CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 50.
The Lord spoke to Jeremiah about Babylon (verse 1). While the people of Israel and its surrounding nations have chosen destruction by not living according to what the Lord said would be good for them, and while it is the Lord who has declared He will use Babylon to deliver that destruction, it is still not okay for Babylon to harm the Israelites. Because of this, they will be punished (verse 2). The Babylonians may be the tool of destruction for a time, but they will pay the price for doing so (verse 3).
When the people of Israel decide to repent, and turn back to the Lord, He will release them from captivity and overthrow Babylon (verse 4). They will want to renew their covenants with the Lord (verse 5), and recognize their need for Bishops and Prophets to lead them along the way through mortality (verse 6). They will repent such that even the surrounding nations will understand they were punished because they turned away from God (verse 7).
When they repent, the Lord will conquer Babylon and move them back to the land from which they came (verse 8). There will be an “assembly of great nations” that come against them, which we now know was the Persians and the Medes (verse 9). Babylon will be destroyed just as it caused such destruction (verse 10).
The Lord says that Babylon could have only been used as a tool to punish the Israelites, but because they boasted in themselves and their own power, then He must help humble them (verse 11). They will be ashamed of their boasting, and embarrassed by being conquered by another army (verse 12). Everyone will be astonished that an army could conquer Babylon, and mock their sufferings after all that was done to them by the Babylonians (verse 13). Babylon will be punished for their sins against God (verse 14). Babylon has done all it can do (verse 15), and conquered all it is going to get away with conquering (verse 16).
Israel has been scattered because they would not listen to the prophets, first conquered by Assyria and then by Babylon (verse 17). In the same way Babylon punished Assyria for what they did to the Israelites, so also will Babylon be punished (by the Persians) (verse 18). Then, only after Israel has repented and returned to the Lord, only then will they be restored to their land (verse 19). This will be a sign to them that they are forgiven (verse 20).
The Lord tells the people to battle and finish their work (verse 21), for the battle is near (verse 22). He says the people have chosen destruction, and so those that have become so skilled at destroying will themselves be destroyed (verse 23). They will be surprised, and they do not realize it is because they have chosen against God (verse 24). It is the Lord who is in charge of the battle and of political governments (verse 25), and He has declared that they be destroyed – because they have chosen it (verse 26). Because they have failed to worship Him and offer their proper sacrifices, He will take their sacrifices from them through war (verse 27). The people will know that He is taking vengeance on His temple (verse 28).
None will escape, because all have chosen destruction or have done the work of repentance (verse 29). Those that have chosen destruction will be destroyed (verse 30), and the Lord has declared it to be done as they have chosen (verse 31). They and their cities will be destroyed (verse 32) because they took Israel captive and would not let them go (verse 33). The Lord is their only advocate (verse 34), and they have chosen not to let Him advocate for them against their enemies (verse 35). Because of this, destruction is waiting for them (verse 36) and the battle is near (verse 37) and the calamities will ruin them (verse 38). There will be nothing left to be inhabited for generations (verse 39), just as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed (verse 40). Many other kingdoms will rise and fall (verse 41) before they receive any mercy (verse 42) because they refused the warnings given them (verse 43).
He did warn them, and did try to be their shepherd, and did try to lead them to safety (verse 44). They would be better off and safer if they would heed His counsel and do as He says because it is what will keep them safe and happy (verse 45). Even the people of other nations will mourn them when they do not, and grieve their falling away from the Lord and His protection and blessings (verse 46).