Jeremiah 51:34-52

 Jamma Mokhriby


Continuing our end time study of Jeremiah Chapters 50 & 51 we pick up where we left off in our previous message at Jer. 51:34.
In verses 34 & 35 God has the prophet Jeremiah record the words of ancient Israel which suffered under the reign of King Nebuchadnezar of Babylon. From the distant past until now we are shown that the blood and suffering of Zion and Jerusalem continues calling out to God for vengeance to this day.
In verses 36 & 37 God assures Israel that on His appointed day He will plead their case to Babylon by the means of His vengeance. The Lord God says He will dry up Babylon's sea, make her springs dry and will turn her into an uninhabitable heap fit only for jackals.
The people who witness Babylon's punishment will be astonished at the devastation and will hiss with contempt at her legacy.
God's reference to Babylon's "sea" could refer to mammoth lake Tharthar located north of Babylon between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers or the reservoir near Kabala located west of Babylon and the Euphrates River.
Once again we find catastrophes prophesied for Babylon which have never transpired before in history.
Water, not oil is the lifeblood of the Middle East. Once Babylon's water is dried up her death sentence will be finalized.
Verses 38 & 39 of Jer. 51 could at first seem to only be addressing the warriors of Babylon.
Verse 40 then appears to expand this prophecy to include those whom God has called down from the north against Iraq.
God apparently says of the warring factions that they will be ferocious like lions and hungry like lion's whelps. God will so intoxicate them in their quest for destruction and victory that death will overtake them like sleep. God says He will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter.
Verses 41 & 42 of Jer. 51 then has God addressing Babylon by the code name of Sheshach. The sea is to come up over her and she is to be "covered with the multitude of its waves."
In past messages we have shared information about the great dams built in Turkey which are able to completely stop the flow of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers into Iraq.
We have also shared how Turkey could open these dams and cause disastrous flooding within Iraq. If the Euphrates and Tigris rivers were flooded and overflowed the banks of Lake Tharthar or the great reservoir at Karbala, Babylon would indeed have the sea come up over her and be covered with a multitude of waves.
Verse 43 of Jer. 51 along with verse 36 gives us a more complete picture of what might take place with this flooding of Babylon.
In verse 36 we were told that the sea of Babylon will be dried up.
In verse 43 we are again told Iraq will become a dry, desolate land, yet in verse 42 we are told the sea will flood the land!
A possible scenario is that Turkey will at first open the floodgates of her great dams. Perhaps the dams will be used as a hydro-weapon, or another possibility could be for a fire extinguisher which Jer. 51:58 would appear to support.
After the purpose for releasing the waters on Iraq is accomplished the waters would then be cut off. With the contamination of the land described to befall Iraq in Jer. 51:26, it would be prohibitive to allow water to continue flowing through the country into the Persian Gulf.
In verse 44 of Jer. 51 God personally addresses Bel who is an ancient, but still worshiped god of Babylon. Bel's origin goes back to the worship of Nimrod of Genesis 10:8-10 who founded Babylon.
We can at first assume God is speaking figuratively about punishing this mythological god in Babylon, but can then also take this prophecy literally when considering Nimrod.
Since Bel is representative of Nimrod the original ruler over Babylon, perhaps Bel is also representative of geographical Babylon's final ruler as well.
We do hold strongly to the possibility that Saddam Hussein will meet his end in Babylon. God says he will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed. In other words he will be forced to give up what he thought was surely his.
The Lord then says that the nations will no longer stream to him anymore.
Nimrod was the builder of Babylon and was known as a defiant one before God. Saddam Hussein is the rebuilder of Babylon and is also described as a defiant one before God in Jer. 50:44.
After Saddam started to rebuild Babylon, tourists from around the world came to visit his restored archeological wonder. Special festivals were held within Babylon's rebuilt wall. Countries likewise from around the world lined up before Saddam in order to secure lucrative oil contracts while Arab leaders off and on paid their respects to this modern King Nebuchadnezzar, as Saddam so fondly enjoyed portraying himself.
Then, even in Iraq's final days, streams of arms inspectors from around the world petitioned Saddam for permission to search for hidden weapons.
Even now during "Operation Iraqi Freedom," allied forces streamed into Iraq seeking Saddam Hussein whose face adorns the ace of spades in a special deck of cards designating Iraq's most wanted.
God closes verse 44 with the declaration that the wall Saddam has rebuilt around Babylon will surely come down.
God then instructs His people to flee from the midst of the land of Babylon in verse 45. He warns that in doing so they will deliver themselves from His fierce anger which He is about to pour out.
Primarily, God is speaking to Jews in this verse, but the instruction might be considered in some degree to include every believer in Jesus Christ. I say "might" because there is always the possibility that all the Christians will be caught up to Heaven at the even known as the Rapture before or by the time God pours out His anger on Babylon (see I Thess. 4:15-18).
During the 1990's it was reported that the small number of Jews remaining in Iraq had all made plans to escape the escalating anti-Israeli fervor. As of 2003 it is unknown if any practicing Jews still remain in Iraq.
In verse 46 of Jer. 51 God foretells that in two different years a rumor would be heard "in the land" of Babylon, Iraq.
When reading on further in verses 47-49 we can reasonably assume the rumor was to have to do with an anticipated war of horrendous destruction.
In 1991 Saddam Hussein told the people of Iraq to expect the "mother of all battles" once the coalition forces arrived on their soil. Israelis endured their own tormenting rumor that Saddam would rain weapons of mass destruction upon Israel during this war dubbed "Operation Desert Storm."
In 2003 this exact same rumor was sent forth in Iraq by Saddam Hussein as he once again prepared to confront invading forces in what he declared would be "the mother of all battles."
As of May 2003 Saddam's promised "mother of all battles" is still no more than a rumor during "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
God declares at the close of verse 46 that this rumor would escalate into a violent war that will draw in ruler against ruler.
We are persuaded this war will develop during the same period that the multi nation war of Psalm 83 will take place against Israel.
In past messages we shared how the Jan. 15th deadline issued by former President George Bush Sr. for the start of the 1991 Persian Gulf War coincided precisely with the date Nebuchadnezzar began his infamous assault on Israel.
Numerous times God makes a point by stating in Jer. 50 & 51 that this war on Iraq is the direct result of Nebuchadnezzar's ancient Jan. 15th attack against His people and His Temple.
God appears to have likewise used another significant day to make known that the 2003 campaign in Iraq is in fact an orchestrated continuation of the Jan. 15th 1991 conflict.
Tony Pearce out of London reported the following about this fascinating fact in the Spring 2003 edition of "Light for The Last Days," "The war was effectively started by George Bush's announcement on March 17th that Saddam had 72 hours to get out of the country. March 17th was the eve of the Jewish festival of Purim. The first Gulf War ended on Purim in 1991. Purim deals with the attempt to eliminate the Jewish people by a wicked ruler in the Persian Gulf region and God's intervention to save them. A coincidence?"
In verses 47 & 48 of Jer. 51 God declares that in the day He brings plunderers from the north against the whole land of Babylon, Iraq the heavens and the earth and all that is in them shall sing joyously. It will be the beginning of the end of all she has wrought.
Approximately 3 ½ years later the mysterious religious headquarters of Babylon will be destroyed as is prophesied by God in Revelation 17:5 & 16-18.
Then at last, approximately 7 years after the destruction of Saddam Hussein's Babylon will come the destruction of the headquarters which embraces the Anti-Christ world government.
In Rev. 18:20 & 19:1-6 we find a similar but much greater time of rejoicing in the Heaven of all heavens over the destruction of this final aspect of Babylon than was seen at the fall of Babylon, Iraq.
Additionally we are told in Rev. 18:3,9,11 & 17 that kings, merchants, shipmasters, sailors and all the nations will grieve over the loss of the economic benefits bestowed by the Anti-Christ's Babylon, while in contrast Jer. 51:48 reveals that all that are in the earth will sing joyously over the destruction of Saddam Hussein's geographical Babylon in Iraq.
In verse 49 of Jer. 51 God reminds the reader that this war is an act of repayment brought on by Babylon's past record of killing His people of Israel. He declares, "As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, So at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall." By these words we are shown that in this day of long awaited judgment on Babylon, the judgment of all the nations will begin.
As we have pointed out in past messages, the absorption of peoples from every corner of the world by nations such as the US, makes the literal fulfillment of this prophecy understandable. The slain of all the earth will indeed be found to have fallen at Babylon.
Once more we find this in contrast to the fall of the Anti-Christ's Babylon at the close of the Tribulation Period. At that point in time all the slain of the earth will not be found at Babylon, but instead will be found gathered at the Valley of Megiddo in Israel at the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev. 16:14-17 & 19:17-21).
We then close our study for now with verses 50-52 of Jer. Ch. 51.
Both verses 50 & 51 are addressed primarily to the Jews while verse 50 shares an insight which confirms once again that this prophesied war of Jer. 50 & 51 is for this present day. God tells the Jews who have escaped the sword during this war of Babylon to remember their Lord and to flee to Jerusalem.
During the fall of ancient Babylon, Jerusalem was in devastation and was not an option for refuge. Jerusalem finally began to be restored under King Cyrus II, the Persian conqueror of Babylon.
In Jer. 51:51 God then speaks in place of corporate Israel. He shares with us the burden of their historical shame and reproach because strangers had come into the holy places of the Lord's house. This is the shameful legacy of what Nebuchadnezzar did in Jerusalem and is the precise reason God has His mind set on this day of vengeance according to His words recorded in Jer. 50:28 & 51:11.
Even now in 2003 strangers to the God of the Bible occupy the holy places of the Temple Mount and there worship a foreign god named Allah. It is too easy for many in the world to dismiss this as a small matter of ancient history. God continually reiterates in one way or another that it is not.
In verse 52 of Jer. 51 God drives home this point by opening the verse with the binding word to the previous verse, "Therefore." He makes clear that it is because of what has been done in the past to the people of Israel and His holy Temple that the days are coming when He will bring a judgment on Babylon that will fill her land with the groans of the wounded.
God has been long suffering at withholding Babylon's judgment. He first waited until His Son would die on the cross in order to provide forgiveness for their sins and has now waited almost 2,000 years for the sons and daughters of Babylon to accept His gift of salvation.
As it is for all men, God has a point in time where He will move on with or without you in His divine plan to complete the redemption of His creation. Iraq and the rest of the world are very near to the days of no return.
The fate of most of the nations has already been recorded in God's Word. Your own personal destiny, whether with God or in the fires of Gehenna, remains a freewill decision of your own making. At any moment that glorious ability to accept or reject Christ will be forever sealed by what you have chosen.
It is the subterfuge of the devil at work when someone believes they will always have another day to decide for or against the life-giving gift Jesus provided of Himself on the cross. Don't be fooled and don't put if off. This very moment, if you will believe in the saving blood of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you are promised eternal life. There are no ands, buts or maybes added by God to this promise. It is all a simple matter of true faith in His Son Jesus Christ. "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9-11).