Jeremiah 50
In this chapter and the next are symbol sources for many of the end-time events  described in Revelation 16 to 19. We will mark the connections with this little square: 
Babylon is thought by many to be connected with military events in the Middle East. This commentary holds that this is a mistake. Following is an edited copy of a letter I wrote to a concerned lady.
R,
   I can understand your confusion from ideas about Iraq. I'm deeply troubled, first over the war, and second, over modern theology which tends to interpret the Bible from incorrect assumptions. In the time of the first coming of Jesus His appearance in Bethlehem His professed people, the Jews, had introduced both human assumptions and Greek mythology into their religion mr0707. One assumption was the the Messiah would appear in glory and take over the Roman Empire. The glory statements are true but apply to His second coming (just ahead, I believe). They reinterpreted Isa. 53 is53, for example, and still do. So when Jesus came, only a few like Anna and Simeon lu0225 who were studying the Scriptures, recognized Him. More did later but it soon became the unpopular thing. 
    We have some similar things happening today which will turn people away from being ready. See my comments on Matt. 24, beginning around verse 36 (after a picture) mt2436. This discusses the Rapture theory. Second look at my thoughts on the Jews re0704b (Israel in prophecy).
    In Revelation 17 the woman on the beast is called Babylon. This is not the physical place today and it was not any physical place in the time of John. It was a term used for false system which had mixed politics with religion. I know that these ideas are different from what popular preachers teach today but they have missed, I believe, what the Bible is teaching. Pray earnestly for understanding ja0105
tw - 3/30/2003
Text
Comments
 1 ¶ The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against 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 confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.
.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 shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.
   1 - Chaldeans. The main people group of Babylon.
   2 - Bel is confounded He was the chief god of Babylon is4601.
   3 - Cometh up a nation The Persian empire in cooperation with the Medes conquered Babylon, but the symbolism here pictures the end times as well.
3 Make her land desolate. re1716. None shall dwell therein v39, re1822ff.
.4  In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.
 5  They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
.6  My people hath 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 restingplace.
 7  All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

  7 - Habitation of justice Or of righteousness. Habitation is from naweh continuing the thought of verse 6. Naweh is used for the dwelling place of sheep je4920 and shepherd je3312. God provides both righteousness and a dwelling place ps02306.
Shepherd image © GoodSalt.com
.8  Remove 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.
 9 ¶ For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly 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 a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
.10  And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.
   8 - Remove out The call to leave is repeated later in more urgent terms v.28.
9 Assembly of great nations re1613,4, re1712. See note above.
.11  Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;
.12  Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
.13  Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.
 14  Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.
.15  Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.
 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.
11 - Destroyers ... heritage ... grown fat re1706, re1804.
13 - Not be inhabited See on v3. Her plagues Click re1804 above.
15 - Vengeance re1820, re1619, re1808. As she hath done, do  re1806. Also v29 below.
.17  Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
 18  Therefore thus saith the LORD 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 habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.
 20  In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, 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 reserve.
  17 - Lions See on je0407.
.21 ¶ Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, 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!
.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 the LORD.
 25  The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
 26  Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: 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 the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.
  21 - Merathaim From marah, a dual Hebrew form, thus double rebellion.
.29  Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it 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 the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
 30  Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.
 31  Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.
.32  And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.
29 - Recompense her according to See on v15.
32 -  Fire in his cities See on je5125.
 33 ¶ Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.
.34  Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
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.35  A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
.36  A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: 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 the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.
.39  Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
.40  As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
38 - Waters ... dried up Waters of the Euphrates dried up re1612.

  39 - Wild beasts "The phrase 'the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands' is from siyyim 'eth-'iyyim. The sound of this passage when read in Hebrew suggests the shrill cries of wild animals as they prowl in the ruins of Babylon. Siyyim  is variously derived by scholars from a Hebrew root meaning 'dryness' in which case it could indicate a desert animal (as KJV), or from another root meaning 'to cry,' suggesting an animal that yelps." (SDA Bible Commentary).

.41  Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
 42  They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.
.43  The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
.44  Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
 45  Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.
.46  At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.
   41 - People ... from the north Compare. The first two woes are recorded in Revelation 9. The first is the end-time attack on God's people, and the second is the time of trouble for the wicked. Daniel mentions reports from east and north da1144.
46 - Cry is heard re1817, v8 above.
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