Verses 1-4 “Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about. Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host. Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.”
The declaration of punishment against Babylon continues in this chapter. God will send a destroying wind and fanners that will fan Babylon. The word “fanners” in Hebrew can also be defined as "profane foreigners." The word “fan” means “to winnow.” So this is telling us that just as a strong wind is used to help winnow or separate the chaff from the wheat, so a mighty force of strangers or foreigners that are profane and are like a strong wind will come to sift the land of her sinners. In that day of her visitation or trouble, they will surround her on every side. The destroyers are told not to spare anyone and to destroy her entire population. This is how the people will die in the land of Babylon. Although these people are called fanners, which indicates that the chaff is being separated from the wheat, the fact is that the wheat, if it has been listening to God, should have already fled Babylon. That is why all of Babylon's people will fall. There will be nothing left but the chaff.
Verses 5-6 “For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel. Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.”
Judah and Israel [notice again that all twelve (or actually thirteen) tribes are included here] are no longer being forsaken by God. She is being brought back to the Lord, even though she has been guilty of sin. God is forgiving and being merciful. Again, the people of God are told to flee out of the midst of Babylon so that their souls may be delivered. They are told to not be cut off from God, and they will be if they do not flee Babylon before her destruction. Remember, if they have not received Christ as their Savior, which they have not yet as they do not acknowledge Him until His return, and they die, they will not go to be with the Lord. To deliver their souls to the Lord, it is imperative that they flee Babylon beforehand. These warnings in the prophets are what lets Israel know in advance that she must flee. This is the time of the Lord's revenge for all she has done, and He will give her a just recompence. As we are told in Revelation He gives her back double of what she had given others. Again, I am guessing that the timing of this fleeing must be during the five months of the 5th trumpet judgment. If I am correct in my understanding of the Scriptures, and America's private citizens come to the rescue of some of the Israelis at the time of the abomination of desolation, they have to be back at Zion before the last trumpet (7th) sounds, as that is when the Lord returns. As persecution will have been intense against the Jews and Christians up until this time, this may be the first and only opportunity they have to come out of hiding and flee the country. People will be being tortured during this time, and probably as Egypt was more than happy to get rid of Israel after the last plague, the people will be glad to see them leave the country. They may in fact view these plagues of demons as coming from the “alien” God of the Jews and Christians, as I believe everyone will see these demons as aliens. I believe God's two witnesses will be announcing these judgments, and as they represent God, people will believe that God is merely a powerful alien doing this to them. It will be a kind of repeat of what happened at the time of the Exodus, only slightly different plagues, world-wide instead of just Egypt, and viewing things as an alien battle rather than a battle of the “gods.” They may want to be rid of the people whose “alien” God they feel is doing this to them. This is merely hypothetical, but it is a hypothesis based upon the groundwork Satan has laid down for a lie, and the knowledge of what Scriptures say.