In “a permanent sleep” Jefferson Vann explains that the ultimate end of the wicked (the second death) is like a permanent sleep.
Jeremiah 51:36-44 (JDV)
Jeremiah 51:36 Therefore, this is what Yahveh says: I am about to champion your cause and take vengeance on your behalf; I will dry up her sea and make her fountain run dry.
Jeremiah 51:37 Babylon will become a heap of rubble, a jackals’ den, a desolation and an object of scorn, without inhabitant.
Jeremiah 51:38 They will roar together like young lions; they will growl like lion cubs.
Jeremiah 51:39 While they are flushed with heat, I will serve them a feast, and I will make them drunk so that they celebrate. Then they will fall asleep permanently and not wake up. This is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 51:40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams together with male goats.
Jeremiah 51:41 How Sheshach has been captured, the praise of the whole land seized. What a horror Babylon has become among the nations!
Jeremiah 51:42 The sea has risen over Babylon; she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
Jeremiah 51:43 Her cities have become a desolation, an arid desert, a land where no one lives, where no human being even passes through.
Jeremiah 51:44 I will punish Bel in Babylon. I will make him vomit what he swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him; even Babylon’s wall will fall.
a permanent sleep
The ultimate end of the Babylonian empire was described by Jeremiah as a permanent sleep from which it would not wake up. It was to become a desolation, an arid desert land where nobody lives. Such is the fate of all those who take their stand against God.
Some people think that God made us all with an immortal core that even he cannot destroy. That is not the picture of his judgment that he gave us in his word. At the end, all who refuse to turn to God will experience the second death. They will be destroyed by him — body and soul — in Gehenna. There is no place in his new creation for the old rebellion.
Lord, thank you for your ultimate justice. Thank you also for your gospel, calling people from rebellion to repentance.
For more about the ultimate annihilation of the wicked, see: