Signal for people to pay attention! 4
Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say:
‘Babylon will be captured.
Bel 5 will be put to shame.
Marduk will be dismayed.
Babylon’s idols will be put to shame.
It will lay her land waste.
People and animals will flee out of it.
No one will inhabit it.’
“the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together.
They will come back with tears of repentance
as they seek the Lord their God. 10
50:5 They will ask the way to Zion;
they will turn their faces toward it.
They will come 11 and bind themselves to the Lord
in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten. 12
50:6 “My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds 13 have allow them to go astray.
They have wandered around in the mountains.
They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. 14
They have forgotten their resting place.
50:7 All who encountered them devoured them.
Their enemies who did this said, ‘We are not liable for punishment!
For those people have sinned against the Lord, their true pasture. 15
Leave the land of Babylonia! 19
Be the first to depart! 20
Be like the male goats that lead the herd.
2 tn Heb “The word which the
3 tn The verbs are masculine plural. Jeremiah is calling on other unnamed messengers to spread the news.
4 tn Heb “Raise a signal flag.”
5 sn Bel was originally the name or title applied to the Sumerian storm god. During the height of Babylon’s power it became a title that was applied to Marduk who was Babylon’s chief deity. As a title it means “Lord.” Here it is a poetical parallel reference to Marduk mentioned in the next line.
6 tn The Hebrew word used here (גִּלּוּלִים, gillulim) is always used as a disdainful reference to idols. It is generally thought to have originally referred to “dung pellets” (cf. KBL 183 s.v. גִלּוּלִים). It is only one of several terms used in this way, such as “worthless things” (אַלִילִים, ’alilim), “vanities,” or “empty winds” (הֲבָלִים, havalim).
7 tn The verbs here are all in the tense that views the actions as though they were already done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect). The verbs in the next verse are a mixture of prophetic perfects and imperfects which announce future actions.
sn This refers to the fact that the idols that the Babylonians worshiped will not be able to protect them, but will instead be carried off into exile with the Babylonians themselves (cf. Isa 46:1-2).
8 sn A nation from the north refers to Medo-Persia which at the time of the conquest of Babylon in 539
9 tn Heb “oracle of the
10 tn Heb “and the children of Israel will come, they and the children of Judah together. They shall go, weeping as they go, and they will seek the
11 tc The translation here assumes that the Hebrew בֹּאוּ (bo’u; a Qal imperative masculine plural) should be read בָּאוּ (ba’u; a Qal perfect third plural). This reading is presupposed by the Greek version of Aquila, the Latin version, and the Targum (see BHS note a, which mistakenly assumes that the form must be imperfect).
15 tn This same Hebrew phrase “the habitation of righteousness” is found in Jer 31:23 in relation to Jerusalem in the future as “the place where righteousness dwells.” Here, however, it refers to the same entity as “their resting place” in v. 6 and means “true pasture.” For the meaning of “pasture” for the word נָוֶה (naveh) see 2 Sam 7:8 and especially Isa 65:10 where it is parallel with “resting place” for the flocks. For the meaning of “true” for צֶדֶק (tsedeq) see BDB 841 s.v. צֶדֶק 1. For the interpretation adopted here see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 365. The same basic interpretation is reflected in NRSV, NJPS, and God’s Word.
16 tn Heb “fathers.”
17 sn These two verses appear to be a poetical summary of the argument of Jer 2 where the nation is accused of abandoning its loyalty to God and worshiping idols. Whereas those who tried to devour Israel were liable for punishment when Israel was loyal to God (2:3), the enemies of Israel who destroyed them (i.e., the Babylonians [but also the Assyrians], 50:17) argue that they are not liable for punishment because the Israelites have sinned against the
18 tn The words “People of Judah” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation to clarify the subject of the address.
20 tn The words “Be the first to leave” are not in the text but spell out the significance of the simile that follows. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.