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IX. God's Wrath Is On The Wicked (25:1–38)

Consult other commentaries for a discussion of the difference in the order of arrangement between the Hebrew text (MT) and the Greek version (LXX), which commences with 25:14. It is possible that 25:1-14 is a summary statement of the first twenty-three years of Jeremiah's messages (627-605 b.c.). “This book” (v. 13) might very well be a reference to the scroll that Baruch copied after the original scroll was destroyed by King Jehoiakim (see 36:1-26). It is commonly held that the contents of chs. 1-25 constitute the above-mentioned scroll.

The true measure of a preacher's success lies in his commitment to preach the word regardless of its outcome. For twenty-three years Judah has refused to accept Jeremiah or his message from Yahweh (25:1-3). Judah's apostasy through idolatry has become for them a way of life (vv. 4-7). Yahweh's patience is exhausted (v. 8-11). The reference to Nebuchadnezzer as “my servant” (v. 9) shows Yahweh's sovereignty over the kingdoms and sovereign powers of this world. Yahweh decides to punish those who were called to be his servants in the world. Historical events will teach Judah the painful lesson that destruction is the fate of those who reject Yahweh's sovereignty.

Yahweh's wrath is also upon the ungodly nations, though they are now instruments of his judgment against Judah (vv. 12-29). Seventy years in v. 12 most likely is a reference to the totality and the completeness of Judah's judgment. The kingdoms of this world cannot escape from drinking the cup of Yahweh's wrath. His decision to bring judgment upon his own people and his city (v. 29) is cited here as concrete proof of the fact that he is an impartial Judge who does not tolerate wickedness in any form found anywhere in his creation.

The language of 25:30-38 contains an apocalyptic tone. The intensity of Yahweh's wrath against the wickedness of human beings is vividly expressed through the language of theophany (roar, shout, storm) and law suit (bring charges). From one end of the earth to the other he will execute his judgment and bring the wicked to their ultimate ruin. The leaders are the primary objects of Yahweh's wrath, from which they cannot escape. Their distress will be greater because they will witness the destruction of their flock to whom they have promised prosperity and peace.