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Seventy Years of Not Being Free

25 This is the word that came to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah. (That was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.) Jeremiah the man of God spoke this word to all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, saying, “These twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, until this day, the Word of the Lord has come to me. And I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. The Lord has sent to you all his servants who have spoken for Him again and again, but you have not listened or turned your ear to hear. They have said, ‘Every one of you turn now from your sinful way and the sinful things you do, and live on the land which the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever. Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them. Do not make Me angry with the work you do, and I will not hurt you.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord. “You have made Me angry with the work of your hands to your own hurt. “So the Lord of All says, ‘Because you have not obeyed My words, I will send for all the families of the north. And I will send for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its people, and against all these nations around you. I will make a complete end of them. I will destroy them all and make them an object of fear and hate, and a waste place forever. 10 I will also take from them the voice of joy, the voice of happiness, the voice of the man to be married and the voice of the bride. I will take from them the sound of the grinding stones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land will be a waste and a cause of fear. And these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.

12 ‘Then when seventy years have past, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, and the land of the Babylonians, for their sin,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will make that land a waste forever. 13 I will bring upon that land all My words which I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has spoken against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be made to serve many nations and great kings. I will pay them for what they have done, and for the work of their hands.’”

The Cup of God’s Anger

15 For the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of anger from My hand. And make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16 They will drink and have trouble walking and become crazy because of the sword that I will send among them.” 17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it. 18 I was sent to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, to its kings and its leaders, to make them a waste, an object of fear and hate, and a curse, as it is this day. 19 I was sent to Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his sons, and to all his people. 20 I was sent to all the people from different countries, all the kings of the land of Uz, and to all the kings of the land of the Philistines (Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and those left of Ashdod). 21 I was sent to Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, 22 and to all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and to the kings of the lands across the sea. 23 I was sent to Dedan, Tema, Buz, to all who are far away in their lands, 24 to the kings of Arabia, and to all the kings of the different people who live in the desert. 25 I was sent to all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, all the kings of Media, 26 and to all the kings of the north, near and far, one after another. I was sent to all the nations on the earth. And after them the king of Sheshach will drink.

27 “Then you will say to them, ‘The Lord of All, the God of Israel, says, “Drink, be drunk, throw up, fall, and get up no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.”’ 28 And if they will not take the cup from your hand to drink, then say to them, ‘The Lord of All says, “You must drink! 29 See, I am beginning to make trouble in this city which is called by My name. And will you not be punished? You will not be free from punishment, for I am bringing a sword against all the people of the earth,” says the Lord of All.’

30 “So you should speak all these words against them. Tell them, ‘The Lord will sound from on high. His voice will be heard from His holy place. He will call out in a loud voice against his flock. He will call out like those who crush the grapes, against all the people of the earth. 31 The noise will go to the ends of the earth, because the Lord has something against the nations. He is deciding what should be done with all flesh. As for the sinful, He has given them to the sword,’” says the Lord.

32 The Lord of All says, “See, sinful ways are spreading from nation to nation. A powerful storm is moving from the farthest parts of the earth. 33 Those killed by the Lord on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. No one will cry for them or gather up the bodies and bury them. They will be like animal waste on the ground. 34 Cry in a loud voice, you shepherds. And roll in ashes, you leaders of the flock. For the days for you to be killed and sent everywhere have come, and you will fall and be broken like a fine pot. 35 The shepherds will have no place to run. And the leaders of the flock will have no place to get away. 36 Listen to the cry of the shepherds and the loud cry of the leaders of the flock! For the Lord is destroying their field. 37 The fields of peace are laid waste because of the burning anger of the Lord. 38 He has left His hiding place like a lion. For their land has become a cause of much fear because of the sword of the one who makes it hard for them, and because of the Lord’s burning anger.”