Today: [Jeremiah 51] Silencing the Voice of Babylon. What is the “great voice” that is heard in the earth today? Jeremiah describes not only the destruction of ancient Babylon, but of a Babylon to come in the end times that would be possessed of a “great voice” that God would silence. Believers both in this chapter of Jeremiah and in the book of Revelation are urged by the Spirit of God to identify and to come out of the Babylon system, to which end we study our chapter today.
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[Jer 51:1-64 KJV] 1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; 2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about. 3 Against [him that] bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against [him that] lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host. 4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and [they that are] thrust through in her streets. 5 For Israel [hath] not [been] forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel. 6 Flee out of 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 unto her a recompence. 7 Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. 8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. 9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up [even] to the skies. 10 The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God. 11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple. 12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, [and] the measure of thy covetousness. 14 The LORD of hosts hath sworn by himself, [saying], Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillers; and they shall lift up a shout against thee. 15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. 16 When he uttereth [his] voice, [there is] a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. 17 Every man is brutish by [his] knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath in them. 18 They [are] vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 19 The portion of Jacob [is] not like them; for he [is] the former of all things: and [Israel is] the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts [is] his name. 20 Thou [art] my battle axe [and] weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; 21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; 22 With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; 23 I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.
In this chapter, Jeremiah continues to prophesy against the nation of Babylon. He begins with a description of a destroying wind that God would send against them as a flame that will be fanned against her in a day of trouble. In studying this we reflect on the 6 references to the spirit of Babylon in the modern day and ponder what her identity might be. Whatever form modern day Babylon takes we know from Rev. 17:6 that she is a system that is represented by a woman drunk with the blood of the saints astride a beast with many names. In verse 6 we see the call to flee out of the midst of Babylon that we might deliver our souls in the time of the Lord’s vengeance. Therefore, we conclude that Babylon is a societal group or people group of some form. People are involved in Babylon and the prophet calls for them to flee Babylon. Verse 7 goes on to describe natural Babylon of ancient times as a golden cup in the hand of the Lord that verse 8 says will fall suddenly and be destroyed.
24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD. 25 Behold, I [am] against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. 26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD. 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 Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers. 28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. 29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in [their] holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken. 31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at [one] end, 32 And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted. 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 shall come. 34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath 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 delicates, he hath cast me out. 35 The violence done to me and to my flesh [be] upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. 36 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. 37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions’ whelps. 39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD. 40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats. 41 How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! 42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. 43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth [any] son of man pass thereby. 44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
When we think of Babylon as a people group, what kind of people are in Babylon? In ancient times of course there were citizens in Babylon and there were captives in Babylon of all the nations that she conquered whose people were forced to serve her. What of the modern day Babylon system (whatever that may be). What kind of people are in what Revelations calls “Mystery Babylon” today? (Just as an aside, if the US is Babylon as some suggest, v. 6 tells us that 5 of her leaders from John the revelator’s perspective were assassinated. Up to this point only 4 US presidents have been murdered in office). Rev. 18 tells us the following:
[Rev 18:4 KJV] 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
This is very telling. Whatever Babylon is in the modern day – it is something wherein are found the people of God. Whether this is a nation, or some other group God is speaking her that believers will have to make a decision to exit out of Babylon in the same way that Lot was compelled by the angels to leave Sodom before her destruction.
In verse 28 Jeremiah specifically mentions by foreknowledge that it will be the Medes and the Persians that will destroy Babylon which is in fact what came to pass decades later. Jeremiah goes on to describe the cities of Babylon becoming a desolation and a wilderness. We must remember that bible prophecy generally has an immediate, natural fulfillment involving the natural state of Israel as a nation, and then a further spiritual fulfillment touching on the destiny of the church and the coming of Christ from a spiritual, or metaphorical perspective. Ancient Babylon was an actual nation state that destroyed Judah and Jerusalem. Modern day Mystery Babylon, spoken of 6 times in the book of Revelation is a spiritual principle working against the people of God in the earth, influencing the society against the purposes of God.
45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD. 46 And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come [one] year, and after that in [another] year [shall come] a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. 47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. 48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that [is] therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the LORD. 49 As Babylon [hath caused] the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. 50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. 51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD’S house. 52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, [yet] from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD. 54 A sound of a cry [cometh] from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans: 55 Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered: 56 Because the spoiler is come upon her, [even] upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite. 57 And I will 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. 58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The 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 folk in the fire, and they shall be weary. 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 fourth year of his reign. And [this] Seraiah [was] a quiet prince. 60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, [even] all these words that are written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; 62 Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. 63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, [that] thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: 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 be weary. Thus far [are] the words of Jeremiah.
Verse 46-47 speaks of time of Babylon’s fall as being characterized by rumors. What is a rumor? Some have today have called a rumor “fake news”. This has become such a problem today that social media outlets and news organizations are spending time and money to figure out how to limit the spread of manufactured, libelous and false reporting. In the beginning the news organizations slanted coverage to support their political leanings, but now this practice has become so widespread and so pronounced that the public no longer trusts in any of the reporting being done as it once did. This of course affects network revenues and therefore efforts are being made to restore at least the appearance of integrity in news coverage in the western world. The deeper problem is that the command “thou shalt not lie” does not hold any authority in a world that does not recognize any higher authority than its own, skewed opinion of itself. There is in the minds of many no difference between the truth or a lie. The choice of one or the other is no longer a moral choice but a choice of which view, accurate or false supports the point that the reporter, writer or pundit is trying to make. This is a problem that arises and originates in the spirit of Babylon (meaning confusion) that dominates the world scene today.
The ascendency of Babylon is marked today as it was in Gen. 6 by the inability of people to agree (or, to speak the same language). Part of this is the judgment of God as it was in Gen. 6. As bad as things are on the world scene, imagine the ascendancy of the anti-Christ spirit that would prevail if nations and people groups suddenly came together in total agreement as was the case in Gen. 6 when the people came together not in submission to God but to build a tower that that they might shake a fist in God’s face. Therefore as we see confusion of nations, and the seeming inability of leaders to solve world problems, let us pause and reflect that in some measure this is God confounding our enemies by turning them upon each other in order to occupy their attention from turning further than it is already against the people of God than they already have.
In the end, (v. 5) Babylon will be spoiled, an note that her “great voice” will be silenced. What might that be? What is the “great voice” of Babylon today? Could it be the media? Some in the US have called the media the 5th branch of government. We certainly need a free press to maintain our civil liberties, but is there a limit? Is there a point when godless men leverage the power of the press to oppose the good and foster an anti-Christ agenda in the earth? The answer, upon considering the character of the press and the media in general is self-revealing.
At the end of reading this book in the ears of those that would hear, Jeremiah is instructed to bind a stone to the scroll and cast it into the river Euphrates. Such would be the end of Babylon declares the Father. The question is when Babylon sinks beneath the waves will those commanded to come OUT of Babylon been successful in identifying her and extricating themselves from her fate?
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