The Fall of Babylon and Assurance to the Exiles

51: 45-58

DIG: What are the Jews in Babylon instructed to do? When? What will the effect be on the Jews (51:45-47 and 50-51)? Why will God punish Babylon? Why will the Jews cover their faces? Where will the escaping Jews go? Why? Where do they end up? What will happen when the armies of the antichrist surround Bozrah? What will the Jewish leadership do at that time? What will be the result? To Isra’el? To Babylon?

REFLECT: When have you had to run for your spiritual life? Was there a time when you lingered when you should have run? What did you learn from that situation? Do you remember Tziyon? What are you doing while you wait for the blessed Hope – the appearing of the Shechinah glory of the great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13), Do you look forward to it, or dread it? Why?

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):

God has a specific message for His chosen people: Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of ADONAI (51:45). Like the Egyptian Passover (see the commentary on Exodus Bx – He Will See the Blood and Pass Over that Doorway), the Jews had to do something to save themselves. When trying to escape from Pharaoh, they were instructed to slaughter the Passover lamb in the entrance, or doorway of their house, dip some hyssop into the blood from a basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. But in the far eschatological future, when trying to escape from the antichrist, they will be instructed to run for their lives.

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 [leader] against [leader]. These guerrilla conflicts between sheep Gentiles (see 51:28; 50:41 and 51:11a) and goat Gentiles (see the commentary on Revelation Fc – The Sheep and the Goats) in the various nations will precipitate the fall of Babylon. They will hear of civil war here, civil war there, but they are not to be afraid. God’s message: Don’t be afraid - just leave (51:46). 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 (51:47). Those who stay will die; those who run for their lives will live. When Yirmeyahu (under the direction of the Holy Spirit) uses the phrase in the days to come; the days are coming; in those days, in that day, at that time; or for the time will surely come, the context points either to the near historical future or the far eschatological future and which one should be used. This is the twenty-second of twenty-five times that Jeremiah uses one of these phrases.

Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy when Babylon is destroyed (see the commentary on Revelation Eq – Rejoice Over Her, O Heaven, God Has Judged Her for the Way She Treated You), for out of the north (a repeated motif) destroyers (plural) will attack her, declares the LORD. Babylon must fall because of Isra’el’s slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon (51:48-49). Once again, the specific reason why Babylon will receive this harsh judgment is because of the way they treated the Jews. The antichrist will hunt them down like animals. Even into the far eschatological future, the Abrahamic Covenant is still relevant: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse (Genesis 12:3a)

You who have escaped the sword, leave and do not linger (51:50a)! When the Jews went home after the exile, they did not escape. They were released (Ezra 1:1-3). However, the Jews who will flee Babylon will then be on a holy mission. They must do two things:

First, they must remember ADONAI in a distant land. They must believe that Yeshua is the Meshiach, be converted and be saved. And after they have been saved, they must remember Tziyon (51:50b).

Secondly, some, but not all, of the believing Jews will make their way toward Tziyon to tell the unbelieving Jews there that Babylon had fallen. Having become believers themselves they can comfort the Jerusalem Jews under the attack of the antichrist. The antichrist and his vast army will start moving toward Jerusalem about the same time that the Jews, who had fled Babylon, arrive to warn their fellow Jews that Babylon had fallen. Although the Holy City of David will fall, (see the commentary on Revelation Ex - The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon: 3. The Fall of Jerusalem), YHVH is in control, and Babylon’s fall will be a sign of the imminent fall of the antichrist himself. Then most, but not all of those Jews will leave Zion together and continue southward to Bozrah where all Isra’el will be in hiding. There those fleeing Jerusalem will tell the Jewish leadership in Bozrah what has taken place. This will have a profound effect on them.

Next the Gentile armies of the world will surround Bozrah (see the commentary on Revelation Ex - The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon: 4. The Armies of the Antichrist Descend on Bozrah). As they tighten the noose around the neck of the Jews, they are a frenzy of anticipation and excitement. They believe this will be the “final solution” that Hitler and Haman (see the commentary on Esther Aq – Haman the Agagite: Enemy of the Jews) were unable to accomplish. But this will bring about the fifth stage.

It was the Jewish leadership that led the nation of Isra’el to reject Jesus Christ (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Ek – It is only by Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons, That This Fellow Drives Out Demons); therefore the Jewish leadership in the far eschatological future will have to ask the Lord to return (see the commentary on Revelation Ex - The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon: 5. The Regeneration of Isra’el). For this to happen, two conditions must be met. First, there must be a confession of Israel’s national sin (Leviticus 26:40-42; Jeremiah 3:11-18; Hosea 5:15), and secondly, a pleading for Messiah to return (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:37-39). This will lead to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (see the commentary on Isaiah Ev – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ to Bozrah).

In response to the news that Babylon had fallen, the Jews confess: We are disgraced for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of ADONAI’s home (51:51). What we see here once again is the Law of Double Reference. In the near historical future Nebuchadnezzar would defile the Temple in 586 BC (see Gb – The Fall of Jerusalem), and in the far eschatological future the antichrist will defile the tribulation Temple (see the commentary on Revelation Bx – The Tribulation Temple). In the middle of the Great Tribulation, the antichrist, which will be the epitome of Satan, will have an image set up in the most holy place in the tribulation temple by the false prophet. There, the counterfeit son will claim to be God. He sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God (Second Thessalonians 2:4). Because Jerusalem is the religious capital of the world for ADONAI, the counterfeit Messiah will set up his counterfeit religious capital in the City (see the commentary on Revelation Dr – The Abomination That Causes Desolation).

YHVH answers their plea. But the days are coming, declares the LORD. This is the twenty-third of twenty-five times that one of these phrases above will be used in Jeremiah.Although Ha’Shem will allow both Nebuchadnezzar and the antichrist a certain amount of latitude, there will be judgment upon the gods of Babylon. The days are coming, when I will punish her idols, and throughout her land the wounded will groan. The far eschatological future destruction of Babylon is inescapable. Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens and fortifies her lofty stronghold, I will send destroyers (plural) against her, declares ADONAI (51:52-53).

The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians. The cries come for three reasons.

First, The Lord will destroy Babylon. The context here is the far eschatological future because Cyrus did not destroy Babylon in 539 BC (see Ez – ); He will silence her noisy din. Waves of enemies (plural) will rage like grA Message Against Babyloneat waters; the roar of their voices will resound (51:54-55).

Second, a destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken (51:56a).

Third, for ADONAI is a God of retribution; He will repay in full (51:56b). The world does not want to hear this. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever (First John 2:16-17). Those in rebellion against Ha’Shem will never get away with anything (see the commentary on Revelation Fo – The Great White Throne Judgment).

I will make her officials and wise men drink the cup of divine wrath; her governors, officers and warriors will sleep forever and not awake, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of heaven’s angelic army (51:57). Again, this cannot be referring to Cyrus’ take-over of Babylon in 539 BC because it was unopposed. No governors, officers or warriors (soldiers) died. In fact, virtually everyone in Babylon didn’t even know their capital had been captured until the next day when it was all over. Only one person died: That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain (Dani’el 5:30a).

This is what ADONAI-Tzva’ot says: Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled and her high gates set on fire. The people exhaust themselves for nothing, the nation’s labor is only fuel for the flames (Jeremiah 51:58 and Habakkuk 2:13b with minor alterations). Again, when Cyrus took Babylon in 539 BC, he did not demolish the city walls or burn down her high gates. Therefore, the fall of Babylon here must be in the far eschatological future.

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