Jeremiah 25


This is basically a summary of everything that Jeremiah has said so far. In addition, he gives a scan of the punishments that will come to other nations. I wonder why he talked about other nations. Because it is going to show that in a special way Judah will receive payment for what has been done. These nations will be judged because of their ignorance.

God had been longsuffering. Over and over again He had given them opportunities to come back to Him. So, here is the terrible message, you’ve had your chances, now receive the punishment.

This chapter has three main sections.

1. The judgment of Judah and their impending captivity in Babylon. Jeremiah 25:1-14.

2. The cup of God’s wrath on nations. Jeremiah 25:15-29, and

3. God’s Judgment on the whole world. Jeremiah 25:30-38.

In the first main section we have this amazing prophecy that God’s people will be in Babylon tor a total of 70 years. I say, amazing, because, how could Jeremiah have known that they would be in exile for 70 years?

There was only one way, revelation by our Almighty God.

‘The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. So, Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the LORD has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.’ Jeremiah 25:1-4

This 23 years of Jeremiah’s ministry wag made up of 19 years during the reign of Josiah and four years of the reign of Jehoiakim. Plus, of course, the three months of Jehoahaz, I suppose we should count that. This shows 23 years of rejection by Judah of God and His words. Every day of these 23 years it seems that Jeremiah was out early trying to warn the people and trying to melt their hearts.

‘And though the Lord has sent you all his servants, the prophets again and again, you have not listened or paid attention’. ‘They said, ‘Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.’ ‘But you did not listen to me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.’ Therefore, the LORD Almighty says this: ‘Because you have not listened to my words. I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.’ Jeremiah 25:5-11

If the people of Israel had not been so rebellious, we would have no writings of the prophets, for the prophets were sent to call the people to repentance. However, because they would not listen to God, they stirred His anger. As a result, He unleashed calamity upon them in order to stir their repentance.

Notice the title that God gives, ‘my servant Nebuchadnezzar’. This title is usually reserved for the most faithful worshippers of God. The first person to be given the title by God was Moses. Here is it applied to the king of Babylon. I guess you couldn’t call Nebuchadnezzar a servant in the best sense of the word, but he was, nevertheless, an important servant. He was, after all, being used by God to punish God’s people.

We are told how long the captivity is going to last, for 70 years. For the background of this read 2 Chronicles 36:14-23. The 70-year period would obviously start from the time of the first deportation, in 606 B.C, when Daniel and the princes were taken. After the captives return to Babylon will serve other nations because they made the land a waste.

‘But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will make it desolate forever. I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.’ Jeremiah 25:12-14

Though God used the Babylonians to discipline His people, He would turn on them because of their arrogance and mistreatment of His people. He would render to them that which they had rendered to His people.

The Cup of God’s Wrath

‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them.’ So I took the cup from the LORD’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn, a curse—as they are today; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people, and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); Edom, Moab and Ammon; all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the wilderness; all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media; and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak will drink it too. ‘Then tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.’ But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: You must drink it! See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword on all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty.’ ‘Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: ‘The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth. The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,’ declares the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth.’ At that time those slain by the LORD will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.’ Jeremiah 25:15-33

This talks about the cup of God’s wrath upon the nations. They are going to drink the contents until they are drunk. God says, ‘make the nations drink it.’

These nations have no foundation. When trials come, they hit the bottle. All this, of course, is figurative, this wasn’t a literal cup. It a symbol, a symbol of God’s wrath.

I’m not going to make a nation by nation list of what is written in this chapter. All I will say is that they are all going to be judged by God. Remember what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:10, ‘We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.’

After all of those nations had drunk the wrath of God, the king of Sheshack will drink it too. There is a little footnote in the NIV, and I suppose in the version you are suing, that says Sheshack is a word for Babylon, so this verse is saying that the other nations will be judged before Babylon is judged.

We see that the message is repeated in verses 30 and 31.

1. All nations are going to be judged and punished.

2. Death will come to the wicked.

3. There will be no exceptions. God will bring these charges against all nations, judgment on all mankind.

‘Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall like the best of the rams. The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape. Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for the LORD is destroying their pasture. The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of the LORD. Like a lion he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of the LORD’s fierce anger.’ Jeremiah 25:34-38

The rulers and lords of the nations would wail because their source of help would be cut off. The judgment would go out against all the nations, and thus one nation could not help another. There would be no place to escape the judgment of God.

The chapter ends with an indictment against the shepherds of Judah.

Go To Jeremiah 26



"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:23