Jeremiah 51:57 I will make drunk her officials and her wise men, her governors, her commanders, and her warriors; they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
Jer 51 is a prophecy about God's judgement to fall (one day) on Babylon. The chapter contains two verses with a very similar content/imagery:
- V39 - While they are flushed with heat, I will serve them a feast, and I will make them drunk so that they may revel; then they will fall asleep forever and never wake up, declares the LORD. [V40 then describes in non-metaphoric language that God will "bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats."]
- V57 - I will make her princes and wise men drunk, along with her governors, officials, and warriors. Then they will fall asleep forever and not wake up,” declares the King, whose name is the LORD of Hosts.
The imagery is unmistakable - "fall asleep and not wake up" means that they are going to die. Jesus & the NT used exactly the same idiom of sleep meaning death in several places such as Matt 9:24, 28:13, Mark 5:39, Luke 8:52, John 11:11, 12, Acts 7:60, 13:36, 1 Cor 7:39, 11:30, 15:6, 18, 20, 51, 1 Thess 4:13-15, 5:10, 2 Peter 3:4, etc.
Ellicott sums this well when he says (on Jer 51:39):
(39) In their heat I will make their feasts . . .—The words are stern and bitter in their irony. When the revellers are hot with wine and lust (comp. Hosea 7:4-7) Jehovah would call them to a banquet of another kind. The wine cup which He would give them would be that of His wrath (Jeremiah 25:16-17), and their drunken joy should end in an eternal sleep. So Herodotus (i. 191) narrates that when Cyrus took the city by his stratagem the inhabitants were keeping a feast with their wonted revelry and license. (Compare Xenoph. Cyropœd. vii. 23.)