Yahweh will destroy Babylon and return the people of Israel to their land.
Yahweh sets his archers on Babylon: “Range yourselves roundabout Babylon, all you who draw the bow; Shoot at her, don’t spare arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord.” (v. 14)
III. Select Verses
4-8: In those days and at that time — declares the LORD — the people of Israel together with the people of Judah shall come, and they shall weep as they go to seek the LORD their God. They shall inquire for Zion; in that direction their faces shall turn; they shall come and attach themselves to the LORD by a covenant for all time, which shall never be forgotten. My people were lost sheep: their shepherds led them astray, they drove them out to the mountains, they roamed from mount to hill, they forgot their own resting place. All who encountered them devoured them; and their foes said, “We shall not be held guilty, because they have sinned against the LORD, the true Pasture, the Hope of their fathers — the LORD.” Flee from Babylon, Leave the land of the Chaldeans, And be like he-goats that lead the flock!
9-10: For see, I am rousing and leading An assemblage of great nations against Babylon From the lands of the north. They shall draw up their lines against her, There she shall be captured. Their arrows are like those of a skilled warrior Who does not turn back without hitting the mark. Chaldea shall be despoiled, All her spoilers shall be sated — declares the LORD.
17-19: Israel are scattered sheep, harried by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured them, and in the end King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon crunched their bones. Assuredly, thus said the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: I will deal with the king of Babylon and his land as I dealt with the king of Assyria. And I will lead Israel back to his pasture, and he shall graze in Carmel and Bashan, and eat his fill in the hill country of Ephraim and in Gilead.
20: In those days and at that time — declares the LORD — ¶ The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, And there shall be none; The sins of Judah, And none shall be found; For I will pardon those I allow to survive.
35-38: A sword against the Chaldeans — declares the LORD — ¶ And against the inhabitants of Babylon, Against its officials and its wise men! A sword against the diviners, that they be made fools of! A sword against the warriors, that they be dismayed! A sword against its horses and chariots, And against all the motley crowd in its midst, That they become like women! A sword against its treasuries, that they be pillaged! A drought against its waters, that they be dried up! For it is a land of idols; They are besotted by their dread images.
2-3. Call to declare Babylon’s destruction
4-8. Call and prediction for Israel and Judah to return from Babylon
9-10. Northerners will destroy Babylon
11. Rationale: Babylon destroyed Judah with joy and power
13. Onlookers will be appalled
14. Call to battle
15. The moment of surrender
16. The inhabitants will flee
17-19. Israel will be returned and Babylon will be punished like Assyria
20. Israel is innocent
21-22. Call to battle
23. Babylon is appalling
24. Rationale: Babylon challenged Yahweh
25. Yahweh has sent his weapons
26-27. Call to destroy
28. Babylon’s refugees tell Zion about Yahweh’s vengeance
29. Call to destroy
30. Mass death
31-32. Babylon’s insolence will be crushed
33-34. Yahweh will release Israel from Babylon’s oppression
35-38. Death for the different types of Babylonian leaders
39-40. Complete destruction, like Sodom and Gomorrah
41-43. The sound of the northerners frightens the king of Babylon
44. Yahweh is like a lion from the brush
45. Call to hear Yahweh’s plan of destruction
46. The sounds of Babylon’s destruction are like an earthquake
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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