Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part LXXXIX: God's Reversing The Fortunes Of Israel And Babylon For Babylon's Destructive Rebellion

(Jeremiah 50:17-46)


I.              Introduction

A.    The Genesis 12:1-3 Abrahamic Covenant provided that God would bless those who blessed the descendants of Abraham but curse those who cursed them.

B.    Though God had raised up first Assyria to punish the Northern Kingdom of Israel and then Babylon to punish the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Assyria and Babylon had mistreated God's people in rebellion against Him.

C.    Jeremiah 50:17-46 predicts God's punishment for this sin, and we view it for our insight and application:

II.           God's Reversing The Fortunes Of Israel And Babylon For Babylon's Destructive Rebellion.

A.    The Lord predicted He would punish Babylon like He had punished Assyria, for the king of Assyria had figuratively devoured Israel and the king of Babylon had gnawed on Israel's bones, Jer. 50:17-18.  This refers to Assyria's invasion and capture of Israel and Babylon's later invasion and capture of Judah, with God's promise to punish Babylon like He had punished Assyria for mistreating His people.

B.    Opposite Babylon's fall, God promised to restore Israel and Judah when the nations of Israel and Judah would be purged of their sins, a reference to the still future Messianic Kingdom of Christ when Israel and Judah enjoy the benefits of the Jeremiah 31:31-34 New Covenant, Jer. 50:19-20; Bible Know. Com. O. T., p. 1200.

C.    However, the Lord said He would punish Babylon for opposing Him, Jeremiah 50:21-28:

1.     "Merathaim" alludes to the region of Mat Maratim where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers enter the Persian Gulf and "Pekod" alludes to the Aramean tribe, Pequdu, but a word play is also involved: peqod in Hebrew means "to punish" and meratayim in Hebrew means "double rebellion," Jeremiah 50:21; Ibid.

2.     God would thus punish Babylon for her double rebellion against Him, and in Hebrew when an expression is doubled, it intensifies it, meaning Babylon would be punished for great rebellion against God! (Ibid.)

3.     Jeremiah 50:22-27 then presents God as calling for invaders to attack Babylon to destroy and plunder her, and Jeremiah 50:28 tells of the flight of people from Babylon during God's vengeance against her.

D.    Babylon would also be invaded and destroyed because of her proud defiance of the Lord, Jer. 50:29-32:

1.     God called for the invading army's archers to surround and entrap Babylon to repay her for her deeds of wickedness, for she had proudly defied the Lord God of Israel, Jeremiah 50:29.

2.     Accordingly, with God against Babylon, He would punish her via the invading armies, Jeremiah 50:30-32.

E.    The Lord would also punish Babylon for oppressing Israel and Judah in idolatry, Jeremiah 50:33-38:

1.     Noting that Israel as well as Judah would have been oppressed by invading Gentiles in the form of first Assyria and then Babylon, God predicted that though their oppressors had held them fast, refusing to let them go, their Redeemer, the Lord of hosts or of armies was strong, and He would plead their cause to give rest to the earth but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon, Jeremiah 50:33-34.

2.     Accordingly, God called for a sword against Babylon and all of her social segments (Jer. 50:35-37) and a drought against her waters that they might be dried up in judgment of her great idolatry, Jer. 50:38.

F.     Then, in Jeremiah 50:39-46, the Lord predicted the dismal end of Babylon:

1.     He predicted that wild animals like hyenas and ostriches would dwell in Babylon, Jeremiah 50:39a ESV.

2.     Never again would the city have people dwell in it or be inhabited, Jeremiah 50:39b.  Babylon would be like Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities in their fall, with no man dwelling there and no one even sojourning there as a visitor, Jeremiah 50:40 ESV.

3.     The invasion of Babylon is thus prophetically and poetically described in Jeremiah 50:41-42, with the king of Babylon responding to the event with fear and anguish, Jeremiah 50:43.

4.     God would use invaders to cause Babylon's people to flee from her like a wild lion scatters terrified game, and He would appoint over her whomever He chose to rule, Jeremiah 50:44.

5.     The Lord shared His plan of the great destruction of Babylon, what would cause the earth to tremble, and the cry of the fallen city would be heard among the nations, Jeremiah 50:45-46.


Lesson: For mistreating His people in proud rebellion and opposition against the Lord, God Almighty would cause Babylon to be destroyed and be left permanently desolate though He eventually would restore His forgiven people.


Application: May we repent of proud rebellion and opposition to the Lord, and may we treat His people well.