25:15 So 1 the Lord, the God of Israel, spoke to me in a vision. 2 “Take this cup from my hand. It is filled with the wine of my wrath. 3 Take it and make the nations to whom I send you drink it. 25:16 When they have drunk it, they will stagger to and fro 4 and act insane. For I will send wars sweeping through them.” 5
25:17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand. I made all the nations to whom he sent me drink the wine of his wrath. 6 25:18 I made Jerusalem 7 and the cities of Judah, its kings and its officials drink it. 8 I did it so Judah would become a ruin. I did it so Judah, its kings, and its officials would become an object 9 of horror and of hissing scorn, an example used in curses. 10 Such is already becoming the case! 11 25:19 I made all of these other people drink it: Pharaoh, king of Egypt; 12 his attendants, his officials, his people, 25:20 the foreigners living in Egypt; 13 all the kings of the land of Uz; 14 all the kings of the land of the Philistines, 15 the people of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, the people who had been left alive from Ashdod; 16 25:21 all the people of Edom, 17 Moab, 18 Ammon; 19 25:22 all the kings of Tyre, 20 all the kings of Sidon; 21 all the kings of the coastlands along the sea; 22 25:23 the people of Dedan, Tema, Buz, 23 all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples; 24 25:24 all the kings of Arabia who 25 live in the desert; 25:25 all the kings of Zimri; 26 all the kings of Elam; 27 all the kings of Media; 28 25:26 all the kings of the north, whether near or far from one another; and all the other kingdoms which are on the face of the earth. After all of them have drunk the wine of the Lord’s wrath, 29 the king of Babylon 30 must drink it.
‘Like a lion about to attack, 33 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. 34
He will shout in triumph like those stomping juice from the grapes 35
against all those who live on the earth.
For the Lord will bring charges against the nations. 37
He will pass judgment on all humankind
and will hand the wicked over to be killed in war.’ 38
The Lord so affirms it! 39
‘Disaster will soon come on one nation after another. 41
A mighty storm of military destruction 42 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. 43
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! 44
The time for you to be slaughtered has come.
You will lie scattered and fallen like broken pieces of fine pottery. 45
The shepherds of the flocks will not be able to escape.
25:36 Listen to the cries of anguish of the leaders.
Listen to the wails of the shepherds of the flocks.
They are wailing because the Lord
is about to destroy their lands. 47
by the fierce anger of the Lord. 49
So their lands will certainly 51 be laid waste
by the warfare of the oppressive nation 52
and by the fierce anger of the Lord.”
1 tn This is an attempt to render the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) which is probably being used in the sense that BDB 473-74 s.v. כִּי 3.c notes, i.e., the causal connection is somewhat loose, related here to the prophecies against the nations. “So” seems to be the most appropriate way to represent this.
2 tn Heb “Thus said the
3 sn “Drinking from the cup of wrath” is a common figure to represent being punished by God. Isaiah had used it earlier to refer to the punishment which Judah was to suffer and from which God would deliver her (Isa 51:17, 22) and Jeremiah’s contemporary Habakkuk uses it of Babylon “pouring out its wrath” on the nations and in turn being forced to drink the bitter cup herself (Hab 2:15-16). In Jer 51:7 the
4 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).
5 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.
8 tn The words “I made” and “drink it” are not in the text. The text from v. 18 to v. 26 contains a list of the nations that Jeremiah “made drink it.” The words are supplied in the translation here and at the beginning of v. 19 for the sake of clarity. See also the note on v. 26.
9 tn Heb “in order to make them a ruin, an object of…” The sentence is broken up and the antecedents are made specific for the sake of clarity and English style.
11 tn Heb “as it is today.” This phrase would obviously be more appropriate after all these things had happened as is the case in 44:6, 23 where the verbs referring to these conditions are past. Some see this phrase as a marginal gloss added after the tragedies of 597
13 tn The meaning of this term and its connection with the preceding is somewhat uncertain. This word is used of the mixture of foreign people who accompanied Israel out of Egypt (Exod 12:38) and of the foreigners that the Israelites were to separate out of their midst in the time of Nehemiah (Neh 13:3). Most commentators interpret it here of the foreign people who were living in Egypt. (See BDB 786 s.v. I עֶרֶב and KBL 733 s.v. II עֶרֶב.)
14 sn The land of Uz was Job’s homeland (Job 1:1). The exact location is unknown but its position here between Egypt and the Philistine cities suggests it is south of Judah, probably in the Arabian peninsula. Lam 4:21 suggests that it was near Edom.
16 sn The Greek historian Herodotus reports that Ashdod had been destroyed under the Pharaoh who preceded Necho, Psammetichus.
21 sn Tyre and Sidon are mentioned within the judgment on the Philistines in Jer 47:4. They were Phoenician cities to the north and west of Judah on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in what is now Lebanon.
23 sn Dedan and Tema are mentioned together in Isa 21:13-14 and located in the desert. They were located in the northern part of the Arabian peninsula south and east of Ezion Geber. Buz is not mentioned anywhere else and its location is unknown. Judgment against Dedan and Tema is mentioned in conjunction with the judgment on Edom in Jer 47:7-8.
sn See Jer 9:26 where these are mentioned in connection with Moab, Edom, and Ammon.
25 tc Or “and all the kings of people of mixed origin who.” The Greek version gives evidence of having read the term only once; it refers to the “people of mixed origin” without reference to the kings of Arabia. While the term translated “people of mixed origin” seems appropriate in the context of a group of foreigners within a larger entity (e.g. Israel in Exod 12:38; Neh 13:3; Egypt in Jer 50:37), it seems odd to speak of them as a separate entity under their own kings. The presence of the phrase in the Hebrew text and the other versions dependent upon it can be explained as a case of dittography.
sn See further Jer 49:28-33 for judgment against some of these Arabian peoples.
26 sn The kingdom of Zimri is mentioned nowhere else, so its location is unknown.
28 sn Elam and Media were east of Babylon; Elam in the south and Media in the north. They were in what is now western Iran.
29 tn The words “have drunk the wine of the
30 tn Heb “the king of Sheshach.” “Sheshach” is a code name for Babylon formed on the principle of substituting the last letter of the alphabet for the first, the next to the last for the second, and so on. On this principle Hebrew שׁ (shin) is substituted for Hebrew ב (bet) and Hebrew כ (kaf) is substituted for Hebrew ל (lamed). On the same principle “Leb Kamai” in Jer 51:1 is a code name for Chasdim or Chaldeans which is Jeremiah’s term for the Babylonians. No explanation is given for why the code names are used. The name “Sheshach” for Babylon also occurs in Jer 51:41 where the term Babylon is found in parallelism with it.
31 tn The word “Jeremiah” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation to make clear who is being addressed.
32 tn Heb “Prophesy against them all these words.”
33 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
sn For the metaphor of the
34 sn The word used here (Heb “his habitation”) refers to the land of Canaan which the
35 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.
38 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
39 tn Heb “Oracle of the
40 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for explanation of this extended title.
41 tn Heb “will go forth from nation to nation.”
42 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
43 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.
44 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.
45 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, kÿ’ele 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.
46 tn Heb “Flight [or “place of escape”] will perish from the shepherds.”
47 tn Heb “their pastures,” i.e., the place where they “shepherd” their “flocks.” The verb tenses in this section are not as clear as in the preceding. The participle in this verse is followed by a vav consecutive perfect like the imperatives in v. 34. The verbs in v. 38 are perfects but they can be and probably should be understood as prophetic like the perfect in v. 31 (נְתָנָם, nÿtanam) which is surrounded by imperfects, participles, and vav consecutive perfects.
sn Jer 25:36-38 shifts to the future as though the action were already accomplished or going on. It is the sound that Jeremiah hears in his “prophetic ears” of something that has begun (v. 29) but will find its culmination in the future (vv. 13, 16, 27, 30-35).
49 tn Heb “because of the burning anger of the
50 tn Heb “Like a lion he has left his lair.”
sn The text returns to the metaphor alluded to in v. 30. The bracketing of speeches with repeated words or motifs is a common rhetorical device in ancient literature.
52 tc Heb “by the sword of the oppressors.” The reading here follows a number of Hebrew
sn The connection between “war” (Heb “the sword”) and the wrath or anger of the