Babylon’s Enemy and Isra’el’s Redeemer

50: 25-38

DIG: How can we know for sure that some of these verses alternate back and forth between near historical prophecies and far eschatological prophecies? What will the effect be on the Jews (50:28 and 33-34)? How has God changed Babylon’s role at the end of the Babylonian Captivity? What does Jeremiah tell us about Isra’el’s ultimate Redeemer? On what basis is ADONAI required to redeem Isra’el? In what way did a sword hang over Isra’el’s false prophets? What will make them go mad?

REFLECT: How does the fact that YHVH is the Covenant Keeper, and a Kinsman Redeemer give you comfort in your struggles in this life? Explain.

These prophecies were made in 594-593 BC during the eleven-year reign of Zedekiah

This is the word ADONAI spoke through Yirmeyahu the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians (50:1 CJB): So this prophecy blends both the near and the far. That is, the near historical fall of Babylon in 539 BC by Cyrus the Great . . . and the far eschatological fall of Mystery Babylon at the end of the Great Tribulation.

Far eschatological prophecy: ADONAI has opened his store of arms and brought out the weapons of His wrath; for Adonai YHVH-Tzva’ot has work to do, His strange work (see the commentary on Isaiah Fn – Your Covenant of Death Will Be Annulled) in the land of the Babylonians (50:25 CJB), the capital of the antichrist.

Ha’Shem will give instructions to the enemies of Babylon: Attack her from every direction! Open her stores of grain! Pile her up like heaps of grain; cherem, devoted to destruction (see Fb – The Destruction of Babylon and Restoration of Isra’el: three degrees of excommunication). Destroy her completely and leave nothing! This did not happen in 539 BC when Cyrus the Great captured Babylon without a fight (Dani’el 5). The Babylonian soldiers here are spoken of figuratively as sacrificial bulls, the strong ones of the nation (Isaiah 34:6-7). Kill all her bulls! Let them go down to be slaughtered! Woe to them! For their day has come, the time for them to be punished (50:26-27 CJB). This could only happen during the end of the Great Tribulation.

On the other hand, we see the flight of the Jews from Babylon to Bozrah (see the commentary on Isaiah Kg – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ to Bozrah). Hear the sound of the fugitives, of those escaping from Babylon, coming to proclaim Tziyon the vengeance of ADONAI our God, vengeance over His Temple (50:28 CJB).

Call up archers [military forces] against Babylon, all whose bows are strung (see the commentary on Revelation Ej – They Will Make War Against the Lamb, But the Lamb Will Overcome Them). Besiege her from every side, let no one escape. Repay her for her deeds against Isra’el; as MYSTERY BABYLON has done (see the commentary on Revelation Dd – I Saw a Woman Holding a Golden Cup), do to her. For she insulted ADONAI the Holy One of Isra’el by spreading a false religious system throughout the world. This is why her young men will fall in her open places, why all her warriors will be silenced in death on that day at the end of the Great Tribulation, says ADONAI. Again, this did not happen when Cyrus captured Babylon without a fight in 539 BC (see Ez – A Message Against Babylon). There was no battle at that time. No warriors fell. I am against you, arrogant one [antichrist], says Adonai YHVH-Tzva’ot. For your day has come, the time for you to be punished. The arrogant one (Isaiah 14:13-14; 2 Thess 2:3-4), will stumble and fall, and no one will lift him up again. I will set his cities on fire, and it will devour everything around him (50:29-32 CJB). Again, this did not happen in 539 BC.

Thus says the LORD of heaven's angelic armies:

Near historical prophecy: It is not unusual for either Jeremiah or Isaiah to alternateback and forth between near historical prophecies and far eschatological prophecies. The people of Isra’el are oppressed, and so are the people of Judah. Those who took them captive hold them fast; they refuse to let them go (50:33 CJB). But eventually the oppression of Isra’el will give way to the redemption of Isra’el. Clearly the role assigned to Babylon at the end of the Babylonian Captivity is very different from the role assigned to Babylon earlier in the days of Zedekiah.

Far eschatological prophecy: But their go’el, their kinsman redeemer is strong (see the commentary on Ruth As – Boaz is One of Our Closest Relatives, He is One of Our Kinsman Redeemers); ADONAI of heaven's angelic armies is His name. This emphasizes YHVH in His role as the Covenant Keeper. He will thoroughly plead their cause, so that He can give rest to the Land but unrest to those who live in Babylon (50:34 CJB).

It was on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant that God’s name required Him to redeem (Hebrew: ga’al) Isra’el from Egypt in the days of the exodus (Exodus 6:6 and 15:13). By the same token, because He is God Almighty, because He is the Covenant Keeper, it is for that very reason that He redeemed Isra’el from the hands of the Babylonians in the past (see the commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah Ah - Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return), just as He will redeem Isra’el from the hands of the antichrist in the future (see the commentary on Isaiah Kc – The Redemption of Jerusalem and Isra’el).

ADONAI says:

Near historical prophecy: A sword (cherev, sounds like hair-av) hangs over Babylon, and over those who live in Babylon, over her officials and wise men. This sword is aimed at a significant element of society – princes, wise men, false prophets, warriors, horses, chariots, foreigners, and treasures. A sword hangs over her false prophets! And in each case, there is to be a radical reversal. The false prophets will become fools. A sword against her warriors! They will be filled with terror. A sword against her horses and chariots and all the foreigners in her ranks! They will become weaklings. A sword against her treasures! They will be plundered (50:35-37).

Far eschatological prophecy: A drought (chorev, sounds like hor-av) on her waters! They will dry up (see the commentary on Revelation Eg – I Saw Three Evil Spirits That Looked Like Frogs). The Euphrates didn’t dry up when Cyrus captured Babylon, her waters were diverted. For it is a land of idols (a contemptuous term for their gods), idols that will go mad with terror (50:38). They will go mad as a result of their own hand made idols.

 

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