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Seventy Years of Exile
1-2 # 2 K 24.1; 2 Ch 36.5-7; Dn 1.1,2. In the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah,#25.1,2 Jehoiakim … Judah: See the note at 1.3. which was the first year that Nebuchadnezzar#25.1,2 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2. was king of Babylonia, the Lord told me to speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. So I told them:
3For 23 years now, ever since the thirteenth year that Josiah#25.3 Josiah: Hebrew “Josiah son of Amon”; Josiah ruled 640–609 b.c. was king, I have been telling you what the Lord has told me. But you have not listened.
4The Lord has sent prophets to you time after time, but you refused to listen. 5They told you that the Lord had said:
Change your ways! If you stop doing evil, I will let you stay forever in this land that I gave your ancestors. 6I don't want to harm you. So don't make me angry by worshiping idols and other gods.
7But you refused to listen to my prophets. So I, the Lord, say that you have made me angry by worshiping idols, and you are the ones who were hurt by what you did. 8You refused to listen to me, 9and now I will let you be attacked by nations from the north, and especially by my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. You and other nearby nations will be destroyed and left in ruins forever. Everyone who sees what has happened will be shocked, but they will still make fun of you. 10#Jr 7.34; 16.9; Rev 18.22,23. I will put an end to your parties and wedding celebrations; no one will grind grain or be here to light the lamps at night. 11#2 Ch 36.21; Jr 29.10; Dn 9.2. This country will be as empty as a desert, because I will make all of you the slaves of the king of Babylonia for 70 years.
12When that time is up, I will punish the king of Babylonia and his people for everything they have done wrong, and I will turn that country into a wasteland forever. 13My servant Jeremiah has told you what I said I will do to Babylonia and to the other nations, and he wrote it all down in this book. I will do everything I threatened. 14I will pay back the Babylonians for every wrong they have done. Great kings from many other nations will conquer the Babylonians and force them to be slaves.
The Cup Full of God's Anger
15The Lord God of Israel showed me a vision in which he said, “Jeremiah, here is a cup filled with the wine of my anger. Take it and make every nation drink some. 16They will vomit and act crazy, because of the war this cup of anger will bring to them.”
17I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and I went to the kings of the nations and made each of them drink some. 18I started with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, and the king and his officials were removed from power in disgrace. Everyone still makes insulting jokes about them and uses their names as curse words. 19The second place I went was Egypt, where everyone had to drink from the cup, including the king and his officials, the other government workers, the rest of the Egyptians, 20and all the foreigners who lived in the country.
Next I went to the king of Uz, and then to the four kings of Philistia, who ruled from Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what was left of Ashdod.#25.20 what was left of Ashdod: It was defeated by the king of Egypt after being surrounded for 29 years. 21Then I went to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, 22and to the kings of Tyre, Sidon, and their colonies across the sea. 23-24After this, I went to the kings of Dedan, Tema, Buz, the tribes of the Arabian Desert,#25.23,24 the tribes of the Arabian Desert: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. 25Zimri, Elam, Media, 26and the countries in the north, both near and far.
I went to all the countries on earth, one after another, and finally to Babylonia.#25.26 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has “Sheshach,” a secret way of writing “Babylonia.”
27The Lord had said to tell each king, “The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, commands you to drink from this cup that is full of the wine of his anger. It will make you so drunk that you will vomit. And when the Lord sends war against the nations, you will be completely defeated.”
28The Lord told me that if any of them refused to drink from the cup, I must tell them that he had said, “I, the Lord All-Powerful, command you to drink. 29Starting with my own city of Jerusalem, everyone on earth will suffer from war. So there is no way I will let you escape unharmed.”
30The Lord told me to say:
From my sacred temple
I will roar like thunder,
while I trample my people
and everyone else
as though they were grapes.
31My voice will be heard
everywhere on earth,
accusing nations of their crimes
and sentencing the guilty
to death.
Disaster Is Coming
32The Lord All-Powerful says:
You can see disaster spreading
from far across the earth,
from nation to nation
like a horrible storm.
33When it strikes, I will kill so many people that their bodies will cover the ground like manure. No one will be left to bury them or to mourn.
The Leaders of Judah Will Be Punished
34The Lord's people are his flock,
and you leaders
were the shepherds.
But now it's your turn
to be butchered like sheep.
You'll shatter like fine pottery
dropped on the floor.#25.34 You'll shatter … floor: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
So roll on the ground,
crying and mourning.
35You have nowhere to run,
nowhere to hide.
* 36-37Listen to the cries
of the shepherds,
as the Lord's burning anger
turns#25.36,37 anger turns: Or “anger and enemy armies turn.” peaceful meadows
into barren deserts.
38Like a lion leaving its den,
the Lord has abandoned
his people
to the destruction of war.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, the king of Judah. The same is the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.
2 And the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying:
3 "From the thirteenth year of Josiah, the son of Amon, the king of Judah, even until this day, which is the twenty-third year, the word of the Lord has been given to me, and I have spoken to you, rising while it was still night, and speaking, and yet you have not listened.
4 And the Lord has sent to you all his servants, the prophets, rising at first light, and sending, and yet you have not listened, and you have not inclined your ears, so that you would hear,
5 when he said: Return, each one from his evil way, and from your wicked thoughts. And you shall dwell in the land, which the Lord has given to you and to your fathers, from ancient times and even forever.
6 And do not choose to go after strange gods, so that you would serve them and adore them. And do not provoke me to wrath by the works of your hands. And then I will not afflict you.
7 And yet you have not listened to me, says the Lord, and so you have provoked me to anger with the works of your hands, to your own harm."
8 Because of this, thus says the Lord of hosts: "Since you have not listened to my words,
9 behold, I will send for and take all the associates of the north, says the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will lead them over this land, and over its inhabitants, and over all the nations that are around it. And I will destroy them, and I will set them in the midst of stupor and hissing, and continual desolations.
10 And I will perish from them the voice of gladness and the voice of rejoicing, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstone and the light of the lamp.
11 And this entire land will be in desolation and in stupor. And all these nations will serve the king of Babylon, for seventy years.
12 And when the seventy years have been completed, I will visit their iniquity upon the king of Babylon, and upon that nation, and upon the land of the Chaldeans, says the Lord. And I will set it in continual desolations.
13 And I will lead over that land all my words, which I have spoken against it, all that has been written in this book, everything whatsoever that Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations.
14 For they have served them, though these were populous nations and great kings. And I will repay them according to their works and according to the deeds of their hands."
15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Take the chalice of the wine of this fury from my hand. And you shall cause all the nations, to which I will send you, to drink from it.
16 And they will drink, and be stirred up, and become maddened, before the face of the sword that I will send among them."
17 And I received the chalice from the hand of the Lord, and I caused all the nations, to which the Lord has sent me, to drink from it:
18 Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and its kings, and its leaders, so that I gave them over to desolation, and stupor, and hissing, and a curse, just as it is this day.
19 "But as for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and his servants, and his leaders, and all his people,
20 and the entire populace in general: all the kings of the land of the south, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,
21 and Idumea, and Moab, and the sons of Ammon,
22 and all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the land of the islands that are across the sea,
23 and Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all those who have shaved off their hair,
24 and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the west, who live in the desert,
25 and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media,
26 and likewise, all the kings of the north from near to far, each one facing his brother, and all the kingdoms upon the face of the earth, and the king of Sesac: all these shall drink after them.
27 And you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, and be inebriated, and vomit, and fall down. And you shall not rise up before the face the sword that I will send among you.
28 And if they refuse to receive the cup from your hand and to drink, you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Certainly, you shall drink!
29 For behold, I am beginning to afflict the city in which my name has been invoked, and will you be innocent and immune? You will not be immune! For I will call the sword over all the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord of hosts.
30 And you shall prophesy to them all these words, and you shall say to them: The Lord will roar from on high, and he will utter his voice from his holy habitation. When roaring, he will roar over the place of his beauty. He will call out, like those who chant in rhythm as they trample the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
31 The sound of it will penetrate even to the ends of the earth. For the Lord is entering into judgment with the nations. He himself is entering into judgment with all flesh. I have delivered the impious to the sword, says the Lord."
32 Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Behold, an affliction will go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind will go forth from the ends of the earth.
33 And the slain of the Lord will be, on that day, from one end of the earth, even to the other end. They will not be mourned, and they will not be gathered, and they will not be buried. They will lie upon the face of the earth like dung.
34 Wail, O shepherds, and cry out! And sprinkle yourselves with ashes, O nobles of the flock! For the days have been completed that lead to your slaughter and your destruction. And you will fall like precious vessels.
35 And escape will flee from the shepherds, and safety will flee from the nobility of the flock."
36 There is a voice of outcry from the shepherds, and a wailing among the nobles among the flock! For the Lord has laid waste to their pastures.
37 And the fields of peace have been silenced before the face of the fury of the Lord.
38 He has abandoned those he sheltered like a lion. For the earth has become a desolation before the face of the anger of the dove, and before the face of the fury of the Lord.