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Jeremiah 25:10-11

Context
25:10 I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness, to the glad celebration of brides and grooms in these lands. 1  I will put an end to the sound of people grinding meal. I will put an end to lamps shining in their houses. 2  25:11 This whole area 3  will become a desolate wasteland. These nations will be subject to the king of Babylon for seventy years.’ 4 

1 sn Compare Jer 7:24 and 16:9 for this same dire prediction limited to Judah and Jerusalem.

2 sn The sound of people grinding meal and the presence of lamps shining in their houses were signs of everyday life. The Lord is going to make these lands desolate (v. 11) destroying all signs of life. (The statement is, of course, hyperbolic or poetic exaggeration; even after the destruction of Jerusalem many people were left in the land.) For these same descriptions of everyday life applying to the end of life see the allegory in Eccl 12:3-6.

3 tn Heb “All this land.”

4 sn It should be noted that the text says that the nations will be subject to the king of Babylon for seventy years, not that they will lie desolate for seventy years. Though several proposals have been made for dating this period, many ignore this fact. This most likely refers to the period beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat of Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish in 605 b.c. and the beginning of his rule over Babylon. At this time Babylon became the dominant force in the area and continued to be so until the fall of Babylon in 538 b.c. More particularly Judah became a vassal state (cf. Jer 46:2; 2 Kgs 24:1) in 605 b.c. and was allowed to return to her homeland in 538 when Cyrus issued his edict allowing all the nations exiled by Babylon to return to their homelands. (See 2 Chr 36:21 and Ezra 1:2-4; the application there is made to Judah but the decree of Cyrus was broader.)



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