Bible Study Topic: Prophecy - Babylon
An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.
I have commanded my holy ones; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath, those who rejoice in my triumph.
Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war.
They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his wrath, to destroy the whole country.
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man's heart will melt.
Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
See, the day of the LORD is coming ,a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, each will return to his own people, each will flee to his native land.
Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished.
See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.
Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children.
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians' pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.
She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there.
But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about.
Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!
The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,
which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.
All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.
Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down."
The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you, all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones, all those who were kings over the nations.
They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us."
All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,
the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?"
All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb.
But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again.
Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities.
"I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD.
"I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty. A Prophecy Against Assyria
The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.
I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders."
This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? A Prophecy Against the Philistines
Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: 'Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!' "
Look at the land of the Babylonians, this people that is now of no account! The Assyrians have made it a place for desert creatures; they raised up their siege towers, they stripped its fortresses bare and turned it into a ruin.
"Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.'
Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
"But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and will make it desolate forever.
This is the word the LORD spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians :
"Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, 'Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Marduk filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror.'
A nation from the north will attack her and lay waste her land. No one will live in it; both men and animals will flee away.
How broken and shattered is the hammer of the whole earth! How desolate is Babylon among the nations!
I set a trap for you, O Babylon, and you were caught before you knew it; you were found and captured because you opposed the LORD.
The LORD has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign LORD Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.
Come against her from afar. Break open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain. Completely destroy her and leave her no remnant.
This is what the LORD says: "See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.
I will send foreigners to Babylon to winnow her and to devastate her land; they will oppose her on every side in the day of her disaster.
Let not the archer string his bow, nor let him put on his armor. Do not spare her young men; completely destroy her army.
They will fall down slain in Babylon, fatally wounded in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the LORD Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel.
"Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the LORD's vengeance; he will pay her what she deserves.
Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD's hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.
Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed.
" 'We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to his own land, for her judgment reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the clouds.'
" 'The LORD has vindicated us; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD our God has done.'
"Sharpen the arrows, take up the shields! The LORD has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The LORD will take vengeance, vengeance for his temple.
Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen, prepare an ambush! The LORD will carry out his purpose, his decree against the people of Babylon.
You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off.
The LORD Almighty has sworn by himself: I will surely fill you with men, as with a swarm of locusts, and they will shout in triumph over you.
"He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
"Every man is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them.
They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish.
He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including the tribe of his inheritance, the LORD Almighty is his name.
"You are my war club, my weapon for battle, with you I shatter nations, with you I destroy kingdoms,
with you I shatter horse and rider, with you I shatter chariot and driver,
with you I shatter man and woman, with you I shatter old man and youth, with you I shatter young man and maiden,
with you I shatter shepherd and flock, with you I shatter farmer and oxen, with you I shatter governors and officials.
"Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion," declares the LORD.
"I am against you, O destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth," declares the LORD. "I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain.
No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone, nor any stone for a foundation, for you will be desolate forever," declares the LORD.
"Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her; summon against her these kingdoms: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
Prepare the nations for battle against her, the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officials, and all the countries they rule.
The land trembles and writhes, for the LORD's purposes against Babylon stand, to lay waste the land of Babylon so that no one will live there.
Babylon's warriors have stopped fighting; they remain in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted; they have become like women. Her dwellings are set on fire; the bars of her gates are broken.
One courier follows another and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon that his entire city is captured,
the river crossings seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers terrified."
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "The Daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trampled; the time to harvest her will soon come."
"Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us, he has thrown us into confusion, he has made us an empty jar. Like a serpent he has swallowed us and filled his stomach with our delicacies, and then has spewed us out.
May the violence done to our flesh be upon Babylon," say the inhabitants of Zion. "May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia," says Jerusalem.
Therefore, this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.
Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, a place where no one lives.
Her people all roar like young lions, they growl like lion cubs.
But while they are aroused, I will set out a feast for them and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter, then sleep forever and not awake," declares the LORD.
"I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats.
"How Sheshach will be captured, the boast of the whole earth seized! What a horror Babylon will be among the nations!
The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her.
Her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives, through which no man travels.
I will punish Bel in Babylon and make him spew out what he has swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him. And the wall of Babylon will fall.
"Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the LORD.
Do not lose heart or be afraid when rumors are heard in the land; one rumor comes this year, another the next, rumors of violence in the land and of ruler against ruler.
For the time will surely come when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land will be disgraced and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for out of the north destroyers will attack her," declares the LORD.
"Babylon must fall because of Israel's slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon.
You who have escaped the sword, leave and do not linger! Remember the LORD in a distant land, and think on Jerusalem."
"We are disgraced, for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the LORD's house."
"But days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish her idols, and throughout her land the wounded will groan.
Even if Babylon reaches the sky and fortifies her lofty stronghold, I will send destroyers against her," declares the LORD.
"The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.
The LORD will destroy Babylon; he will silence her noisy din. Waves of enemies will rage like great waters; the roar of their voices will resound.
A destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken. For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay in full.
I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Babylon's thick wall will be leveled and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing, the nations' labor is only fuel for the flames."
This is the message Jeremiah gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign.
Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon,all that had been recorded concerning Babylon.
He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud.
Then say, 'O LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate forever.'
When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates.
Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.' " The words of Jeremiah end here.
"This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.
You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;
in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
"After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.
Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron,for iron breaks and smashes everything,and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.
Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.
As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands,a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."