25:16 When they have drunk it, they will stagger to and fro 1 and act insane. For I will send wars sweeping through them.” 2
51:7 Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand.
She had made the whole world drunk.
The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath. 3
So they have all gone mad. 4
1 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).
2 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.
3 tn The words “of her wrath” are not in the Hebrew text but are supplied in the translation to help those readers who are not familiar with the figure of the “cup of the
sn The figure of the cup of the
4 tn Heb “upon the grounds of such conditions the nations have gone mad.”