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Jeremiah 51:53-56


51:53 Even if Babylon climbs high into the sky 1 

and fortifies her elevated stronghold, 2 

I will send destroyers against her,” 3 

says the Lord. 4 

51:54 Cries of anguish will come from Babylon,

the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.

51:55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,

and put an end to her loud noise.

Their waves 5  will roar like turbulent 6  waters.

They will make a deafening noise. 7 

51:56 For a destroyer is attacking Babylon. 8 

Her warriors will be captured;

their bows will be broken. 9 

For the Lord is a God who punishes; 10 

he pays back in full. 11 

1 tn Or “ascends [into] heaven.” Note the use of the phrase in Deut 30:12; 2 Kgs 2:11; and Amos 9:2.

2 tn Heb “and even if she fortifies her strong elevated place.”

3 tn Heb “from me destroyers will go against her.”

4 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

5 tn The antecedent of the third masculine plural pronominal suffix is not entirely clear. It probably refers back to the “destroyers” mentioned in v. 53 as the agents of God’s judgment on Babylon.

6 tn Or “mighty waters.”

7 tn Heb “and the noise of their sound will be given,”

8 tn Heb “for a destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon.”

9 tn The Piel form (which would be intransitive here, see GKC 142 §52.k) should probably be emended to Qal.

10 tn Or “God of retribution.”

11 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the following finite verb. Another option is to translate, “he certainly pays one back.” The translation assumes that the imperfect verbal form here describes the Lord’s characteristic actions. Another option is to take it as referring specifically to his judgment on Babylon, in which case one should translate, “he will pay (Babylon) back in full.”

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