Jeremiah 25

Seventy Years of Captivity

1 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
2 So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem:
3 For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah 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, but you have not listened.
4 And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.
5 They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever.
6 Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”
7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the LORD, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”
8 Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words,
9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar 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] them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.
10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.
11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,[b] for their guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever.
13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations.
14 They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay 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 filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.
16 When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword 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 me drink it:
18 Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn, a curse[c] —as they are today;
19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people,
20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod);
21 Edom, Moab and Ammon;
22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea;
23 Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places[d] ;
24 all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the wilderness;
25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media;
26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak[e] will drink it too.
27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.’
28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: You must drink it!
29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword on all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty.’
30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: “ ‘The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,’ ” declares the LORD.
32 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth.”
33 At that time those slain by the LORD will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.
34 Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall like the best of the rams.[f]
35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape.
36 Hear the cry of the shepherds, 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 he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword[g] of the oppressor and because of the LORD’s fierce anger.

Jeremiah 25 Commentary

Chapter 25

The Jews rebuked for not obeying calls to repentance. (1-7) Their captivity during seventy years is expressly foretold. (8-14) Desolations upon the nations shown by the emblem of a cup of wrath. (15-29) The judgments again declared. (30-38)

Verses 1-7 The call to turn from evil ways to the worship and service of God, and for sinners to trust in Christ, and partake of his salvation, concerns all men. God keeps an account how long we possess the means of grace; and the longer we have them, the heavier will our account be if we have not improved them. Rising early, points out the earnest desire that this people should turn and live. Personal and particular reformation must be insisted on as necessary to a national deliverance; and every one must turn from his own evil way. Yet all was to no purpose. They would not take the right and only method to turn away the wrath of God.

Verses 8-14 The fixing of the time during which the Jewish captivity should last, would not only confirm the prophecy, but also comfort the people of God, and encourage faith and prayer. The ruin of Babylon is foretold: the rod will be thrown into the fire when the correcting work is done. When the set time to favour Zion is come, Babylon shall be punished for their iniquity, as other nations have been punished for their sins. Every threatening of the Scripture will certainly be accomplished.

Verses 15-29 The evil and the good events of life are often represented in Scripture as cups. Under this figure is represented the desolation then coming upon that part of the world, of which Nebuchadnezzar, who had just began to reign and act, was to be the instrument; but this destroying sword would come from the hand of God. The desolations the sword should make in all these kingdoms, are represented by the consequences of excessive drinking. This may make us loathe the sin of drunkenness, that the consequences of it are used to set forth such a woful condition. Drunkenness deprives men of the use of their reason, makes men as mad. It takes from them the valuable blessing, health; and is a sin which is its own punishment. This may also make us dread the judgments of war. It soon fills a nation with confusion. They will refuse to take the cup at thy hand. They will not believe Jeremiah; but he must tell them it is the word of the Lord of hosts, and it is in vain for them to struggle against Almighty power. And if God's judgments begin with backsliding professors, let not the wicked expect to escape.

Verses 30-38 The Lord has just ground of controversy with every nation and every person; and he will execute judgment on all the wicked. Who can avoid trembling when God speaks in displeasure? The days are fully come; the time fixed in the Divine counsels, which will make the nations wholly desolate. The tender and delicate shall share the common calamity. Even those who used to live in peace, and did nothing to provoke, shall not escape. Blessed be God, there is a peaceable habitation above, for all the sons of peace. The Lord will preserve his church and all believers in all changes; for nothing can separate them from his love.

Cross References 107

  • 1. S 2 Kings 24:2; Jeremiah 36:1
  • 2. S 2 Kings 24:1
  • 3. Jeremiah 18:11
  • 4. S 1 Chronicles 3:14; Jeremiah 1:2
  • 5. Jeremiah 11:7; Jeremiah 26:5
  • 6. S Isaiah 65:12; S Jeremiah 7:26
  • 7. Jeremiah 6:17; S Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 29:19
  • 8. S Jeremiah 7:26; Jeremiah 34:14; Jeremiah 44:5
  • 9. S Judges 6:8; S 2 Chronicles 7:14; S 2 Chronicles 30:9; S Jeremiah 23:22
  • 10. S Genesis 12:7; S Deuteronomy 4:40
  • 11. S Exodus 20:3; S Deuteronomy 8:19
  • 12. Jeremiah 30:14; Jeremiah 32:35; Jeremiah 44:5
  • 13. Deuteronomy 32:21
  • 14. 2 Kings 17:20; 2 Kings 21:15
  • 15. Isaiah 13:3-5
  • 16. S Isaiah 14:31; Jeremiah 1:15
  • 17. S Isaiah 41:2; Jeremiah 27:6
  • 18. S 2 Chronicles 36:6
  • 19. S Numbers 21:2
  • 20. S 2 Chronicles 29:8; Jeremiah 18:16
  • 21. S Jeremiah 19:8; S Jeremiah 20:4; Ezekiel 12:20
  • 22. S Isaiah 24:8; Ezekiel 26:13
  • 23. Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 33:11
  • 24. Ecclesiastes 12:3-4
  • 25. S Job 18:5; Lamentations 5:15; Revelation 18:22-23
  • 26. S Leviticus 26:31,32; Jeremiah 4:26-27; Jeremiah 12:11-12
  • 27. Jeremiah 28:14
  • 28. S 2 Chronicles 36:21
  • 29. Jeremiah 27:7; Jeremiah 29:10
  • 30. S Genesis 10:10; S Psalms 137:8
  • 31. S Isaiah 13:19-22; Isaiah 14:22-23
  • 32. S Isaiah 30:8
  • 33. Isaiah 14:6; Jeremiah 27:7
  • 34. Jeremiah 50:9; Jeremiah 51:27-28
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 32:41; S Job 21:19; S Jeremiah 51:6
  • 36. S Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 49:12; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:31; Psalms 75:8; Revelation 14:10
  • 37. Jeremiah 1:5
  • 38. ver 26
  • 39. S Psalms 60:3; Nahum 3:11
  • 40. Jeremiah 51:7
  • 41. ver 27-29
  • 42. Jeremiah 1:10; Jeremiah 27:3
  • 43. S Jeremiah 13:13
  • 44. S Job 12:19
  • 45. S 2 Chronicles 29:8
  • 46. S Jeremiah 24:9
  • 47. S Genesis 19:13; Jeremiah 44:22
  • 48. S 2 Kings 18:21
  • 49. Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 20:3; Jeremiah 44:30; Ezekiel 29:2
  • 50. S Genesis 10:23; Job 1:1
  • 51. S Joshua 13:3; S 2 Chronicles 26:6; S 2 Chronicles 28:18; Zephaniah 2:4-7
  • 52. Jeremiah 47:5; Amos 1:7-8
  • 53. S Genesis 10:19
  • 54. S Genesis 25:30
  • 55. S Genesis 19:37; S Deuteronomy 23:6
  • 56. S Genesis 19:38; Jeremiah 27:3; Jeremiah 49:1
  • 57. S Joshua 19:29
  • 58. S Genesis 10:15; Jeremiah 47:4
  • 59. Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 66:20; Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 27:15; Ezekiel 39:6; Daniel 11:18
  • 60. S Genesis 25:3
  • 61. S Genesis 25:15
  • 62. S Ge 2 2:21
  • 63. Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 49:32
  • 64. S 2 Chronicles 9:14
  • 65. ver 20
  • 66. Genesis 25:2
  • 67. S Genesis 10:22
  • 68. S Isaiah 21:2
  • 69. ver 9; Jeremiah 50:3,9; Jeremiah 51:11,48
  • 70. Isaiah 23:17
  • 71. Jeremiah 51:41
  • 72. ver 16,28; S Isaiah 29:9; S Isaiah 49:26; Jeremiah 51:57; Ezekiel 23:32-34; Nahum 3:18; Habakkuk 2:16
  • 73. S Jeremiah 12:12; Ezekiel 14:17; Ezekiel 21:4
  • 74. S Isaiah 51:23
  • 75. S 2 Samuel 5:7; Isaiah 10:12; Jeremiah 13:12-14; Jeremiah 39:1
  • 76. S Deuteronomy 28:10; S Isaiah 37:17; 1 Peter 4:17
  • 77. S Proverbs 11:31
  • 78. ver 27
  • 79. ver 30-31; Isaiah 34:2
  • 80. S Isaiah 24:1
  • 81. Isaiah 16:10; S Isaiah 42:13
  • 82. S Psalms 46:6; Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2
  • 83. S Psalms 68:5
  • 84. Isaiah 63:3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:19-20
  • 85. Jeremiah 23:19
  • 86. S Jeremiah 2:9; Hosea 4:1; Joel 3:2; Micah 6:2
  • 87. S 1 Samuel 12:7; S Jeremiah 2:35; S Ezekiel 36:5
  • 88. S ver 29
  • 89. S Jeremiah 15:9
  • 90. S Isaiah 30:25
  • 91. Isaiah 34:2
  • 92. S Jeremiah 23:19
  • 93. S Deuteronomy 28:49
  • 94. Isaiah 66:16; Ezekiel 39:17-20
  • 95. S Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 16:4
  • 96. S Psalms 79:3
  • 97. S Jeremiah 2:8; Zechariah 10:3
  • 98. S Jeremiah 6:26
  • 99. S Psalms 44:22; S Isaiah 34:6; Jeremiah 50:27; Jeremiah 51:40; Zechariah 11:4,7
  • 100. S Jeremiah 22:28
  • 101. S Job 11:20
  • 102. S Jeremiah 6:26
  • 103. S Jeremiah 23:1; Zechariah 11:3
  • 104. S Job 10:16; S Jeremiah 4:7
  • 105. Jeremiah 44:22
  • 106. Jeremiah 46:16; Jeremiah 50:16
  • 107. S Exodus 15:7; S Jeremiah 4:26

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  • [b]. Or "Chaldeans"
  • [c]. That is, their names to be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, to be seen by others as cursed
  • [d]. Or "who clip the hair by their foreheads"
  • [e]. "Sheshak" is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  • [f]. Septuagint; Hebrew "fall and be shattered like fine pottery"
  • [g]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 46:16 and 50:16); most Hebrew manuscripts "anger"

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a prophecy of the destruction of Judea by the king of Babylon; and also of Babylon itself, after the Jews' captivity of seventy years; and likewise of all the nations round about. The date of this prophecy is in Jer 25:1; when the prophet puts the Jews in mind of the prophecies that had been delivered unto them by himself and others, for some years past, without effect, Jer 25:2-7; wherefore they are threatened with the king of Babylon, that he should come against them, and strip them of all their desirable things; make their land desolate, and them captives for seventy years, Jer 25:8-11; at the expiration of which he in his turn shall be punished, and the land of Chaldea laid waste, and become subject to other nations and kings, Jer 25:12-14; and by a cup of wine given to all the nations round about, is signified the utter ruin of them, and who are particularly mentioned by name, Jer 25:15-26; which is confirmed by beginning with the city of Jerusalem, and the destruction of that, Jer 25:27-29; wherefore the prophet is bid to prophesy against them, and to declare the Lord's controversy with them, and that there should be a slaughter of them from one end of the earth to the other, Jer 25:30-33; upon which the shepherds, kings, and rulers of them, are called to lamentation and howling, Jer 25:34-38.

Jeremiah 25 Commentaries

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