Seventy Years of Captivity
1This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah.*25:1a The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign and the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was 605 b.c. This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar*25:1b Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 25:9. of Babylon began his reign.
2Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, 3“For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon,*25:3 The thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign was 627 b.c. king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.
4“Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. 5Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever. 6Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’
7“But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord. “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. 8And now the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me, 9I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy*25:9 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering. you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. 10I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out. 11This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.
12“Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the Lord. “I will make the country of the Babylonians*25:12 Or Chaldeans. a wasteland forever. 13I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations. 14Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.”
The Cup of the Lord’s Anger
15This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. 16When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.”
17So I took the cup of anger from the Lord and made all the nations drink from it—every nation to which the Lord sent me. 18I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing. 19I gave the cup to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials, and all his people, 20along with all the foreigners living in that land. I also gave it to all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod. 21Then I gave the cup to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, 22and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea. 23I gave it to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places.*25:23 Or who clip the corners of their hair. 24I gave it to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert, 25and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media. 26And I gave it to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other—all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of Babylon*25:26 Hebrew of Sheshach, a code name for Babylon. himself drank from the cup of the Lord’s anger.
27Then the Lord said to me, “Now tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit; fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.’ 28And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You have no choice but to drink from it. 29I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that bears my name. Now should I let you go unpunished? No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!’
30“Now prophesy all these things, and say to them,
“‘The Lord will roar against his own land
from his holy dwelling in heaven.
He will shout like those who tread grapes;
he will shout against everyone on earth.
31His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth,
for the Lord will bring his case against all the nations.
He will judge all the people of the earth,
slaughtering the wicked with the sword.
I, the Lord, have spoken!’”
32This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation!
A great whirlwind of fury is rising
from the most distant corners of the earth!”
33In that day those the Lord has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered on the ground like manure.
34Weep and moan, you evil shepherds!
Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock!
The time of your slaughter has arrived;
you will fall and shatter like a fragile vase.
35You will find no place to hide;
there will be no way to escape.
36Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds.
The leaders of the flock are wailing in despair,
for the Lord is ruining their pastures.
37Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland
by the Lord’s fierce anger.
38He has left his den like a strong lion seeking its prey,
and their land will be made desolate
by the sword*25:38 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version; Masoretic Text reads by the anger. of the enemy
and the Lord’s fierce anger.