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Jeremiah 25:13

Context
25:13 I will bring on that land everything that I said I would. I will bring on it everything that is written in this book. I will bring on it everything that Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 1 

Jeremiah 25:16

Context
25:16 When they have drunk it, they will stagger to and fro 2  and act insane. For I will send wars sweeping through them.” 3 

Jeremiah 25:27

Context

25:27 Then the Lord said to me, 4  “Tell them that the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 5  says, 6  ‘Drink this cup 7  until you get drunk and vomit. Drink until you fall down and can’t get up. 8  For I will send wars sweeping through you.’ 9 

Jeremiah 25:30-35

Context

25:30 “Then, Jeremiah, 10  make the following prophecy 11  against them:

‘Like a lion about to attack, 12  the Lord will roar from the heights of heaven;

from his holy dwelling on high he will roar loudly.

He will roar mightily against his land. 13 

He will shout in triumph like those stomping juice from the grapes 14 

against all those who live on the earth.

25:31 The sounds of battle 15  will resound to the ends of the earth.

For the Lord will bring charges against the nations. 16 

He will pass judgment on all humankind

and will hand the wicked over to be killed in war.’ 17 

The Lord so affirms it! 18 

25:32 The Lord who rules over all 19  says,

‘Disaster will soon come on one nation after another. 20 

A mighty storm of military destruction 21  is rising up

from the distant parts of the earth.’

25:33 Those who have been killed by the Lord at that time

will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other.

They will not be mourned over, gathered up, or buried. 22 

Their dead bodies will lie scattered over the ground like manure.

25:34 Wail and cry out in anguish, you rulers!

Roll in the dust, you who shepherd flocks of people! 23 

The time for you to be slaughtered has come.

You will lie scattered and fallen like broken pieces of fine pottery. 24 

25:35 The leaders will not be able to run away and hide. 25 

The shepherds of the flocks will not be able to escape.

1 tn Or “I will bring upon it everything that is to be written in this book. I will bring upon it everything that Jeremiah is going to prophesy concerning all the nations.” The reference to “this book” and “what Jeremiah has prophesied against the nations” raises issues about the editorial process underlying the current form of the book of Jeremiah. As the book now stands there is no earlier reference to any judgments against Babylon or any book (really “scroll”; books were a development of the first or second century a.d.) containing them. A common assumption is that this “book” of judgment refers to the judgments against Babylon and the other nations contained at the end of the book of Jeremiah (46:1–51:58). The Greek version actually inserts the prophecies of 46:151:58 here (but in a different order) and interprets “Which (= What) Jeremiah prophesied concerning all the nations” as a title. It is possible that the Greek version may represent an earlier form of the book. At least two earlier forms of the book are known that date roughly to the period dealt with here (Compare 36:1 with 25:1 and see 36:2, 4 and 36:28, 32). Whether reference here is made to the first or second of these scrolls and whether the Greek version represents either is impossible to determine. It is not inconceivable that the referent here is the prophecies which Jeremiah has already uttered in vv. 8-12 and is about to utter in conjunction with the symbolical act that the Lord commands him to perform (vv. 15-26, 30-38) and that these are proleptic of the latter prophecies which will be given later and will be incorporated in a future book. That is the tenor of the alternate translation. The verb forms involved are capable of either a past/perfect translation or a proleptic/future translation. For the use of the participle (in the alternate translation = Heb “that is to be written”; הַכָּתוּב, hakkatuv) to refer to what is proleptic see GKC 356-57 §116.d, e, and compare usage in Jonah 1:3; 2 Kgs 11:2. For the use of the perfect to refer to a future act (in the alternate translation “is going to prophesy,” נִבָּא, nibba’) see GKC 312 §106.m and compare usage in Judg 1:2. In support of this interpretation is the fact that the first verb in the next verse (Heb “they will be subjected,” עָבְדוּ, ’ovdu) is undoubtedly prophetic [it is followed by a vav consecutive perfect; cf. Isa 5:14]). Reading the text this way has the advantage of situating it within the context of the passage itself which involves prophecies against the nations and against Babylon. Babylon is both the agent of wrath (the cup from which the nations drink, cf. 51:7) and the recipient of it (cf. v. 26). However, this interpretation admittedly does not explain the reference to “this book,” except as a proleptic reference to some future form of the book and there would be clearer ways of expressing this view if that were what was definitely intended.

2 tn There is some debate about the meaning of the verb here. Both BDB 172 s.v. גָּעַשׁ Hithpo and KBL 191 s.v. גָּעַשׁ Hitpol interpret this of the back and forth movement of staggering. HALOT 192 s.v. גָּעַשׁ Hitpo interprets it as vomiting. The word is used elsewhere of the up and down movement of the mountains (2 Sam 22:8) and the up and down movement of the rolling waves of the Nile (Jer 46:7, 8). The fact that a different verb is used in v. 27 for vomiting would appear to argue against it referring to vomiting (contra W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:674; it is “they” that do this not their stomachs).

3 tn Heb “because of the sword that I will send among them.” Here, as often elsewhere in Jeremiah, the sword is figurative for warfare which brings death. See, e.g., 15:2. The causal particle here is found in verbal locutions where it is the cause of emotional states or action. Hence there are really two “agents” which produce the effects of “staggering” and “acting insane,” the cup filled with God’s wrath and the sword. The sword is the “more literal” and the actual agent by which the first agent’s action is carried out.

4 tn The words “Then the Lord said to me” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity, to connect this part of the narrative with vv. 15, 17 after the long intervening list of nations who were to drink the cup of God’s wrath in judgment.

5 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”

sn See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for explanation of this extended title.

6 tn Heb “Tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord….’” The translation is intended to eliminate one level of imbedded quotation marks to help avoid confusion.

7 tn The words “this cup” are not in the text but are implicit to the metaphor and the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “Drink, and get drunk, and vomit and fall down and don’t get up.” The imperatives following drink are not parallel actions but consequent actions. For the use of the imperative plus the conjunctive “and” to indicate consequent action, even intention see GKC 324-25 §110.f and compare usage in 1 Kgs 22:12; Prov 3:3b-4a.

9 tn Heb “because of the sword that I will send among you.” See the notes on 2:16 for explanation.

10 tn The word “Jeremiah” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation to make clear who is being addressed.

11 tn Heb “Prophesy against them all these words.”

12 tn The words “like a lion about to attack” are not in the text but are implicit in the metaphor. The explicit comparison of the Lord to a lion is made at the end of the passage in v. 38. The words are supplied in the translation here for clarity.

sn For the metaphor of the Lord going forth against his enemies like an attacking lion see Jer 49:19; 50:44; Isa 31:4 in all of which the Lord comes against the nations in defense of his people. In Hos 5:14 the metaphor is turned against his own people. The figure of a lion ravaging people has already been used in Jer 4:7 of the enemy from the north (Babylon).

13 sn The word used here (Heb “his habitation”) refers to the land of Canaan which the Lord chose to make his earthly dwelling (Exod 15:13) and which was the dwelling place of his chosen people (Jer 10:25; Isa 32:18). Judgment would begin at the “house of God” (v. 29; 1 Pet 4:17) but would extend to the rest of the earth (v. 29).

14 sn The metaphor shifts from God as a lion to God as a mighty warrior (Jer 20:11; Isa 42:13; Zeph 3:17) shouting in triumph over his foes. Within the metaphor is a simile where the warrior is compared to a person stomping on grapes to remove the juice from them in the making of wine. The figure will be invoked later in a battle scene where the sounds of joy in the grape harvest are replaced by the sounds of joy of the enemy soldiers (Jer 48:33). The picture is drawn in more gory detail in Isa 63:1-6.

15 tn For the use of this word see Amos 2:2; Hos 10:14; Ps 74:23. See also the usage in Isa 66:6 which is very similar to the metaphorical usage here.

16 tn Heb “the Lord has a lawsuit against the nations.” For usage of the term see Hos 4:1; Mic 6:2, and compare the usage of the related verb in Jer 2:9; 12:1.

17 tn Heb “give the wicked over to the sword.”

sn There is undoubtedly a deliberate allusion here to the reference to the “wars” (Heb “sword”) that the Lord had said he would send raging through the nations (vv. 16, 27) and the “war” (Heb “sword”) that he is proclaiming against them (v. 29).

18 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

19 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”

sn See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for explanation of this extended title.

20 tn Heb “will go forth from nation to nation.”

21 tn The words “of military destruction” have been supplied in the translation to make the metaphor clear. The metaphor has shifted from that of God as a lion, to God as a warrior, to God as a judge, to God as the author of the storm winds of destruction.

sn For the use of this word in a literal sense see Jonah 1:4. For its use to refer to the wrath of the Lord which will rage over the wicked see Jer 23:19; 30:23. Here it refers to the mighty Babylonian army which will come bringing destruction over all the known world. The same prophecy has just been given under the figure of the nations drinking the wine of God’s wrath (vv. 15-29).

22 sn The intent here is to emphasize the large quantity of those who are killed – there will be too many to insure proper mourning rites and proper burial.

23 tn Heb “Wail and cry out, you shepherds. Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.” The terms have been reversed to explain the figure.

sn The term “shepherd” has been used several times in the book of Jeremiah to refer to the leaders of the people who were responsible for taking care of their people who are compared to a flock. (See Jer 23:1-4 and the notes there.) Here the figure has some irony involved in it. It is the shepherds who are to be slaughtered like sheep. They may have considered themselves “choice vessels” (the literal translation of “fine pottery”), but they would be slaughtered and lie scattered on the ground (v. 33) like broken pottery.

24 tn The meaning of this line is debated. The Greek version does not have the words “lie scattered” and it reads the words “like broken pieces of fine pottery” (Heb “like choice vessels”; כִּכְלִי חֶמְדָּה, kikhli khemdah) as “like choice rams” (כְּאֵילֵי חֶמְדָּה, kÿele khemdah); i.e., “the days have been completed for you to be slaughtered and you will fall like choice rams.” The reading of the Greek version fits the context better, but is probably secondary for that very reason. The word translated “lie scattered” (תְּפוֹצָה, tÿfotsah) occurs nowhere else and the switch to the simile of “choice vessels” is rather abrupt. However, this section has been characterized by switching metaphors. The key to the interpretation and translation here is the consequential nature of the verbal actions involved. “Fall” does not merely refer to the action but the effect, i.e., “lie fallen” (cf. BDB 657 s.v. נָפַל 7 and compare Judg 3:25; 1 Sam 31:8). Though the noun translated “lie scattered” does not occur elsewhere, the verb does. It is quite commonly used of dispersing people and that has led many to see that as the reference here. The word, however, can be used of scattering other things like seed (Isa 28:25), arrows (2 Sam 22:15; metaphorical for lightning), etc. Here it follows “slaughtered” and refers to their dead bodies. The simile (Heb “ fallen like choice vessels”) is elliptical, referring to “broken pieces” of choice vessels. In this sense the simile fits in perfectly with v. 33.

25 tn Heb “Flight [or “place of escape”] will perish from the shepherds.”

sn Judging from Gen 14:10 and Judg 8:12 (among many others), it was not uncommon for the leaders to try to save their own necks at the expense of their soldiers.



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