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Jeremiah 25:15-22

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  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 

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.

7 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

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.

10 tn See the study note on 24:9 for explanation.

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 b.c. or 586 b.c. However, it may refer here to the beginning stages where Judah has already suffered the loss of Josiah, of its freedom, of some of its temple treasures, and of some of its leaders (Dan 1:1-3. The different date for Jehoiakim there is due to the different method of counting the king’s first year; the third year there is the same as the fourth year in 25:1).

12 sn See further Jer 46:2-28 for the judgment against Egypt.

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.

15 sn See further Jer 47:1-7 for the judgment against the Philistines. The Philistine cities were west of Judah.

16 sn The Greek historian Herodotus reports that Ashdod had been destroyed under the Pharaoh who preceded Necho, Psammetichus.

17 sn See further Jer 49:7-22 for the judgment against Edom. Edom, Moab, and Ammon were east of Judah.

18 sn See further Jer 48:1-47 for the judgment against Moab.

19 sn See further Jer 49:1-6 for the judgment against Ammon.

20 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

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.

map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

22 sn The connection with Tyre and Sidon suggests that these were Phoenician colonies. See also Isa 23:2.



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