Jeremiah 51 Commentary

Jeremiah 51 Commentary

For encouraging Judah to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and for predicting success for Babylonia, Jeremiah was highly respected by the Nebuchadnezzar and his officials. We doubt if Jeremiah would receive gifts from the Babylonians for this prophecy!

Probably all of Jeremiah’s tormentors were dead by the time this message was delivered to the Jews in Babylon. King Zedekiah couldn’t read it by himself on account of the loss of sight inflicted on him by Nebuchadnezzar. It would be interesting to hear their side of the story. They initially thought of Jeremiah as a pro-Babylon, anti-Judah, and an enemy of the nation. This prophecy puts the record straight. This man was simply relaying God’s messages – plenty of them.

Interestingly for the saint, Babylon’s punishment comes on the back of Babylon’s cruel treatment of Judah. Verse 24.

Come out of her, my people. Verse 45. Why should you be destroyed together with Babylon? This is the New Testament message referring to the sinful world. Come out of her and be separate. You don’t belong there! Separate yourself.

There was power. There was fame, wealth, and stability. Babylon was the envy of nations. But all of this means nothing on the day of Babylon’s destruction. Invincibility is all gone.

Bel is punished. Verse 44. Bel is the Babylonian patron god. Bel is yet another manifestation of satan – a version of satan. Bel’s punishment is perfectly detailed in Isaiah 14. “How you have fallen from heaven morning star, son of the dawn!”

Chapter 51 is one of the longest chapters in the Bible yet it appears to be missing some important information. Did the prophet run of ink? Where is the restoration clause in Babylon’s indictment? The omission provokes the thought that when a time for the final settlement of accounts comes, there is no restoration.

For now, the reader is encouraged to “come out of her and be separate.”

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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