Verses 14-16 “Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD. Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her. Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.”
These verses continue the command of the Lord, for the nations to come against Babylon, that were found in verses 9-13. He is telling them to spare no weapons, for He is taking His vengeance on her, that what she has done to others should be done to her. This parallels what is said in Revelation 18:5-6 “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” As in all the other prophecies pronounced against Babylon, this also says that her people will be cut off, in this case the sower and the one who harvests. If this were taken metaphorically, this would mean that the gospel will no longer be preached there, and the rapture will not find any of God's people there either. (In my studies, I have come to believe that those Christians who survive the tribulation may be told by God to flee to Jerusalem at a certain point in time to be there when He returns. I believe they will flee with those of Israel who return to Jerusalem. It may be that at the time of the 5th trumpet judgment, when everyone who has taken the mark is tortured for five months, God will allow those here to escape. People will not be able to stop them at that time, as they will be being tortured themselves. This is strictly conjecture though.) Because of the fear of the sword (again, notice the specificity of the use of the word sword, which is clearly a Muslim weapon of execution) people will try to flee Babylon (Rev. 18: 4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”) back to the countries from which they came. Whether they make it or not is another question.
Verses 17-20 “Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”
At the time this takes place, Israel is a scattered sheep. This includes both the northern ten tribes, who were scattered by Assyria, and then Judah who was scattered by Babylon, both in the first captivity, and then when the third temple is desecrated by the beast and Israel is scattered again. We have seen in this chapter that God blames Babylon for the destruction of Israel this time also. God now says that He will bring Israel [both Ephraim (the 10 tribes) and Judah] back to its land (all of its lands) and then God will search Israel (again both Ephraim and Judah) to find their iniquity, but He will no longer find it. Then God will pardon them, for He has reserved this particular group for Himself to be the nation in the millennium. They have been turning back to the Lord. That this clearly is speaking of the end times and not Nebuchadnezzar's captivity is seen in that both Israel (Ephraim - 10 tribes) and Judah are brought back, searched for iniquity and pardoned. This has not happened and will not happen until the end of Daniel's 70th week. Therefore we know that this passage and all the prophecies given regarding Babylon are about Babylon the Whore, as the timing places it there.
Verses 21-25 “Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee. A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.”
Merathaim and Pekod are simply symbolic names for Babylon, they are not historical cities. Merathaim means double bitterness, or double rebellion. It is a double bitterness to God, and she is guilty of double rebellion, idolatry and pride. Pekod means punishment. So God again is telling the nations to go against Babylon to destroy her and do all that He has commanded them to do, to utterly waste her. The sound of battle and great destruction will be heard around the world. The hammer (the Hebrew word means “to pound”) of the earth will be broken, destroyed, and become a perpetual desolation. Babylon has been the one who has forced others to comply, the police enforcer or "hammer" of the entire earth. Does this description not fit America? We are the U.N.'s peacekeeper. We go in and take over and make nations comply. God lays a snare for Babylon. She is unaware. In other words, she is taken by surprise by an attack that she did not see coming. There are enemies in her midst at this very moment, yet she is closing her eyes to that fact in the name of tolerance and a loathing to racially profile people. She sacrifices safety in the name of political correctness and liberalism. She will be caught in the trap the Lord has allowed to be set, because she has set herself up against God. The whole earth is God's to control for His will, so He brings out the entire armory of weapons at His disposal against her. Her destruction may begin at the hands of the Medes and the beast, but it is the work of the Lord that is being done and when they have accomplished their part, He will finish her off Himself.
Verses 26-28 “Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.”
Continuing on in the same manner, God tells them to plunder her. They are to ransack all of her storehouses, kill the animals (destroy all food sources) and destroy everything they can find. They are to leave nothing. God has planned a day of visitation for Babylon, and it will come. Those who escape out of Babylon do go to Jerusalem (Zion) as mentioned above, and there they declare that God has destroyed Babylon in vengeance for, as said before, the destruction of His temple.