.

Look!  She surrenders!

Her walls have fallen.

It is the LORD’S vengeance,

so take vengeance on her.

Do to her as she has done to others!

16 Take from Babylon all those who plant crops;

send all the harvesters away.

Because of the sword of the enemy,

everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands.

Throughout Jeremiah, we have seen over and over again how nations prospered when God allowed them to.  Babylon was no different.  But, when a nation forgets that their blessings, peace, security, safety, and prosperity are there because God deems it so, then they begin to look more to themselves and false gods as the source.  We must not boast, nor ever forget where our true blessings come from.

Babylon took too much pleasure in the role they played regarding the refining of God’s people and God is angry.  Because of God’s anger, Babylon is an easy target for any of the surrounding nations that want to destroy it.

Jeremiah 50:17-20Jeremiah 50:17-20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. 18 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.  

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17 “The Israelites are like sheep

that have been scattered by lions.

First the king of Assyria ate them up.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon cracked their bones.”

18 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies,

the God of Israel , says:

“Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land,

just as I punished the king of Assyria.

19 And I will bring Israel home again to its own land,

to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan,

and to be satisfied once more

in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days,” says the LORD,

“no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah,

for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.

God had punished Assyria for what it had done to Israel and would do the same to Babylon.  Assyria was destroyed by Babylon, which had once been ruled by Assyria.  Now, Babylon would be destroyed by Medo-Persia, who at one time was under the control of Babylon.

We can also see that these verses look toward a time when Jesus Christ will rule and Israel will be fully restored.  There will be no sin found in Israel because the people will seek God and will be forgiven.

Jeremiah 50:21-30Jeremiah 50:21-30
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee. of Merathaim: or, of the rebels Pekod: or, Visitation 22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. 23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! 24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. 25 The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. 26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. from...: Heb. from the end cast...: or, tread her 27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. 28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple. 29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.  

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21 “Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim

and against the people of Pekod.

Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them,

as I have commanded you,” says the LORD.

22 “Let the battle cry be heard in the land,

a shout of great destruction.

23 Babylon, the mightiest hammer in all the earth,

lies broken and shattered.

Babylon is desolate among the nations!

24 Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you.

You are caught, for you have fought against the LORD.

25 The LORD has opened his armory

and brought out weapons to vent his fury.

The terror that falls upon the Babylonians

will be the work of the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

26 Yes, come against her from distant lands.

Break open her granaries.

Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble.

Destroy her completely, and leave nothing!

27 Destroy even her young bulls –

it will be terrible for them, too!

Slaughter them all!

For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come.

28 Listen to the people who have escaped from Babylon,

as they tell in Jerusalem

how the LORD our God has taken vengeance

against those who destroyed his Temple.

29 “Send out a call for archers to come to Babylon.

Surround the city so none can escape.

Do to her as she has done to others,

for she has defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

30 Her young men will fall in the streets and die.

Her soldiers will all be killed,”

says the LORD.

Merathaim was located in southern Babylonia and Pekod was in eastern Babylonia.  Babylon’s sins have caught up with them and God is pouring His judgment upon them.  War breaks out against Babylon just as God had intended.  The effects of war are the same for the Babylonians as with other nations:  they are now fugitives and refugees, just as they had done to others.

Jeremiah 50:31-40Jeremiah 50:31-40
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee. most...: Heb. pride 32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him. the...: Heb. pride 33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. 35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. 36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. liars: or, chief stays: Heb. bars 37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. 38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. 39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.  

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31 “See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,”

says the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

“Your day of reckoning has arrived –

the day when I will punish you.

32 O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall,

and no one will raise you up.

For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon

that will burn up everything around them.”

33 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says:

“The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged.

Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go.

34 But the one who redeems them is stong.

His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

He will defend them

and give them rest again in Israel.

But for the people of Babylon

there will be no rest!

35 “The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,”

says the LORD.

“It will strike the people of Babylon –

her officials and wise men, too.

36 The sword will strike her wise counselors,

and they will become fools.

The sword will strike her mightiest warriors,

and panic will seize them.

37 The sword will strike her horses and chariots

and her allies from other lands,

and they will all become like women.

The sword will strike her treasures,

and they all will be plundered.

38 The sword will even strike her water supply,

causing it to dry up.

And why?  Because the whole land is filled with idols,

and the people are madly in love with them.

39 “Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas.

It will be a home for owls.

Never again will people live there;

it will lie desolate forever.

40 I will destroy it as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

and their neighboring towns,” says the LORD.

“No one will live there;

no one will inhabit it.

God is very clear in the reason for Babylon’s destruction:  idols, many idols, that the people are madly in love with.  They will be stricken to the ground, never to be restored again.

Babylon

Today, the only thing that remains is a mound where Babylon used to be, and is nothing but wasteland.

Jeremiah 50:41-46Jeremiah 50:41-46
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail. 44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me? appoint me...: or, convent me to plead? 45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them. 46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.  

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41:  “Look!  A great army is coming from the north.

A great nation and many kings

are rising against you from far-off lands.

42 They are armed with bows and spears.

They are cruel and show no mercy.

As they ride forward on horses,

they sound like a roaring sea.

They are coming in battle formation,

planning to destroy you, Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about the enemy,

and he is weak with fright.

Pangs of anguish have gripped him,

like those of a woman in labor.

44 “I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,

leaping on the sheep in the pasture.

I will chase Babylon from its land,

and I will appoint the leader of my choice.

For who is like me, and who can challenge me?

What ruler can oppose my will?”

45 Listen to the LORD’S plans against Babylon

and the land of the Babylonians.

Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,

and their homes will be destroyed.

46 The earth will shake with the shout, “Babylon has been taken!”

and its cry of despair will be heard around the world.

God has spoken, and there is no one who is like Him, nor can challenge Him.  Babylon will be destroyed in its entirety, and the people who survive will be taken captive.  Everyone in the world will be able to see the humiliation and suffering of such a mighty nation, but no earthly power, no matter how great, can last forever.

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

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