In “sunk, never to rise again” Jefferson Vann explains another OT symbol of final punishment.
Jeremiah 51:59-64 (JDV)
Jeremiah 51:59 This is the wording the prophet Jeremiah used when he commanded Seraiah son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, the quartermaster, when he went to Babylon with King Zedekiah of Judah in the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign.
Jeremiah 51:60 Jeremiah wrote on one scroll about all the disaster that would come to Babylon; all these words were written against Babylon.
Jeremiah 51:61 Jeremiah told Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud.
Jeremiah 51:62 Say, ‘Yahveh, you have threatened to cut off this place so that no one will live in it – people or animals. Indeed, it will become permanently desolate.’
Jeremiah 51:63 When you have finished reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River.
Jeremiah 51:64 Then say, ‘In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the disaster I am bringing on her. They will grow weary.'” Up to this point are the words of Jeremiah.
sunk, never to rise again
We have been looking at Jeremiah’s predictions about Babylon. We have been noticing two things that are true of each of these prophecies. First, each of these predictions came true. The empire is no more, just as God predicted through Jeremiah.
Secondly, each of these prophecies about Babylon reflects an element of the New Testament teaching about the fate of the wicked at the last judgment. This is not a coincidence. The Revelation to John in the New Testament uses Babylon as a symbol of the great conspiracy of all nations against God’s Kingdom and God’s Messiah.
Yesterday’s text focused on two ways of expressing the fate of those who oppose God and his will: fire and permanent sleep. Today’s text introduces another way of expressing that fate. Babylon will be sunk like a great ship, never to rise again.
All three of these descriptions of Babylon’s fate are indicative of the ultimate fate of the lost: permanent destruction.
For more on the destruction of the wicked in hell, see: