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Jeremiah 49:12-13

Context

49:12 For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 1  49:13 For I solemnly swear,” 2  says the Lord, “that Bozrah 3  will become a pile of ruins. It will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example to be used in curses. 4  All the towns around it will lie in ruins forever.”

Jeremiah 51:6-10

Context

51:6 Get out of Babylonia quickly, you foreign people. 5 

Flee to save your lives.

Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins.

For it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge.

He will pay Babylonia 6  back for what she has done. 7 

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. 8 

So they have all gone mad. 9 

51:8 But suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed. 10 

Cry out in mourning over it!

Get medicine for her wounds!

Perhaps she can be healed!

51:9 Foreigners living there will say, 11 

‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.

Let’s leave Babylonia 12  and each go back to his own country.

For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.

It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’ 13 

51:10 The exiles from Judah will say, 14 

‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us! 15 

Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion

what the Lord our God has done!’

Jeremiah 51:39

Context

51:39 When their appetites are all stirred up, 16 

I will set out a banquet for them.

I will make them drunk

so that they will pass out, 17 

they will fall asleep forever,

they will never wake up,” 18 

says the Lord. 19 

Jeremiah 51:57

Context

51:57 “I will make her officials and wise men drunk,

along with her governors, leaders, 20  and warriors.

They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,” 21 

says the King whose name is the Lord who rules over all. 22 

1 tn The words “of my wrath” after “cup” in the first line and “from the cup of my wrath” in the last line are not in the text but are implicit in the metaphor. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

sn The reference here is to the cup of God’s wrath which is connected with the punishment of war at the hands of the Babylonians referred to already in Jer 25:15-29. Those who do not deserve to drink are the innocent victims of war who get swept away with the guilty. Edom was certainly not one of the innocent victims as is clear from this judgment speech and those referred to in the study note on 49:7.

2 tn Heb “I swear by myself.” See 22:5 and the study note there.

3 sn Bozrah appears to have been the chief city in Edom, its capital city (see its parallelism with Edom in Isa 34:6; 63:1; Jer 49:22). The reference to “its towns” (translated here “all the towns around it”) could then be a reference to all the towns in Edom. It was located about twenty-five miles southeast of the southern end of the Dead Sea apparently in the district of Teman (see the parallelism in Amos 1:12).

4 tn See the study note on 24:9 for the rendering of this term.

5 tn The words “you foreign people” are not in the text and many think the referent is the exiles of Judah. While this is clearly the case in v. 45 the referent seems broader here where the context speaks of every man going to his own country (v. 9).

6 tn Heb “her.”

7 tn Heb “paying to her a recompense [i.e., a payment in kind].”

8 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 Lord’s wrath.”

sn The figure of the cup of the Lord’s wrath invoked in Jer 25:15-29 is invoked again here and Babylon is identified as the agent through which the wrath of the Lord is visited on the other nations. See the study note on 25:15 for explanation and further references.

9 tn Heb “upon the grounds of such conditions the nations have gone mad.”

10 tn The verbs in this verse and the following are all in the Hebrew perfect tense, a tense that often refers to a past action or a past action with present results. However, as the translator’s notes have indicated, the prophets use this tense to view the actions as if they were as good as done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect). The stance here is ideal, viewed as already accomplished.

11 tn The words “Foreigners living there will say” are not in the text but are implicit from the third line. These words are generally assumed by the commentaries and are explicitly added in TEV and NCV which are attempting to clarify the text for the average reader.

12 tn Heb “Leave/abandon her.” However, it is smoother in the English translation to make this verb equivalent to the cohortative that follows.

13 tn This is an admittedly very paraphrastic translation that tries to make the figurative nuance of the Hebrew original understandable for the average reader. The Hebrew text reads: “For her judgment [or punishment (cf. BDB 1078 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 1.f) = ‘execution of judgment’] touches the heavens, and is lifted up as far as the clouds.” The figure of hyperbole or exaggeration is being used here to indicate the vastness of Babylon’s punishment which is the reason to escape (vv. 6, 9c). For this figure see Deut 1:28 in comparison with Num 13:28 and see also Deut 9:1. In both of the passages in Deut it refers to an exaggeration about the height of the walls of fortified cities. The figure also may be a play on Gen 11:4 where the nations gather in Babylon to build a tower that reaches to the skies. The present translation has interpreted the perfects here as prophetic because it has not happened yet or they would not be encouraging one another to leave and escape. For the idea here compare 50:16.

14 tn The words “The exiles from Judah will say” are not in the text but are implicit from the words that follow. They are supplied in the translation to clearly identify for the reader the referent of “us.”

15 tn There is some difference of opinion as to the best way to render the Hebrew expression here. Literally it means “brought forth our righteousnesses.” BDB 842 s.v. צְדָקָה 7.b interprets this of the “righteous acts” of the people of Judah and compares the usage in Isa 64:6; Ezek 3:20; 18:24; 33:13. However, Judah’s acts of righteousness (or more simply, their righteousness) was scarcely revealed in their deliverance. Most of the English versions and commentaries refer to “vindication” i.e., that the Lord has exonerated or proven Israel’s claims to be true. However, that would require more explanation than the idea of “deliverance” which is a perfectly legitimate usage of the term (cf. BDB 842 s.v. צְדָקָה 6.a and compare the usage in Isa 46:13; 51:6, 8; 56:1). The present translation interprets the plural form here as a plural of intensity or amplification (GKC 397-98 §124.e) and the suffix as a genitive of advantage (IBHS 147 §9.5.2e). This interpretation is also reflected in REB and God’s Word.

16 tn Heb “When they are hot.”

17 tc The translation follows the suggestion of KBL 707 s.v. עָלַז and a number of modern commentaries (e.g., Bright, J. A. Thompson, and W. L. Holladay) in reading יְעֻלְּפוּ (yeullÿfu) for יַעֲלֹזוּ (yaalozu) in the sense of “swoon away” or “grow faint” (see KBL 710 s.v. עָלַף Pual). That appears to be the verb that the LXX (the Greek version) was reading when they translated καρωθῶσιν (karwqwsin, “they will be stupefied”). For parallel usage KBL cites Isa 51:20. This fits the context much better than “they will exult” in the Hebrew text.

18 sn The central figure here is the figure of the cup of the Lord’s wrath (cf. 25:15-29, especially v. 26). Here the Babylonians have been made to drink so deeply of it that they fall into a drunken sleep from which they will never wake up (i.e., they die, death being compared to sleep [cf. Ps 13:3 (13:4 HT); 76:5 (76:6 HT); 90:5]). Compare the usage in Jer 51:57 for this same figure.

19 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

20 sn For discussion of the terms “governors” and “leaders” see the note at Jer 51:23.

21 sn See the note at Jer 51:39.

22 tn For the title “Yahweh of armies” see the study note on Jer 2:19.



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