Prophecy of the Captivity
25 The word that came to Jeremiah in regard to all the people of Judah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 3 “For these twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you over and over again, but you have not listened. 4 Although the Lord has persistently sent to you all His servants the prophets, you have not listened nor [even] inclined your ear to hear [His message], 5 saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and the evil of your actions [that you may not forfeit the right to] live in the land that the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; 6 and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ 7 Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “so that you have provoked Me to anger with the work (idols) of your hands to your own harm.
8 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Because you have not obeyed My words, 9 behold (hear this), I will send for all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will send for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant [to enact My plan], and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these surrounding nations; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing [that is, an object of warning and ridicule] and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones [grinding meal] and the light of the lamp [to light the night].(A) 11 This whole land will be a waste and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon [a]seventy years.(B)
Babylon Will Be Judged
12 ‘Then when seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans (Babylonia),’ says the Lord, ‘for their wickedness, and will make the land [of the Chaldeans] a perpetual waste.(C) 13 I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 (For many nations and great kings will make slaves of them, even the Chaldeans [who enslaved other nations]; and I will repay [all of] them according to their deeds and according to the work of their [own] hands.)’”
15 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16 They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”
17 Then I (Jeremiah) took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom the Lord had sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah [being most guilty because their privileges were greatest], its kings and princes, to make them a horror, a ruin, a hissing and a curse, as it is to this day;(D) 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his princes, all his people, 20 and all the foreign (mixed) population, all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines (and [their cities of] Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the islands and the coastlands across the [Mediterranean] Sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz [the neighboring tribes north of Arabia], and all who clip off the side-growth of their hair;(E) 24 all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign population who live in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam (Persia), and all the kings of Media; 26 all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another—and all the kingdoms of the world which are on the face of the earth. And the king of Sheshach (Babylon) shall drink after them.
27 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Drink, be drunk, vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.”’ 28 And if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “You shall surely drink! 29 For behold, I am beginning to work disaster in the city which is called by My Name, and shall you go unpunished? You will not be exempt from punishment, for I am calling for a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,” says the Lord of hosts.’(F)
30 “Therefore prophesy all these words against them and say to them:
‘The Lord will roar from on high
And utter His voice from His holy dwelling;
He will roar mightily against His fold and pasture.
He will jubilantly shout like those who tread the grapes [in the wine press],
Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
‘A noise has come to the end of the earth,
For the Lord has a controversy with and an indictment against the nations.
He is entering into judgment with all mankind;
As for the wicked, He has given them to the sword,’ says the Lord.”
Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Behold, evil is going forth
From nation to nation,
And a great whirling tempest is rising
From the remotest part of the earth.
33 “And those slain by the Lord on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. They will not be lamented (mourned over with expressions of grief) or gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the ground.(G)
“Wail, you shepherds, and cry;
And roll in ashes, you masters of the flock.
For the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions have come in full,
And you will fall and be broken into pieces like a choice vessel.
“The shepherds will have no way to flee,
Nor the masters of the flock any [way of] escape.
“A voice! The cry of the shepherds
And the wailing of the masters of the flock!
For the Lord is destroying their pasture,
“And the peaceful folds are devastated and made silent
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
“He has left His lair like the lion;
For their land has become a horror
Because of the fierceness of the oppressor
And because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”
- Jeremiah 25:11 As history shows, this prophecy was fulfilled, whether it refers to the duration of the Babylonian Empire (from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in 605 b.c. until its downfall in 539 b.c.), or to the length of the Jewish captivity in Babylon (with the first deportation in 605 b.c. and the first return in 538 b.c.). For the fulfillment of specific details concerning the destruction and perpetual desolation of Babylon, see notes Is 13:22; 14:23.