Jeremiah's Fourteenth Prophecy (Reign of Jehoiakim). The Wine Cup of God's Fury
We have here the first closely dated prophecy, taking us back from Zedekih's reign to the fourth year of Jehoiakim, between the news of the victory of Nebuchadnezzar over Pharaoh-Necho and the Egyptians at Carchemish (605 b.c.) and the arrival of the Chaldean army under the walls of Jerusalem. The prophet advises submission to Babylon as God's agent, but promises its overthrow at the end. of the seventy years' captivity which impends. He announces the judgment that shall descend on the nations.
1-7. The people's prolonged waywardness.
3. The three and twentieth year] of Jeremiah's prophetic ministry.
7. The works of your hands] i.e. your idols.
8-14. Babylon's victory and subsequent overthrow.
9. Families of the north] the races near the Tigris and Euphrates. My servant] God's agent in carrying out His purposes of chastisement.
11. Seventy years] for the definite number cp. Jeremiah 29:10. The Jewish love for round numbers would lead them to consider the number seventy used in such a connexion as standing for any approximation to that amount. The captivity seems to have been, in fact, for somewhat less than seventy years.
Immediately upon Jeremiah 25:13 there come in the Septuagint (Greek) version of this book the prophecies against foreign nations, which in the English (following the Hebrew) stand at the end (Jeremiah 46-51).
14. Of them] viz. of the Chaldeans. As they have done to the people of God, so shall it be done to them.
15-29. The wine cup of God's fury to be drunk by the nations.
15. Wine cup] representing disaster, so often in OT.: cp. Jeremiah 49:12; Jeremiah 51:7.
16. Be moved] RV 'reel to and fro.'
17. Then took I the cup] not, however, in a literal sense, the cup being itself only figurative.
18. As it is this day] a later insertion by Jeremiah or another as comment on the fulfilment.
20. The mingled people] those who had attached themselves to a nation without being connected with it by blood. Uz] Job's country near Idumea (Lamentations 4:21). Ashkelon, etc.] the chief cities of Philistia. Azzah] RV 'Gaza.'
22. Isles] RV 'isle,' RM 'coastland,' a phrase denoting generally the region W. of Palestine, with special reference to the Grecian Archipelago.
23. For Dedan see on Jeremiah 49:8. Tema and Buz (to which Elihu belonged, Job 32:2) were neighbouring Arabian tribes. Utmost corners] see on Jeremiah 9:26.
25. Zimri] quite unknown.
26. Sheshach] Sheshach stands in all probability for Babel (or Babylon). The Jews had a species of cypher writing, the form of which consisted in substituting the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet for the first, the last but one for the second, and so on. Omitting vowels, we find that thus Sh, Sh, Ch will represent B, B, L: cp. Jeremiah 51:41, where Sheshach and Babylon stand in parallel clauses. Another instance of the cypher is in Jeremiah 51:1, where the Heb. for 'in the midst of them that rise up against me' becomes, when thus transmuted, 'Casdim,' i.e. Chaldeans.
30-38. Judgment shall come upon all the peoples of the earth.
30. Upon his habitation] RV 'against His fold,' i.e. His people.
31. Plead] in a legal sense, judge.
32. Coasts] RV 'uttermost parts.'
34. Shepherds] i.e. rulers. Like a pleasant vessel] fair but fragile.
37. Habitations are cut down] RV 'folds are brought to silence.'
38. As the lion] The Lord is gone forth in wrath to lay waste.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 25". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany