In Jeremiah 51, Israel, the “rod” of God’s inheritance, is described as his “battle axe and weapons of war” (ref. Jeremiah 51:19-20). And with Israel, the prophecy continues, God will “break” in pieces “the nations” (ref. Jeremiah 51:20), and also “captains and rulers” (ref. Jeremiah 51:23), and also “the old and the young” (ref. Jeremiah 51:22), and even “the shepherd and his flock” (ref. Jeremiah 51:23).
This part of Jeremiah 51 is deliberately provocative, intriguingly cryptic and purposefully hidden among prophecies that pertain to the coming judgement of Babylon.
Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name. Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee I will break in pieces the nations, and with thee I will destroy kingdoms; And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.Jeremiah 51:17-24
First of all, the word rod brings to mind a “rod of correction” (ref. Proverbs 22:15, 23:13) and also a “rod of iron” (ref. Revelation 2:27, Psalms 2:9). So, when God says he will break the nations with this rod described here as “Israel”, it means, he will recover the world through war and bloodshed – a world that has been led astray by Satan and soon will go further astray because of the false prophet of Babylon.
And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.Jeremiah 51:26
Now, Jeremiah 51:27 onwards is about the day and hour of Babylon’s judgement, a vengeance from the LORD of hosts for what Babylon will do to Zion at the time of the false prophet and the Antichrist. The LORD of hosts will move several powerful nations, armed with the weapons of his indignation (nuclear weapons), to destroy Babylon.
And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.Jeremiah 51:29
It is God who will avenge Zion because the state of Israel will be in no position to do so.
The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea shall Jerusalem say. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee…Jeremiah 51:35-36
This begs the question: If the state of Israel is not strong enough to retaliate and destroy Babylon, since Israel today is not a superpower that can rival Babylon, why does Jeremiah 51:19-23 read that Israel will be God’s battle axe and weapons of war, with which God will break in pieces the nations of the world?
Yes, it is Bible prophecy that Israel will fight for the LORD of hosts against the likes of Egypt (ref. Isaiah 19:16-17) and Edom (ref. Ezekiel 25:12-14) and of course Gaza (ref. Zephaniah 2:4-5, Ezekiel 25:15-17). In the last days, Israel will even use nuclear weapons (ref. Zephaniah 2:9, Jeremiah 49:13). But these are only a few nations rather than the whole world.
For Jeremiah 51:19-23 to make sense, it must be read to mean another Israel, something to do with the kingdom of God. This other Israel, which will begin on the day of Christ, is none other than “the saints” (ref. Jude 1:14-15), the holy ones of God or the sons of God.
In Jeremiah 51, this army is described as “the portion of Jacob” and “the rod” of God’s inheritance.
The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.Jeremiah 51:19
The words of Jeremiah 51:19 occur again in Jeremiah 10:16. While the Hebrew is slightly different, the English of the KJV is exactly the same.
The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.Jeremiah 10:16
And then in Psalms 74:2, the two expressions are rephrased as “thy congregation” and “the rod of thine inheritance”.
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.Psalms 74:2
Here, instead of “Israel”, there is “congregation”, and furthermore, the words “purchased” and “thou hast redeemed”. To my mind, Psalms 74:2 is speaking about Christians. This means, the rod, as in the saints, will comprise of descendants of Jacob (Israel) that have become, or will become, Christian.
… in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.Hosea 1:10
He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even [17th century English “even”] of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.Psalms 148:14
Supporting the point that the saints are a portion of Israel that become Christian is Revelation 2:27-29, which speaks of the morning star and the rod of iron, and is something that the Spirit of God says “unto the churches”.
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.Revelation 2:27-29
Now, in Isaiah 49:2, one particular saint is described as a “sharp sword”, a reference to the Word of God, a twoedged sword which every saint will wield. This same saint is also a “shaft” in the sense of an arrow and a rod. Furthermore, this saint is a weapon thus far hidden in the “quiver” of God – that is to say, a secret to be revealed at an appropriate time.
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;Isaiah 49:2
Isaiah 49 goes on to describe this saint as “O Israel”.
And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.Isaiah 49:3
Because this saint seems to have laboured in vain, I think this saint is me.
Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.Isaiah 49:4
In any case, Isaiah 49 repeats the idea that a saint will be a new creature created by Jesus Christ on the day of the LORD to serve him as a weapon.
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.Psalms 149:5-9
It is this doctrine of the saints, something that Christendom has forgotten, that explains the cryptic prophecy that Israel shall be God’s battle axe and weapons of war – weapons through which God will break the nations that refuse to repent, and thus recover the world.
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more the things that pertain to this life?1 Corinthians 6:2-3
For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.Hebrews 2:5
Now, to the point that Israel shall even break in pieces “the shepherd and his flock” (ref. Jeremiah 51:23).
There will come a time when the saints, being weapons of God, will hunt down and silence heretics and false Christians who have secretly served the Devil, or who are secretly serving the Devil.
I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock…Jeremiah 51:23
With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young…Jeremiah 51:22
The point is, no one gets to profit from evil: no one gets to enjoy the fruits of that kind of labour.
Of course, judgement will begin only after the day of Christ when the saints are born again and given both supernatural insight and power.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.1 Corinthians 4:5
Jeremiah 51 further prophesies that the saints will take on and break in pieces “captains and rulers” (ref. Jeremiah 51:23).
I said earlier that a saint is technically a soldier of the forthcoming kingdom of God, a nation that shall be born on the day of the LORD.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.2 Timothy 2:4
As a soldier, being invisible when necessary, and having the ability to pass through walls, a saint can be thought of as a “ghost”, an expression that has been misappropriated by many a covert organisation.
In the movie Mile 22 (2018), the antagonist named Li Noor – Noor being Arabic for “light” – is asked “Are you an agent of the Israeli government?” While an odd question as far as the plot goes, it caught my attention because Mile 22 (2018) is essentially a film about the coming phenomenon of the saints.
Once the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ begins, the Israel Defence Forces, Shin Bet, Mossad, etc will be no more. In their stead will be angels and saints.
To this point, the Bible prophesies that humans living in the promised land will no longer need to shed blood in anger.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.Isaiah 65:25
A saint, and even an angel, can easily break in pieces a military aircraft, or a missile, or a tank.
And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider.Jeremiah 51:21
The strength or power of a saint is that of God himself (ref. Isaiah 49:5, Revelation 2:28).
… yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.Isaiah 49:5
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.Revelation 2:27-28
This army of the kingdom of God will inevitably mean a world without wickedness. When victory is achieved some time during the Millennial Reign, glory be to God!
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.Revelation 22:12-13
Behold, the Lord GOD will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.Isaiah 40:10
Satan himself will be arrested by an angel of God on the day of the LORD, and sent to the prison of hell (ref. Revelation 20:1-3).
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,Revelation 20:1-2
The angels that chose to side with Satan will be hunted down by the saints.
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish [killed by the saints or by the fires of God] from the earth, and from under the heavens.Jeremiah 10:10-11
The humans who serve Satan must also die.
Though the world is large, there will be “ten thousands” of saints (ref. Jude 1:14).
This army named “Israel” will be like nothing the world has ever known.
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?Psalms 89:7-8
… Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.Revelation 15:3-4