This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the LORD during the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign a over Judah. This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar b of Babylon began his reign.
Jeremiah the prophet said to the people in Judah and Jerusalem,
"For the past twenty-three years -- from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon, c king of Judah, until now -- the LORD has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.
"Again and again, the LORD has sent you his prophets, but you have not listened or even tried to hear.
Each time the message was this: 'Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the LORD gave to you and your ancestors forever.
Do not make me angry by worshiping the idols you have made. Then I will not harm you.'
"But you would not listen to me," says the LORD. "You made me furious by worshiping your idols, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer.
And now the LORD Almighty says: Because you have not listened to me,
I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the other nations near you. I will completely destroy d you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever.
I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your businesses will fail, and all your homes will stand silent and dark.
This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.
"Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins, says the LORD. I will make the country of the Babylonians e an everlasting wasteland.
I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book -- all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations.
Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people."
Then the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me, "Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it.
When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them."
So I took the cup of anger from the LORD and made all the nations drink from it -- every nation the LORD sent me to.
I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing.
I went to Egypt and spoke to Pharaoh, his officials, his princes, and his people. They, too, drank from that terrible cup,
along with all the foreigners living in that land. So did all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod.
Then I went to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon,
and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea.
I went to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places. f24
I went to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert,
and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media.
And I went to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other -- all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of Babylon g himself drank from the cup of the LORD's anger.
Then the LORD said to me, "Now tell them, 'The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit, and you will fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.'
And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, 'The LORD Almighty says: You must drink from it. You cannot escape!
I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city where my own name is honored. Now should I let you go unpunished? No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!'
"Now prophesy all these things, and say to them, 'The LORD will roar loudly against his own land from his holy dwelling in heaven. He will shout against everyone on the earth, like the harvesters do as they crush juice from the grapes.
His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring his case against all the nations. He will judge all the people of the earth, slaughtering the wicked with his sword. The LORD has spoken!'"
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation! A great whirlwind of fury is rising from the most distant corners of the earth!"
In that day those the LORD has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered like dung on the ground.
Weep and moan, you evil shepherds! Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock! The time of your slaughter has arrived; you will fall and shatter like fragile pottery.
You will find no place to hide; there will be no way to escape.
Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds, to the leaders of the flock shouting in despair, for the LORD is spoiling their pastures.
Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland by the LORD's fierce anger.
He has left his den like a lion seeking its prey, and their land will be made desolate by the sword of the enemy and the LORD's fierce anger.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)