Jeremiah 51:8–9 “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. 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.”
Again the words echo from previous studies.
Isaiah 21:9 “And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.”
Revelation 14:8 “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
In the passage from Isaiah the Lord has issued a call to the Medes and Persians to come and conquer Babylon, and a runner has come to tell the watchmen in Jerusalem that Babylon has fallen. This would appear to be the near application of this message. It wouldn’t surprise me, however, to learn that there is similar application to the destruction of Babylon yet to come being heralded in the verses from Revelation.
In context with previous verses I believe that the primary application is yet future. The indication is that the nations would like to see Babylon healed, but that is not possible. They realize that her judgment has come from heaven. Why would they bemoan her fall? John tells us that it is because her fall has affected their prosperity.
Revelation 18:9–11 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more….”
Jeremiah 51:10 “The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.”
I think it is fair to say that this is a valid response from both the Jews who were in captivity in Babylon and the future remnant of Jews that will suffer under the rule of the Antichrist. They are eager to praise God’s judgment against Babylon and view it as victory for righteousness.
Jeremiah 51:11 “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.”
This verse is again confirming that God chose to use the Medes and Persians to conquer Babylon. At the time, Darius the Mede was the acting ruler.
Daniel 5:30–31 “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”
The purpose of God’s judgment is declared to be an act of vengeance; an act that only God is authorized to take.
Psalms 94:1 “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.”
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
Only God possesses the authority and moral integrity to act in vengeance according to a non-biased or self-serving view of right and wrong. Point is made that God will be avenging Babylon’s destruction of His temple through the kings of the Medes. Again, this would be referring to the near fulfillment of this prophecy.
Jeremiah 51:12–13 “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. O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.”
Verse 12 seems to be a call to Babylon to prepare for attack because the LORD has planned and implemented His judgment in vengeance against her. I think it is important to note that the wording is that of a done deed.
As He continued to address the people of Babylon in verse 13, my mind again made a direct connection with Revelation 17.
Revelation 17:1 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters….”
John goes on to identify the “many waters” as peoples and nations.
Revelation 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
In other words, Babylon’s riches have come at the expense of the nations over whom she has ruled. I believe this again to be applicable to both the Babylon of the 6th century BC as well as to Babylon of the 21st century (if I am reading the signs of the time correctly).
The last phrase in verse 13 makes me think of the following verses from Revelation that declare that Babylon is going to be judged in accordance with her treatment of others.
Revelation 18:5–6 “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.”
(to be continued…)