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Jeremiah 25:15-17

Context
Judah and the Nations Will Experience God’s Wrath

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 

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 Lord, the God of Israel, to me.” It is generally understood that the communication is visionary. God does not have a “hand” and the action of going to the nations and making them drink of the cup are scarcely literal. The words are supplied in the translation to show the figurative nature of this passage.

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 Lord will identify Babylon as the cup which makes the nations stagger. In v. 16 drinking from the cup will be identified with the sword (i.e., wars) that the Lord will send against the nations. Babylon is also to be identified as the sword (cf. Jer 51:20-23). What is being alluded to here in highly figurative language is the judgment that the Lord will wreak on the nations listed here through the Babylonians. The prophecy given here in symbolical form is thus an expansion of the one in vv. 9-11.

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.

6 tn The words “the wine of his wrath” are not in the text but are implicit in the metaphor (see vv. 15-16). They are supplied in the translation for clarity.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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