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Chapter 25

Seventy Years of Exile. The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim,[a] son of Josiah, king of Judah (the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon).(A) This word the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Since the thirteenth year of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day—that is, twenty-three years—the word of the Lord has come to me and I spoke to you untiringly, but you would not listen.(B) The Lord kept sending you all his servants the prophets,(C) but you refused to listen or pay attention to this message: Turn back, each of you, from your evil way and from your evil deeds; then you shall remain in the land which the Lord gave you and your ancestors, from of old and forever. Do not follow other gods to serve and bow down to them; do not provoke me with the works of your hands, or I will bring evil upon you.(D) But you would not listen to me—oracle of the Lord—and so you provoked me with the works of your hands to your own harm.(E) Hence, thus says the Lord of hosts: Since you would not listen to my words, I am about to send for and fetch all the tribes from the north—oracle of the Lord—and I will send for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, my servant; I will bring them against this land, its inhabitants, and all these neighboring nations. I will doom them, making them an object of horror, of hissing, of everlasting reproach.(F) 10 Among them I will put to an end the song of joy and the song of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstone and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land shall be a ruin and a waste. Seventy years these nations shall serve the king of Babylon;(G) 12 but when the seventy years have elapsed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation and the land of the Chaldeans for their guilt—oracle of the Lord. Their land I will turn into everlasting waste.(H) 13 Against that land I will fulfill all the words I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 They also shall serve many nations and great kings, and thus I will repay them according to their own deeds and according to the works of their hands.(I)

The Cup of Judgment on the Nations. 15 [b]For thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, to me: Take this cup of the wine of wrath[c] from my hand and have all the nations to whom I will send you drink it.(J) 16 They shall drink, and retch, and go mad, because of the sword I will send among them.(K) 17 I took the cup from the hand of the Lord and gave it as drink to all the nations to whom the Lord sent me: 18 to Jerusalem, the cities of Judah, its kings and princes, to make them a ruin and a waste, an object of hissing and cursing, as they are today; 19 to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his servants, princes, all his people 20 and those of mixed ancestry; all the kings of the land of Uz;[d] all the kings of the land of the Philistines: Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod; 21 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites; 22 all the kings of Tyre, of Sidon, and of the shores beyond the sea;[e] 23 Dedan and Tema and Buz,[f] all the desert dwellers who shave their temples; 24 all the kings of Arabia; 25 all the kings of Zimri, of Elam, of the Medes; 26 all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other; all the kingdoms upon the face of the earth and after them the king of Sheshach[g] shall drink.

27 Tell them: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink! Get drunk and vomit! Fall, never to rise, before the sword that I will send among you!(L) 28 If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink!(M) 29 Now that I am inflicting evil on this city, called by my name, how can you possibly escape? You shall not escape! I am calling down the sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth—oracle of the Lord of hosts. 30 As for you, prophesy against them all these words and say to them:

The Lord roars from on high,
    from his holy dwelling he raises his voice;
Mightily he roars over his sheepfold,
    a shout like that of vintagers echoes(N)
    over all the inhabitants of the earth.
31 The uproar spreads
    to the end of the earth;
For the Lord has an indictment against the nations,
    he enters into judgment against all flesh:
The wicked shall be given to the sword—
    oracle of the Lord.
32     Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Look! disaster stalks
    nation after nation;
A violent storm surges
    from the recesses of the earth.

33 On that day, those whom the Lord has slain will be strewn from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned, they will not be gathered, they will not be buried; they shall lie like dung upon the ground.(O)

34 Howl, you shepherds, and wail!
    roll on the ground, leaders of the flock!
The time for your slaughter has come;
    like choice rams you shall fall.
35 There is no flight for the shepherds,
    no escape for the leaders of the flock.(P)
36 Listen! Wailing from the shepherds,
    howling from the leaders of the flock!
For the Lord lays waste their grazing place;
37     desolate are the peaceful pastures,
    from the burning wrath of the Lord.
38 Like a lion he leaves his lair,
    and their land is made desolate
By the sweeping sword,
    and the burning wrath of the Lord.(Q)

Footnotes

  1. 25:1–14 The fourth year of Jehoiakim: 605 B.C. Officially, the first year of Nebuchadnezzar began the following year; but as early as his victory over Egypt at Carchemish in 605, Nebuchadnezzar wielded dominant power in the Near East. Jeremiah saw in him the fulfillment of his prophecy of the enemy to come from the north (cf. 1:13; 6:22–24). In vv. 11–12 the prophecy of the seventy years’ exile occurs for the first time; cf. 29:10. This number signifies that the present generation must die out; cf. forty in the exodus tradition (Nm 14:20–23).
  2. 25:15–17 Jeremiah is a prophet to the nations (cf. 1:5) as well as to his own people. All the nations mentioned here appear again in the more extensive collection of Jeremiah’s oracles against the nations in chaps. 46–51.
  3. 25:15 Cup…wrath: a metaphor for destruction that occurs often in the Old Testament (cf. Ps 11:6; 75:9; Hb 2:15–16; Ez 23:31–33, etc.).
  4. 25:20 Uz: the homeland of legendary Job, in Edomite or Arabian territory.
  5. 25:22 The shores beyond the sea: Phoenician commercial colonies located throughout the Mediterranean world.
  6. 25:23 Dedan and Tema and Buz: North Arabian tribes.
  7. 25:26 Sheshach: a contrived word from the Hebrew letters of Babylon.

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim(A) son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar(B) king of Babylon. So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah(C) and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah(D) son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again,(E) but you have not listened.(F)

And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets(G) to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.(H) They said, “Turn(I) now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land(J) the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. Do not follow other gods(K) to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused(L) my anger with what your hands have made,(M) and you have brought harm(N) to yourselves.”

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon(O) all the peoples of the north(P) and my servant(Q) Nebuchadnezzar(R) king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy[a](S) them and make them an object of horror and scorn,(T) and an everlasting ruin.(U) 10 I will banish from them the sounds(V) of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom,(W) the sound of millstones(X) and the light of the lamp.(Y) 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland,(Z) and these nations will serve(AA) the king of Babylon seventy years.(AB)

12 “But when the seventy years(AC) are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon(AD) and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,[b] for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate(AE) forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written(AF) in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved(AG) by many nations(AH) and great kings; I will repay(AI) them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

The Cup of God’s Wrath

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup(AJ) filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send(AK) you drink it. 16 When they drink(AL) it, they will stagger(AM) and go mad(AN) because of the sword(AO) I will send among them.”

17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent(AP) me drink it: 18 Jerusalem(AQ) and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin(AR) and an object of horror and scorn,(AS) a curse[c](AT)—as they are today;(AU) 19 Pharaoh king(AV) of Egypt,(AW) his attendants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz;(AX) all the kings of the Philistines(AY) (those of Ashkelon,(AZ) Gaza,(BA) Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); 21 Edom,(BB) Moab(BC) and Ammon;(BD) 22 all the kings of Tyre(BE) and Sidon;(BF) the kings of the coastlands(BG) across the sea; 23 Dedan,(BH) Tema,(BI) Buz(BJ) and all who are in distant places[d];(BK) 24 all the kings of Arabia(BL) and all the kings of the foreign people(BM) who live in the wilderness; 25 all the kings of Zimri,(BN) Elam(BO) and Media;(BP) 26 and all the kings of the north,(BQ) near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms(BR) on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak[e](BS) will drink it too.

27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk(BT) and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword(BU) I will send among you.’ 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink(BV), tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it! 29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster(BW) on the city that bears my Name,(BX) and will you indeed go unpunished?(BY) You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword(BZ) on all(CA) who live on the earth,(CB) declares the Lord Almighty.’

30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:

“‘The Lord will roar(CC) from on high;
    he will thunder(CD) from his holy dwelling(CE)
    and roar mightily against his land.
He will shout like those who tread(CF) the grapes,
    shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The tumult(CG) will resound to the ends of the earth,
    for the Lord will bring charges(CH) against the nations;
he will bring judgment(CI) on all(CJ) mankind
    and put the wicked to the sword,(CK)’”
declares the Lord.

32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Look! Disaster(CL) is spreading
    from nation to nation;(CM)
a mighty storm(CN) is rising
    from the ends of the earth.”(CO)

33 At that time those slain(CP) by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered(CQ) up or buried,(CR) but will be like dung lying on the ground.

34 Weep and wail, you shepherds;(CS)
    roll(CT) in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
For your time to be slaughtered(CU) has come;
    you will fall like the best of the rams.[f](CV)
35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,
    the leaders of the flock no place to escape.(CW)
36 Hear the cry(CX) of the shepherds,(CY)
    the wailing of the leaders of the flock,
    for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
37 The peaceful meadows will be laid waste
    because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
38 Like a lion(CZ) he will leave his lair,
    and their land will become desolate(DA)
because of the sword[g] of the oppressor(DB)
    and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.(DC)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 25:9 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  2. Jeremiah 25:12 Or Chaldeans
  3. Jeremiah 25:18 That is, their names to be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, to be seen by others as cursed
  4. Jeremiah 25:23 Or who clip the hair by their foreheads
  5. Jeremiah 25:26 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  6. Jeremiah 25:34 Septuagint; Hebrew fall and be shattered like fine pottery
  7. Jeremiah 25:38 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 46:16 and 50:16); most Hebrew manuscripts anger

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