51:1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against
Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them
that rise against me, a destroying a wind;
(a) The Medes and Persians who will destroy them as the
wind does the chaff.
51:5 For Israel [hath] not [been] b forsaken, nor Judah by his
God, by the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled
with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
(b) Though they were forsaken for a time, yet they were not
utterly cast off as though their husbands were dead.
51:6c Flee from the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man
his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this [is] the
time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render to her a
(c) He shows that there remains nothing for them that abide
in Babylon but destruction, (Jer 17:6,48:6).
51:7 Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the d LORD'S hand,
that made all the earth drunk: the nations have drunk of
her wine; therefore the nations are e mad.
(d) By whom the Lord poured out the drink of his vengeance,
to whom it pleased him.
(e) For the great afflictions that they have felt by the
51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed:
forsake her, and let f us go every one into his own
country: for her judgment reacheth to heaven, and is lifted
[even] to the skies.
(f) Thus the people of God exhort one another to go to Zion
and praise God.
51:10 The LORD hath brought forth our g righteousness: come,
and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.
(g) In approving our cause and punishing our enemies.
51:11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath
raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his
purpose [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it
[is] the vengeance of the LORD, the h vengeance of his
(h) For the wrong done to his people and to his temple,
51:13 O thou that dwellest upon many i waters, abundant in
treasures, thy end is come, [and] the measure of thy
(i) For the land of Chaldea was full of rivers which ran
into the Euphrates.
51:17 Every man is senseless by [his] k knowledge; every
goldsmith is confounded by the graven image: for his
molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath in
51:18 They [are] vanity, the work of errors: in the time of
their l judgment they shall perish.
(l) When God will execute his vengeance.
51:19 The m portion of Jacob [is] not like them; for he [is]
the one who formed of all things: and [Israel is] the rod
of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts [is] his name.
(m) That is, the true God of Israel is not like these
idols: for he can help when all things are desperate.
51:20 Thou [art] my n battle axe [and] weapons of war: for
with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with
thee will I destroy kingdoms;
(n) He means the Medes and Persians, as before he called
the Babylonians his hammer, (Jer 50:23).
51:25 Behold, I [am] against thee, O destroying o mountain,
saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will
stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the
p rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
(o) Not that Babylon stood on a mountain but because it
was strong and seemed invincible.
(p) From your strongholds and fortresses.
51:27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among
the nations, prepare the nations against her, call
together against her the kingdoms of q Ararat, Minni,
and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the
horses to come up as the rough caterpillers.
(q) By these three nations he means Armenia the higher,
Armenia the lower and Scythia; for Cyrus had gathered
an army of various nations.
51:31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to
meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is
taken at r [one] end,
(r) By turning the course of the river one side was made
open and the reeds that grew in the water were
destroyed which Cyrus did by the counsel of Gobria and
Gabatha Belshazzar's captains.
51:33 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The
daughter of Babylon [is] like a threshingfloor, [it is]
time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of
her harvest s shall come.
(s) When she will be cut up and threshed.
51:34 Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath t devoured me,
he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he
hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his
belly with my delicacies, he hath cast me out.
(t) This is spoken in the person of the Jews bewailing
their state and the cruelty of the Babylonians.
51:36 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy
u cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up
her sea, and make her springs dry.
(u) Thus the Lord esteemed the injury done to his Church
as done to himself because their cause is his.
51:39 In their x heat I will make their feasts, and I will
make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a
perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD.
(x) When they are inflamed with surfeiting and drinking, I
will feast with them, alluding to Belshazzar's
banquet, (Da 5:2).
51:41 How is y Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the
whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an horror
among the nations!
51:42 The z sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with
the multitude of its waves.
(z) The great army of the Medes and Persians.
51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth
out of his mouth that which a he hath swallowed: and the
nations shall not flow together any more to him: even the
wall of Babylon shall fall.
(a) That is, his gifts and presents which he had received
as part of the spoil of other nations, and which the
idolaters brought to him from all countries.
51:46 And lest your heart should faint, and ye should fear for
the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall
both come [one] b year, and after that in [another] year
[shall come] a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler
(b) Meaning that Babylon would not be destroyed all at
once but little by little would be brought to nothing
for the first year came the tidings, the next year the
siege and in the third year it was taken: yet this is
not that horrible destruction which the prophets
threatened in many places: for that was after this
when they rebelled and Darius over came them by the
policy of Zopyrus, and hanged three thousand gentlemen
beside the common people.
51:48 Then the heaven and c the earth, and all that [is] in
them, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come
to her from the north, saith the LORD.
(c) All creatures in heaven and earth will rejoice and
praise God for the destruction of Babylon the great
enemy of his Church.
51:49 As Babylon [hath caused] the d slain of Israel to fall,
so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.
(d) Babylon not only destroyed Israel, but many other
51:50 Ye that e have escaped the sword, go away, stand not
still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come
into your mind.
(e) Yet that are now captives in Babylon.
51:51 We are f confounded, because we have heard reproach:
shame hath covered our faces: for foreigners are come into
the sanctuaries of the LORD'S house.
(f) He shows how they would remember Jerusalem by
lamenting the miserable affliction of it.
51:53 Though Babylon should mount up to g heaven, and though
she should fortify the height of her strength, [yet] from
me shall spoilers come to her, saith the LORD.
(g) For the walls were two hundred feet high.
51:57 And I will h make drunk her princes, and her wise [men],
her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they
shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the
King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts.
(h) I will so astonish them by affliction that they will
not know which way to turn themselves.
51:58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The i broad walls of
Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall
be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain,
and the people in the fire, and they shall be weary.
(i) The thickness of the wall was fifty feet.
51:59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the
son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with
Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the k fourth
year of his reign. And [this] Seraiah [was] a quiet
(k) This was not in the time of his captivity but seven
years before, when he went either to congratulate
Nebuchadnezzar or to intreat of some matters.
51:63 And it shall be, when thou hast finished reading this
book, [that] thou shalt bind a l stone to it, and cast
it into the midst of Euphrates:
(l) John in his Revelation alludes to this place when he
says that the angel took a millstone and cast it into
the sea: signifying by it the destruction of Babylon,
51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not
rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they
shall m be weary. Thus far [are] the words of Jeremiah.
(m) They will not be able to resist but will labour in