Question: Jeremiah 49:39 (last verse of Jer) it says:
39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring back the captivity of Elam, saith Jehovah.
Who is this Elam?
Is it the Kurds? The Persians? Someone else?
Now, to chapter 50.
Now, this chapter is about Babylon, but it is also about Israel. Furthermore, it is a VITAL chapter about Israel and the Ezekiel Tetrad. What happens here is a key component to the Ezekiel Tetrad.
And, it’s a sign.
Let’s get into it.
“1 ¶ The word that Jehovah spake concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet.
2 Declare ye among the nations and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed; her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.
3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they are fled, they are gone, both man and beast.
Okay, we’ve got a big question here. Who is this country from the north?
Is it the US and her allies?
It could be. The US DOES come from a place that is somewhat north of Iraq. (Oh, by the way, we ARE talking about Iraq when we speak of Babylon.)
But, is it really the US?
I’m not certain.
Let’s continue with the rest of the chapter and try to figure this out.
4 In those days, and in that time, saith Jehovah, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; they shall go on their way weeping, and shall seek Jehovah their God.
Okay, Israel hasn’t done that yet. Just walk the streets of Tel Aviv. They aren’t seeking Jehovah their God.
However, it DOES say “In those days, and in that time”. That’s a pretty broad category. It’s not an ORDINAL concept. What I mean is that “In those days” doesn’t mean that this must happen BEFORE what comes next.
All that I’m saying is to keep an open mind. There’s a lot of strange stuff going on in the world, and I don’t want any of us to be ambushed because we thought that a certain thing had to happen first.
It could be that Iraq gets destroyed first and THEN Israel returns to God.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
5 They shall inquire concerning Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come ye, and join yourselves to Jehovah in an everlasting covenant that shall not be forgotten.
Has this happened before?
This is in the future.
But, aren’t they ALREADY in an everlasting covenant?
Yes, they are. The Mosaic Covenant is eternal – just as all the PREVIOUS covenants are eternal. The covenant made with Adam also still stands.
So, if Israel is to have an everlasting covenant given to them, a covenant that is eternal, and will not be forgotten… and, if they are already IN an eternal covenant… what covenant is this?
The covenant of Messiah – the New Covenant from Jesus Christ, Yeshuah Mashiach.
If it’s not that, then it must be something even more new, and I cannot imagine what that would be because there’s nothing in the bible that points to it.
Or, let me put it another way. This ‘everlasting covenant’ isn’t anything that has come before the writing of Jeremiah, or we’d be talking about THAT. So, what’s left?
For some, that might be a problem. If so, you’re on your own. I don’t have a better answer.
6 My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray; they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting-place.
For two thousand years, Israel has been wandering without a resting place. In fact, it’s easy to argue that they really HAVE forgotten what it’s like to have a resting place.
7 All that found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, We are not guilty, because they have sinned against Jehovah, the habitation of righteousness, even Jehovah, the hope of their fathers.
Isn’t this the truth, and everyone that has ‘devoured them’ will be punished for what they’ve done. It was enough of a punishment for Israel to have been thrown out of their land. To have persecuted the Jews like they have… well, there’s judgment coming for that.
8 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks.”
Could it be that this has already happened?
There are something like ___ Jews in all of Iraq.
Of course, God might also be talking about those who are Christians. And, there has been a constant exodus of Christians. In Iraq today, if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you need to get out of Iraq or run a very, very high risk of being killed.
“9 ¶ For, lo, I will stir up and cause to come up against Babylon a company of great nations from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of an expert mighty man; none shall return in vain.
So, a coalition of nations will come down from the North, and will attack Iraq FROM THE NORTH.
Yes, it’s true that the US and her allies DID attack from the North, but… that really wasn’t the direction. The attack was really from the South, from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
But… I’m going to hold back a bit here. Let’s move on…
10 And Chaldea shall be a prey: all that prey upon her shall be satisfied, saith Jehovah. 11 Because ye are glad, because ye rejoice, O ye that plunder my heritage, because ye are wanton as a heifer that treadeth out [the grain], and neigh as strong horses;
When the US took over Iraq, was the US satisfied with what she got?
But, then again, I’m not privy to the leaders of the war with Iraq. It could be that it was VERY satisfactory, and I just I didn’t catch that.
12 your mother shall be utterly put to shame; she that bare you shall be confounded: behold, she shall be the hindermost of the nations, a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
Okay, when I look at the list of nations of the world, Iraq doesn’t sit at the bottom. In fact, it’s really never sat at the bottom.
It’s STILL not at the bottom.
But, when this country from the North is finished with Iraq, it WILL be at the bottom.
13 Because of the wrath of Jehovah she shall not be inhabited, but she shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.
So, Iraq will be destroyed so badly, she’ll be uninhabitable.
This raises a question in my mind. Are we talking about ALL of Iraq, or just certain parts?
That’s a good question. Most of Iraq is pretty uninhabitable at the best of times. It’s mostly desert. The parts closer to the cities, near the rivers… THAT part is habitable.
I think that we’ll understand when we see it.
14 Set yourselves in array against Babylon round about, all ye that bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against Jehovah.
Spare no arrows.
You know, I don’t think that this is an accident that the Lord is referring to ‘arrows’. Almost all the fighting in our modern era is with ‘arrows’.
Missiles, bullets, cannon shells would all be considered ‘arrows’ by people at the time of Jeremiah.
15 Shout against her round about: she hath submitted herself; her bulwarks are fallen, her walls are thrown down; for it is the vengeance of Jehovah: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.
Did the US destroy Iraq when she was invaded?
No. I don’t think that we can say that she was – although, she was pretty badly beaten up.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.
So, all the foreign workers will run away.
17 Israel is a hunted sheep; the lions have driven him away: first, the king of Assyria devoured him; and now at last Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
18 Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.
19 And I will bring Israel again to his pasture, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead.
Hmmm…. It IS true that Israel did return in some fashion to the Land of Israel. And, they DID live again on Mt. Carmel and on the Golan. They also lived in what we call Samaria and on both sides of the Jordan Valley.
But, does all that fulfill this prophecy?
Let’s keep going.
20 In those days, and in that time, saith Jehovah, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I leave as a remnant.”
No… I don’t think that Israel could say that they were pardoned, that their iniquity could not be found. Otherwise, 70 AD would not have happened, and Jesus would not have been crucified.
These things happened because of sin in Israel. They weren’t coincidental.
“21 ¶ Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: slay and utterly destroy after them, saith Jehovah, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.
22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.
23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
I have heard some want to give the title ‘hammer of the whole earth’ to other nations. For instance, some want to say that the United States is a ‘hammer of the whole earth’.
If you want to take things THAT far, I could show you even BIGGER hammers of the whole earth.
No, the subject of this chapter is Babylon (Iraq), and it is not an ‘allegory’ for anyone else. Unless the Lord gives us permission to make something allegorical, we’re stuck with the literal.
24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against Jehovah.
25 Jehovah hath opened his armory, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation; for the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, hath a work [to do] in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the utmost border; open her store-houses; cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly; let nothing of her be left.
27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.
28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of Jehovah our God, the vengeance of his temple.
Okay, I think that you can probably see another problem here. Why is it that God has waited more than 2,500 years to judge Babylon? That’s a long time to wait.
The answer is that I don’t really know. All that I can say is that the type of destruction that we are talking about here has never happened. Babylon was never destroyed like this.
So, we are forced to accept that the fulfillment of this prophecy is in our future – probably near future.
29 Call together the archers against Babylon, all them that bend the bow; encamp against her round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her; for she hath been proud against Jehovah, against the Holy One of Israel.
Notice the archers again.
30 Therefore shall her young men fall in her streets, and all her men of war shall be brought to silence in that day, saith Jehovah.
31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou proud one, saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts; for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.
32 And the proud one shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up; and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all that are round about him.”
“33 ¶ Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The children of Israel and the children of Judah are oppressed together; and all that took them captive hold them fast; they refuse to let them go.
34 Their Redeemer is strong; Jehovah of hosts is his name: he will thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith Jehovah, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
36 A sword is upon the boasters, and they shall become fools; a sword is upon her mighty men, and they shall be dismayed.
37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed.
38 A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up; for it is a land of graven images, and they are mad over idols.
39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wolves shall dwell there, and the ostriches shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
And, here is the crux of our argument.
Babylon was never destroyed.
The closest that it got to destruction was when Alexander the Great captured Babylon. Of course, the operative word here is ‘captured’. After a few years, it was abandoned by the Alexandrian Empire.
Abandoned, not destroyed.
And, even when it was abandoned, it was never completely abandoned. People still lived there, it just was never again a national, or even regional, capital.
Again, abandoned, not destroyed.
40 As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, saith Jehovah, so shall no man dwell there, neither shall any son of man sojourn therein.
And, here is the clincher.
What kind of destruction took out Sodom and Gomorrah?
It’s hard to say, but whatever it was… well, it was pretty spectacular. The only weapon that I can think of that would reproduce a destruction that heavy… would be an atomic bomb. Or worse, a hydrogen bomb.
That’s the only ‘fire and brimstone’ weapon what would leave an area uninhabitable. You can clean up from every other kind of weapon. Radiation isn’t so easy to get rid of.
Especially if the nuclear weapon is especially dirty. (Like… say, something that the Iranians might make.)
41 Behold, a people cometh from the north; and a great nation and many kings shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth.
42 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, every one set in array, as a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.
You could make a case for this being the US, except that the US and her allies showed quite a bit of mercy towards the Iraqis. When the US left, what remained was a country that could have progressed quite quickly – a country with a future.
The Russians, on the other hand, aren’t known for that chancy quality called ‘mercy’.
43 The king of Babylon hath heard the tidings of them, and his hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of him, [and] pangs as of a woman in travail.
44 Behold, [the enemy] shall come up like a lion from the pride of the Jordan against the strong habitation: for I will suddenly make them run away from it; and whoso is chosen, him will I appoint over it: for who is like me? and who will appoint me a time? and who is the shepherd that can stand before me?
45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of Jehovah, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely they shall drag them away, [even] the little ones of the flock; surely he shall make their habitation desolate over them.
46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth trembleth, and the cry is heard among the nations.” (Jer 50:1-46 ASV)
And, if a nuclear weapon IS used on Baghdad, I think that the horror expressed by the rest of the world would be truly impressive. The use of a nuclear weapon would be shattering to most people in the West.
If you think that it would be impossible for anyone to use nuclear weapons… well, the word teeters on the edge of the abyss. If… no… WHEN the world falls apart, there will be no one to stop anyone from using a nuclear weapon. In fact, the use of a nuke would intimidate quite a few people into cooperating, that might have balked.
And, that global collapse is coming soon – as early as December 2012.