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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Jeremiah 25

 

 

Verses 1-38

9. NINTH DISCOURSE

(Chap25)

With Three Historical Appendices ( chaps26–29)

The superscription, Jeremiah 25:1, to which a similar one follows first in Jeremiah 30:1, shows that the compiler of the book regarded chh25–29 as a connected group. The motive of this arrangement may be recognized. First, the connection of Jeremiah 27 with Jeremiah 25. is perfectly clear, the figurative discourse of the cup of wrath, which Jeremiah is to offer the heathen nations ( Jeremiah 25:15 sqq.), having a practical commentary in the yokes, which, according to Jeremiah 27:2-12, the prophet is to send to those nations. Ch28 is however based directly on. Jeremiah 27, since here the false prophet Hananiah breaks the yoke, which Jeremiah, according to Jeremiah 27, had hung upon his neck, and Jeremiah replaces this wooden yoke by an iron one. In subject then these three chapters are closely connected. Ch29, moreover, stands in intimate topical connection with Jeremiah 27, 28, since it is directed against the false prophets, who contradicted the prophecy of Jeremiah with respect to their position in Babylon. Though Jeremiah 25 and Jeremiah 27-29 belong to very different periods (on which point see the particular chapters), yet their connection in fact is beyond a doubt. Ch26 is not indeed related to Jeremiah 25 topically, but it is chronologically, for it belongs to the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. This chapter Isaiah, however, intimately connected with the following, in that it likewise has for its subject the conflict of the true prophet with the false prophets, and with the people as favoring the latter (comp. Jeremiah 26:7-8; Jeremiah 26:11; Jeremiah 26:16 with Jeremiah 27:9; Jeremiah 27:14; Jeremiah 27:16). As Jeremiah 26 is thus related in subject to chh27-29, and in date to Jeremiah 25, it stands between them. Comp. my art on Jeremiah in Herzog, Real-Enc., VI, S. 486, 7.—The position of the group, chh25–29, here seems to be due primarily to chronological reasons. Ch25, the basis of the section, belongs to the 4 th year of Jehoiakim. The main trunk of the preceding section, chh21–24, belongs to the beginning of the reign of this king, prior to his fourth year (comp. Introd. to the Eighth Discourse). All the portions following Jeremiah 29, belong mainly to the times of Zedekiah, or to the later period of Jehoiakim’s reign (comp. Jeremiah 36). Accordingly, Jeremiah 25. with its appendix is in the right place. It concurs with this, though without design, that with respect to its subject also this chapter is rightly placed; for its position in the middle of the book corresponds exactly to the central significance, which pertains to it in the collection of Jeremiah’s prophecies.

We first then consider Jeremiah 25, the central prophecy, by itself. It may be divided into three sections:—

1. Jeremiah 25:1-11.—The Judgment on Judah.

2. Jeremiah 25:12-29.—The Judgment on Judah and the kingdoms of the world.

3. Jeremiah 25:30-38.—The Judgment of the world.

a. the central prophecy and programme (chap25)

1. THE JUDGMENT ON JUDAH

Jeremiah 25:1-11

1The word which came to [FN1]Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the first year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that [the same] was the first 2 year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; the which Jeremiah the prophet spake 3 unto all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, even unto this day, this[FN2]is the three and twentieth year [these 23 years], the word of the Lord [Jehovah] hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early[FN3]and speaking, 4but ye have not hearkened. And the Lord [Jehovah] hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, 5nor inclined your ear to hear. They said [saying], Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and [ye shall] dwell[FN4]in the land that the Lord [Jehovah] hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever 6 and ever: And go not after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt 7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord [Jehovah]; that ye might 8 provoke me to anger[FN5]with the works of your hands to your own hurt. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zebaoth]: Because ye have not heard my 9 words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord [Jehovah] and [even to][FN6]Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these[FN7]nations round about, and will utterly destroy them,[FN8]and make them an 10 astonishment and an hissing and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle 11 And this whole land shall become a desolation, and an astonishment;[FN9]and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, which was the first of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ( Jeremiah 25:1), Jeremiah addresses to the whole of Judah and Jerusalem a prophecy of the following import ( Jeremiah 25:2): After Jeremiah had spoken to the people for 23 years, from the 13 th year of king Josiah ( Jeremiah 25:3), after other prophets also had unceasingly held forth to the people ( Jeremiah 25:4), that in case of their conversion they would remain quietly in the land ( Jeremiah 25:5), but in case of their apostasy to idols they would experience the Lord’s anger ( Jeremiah 25:6); and finally the people not having regarded these exhortations and threatenings, it is solemnly declared ( Jeremiah 25:7-8), that the tribes of the North under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would invade the land of Judea and the neighboring nations, lay everything desolate, and render these countries tributary to the king of Babylon for seventy years ( Jeremiah 25:9-11).—The pre-eminent significance of this prophecy is clear from the following data: 1. From the special detail of the introduction, which apart from the date, is distinguished from all other introductory formulas in Jeremiah, in that in Jeremiah 25:1-2 it lays special emphasis on the object and address of the discourse2. From the date in Jeremiah 25:1. It is the first time in which a date is prefixed to a prophecy of this seer. Only general indications of time are found in the earlier prophecies, and these only rarely ( Jeremiah 3:6; Jeremiah 14:1). We find exact chronological statements only on the entrance of the great catastrophe and the principal stages of its course; ( Jeremiah 28:1; Jeremiah 32:1; Jeremiah 36:1; Jeremiah 39:1, and the following chh.). 3. Here in Jeremiah 25:2 Jeremiah calls himself for the first time נָבִיא (comp. the Introd. to the Seventh Discourse, chh. Jeremiah 18:20). It is as though he had renounced this title, till he could announce the beginning of the fulfilment of his minatory prophecy (comp. Deuteronomy 18:21-22). 4. The prophet casts a comprehensive glance at his whole previous ministry of 23 years, admits the fact that the people had paid no attention to his prophetic exhortations and threatenings, and announces the immediate infliction of the punitive judgment promised in such a case. Hence it is evident that he regards the present moment as forming a decisive crisis. The reason for this it is hot difficult to perceive. While Jeremiah in all his previous prophecies speaks indefinitely of the judgment as one menacing from the north, he here for the first time names Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Chaldeans, as he who would inflict it, at the head of all the “nationalities of the North” ( Jeremiah 25:9). The victory of Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish (comp. Jeremiah 46:2) and his ascension of the throne were the historic facts, in which the divinely inspired glance of the seer perceived the most important crisis in the history of the world. It was at once clear to him that the victor of Carchemish was the great divinely chosen instrument to inflict judgment on the theocracy and the other nations, and so in a certain sense to found the first universal empire. As his predictions of calamity at once attained concrete definiteness by this fact, so did his predictions of deliverance. He perceived and predicted with the same definiteness that the empire of the Chaldeans would last only70 years, and that at the close of it would begin the redemption of the holy nation. It was hidden from him into how many stages and of what duration the fulfilment of these prophecies would be resolved5. In the same year Jeremiah, in obedience to the divine command, began to write out his prophecies ( Jeremiah 37:1-2). He did this, according to Jeremiah 36:3; Jeremiah 36:7, in the hope even at the eleventh hour of moving the hearts of the people by the total impression of his prophetic discourses, which at the same time intimates that a moment of conclusive and irrevocable decision had come.

Jeremiah 25:1-2. The word … saying. Why the fourth year of Jehoiakim is the right moment for this important prophecy is clear from the additional clause: the same was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had this year become king by the death of his father. As this circumstance is emphasized, it is highly probable that Jeremiah received the impulse to this prophetic discourse on the news of Nebuchadnezzar’s accession. There is no contradiction in this to our previous designation of the battle of Carchemish as the occasion. The news of his father’s death must have come to Nebuchadnezzar soon after that victory. The prophet mentions here merely the ascent of the throne, because he might presuppose that it was enough to mention the later fact to remind also of the earlier and not less important one. With respect to the chronological date, the statement of our passage that Jehoiakim’s fourth year was the first of Nebuchadnezzar agrees with the statements in 2 Kings 24:12; 2 Kings 25:8; Jeremiah 52:12; Jeremiah 32:1. It is generally admitted that this year was B.C, 605 or604. Comp. Hofmann, ägypt. u. israelit, Zeitrechnung, S. 54; Bunsen, Bible-work, I. S., 211, 310; Niebuhr, Ass. u. Babel, S. 371; Duncker, Gesch. d. Altesth 1, S. 825, 3 te Aufl [“The precise dates of the events of this period cannot be determined. Dr. Pusey (p309) supposes that Josiah died in the spring of B. C, 609 Jehoahaz or Shallum, reigned three months. Then Jehoiakim’s reign would have begun in the summer of609, and his fourth year would have begun in the summer of B. C, 606.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.]—The native form of the name נְבוּבַדְרֶאצַּר appears on the Babylonian monuments to have been Nabu-kudu-ur-uzur, or Nabu-kudurr-usur [or Nabu-kudari-utsur] (Oppert, Exp. en. Mesop, T. II, p259 sqq.). From this the various transformations are derived. Comp. Niebuhr, Ass. u. Bab, S. 41.—On the meaning of name comp. Scheuchzer in the Zeitschrift d. morgenl. Gesselsch. Bd., XVI, S487, and Rösch. in the same Journal, Bd. XV, S505. [Rawlinson, Herodotus I, p511–16. Ancient Monarchies, III, pp489, 528. Smith’s Bible Dict., s. v.—S. R. A.]

Jeremiah 25:3-4. From the thirteenth year … to hear. Josiah, according to 2 Kings 22:1, reigned 31 years. According to Jeremiah 1:2 also Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry began in his 13 th year. He had therefore labored18 years [or19 years, according to Pusey and Wordsworth] under Josiah and four under Jehoiakim, and was then, especially if we reckon in the three months of Jehoahaz, in the 23 d year of his ministry.—The words from but ye have not to to hear ( Jeremiah 25:4) are, on account of the following saying, which belongs to sending, to be regarded as a parenthesis.

Jeremiah 25:5-7. Saying, Turn ye … to your own hurt.—Turn ye now. Comp. Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 35:15.—In the land. Comp. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.—For ever and ever is to be regarded as depending on turn, for the consolation consists, not in God’s having appointed the land for an everlasting habitation, but in that it will be really such.—And provoke me not, etc., and I will do you no hurt, are sentences which express a purpose paratactically: comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 109, 2.—On the subject-matter comp. Jeremiah 7:6-7.

Jeremiah 25:8-11. Therefore thus saith … seventy years. These verses contain the consequence necessarily resulting from the premises.—All the families of the north. A reference to the announcement often repealed since the commencement of his prophetic ministry, and now again appearing in the form which it had in Jeremiah 1:15, viz., that the enemy coming from the north is designated as “all the families of the north,” an expression which is evidently not to be taken literally, but as the designation of an extended empire—And [even to] Nebuchadnezzar. [Comp. Textual Notes]. Previously northern nations only were spoken of, here we learn that they are first to be brought to the king of the Chaldeans and then (of course under his command) into the land. Since this explanation is grammatically possible, I give the reading in the text the preference, as the more difficult. Hitzig and Graf indeed maintain that the name of Nebuchadnezzar was inserted afterwards. Hitzig finds the mention of this name so altogether “frank” that he sees in it “a glossation of the gloss in Jeremiah 25:12,” and an impertinence, after the indefinite phrase “a horde from midnight” purposely left that name to be guessed. Graf, however, finds the mention of the name in no way compatible with the construction, for neither וְאֵל (which he makes dependent on שׁלח) nor אֵל nor וְאֵת gives a satisfactory sense, the last because then Nebuchadnezzar would appear only as “supplementary.” The latter objection disappears of itself in our explanation. Hitzig’s arguments, however, emanate too evidently from the objection which he has to any special and exactly fulfilled prophecy, to need serious refutation. We say: after the victory at Carchemish, Nebuchadnezzar’s mission and its result were so fully made out to the prophet that there could be neither indistinctness nor hesitation with respect to the mention of his name.—The Lord calls Nebuchadnezzar his servant (עבדי, Jeremiah 25:9) as in Jeremiah 27:6; Jeremiah 43:10, the performer of His commands. He is to come with his hosts “over all these nations round about.”—The voice of the bridegroom, etc. Comp. Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9.—[The millstones and the light of the candle. “The one the sound of those who prepare daily food by grinding the hand-mill, see Exodus 11:5 and Matthew 24:41; the other the evidence of domestic habitation. Both emblems are combined in the Apocalypse ( Jeremiah 18:22-23.”—Wordsworth. Comp. also Thomson, The Land and the Book, II, 275.—S. R. A.].

Jeremiah 25:11. This whole land. Since the prophet, from Jeremiah 25:9 onward, has in view not only Judah but all the neighboring nations, “this land” is to be referred not only to Palestine but to the whole of the territory inhabited by those nations.—And these nations shall serve. Hitzig was the first to cast doubt on the genuineness of these words. De Wette (Einl. S. 330) and Graf (S. 322, 326) concur with him. On the other hand compare especially Haevernick, (Einl. II, 2, S. 225 sqq.).—What appears especially to offend Hitzig is the circumstance that the seventy years here would prove to be right within two years, nay, that if Darius the Mede is an historical personage, they would prove so exactly. “Such coincidence of history with prophecy would be a surprising accident; or else Jeremiah knew beforehand the number of years, which the dependence on Babylon would last.” To this may be added the point, which Graf renders prominent, that a prediction of destruction addressed to Babylon at the same moment when it is described as a power divinely commissioned to execute judgment, is somewhat unsuitable and improbable. So the seventy years here and in Jeremiah 25:12 are regarded as an interpolation and vaticinium ex eventu, which does not very well agree with the statement, that it is transposed hither from Jeremiah 29:10, which passage is acknowledged to be genuine. For even if the sending of the letter in Jeremiah 29 occurred a decennium later, the promise of a liberation after seventy years, contained in Jeremiah 25:10, is not by a hair less than Jeremiah 25:11-12, either a genuine prophecy or a statement which happened to prove true. For the difference of ten years, in view of the many possibilities of longer or shorter periods is not so important that a general agreement may not be spoken of. We can of course enter into no controversy here with those who deny altogether any core knowledge of future things on the basis of divine Revelation, but if any is offended that the prophet here mentions a definite number, let him consider that without this definiteness the prediction would cease to be a prophecy in the true sense. That the dominion of the Chaldeans would not stretch in infinitum does not need to be prophesied. The chief source of consolation for Israel also is contained in this definite number. (Comp. Daniel 9:2). [“Thus a safeguard was provided against the dangers to which God’s captive people, Israel, were exposed in Babylonia, from the seductions of Chaldean idolatry; and a hope of restoration to their own land was cherished in their heart till the time of their chastisement was past.”—Wordsworth.—S. R. A.] “Prophetic analogy” also is not wanting for him, who in Genesis 15:13-16 and Daniel 9:24-26 sees anything but vaticinium ex eventu. Whoever finally maintains that this was not the right moment to pronounce a prophecy of the overthrow of Babylon mistakes both the nature of that historical event and the meaning and object of prophecy. We have already seen that the Babylonian empire was determined by the victory at Carchemish, and was not this a suitable moment to present a prophetic programme of the divine world-policy? Or should merely the subjection of Judah and other nations be spoken of and not the judgment upon Babylon? Let it be observed that in Jeremiah 25 the prophet presents three stages of the divine judgment; the judgment on Judah, on the nations forming the Babylonian empire, and finally on all the nations of the earth. In this general view of the divine judgments that on Babylon could not of course be omitted, if the prophet was not to give a false representation. Observe, moreover, that the prophet speaks of the overthrow of Babylon only in brief hints. He says of it only so much as is necessary on the one hand for the completeness of the picture, and on the other hand in order not to encourage Israel to obstinate resistance, while not altogether dispiriting them. For this reason almost all the minatory predictions conclude with a consolatory outlook. (Comp. Jeremiah 3:12 sqq.; Jeremiah 10:23 sqq.; Jeremiah 12:14 sqq.; Jeremiah 23:3 sqq.; yea, even the prophecies against the heathen nations, Jeremiah 46:26; Jeremiah 48:47; Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 49:39). There is then no reason, why the second half of Jeremiah 25:11 should be declared spurious. On the contrary, the words, like the related ones in Jeremiah 27:7, are entirely in place.—As concerns the numbering of the seventy years thus much is certain, that Jeremiah would say: In seventy years from this time Babylon will be visited. For, as shown above, he has placed the date, contrary to his former custom, at the head of the chapter, simply because this fourth year of Jehoiakim is at the same time the year of the battle of Carchemish and the first of Nebuchadnezzar, and because Nebuchadnezzar’s victory and accession to the throne were the symptoms of a crisis in universal history, which germinally included all the other successes of the Chaldean king. From the moment when Jeremiah received the news of the victory at Carchemish, it was for him decided that Nebuchadnezzar would exercise universal dominion and that Judah, as well as the rest of the nations, would be subject to him; in Jeremiah 27:6 indeed he represents this, by his categorical נָתַתִּי, as accomplished, though in reality it was still waiting fulfilment. Hence also in Jeremiah 29:10 he does not alter the number, though this prophecy is of a later date. The seventy years have become to him a fixed measure of time, which at any rate has its point of commencement in that fourth year of Jehoiakim. Its final point is less clear. (Comp. on the different modes of reckoning, Rosenmueller on Jeremiah 25:11 and the literature there quoted). If we take the year of the battle of Carchemish as the beginning of the Chaldean empire, this corresponds best to the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. As that first fact germinally involved the captivity, so did the second the deliverance therefrom. The dates are, as is well known, not yet determined with certainty. According to the reckoning approved by most, the battle of Carchemish took place in the year B. C605–4, the conquest of Babylon in the year538. Between these two dates lies a period of sixty-seven years. [The Canon of Ptolemy, confirmed by Rawlinson, makes the reigns of Babylonian kings from Nebuchadnezzar to the end of Belshazzar cover sixty-six years. Comp. Cowlesad loc.—S. R. A.]. Aside from the possibility that a more exact agreement might result on more accurate knowledge, this number may suffice as a round sum. Comp. Niebuhr. Assur u. Babel, S. 7. [“These seventy years begin with B. C606, the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, when he made his first attack on Jerusalem, and end with the capture of Babylon in the first year of Cyrus, and the restoration of the Jews, B. C536. Comp. Davison, on Prophecy, p225; Pusey, on Daniel, p267, who justly condemns the theory of some, who allege that seventy years is here either a mere approximative number or a symbolical one, signifying a long time.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.]

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Jeremiah 25:1.—On עַל, which is twice used here as synonymous with אֵל Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 10:1.

FN#2 - Jeremiah 25:3.—On the adverbial use of זֶה. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 79, 2 [Gesen. Gr., § 100, 2 e.].

FN#3 - Jeremiah 25:3.—אַשְׁכֵים is possibly an Aramaism (comp. Olsh. § 191, g; 255, b), and is possibly on account of the rarer וּ in the final syllable (הַשׁכֵים found only in Jeremiah 44:4, and Proverbs 27:14), as an addition to אדבר, written purposely as 1 Pers. Imperf.; yet more probably it is a mere oversight and, therefore, according to the Keri, and related passages ( Jeremiah 7:13; Jeremiah 25; Jeremiah 11:7; Jeremiah 25:4; Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 29:19; Jeremiah 32:33; Jeremiah 35:14-15; Jeremiah 44:4), to be read הַשְׁכֵּים.

FN#4 - Jeremiah 25:5.—וּשְׁבוּ. On the construction, comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 90, 2.

FN#5 - Jeremiah 25:7.—הכעסוני. The Chethibh must be pronounced הִבְעִסוּנִי, as in Jeremiah 8:19, but does not suit the connection. The Keri הַכְעִסֵני is according to the analogy of Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 32:29; 2 Chronicles 34:25 coll. Jeremiah 11:17; Jeremiah 32:32; Jeremiah 44:3; Jeremiah 44:8; 1 Kings 14:9; 1 Kings 16:2. It seems to me more probable that תַּכְעִסוּנִי is the true reading, since this form might pass more easily into הכעסוני, and is moreover recommended by the shortly preceding תכעיסו ( Jeremiah 25:6), but was not preferred by the Masoretes, because the Inf. הַכְעִים after ל, or לְמַעַז is alone used in this sense and connection. The prophet seems, moreover, to have Deuteronomy 31:29 in view. Comp. Jeremiah 32:30; Jeremiah 7:6.

FN#6 - Jeremiah 25:9.—ואל. It is certainly easy, with the Vulgate and Chald. (the Syr. is doubtful), and some MSS. to read וְאֶת, or at least, as is also done by some MSS. to omit ו before אֵל. But there is no necessity for this. For וְאֶל is by no means without sense, and may be justified grammatically. It must not then be rendered as depending on שֹׁלח. For then the intermediate sentence, ולקחתי, etc. is intolerably harsh. But אֵל depends on לָקַּחְתִּי. Then ו before אֵל=and indeed, as not seldom in Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 6:2; Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 19:12. Comp. besides Genesis 4:4; 2 Samuel 13:20; Isaiah 57:11; Amos 3:11; Amos 4:10; Psalm 68:10). אֵל is used here as ex. gr., in Leviticus 18:18 in the sentence ואשָּׁח אֵל־אֲחֹתָהּ לֹא תִקָּח thou shalt not take a wife to her sister. Comp. Ezekiel 44:7; Lamentations 3:41. Even in the verse of the present 26 th chapter we find אֵל in this sense: all the kings of the north, the near and far, אִישׁ אֶל־אָחִיו, that Isaiah, one to the other = one with another. The prophet therefore says: behold, I send and take (or fetch) all the families of the North, and indeed to Nebuchadnezzar.

FN#7 - Jeremiah 25:9.—The pronoun האלה stands δεικτικῶς; we must suppose a corresponding gesture of the hand.

FN#8 - Jeremiah 25:9.—והחרכתיכ. The word is found frequently in the books of Deut. and Joshua (ex. gr., Deuteronomy 2:34; Deuteronomy 3:6; Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 20:17, etc.; Joshua 8:26; Joshua 10:28; Joshua 10:35; Joshua 10:40, etc.), in Jeremiah, elsewhere only in Jeremiah 50:21; Jeremiah 50:26; Jeremiah 51:3.

FN#9 - Jeremiah 25:11.—לשׁמה וגו׳. Comp. Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 18:16; Jeremiah 19:8; Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 49:13, etc.

2. THE JUDGMENT ON JUDAH AND THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD

Jeremiah 25:12-29

12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished,[FN10] that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,[FN11] saith the Lord [Jehovah], for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations 13 And I will bring upon that land all my words, which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all 14 the nations. For [of them, even these] many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also [exact service]: and I will recompense them according to 15 their deeds and according to the works of their own hands. For thus saith [hath said] the Lord [Jehovah the] God of Israel unto me, Take the wine-cup [the cup of the wine] of this fury at my hand, and cause [give] all the nations, to whom I:16 send thee, to drink [of] it. And they shall drink and be moved [stagger] and be mad [stunned], because of the sword that I will send among them.

17Then took I the cup at the Lord’s [Jehovah’s] hand, and made all the nations 18 to drink, unto whom the Lord [Jehovah] had sent me: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them [FN12]a desolation,19an astonishment, an hissing and a curse; as it is this day; Pharaoh, king of 20 Egypt, and his servants and his princes, and all his people; and all the mingled [allied][FN13]people and all the kings of the land of Uz and all the kings of the land of the Philistines and Ashkelon [Askalon] and Azzah [Gaza] and Ekron and the21[whole] remnant of Ashdod, Edom, and Moab and the children of Ammon,—22and all the kings of Tyrus and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles23[coast land] which are beyond the sea, Dedan and Tema and Buz and all that are 24 in the utmost corners [cut short the hair], and all the kings of Arabia, and all the 25 kings of the mingled people, that dwell in the desert, and all the kings of Zimri 26 and all the kings of Elam and all the kings of the Medes [Media], and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world,[FN14] which are upon the face of the earth:—and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

27Therefore [And] thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zsbaoth], the God of Israel, Drink ye and be drunken and spue [FN15] and fall 28 and rise no more, because of the word which I will send among you. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them. Thus saith the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zebaoth]: Ye shall certainly [and 29 must] drink. For, lo, I begin to bring [do] evil on the city which is called by [bears] my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zebaoth].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Leaving aside Jeremiah 25:12-14 for the present, let us first take into view (he relation of Jeremiah 25:15-29 to the foregoing context. The prophet has been prophesying the judgment on Judah and the neighboring nations, to be executed by Nebuchadnezzar (“all these nations round about,” Jeremiah 25:9). In Jeremiah 25:11 b he had intimated that the supremacy of Babylon over these will come to an end after70 years. He had thus erected the bridge by which to pass to the prediction of a second and more comprehensive stage of divine judgment, viz., that it will also involve Babylon itself. How is this conceivable? Jeremiah 25:15-29 explain this. The Lord purposes to hold judgment over all the nations of the then known world, which also represent the aggregate of the subsequent Babylonian empire. He will begin with Judah. On this and the nations, only hinted at before in Jeremiah 25:9 sqq, but enumerated in Jeremiah 25:19 sqq, and several others, which cannot be numbered among those meant in Jeremiah 25:9 (comp. Jeremiah 25:25-26), Babylon will itself be an instrument of execution. Was it however to be itself spared? Was it better than the nations subjugated by it? No, it will only drink the cup of wrath last. For if the chosen people is not spared, no other nation can expect that its offence (עֲוֹנָם, Jeremiah 25:12) will remain unrecompensed. We see that this passage presupposes the previous one, being its necessary supplement. For while in the first part, neighboring nations beside Judah are mentioned without being particularly designated, the second part gives a complete and orderly catalogue of nations, beginning with Judah and ending with Babylon, thus presenting a considerably extended circle before our eyes. While, however, in the second part, objects of punitive judgment only (and Babylon indeed as such) are mentioned, we learn from the first that Babylon will be the executor of the Divine will on the whole series of nations mentioned before it ( Jeremiah 25:18-26 a).

Jeremiah 25:12-14. And it shall come to pass … their own hands. The following reasons favor the unauthenticity, not only of Jeremiah 25:12, but of the two following verses1. The whole passage, Jeremiah 25:12-14, is directed against Babylon. Now it has been already intimated in Jeremiah 25:11, and will likewise be below in Jeremiah 25:20, that Babylon herself will not be spared from the judgment of the Lord. But how briefly and obscurely are these intimations given! If Sheshach is really to be explained by the Atbash, and in this form to be regarded as a genuine word of Jeremiah’s, this mysterious name would certainly be suitable for the purpose of speaking obscurely of the destruction of Babylon at this moment. And there was reason for this. For the Jews were so little disposed in accordance with the will of Jehovah, to subject themselves to the Babylonian king, that all needed to be avoided, which would confirm them in this obstinacy. Is it then, in view of this, credible that the prophet, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, after the battle of Carchemish, spoke in so detailed and emphatic a manner of the destruction of Babylon, as is done in Jeremiah 25:12-14? I think not2. Jeremiah 25:12-13 presuppose the existence of the prophecy against Babylon (chh50, 51) For (a) the expression שִׁמְמוֹת עוֹלָם, perpetual desolations, is an evident quotation from this prophecy. It not only occurs exclusively in this prophecy ( Jeremiah 51:26; Jeremiah 51:62, and besides only as שִׁמֲמוֹת עוֹלָם, Ezekiel 35:9), but in Jeremiah 51:62 it is significantly treated in a certain measure as its pith and token, so that the employment of this expression in the text is to be regarded as an intentional reference to chh50, 51. (b). The words “and I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book,” in Jeremiah 25:13, point likewise with all possible definiteness to the prophecy against Babylon as one in existence. Now since this, according to Jeremiah 51:59 was first, composed in the fourth year of Zedekiah, it is thus already shown that Jeremiah 25:12-13, so far as they presuppose the prophecy against Babylon, cannot possibly have been written in the fourth year of Jehoiakim3. The second half of Jeremiah 25:13 presupposes also the existence of the other prophecies against the nations, and this too as one Sepher. Now though most of these prophecies are certainly older than the battle of Carchemish (comp. on Jeremiah 46:2 and the Introd. to chh46–51.), it is yet evident from the opposition in which the second half of Jeremiah 25:13 stands to the first, that here that Sepher against the nations is meant, which contains the prophecy against Babylon. This Sepher however cannot, as we have said, have been in existence before the fourth year of Zedekiah. We might assume that Jeremiah himself, after the completion of the Sepher against the nations, subjoined here the words of Jeremiah 25:13. The striking addition “which Jeremiah hath prophesied,” etc., is however opposed to this. For is it credible that Jeremiah himself put these words in the mouth of the Lord? Every one will feel that these words offend not only against rhetorical concinnity, but against religious feeling4. The demonstrative הַזֶּה, this, afterהַסֵּפֶרthe book, evidently presupposes that he who wrote it regarded the present passage, i.e., Jeremiah 25, as belonging to the Sepher against the nations. For in any other case the demonstrative would be incorrect. Now it may certainly be proved that the prophecies against the nations must once have stood in immediate connection with Jeremiah 25. The LXX. still has it in this place, so that, omitting Jeremiah 25:14, the prophecy against Elam ( Jeremiah 49:34; Jeremiah 49:39, Heb.) follows directly on Jeremiah 25:13. Then the others come in the following order: against Egypt ( Jeremiah 46), against Babylon (chh50. and51.), against Philistia, Tyrus and Sidon ( Jeremiah 47:1-7), against Edom ( Jeremiah 49:7-22), against Ammon ( Jeremiah 49:1-5), against Kedar ( Jeremiah 49:28-33), against Damascus ( Jeremiah 49:23-27), against Moab ( Jeremiah 48). Then follows Jeremiah 25:15-38 as a comprehensive conclusion. This arrangement is certainly, as regards the order of sequence, not the original one, but it still bears, as a whole, unmistakable traces of the original connection. In and of itself indeed the circumstance that the LXX. brings the Sepher against the nations into connection with Jeremiah 25, inserting it between Jeremiah 25:13; Jeremiah 25:15 of this chapter, is not of any great weight, for it might be due to pure arbitrariness on the part of the translator. But there is another circumstance, which evidently cannot have sprung from arbitrariness, and hence lends great importance to that connection. The prophecy against Elam has in the LXX. a superscription (τὰ Αἰλάμ) and a postscript. This postscript is however nothing else but the first verse of Jeremiah 27, which is wanting in the LXX. For the details concerning this see Jeremiah 27:1, Jeremiah 49:34 and the Introd. to chh46-51. It is hence plain that the prophecies against the nations must once have bad their place directly before Jeremiah 27:1, and that the prophecy against Elam must have formed their conclusion. Chap25 however was reckoned as part of the immediately following Sepher against the nations. Therefore the author could say with perfect correctness of Jeremiah 25:13 : in this book. Thus then Jeremiah 25:13 was inserted in the text at a time, when. the Sepher against the nations had its place immediately after this chapter, as a whole, which included it. It is not probable, for the reason adduced above, that the prophet himself inserted it. As to Jeremiah 25:14 finally, the first half is taken almost verbally from Jeremiah 27:7, and in such wise that the perfect עָבְדוּ, shall serve, which is incorrect here though it corresponds perfectly with the context there, is retained. In Jeremiah 27:7וְעָבְדוּ is used quite regularly in the sense of the future, after the preceding statement of time עַד־בֹּא עֵת אַרְצוֹ. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 84, o. In the present passage, however, none of the conditions are fulfilled on which the rendering of the perfect as future depends, while the perfect or present signification contradicts the context throughout. The second half of the verse, which Hitzig regards as the genuine supplement of Jeremiah 25:11, strongly reminds us of Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:24. On according to the works of their own hands, comp. Jeremiah 25:6-7. In itself then the passage contains nothing which Jeremiah might not have written. But it is clear that if the preceding sentences are to be critically suspected this single little sentence is all the less able to maintain its position, as standing isolated it would disturb the connection. In conclusion we give a brief synopsis of the different critical views respecting this passage, omitting those which consider it wholly original, or only subsequently supplied by Jeremiah 1. Jeremiah 25:11 b–14inauthentic (Graf). 2. Jeremiah 25:11 b–14 a inauthentic (Hitzig). 3. Jeremiah 25:12-14 a later addition (Naegelsbach). 4. Jeremiah 25:13 b-14, inauthentic (Berthold). 5. Jeremiah 25:13 b, inauthentic (Venema, Schnurrer). 6. Jeremiah 25:13, the words אשר נבא י׳ על־כל־ה׳, inauthentic (Hensler).

Jeremiah 25:15-16. For thus saith … will send among them.—For introduces the proof of the sentence pronounced in Jeremiah 25:12, that even Babylon, called according to Jeremiah 25:9-11 to universal dominion, will be punished in its time. It might seem strange that in the same breath, as it were, conquest and destruction are predicted of the Babylonians. The prophet explains how this will be in the following verses, to Jeremiah 25:26. He says that all the nations will have to empty the cup of wrath, but Babylon last. In this it is implied that Babylon will first be the instrument of accomplishing the judgment on the other nations, but at last will itself be subject to judgment. Those who declare Jeremiah 25:11 b–14and Jeremiah 25:26 b to be unauthentic, act therefore with perfect consistency. But it is wrong to reject a thought here, which is one of the foundation pillars of Jeremiah’s prophecy (comp. especially Jeremiah 51:20-24), without which it must be regarded as partial, and which ought least of all to be wanting here in the prophet’s great programme.—The figure of the “cup of fury” and “cup of trembling” is frequent in the Scriptures: Isaiah 51:17; Isaiah 51:22; Habakkuk 2:16; Jeremiah 49:12; Jeremiah 51:7; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:31 sqq.; Psalm 60:5; Psalm 75:9. The drinking of the cup is emblematic of suffering punishment, the effect of the drinking, intoxication and reeling, is the emblem of shattered forces and of lost hold and self-command.—I send thee. The sending is to be regarded in general as merely imaginary. Comp. Jeremiah 1:10. It was afterwards, at any rate, partially real. Comp. Jeremiah 27:2 sqq. It is evident from הזאת ו׳ and especially from Jeremiah 25:17 that the prophet describes an inward experience.—Because of the sword. Observe the transition from the figurative to the ordinary mode of speech.

Jeremiah 25:17-18. Then took I … this day. The prophet begins with Jerusalem. Why he does so is seen from Jeremiah 25:29. We may conclude from this that the entire Sepher against the nations (chh46–51) followed this present prophecy.—The kings thereof. The plural here, since Nebuchadnezzar, as is well known, caused three Jewish kings in succession to feel his supremacy, may be taken in the proper sense. It may also however be the general plural and in what follows, when the number of the conquered kings could neither be known to the prophet, nor is any check possible on our part, the plural must be taken as general. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 19:3.—To make them a desolation. Comp. Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 25:11; Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 44:8; Jeremiah 44:22; Jeremiah 49:13.—As it is this day. The explanations "truly and certainly,” or “as it is impending,” or “as we have begun to experience,” are grammatically impossible. The LXX. omit these words. They are at any rate a later addition, whether by the prophet or some other can scarcely be decided. Comp. Jeremiah 11:5; Jeremiah 32:20; Jeremiah 44:6; Jeremiah 44:22-23.

Jeremiah 25:19-21. Pharaoh . . . children of Ammon. In this enumeration of the nations the prophet evidently proceeds in general from South to North, beginning with Egypt and concluding with the kings of the North ( Jeremiah 25:26). From Egypt he goes up to the South-West (Philistia), and South-East (Uz), then to the East (Edom, Moab, Ammon), and West (Phœnicia), of the holy land. With Phœnicia are connected the islands of the remote West, whereupon the prophet leaps over to the far East (Arabian nations), in order to get by the North-East (Elam, Media), to the North ( Jeremiah 25:26), when his view loses itself in the remote distance.—Mingled people. As to Egypt in particular we know exactly what Jeremiah understands by עֵרֵב which he attributes to this country. They are without doubt foreign mercenaries ( Jeremiah 46:21); primarily those Jonians, Carians and Phœnicians whom Psammetichus took into his service, and to whom he afterwards assigned residences in Egypt (Herod. II, 152, 154; Duncker, Gesch. d. Alterth 3 le Aufl. I, S922);—-but then also strangers from other nations, which Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 46:9) and Ezekiel ( Jeremiah 30:5) mention.—The case appears to be different with the mingled people in Jeremiah 25:24, of which below.—The land of Uz. (ארץ העוץ). The passages of the Old Testament where Uz is mentioned are Genesis 10:23; Genesis 22:21; Genesis 36:28; Job 1:1; Lamentations 4:21, and the present, passage.—Delitzsch (Herz. R-Enc., VI. S. 142) remarks that we can still say nothing more definite with respect to the situation of this country than that, as we are told in the addition at the close of the book of Job in the LXX, it lay ἐπὶ τοῖς ὁρίοις τῆς Ἰδουμαίας καὶ Ἀραβίας. This is favored by the present passage, which includes the country in its catalogue directly after Egypt and before Philistia, (the latter corresponding to the South-eastern border-land), but especially by Lamentations 4:21 (daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz), and the origin of Eliphaz in Teman ( Job 2:11), which is an Edomite city (according to Jeremiah 49:7). Uz is not thus identified with Edom, in which case alone Graf’s remark that Uz needed not to be specially mentioned together with Edom, would be justified. Comp. however the articles on Uz and Esau by Dr. Sprenger in the Journal of the Germ. Oriental Society (Zeitsch d. d-Morgenl. Gesell., 1863, S373), who seeks to prove the identity of Uz and Esau from Oriental sources.—In opposition to Fries (Stud. u. Krit., 1854, 2) Delitzsch correctly remarks that he seeks for the country too far to the North, (in the province of El-Tellul, west of the Hauran mountains).—The Philistines, etc. Of the five cities of the Philistines Gath only is wanting ( Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17). It was deprived of its walls by Uzziah ( 2 Chronicles 26:6) and lost its importance (comp. Amos 6:2). For the same reason it seems to be passed over in Amos 1:6 sqq.; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:5 sqq. Comp. Köhlea on the last passage.—Why Jeremiah speaks only of a “remnant of Ashdod” is explained by history. Psammetichus had after a siege of29 years taken the city and destroyed it. (Herod. II:157). [Rawlinson, Herodotus, II. p242.—S. R. A.]

Jeremiah 25:22-24. And all the kings of Tyrus . . . that dwell in the desert.—Kings of the isles (האי). The singular only in Isaiah 20:6; Isaiah 23:2; Isaiah 23:6; Jeremiah 47:4. All sea-washed land, whether continent or island, is called אִי. Here the collective אִי, as elsewhere the plural אִיִּים ( Isaiah 40:15; Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 41:5; Isaiah 42:4; Isaiah 42:10, etc.), denotes not merely the continental Phœnician colonies, but all the coast-lands, and thus also the islands of the Mediterranean.—In Jeremiah 25:23-24 Arabian races are enumerated, which in opposition to אִי and in relation to Edom, Moab and Amman, represent the remote east.—Dedan (דדן), comp Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9 with Genesis 25:3; 1 Chronicles 1:32 coll. Isaiah 21:13; Ezekiel 25:13; Ezekiel 27:15; Ezekiel 27:20; Ezekiel 38:13; Jeremiah 49:8. Both the statements of Genesis as to their derivation, and the geographical statements as to the position of their country, lead to a double Dedan; a southern situated on the Persian gulf, and a northern bordering on Edom. It has been sought to connect the two by the supposition of colonization. Comp. Arnold in Herzog, R-Enc., I. S. 462.—Tema, (תימא), comp. Genesis 25:15; 1 Chronicles 1:30; Job 6:19; Isaiah 21:14. This name is also borne by two different localities. The biblical Tema is “the most northern of all Arabian places,” the second chief place in Djöf, three days journey from the territory of Damascus. Comp. Herz. R-Enc., XV, S. 706 [Ritter, Erdkunde, XII:159; XIII:384, etc.].—Buz (בוז), is mentioned in Genesis 22:21 as a son of Nachor and brother of Uz. Elihu ( Job 32:2) is a Buzite. It is at all events an Arabic tribe, but no further particulars are known. Comp. Winer, R-W-B., s. v, Buz.—All in the utmost corners (קצוצי־פאה). comp. Comm. on Jeremiah 9:25; Jeremiah 49:32.—Arabia (ערב). It is well known that this word, which occurs first in Isaiah ( Jeremiah 13:20; Jeremiah 21:13) designates, not the whole of the now Song of Solomon -called Arabia, but only a part bordering on Palestine (Gesenius supposes the territory of the Ishmaelites. Comp. Thes., pp1066,1441; coll. Genesis 25:18). So also the mingled people that dwell in the desert designates Arabian peoples, of which we know nothing further. The expression all the kings of Arabia, occurs besides only in 1 Kings 10:15, where it is said that Solomon received666 talents of gold beside what he had of the merchantmen and all the kings of the mixed peoples [Eng. Vers. Arabia] and the governors of the country. Comp. Keil on the passage.—The עֶרֶב of this passage and the book of Kings, were probably mixed states of various tribes, which for the sake of protection were tributary to some neighboring power. Such little unions seem to have been formed in the Arabian desert near the borders of Palestine, of which, however, the remembrance was lost in a comparatively brief period. The author of the book of Chronicles, at least, did not know what he was to understand by the מַלְכֵי עֶרֻב ( 1 Kings 10:15). He therefore wrote for it simply עֲרָב מַלְכֵי ( 2 Chronicles 9:14). As to the fulfilment of these prophecies respecting the Arabian tribes, we are left, in the absence of all positive statements, to conjectures. Comp. Niebuhr. Ass. u. Babel, S. 209, 10; Duncker, Gesch. d. Alterth., I. S. 827, and what is subsequently remarked on Jeremiah 25:26 a.

Jeremiah 25:25-26. And all the kings of Zimri … drink after them. The LXX. omits the kings of Zimri. Aquila has Ζαμρί (Montfaucon, p221); Vulg, Zambre (Zambri); Syr. Samron; Theodoret, Ζαμβρή. He says παρὰ τῳ Ἑβραίῳ καὶ τῷ Σύρῳ Ζεμβρὰν εὑρήκαμεν. τὴς δὲ χετούρας οὕτος υἱός. Accordingly most expositors have taken Zimri (the name does not occur elsewhere as a gentilicium) for the nation descended from Simran ( Genesis 25:2). But where this nation is to be sought for is very uncertain. To think of the Ethiopic Zimiris (Plin, Hist. Nat., 36, 16, 25), or the Σεμβρῖται (Strabo, 17:1, 786) is forbidden by the connection.—Zabra also, the urbs regia between Mecca and Medina, of which Gesenius reminds us (Thes., p421), will not suit. Winer (R-W-B., II, p465, 3d Ed.), mentions Zimara on the upper Euphrates in Lesser Armenia, and the city of the same name in Greater Armenia, and Zimura in Asia. Comp. Ruetschi, in Herz. R-Enc. XIV, S. 409.—None of these views are satisfactory. The matter must remain in suspeuso.—Elam, the Medes (עלם,מרי). These two are also mentioned together in Isaiah 21:2. As to Elam, it appears in the primæval period as an independent country with its own princes ( Genesis 14:1; Genesis 14:9). It is maintained by many that Elam includes Persia, and therefore in the older period, stands for what was known in later times as פָרַֹם (comp. Drechsler, on Isaiah 21:2), but this is denied by others (comp. Vaihinger, Herz. R-Enc., III. S. 747). As to its position this much is certain, that it lay to the east of the Tigris, and, moreover, of its mouths. But the greatest uncertainty prevails with respect to its boundaries and extent. Comp. Vaihinger, with Kiepert’s Atlas of the Ancient World, and M. Niebuhr, Ass. u. Babel., S. 384.—Media, situated to the north of Elam, forms the transition to the kingdoms of the north, of which Jeremiah mentions none by name. He speaks only of the near and the distant (comp. Jeremiah 48:24). In chh50,51 “ an assembly of great nations from the north country,” is mentioned as the executors of the destined punishment on Babylon ( Jeremiah 50:3; Jeremiah 50:9; Jeremiah 50:41, Jeremiah 51:48). Some are then called by name to accomplish this,—Ararat, Minni, Ashchenaz ( Jeremiah 51:27), and Media [the Medes], ( Jeremiah 51:28). From this we see that the Medes are reckoned among the northern nations, which does not contradict the present passage and might well be bo, for Media extends certainly from the northeast to the north of Babylon.—One with another. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 25:9.—As to the fulfilment of this prophecy, thus much only is ascertained with certainty, that Nebuchadnezzar subjugated the lands west of the Tigris down to Egypt and the borders of Lydia. Whether he also subjugated the lands lying east, or the Median kingdom, is disputed. Niebuhr (Ass. u. Bab.) maintains that Nebuchadnezzar held his kingdom as a fief of Media, but without paying tribute. But after the death of Cyaxares, he ended victoriously a great war with Media (Ib., S. 211sqq). Duncker, on the other hand (I, S. 798, 844, etc.), combats both the dependence of Babylon on Media, and the victory over it. This controversy is of no importance for us. The prophet does not mean to say that God had given to Nebuchadnezzar all the five parts of the world, with all the beasts therein ( Jeremiah 27:6), and the men, for an actual possession, nor can this be maintained for all the lands here expressly mentioned by name. After the victory at Carchemish and Nebuchadnezzar’s accession to the throne, the prophet recognizes this star, which has ascended the political horizon, as the sun which is to shine over all. In the grand prophetic view of history which rests on the essential and regards the collateral as non-existent), since there has been any history at all, one nation always stands at the head of all the rest. This nation is that which rules the world, i.e., which dominates all the other nations, if not really, ideally or de jure, and is the representative worldly kingdom in antithesis to the kingdom of God. This is the sense of this passage, and of the later one, Jeremiah 27:5 sqq. It may then well be said that this passage ( Jeremiah 25:15-26) involves two judicial acts; one by which the Chaldean empire is founded, and a second by which it is judged ( Jeremiah 25:26 b).—The king of Sheshach (ומלך שׁשׁך) It seems indubitable from the context here and from Jeremiah 51:41, where the two ideas correspond in the parallelism, that Sheshach is Babylon, and this is acknowledged by all the expositors. Marsham is the only exception, who takes שֵׁשַׁךְ as equivalent to שׁוּשַׁן (Shushan). Comp. Ges. Thes., p1486. But we are very much in the dark as to the origin, the etymology and the meaning of the word. It is easily understood that Jeremiah here used a word for Babylon which somewhat veiled the idea. He may have done this for the sake of his countrymen. For the object of his prophecy requires that the impression of terror, which the name of Babylon must have made on their minds, should not be weakened. Hence with the exception of chh50, 51, he says nothing against Babylon, and these chapters, as is clear from the mode of publication, were intended much more for the future than for the present. That regard for the Chaldeans was his motive for such concealment, I do not believe. It might be said that he was afraid, as indeed many, Jerome at their head, have supposed. Jeremiah, however, surely feared the Chaldeans no more than his own countrymen. What other motive he had for concealing the name of Babylon from the Chaldeans, we cannot conceive. What had the Chaldeans to do with him? If they received information of the prophecy, yet it was not written for them. In the only passage where שֵׁשַׁךְ occurs besides this ( Jeremiah 51:44), the need of change has evidently occasioned the expression. Jeremiah namely, in connection with chh50,51, never uses the word Babylon in the two parallel members of a verse, except Jeremiah 51:49, where the antithesis requires it. Elsewhere he uses as parallel with Babylon either Chaldeans ( Jeremiah 50:8; Jeremiah 50:35; Jeremiah 50:45; Jeremiah 51:24; Jeremiah 51:35; Jeremiah 51:54), or land of Babylon, ( Jeremiah 51:29), or a figurative expression like hammer (פַטישׁ, Jeremiah 50:23), or heart of my insurgents (לֵב־קָמַי, Jeremiah 51:1). He also twice uses instead of Babylon figurative expressions, as in Jeremiah 51:21. In Jeremiah 51:41 the name of Babylon occurs in the second clause. Accordingly it is quite in order that this name should not be used in the first clause of the sentence. Instead of it we have two synonymous expressions, of which one “the praise of the whole earth” is evidently of a figurative nature. The other is our שֵׁשַׁךְ. We see then that Jeremiah uses this expression in the one case for concealment, in the other for variety. Whence did he obtain it? Is it to be explained by the Atbash? Is it a species of Cabbalistic Temura or anagram which is either simple [ex. gr.מַלְאָבִ׳, Exodus 23:23 = מִיבָאֵל), or elaborate? The latter consists in turning the Alphabet round and beginning at the end (ת for א, שׁ for ב, etc., hence Atbash), or in the middle (ל for א, מ for ב, hence Albam). Comp. Buxtorf, Lex. Chald., p2489; Herzog, R-Enc., 7:205 [Gesenius denies that the Atbash was in use in Jeremiah’s time, and Hitzig accordingly attributes the anagram to a later period, when fear of Babylon furnished a motive for its use.—S. R. A.].—Has Jeremiah really made use here of such a play upon words? Many maintain this. It is said, if a prophet can make alphabetically arranged Song of Solomon, he can make use of the Atbash. It may be that the two things are related, and hence I will not dispute the possibility. But I make this admission unwillingly and would rather say, with many of the elder theologians (ex. gr., Selden, De Diis Syr. Synt., II, Cap. 13): vix risum hic fortasse teneas. As regards the signification of the word, it is certainly most natural to think of the radixשָׁשַׁךְ, coll. שָׁחַח, שׁוּחַ, שָׁבַב, שָׁקַע שִָׁבַן ( Isaiah 41:64), and thence derive the meaning demissio, submersio, sinking down (Hengstenberg), humbling (Graf). Hengstenberg remarks in opposition to my view (in Jer. u. Bab, S. 131), that the reason of its use is rhetorical, the prophet wishing to deprive of their terror the names Babylon and Casdim, which had a most terrible sound in the Israelitish ear, pointing by a slight alteration at the ruin hidden behind the greatness of Babylon; to which it may be replied, that these names were certainly not of terrible sound at the moment when destruction was being predicted to their bearers. This is however the case in Jeremiah 25:26, and in chh50,51. And why should Babylon be mentioned so frequently as the instrument of Israel’s chastisement, without the “fearful sound” of the name being mitigated by the pleasant שֵׁשַׁךְ? The meaning “demissio, submersio” does not appear to suit at all in Jeremiah 51:41. For there it stands parallel with “praise of the whole earth.” Others, therefore, have interpreted the name otherwise: Chr. D. Michaelis, urbs bellatrix from the Arabic shaka = fortitudinem in bello ostendit; J. D. Michaelisχαλκόπυλον, from the Arabic sakka = ferro obduxit portam; Bohlen, atrium regis, from an analogy in modern Persian. But all this is dubious. I believe that the whole matter must be left still in suspenso. Perhaps the Assyrian Babylonian monuments will throw light on it. At least Rödiger (in Ges. Thes., p2486), refers to a discovery which Rawlinson has made (comp. Journal of the Asiat. Soc., XII, p478) according to which שֵׁשַׁךְ was the name of a Babylonian deity. I have not been able anywhere to find a confirmation of this, statement [“Sir H. Rawlinson has observed that the name of the moon-god, which was identical, or nearly Song of Solomon, with that of the city of Abraham, Ur (or Hur), might have been read in one of the ancient dialects of Babylon as Shishaki, and that consequently a possible explanation is thus obtained of the Sheshach of Scripture,(Rawlinson’s Herodotus, I, p616). Sheshach may stand for Ur, Ur itself, the old capital, being taken (as Babel the new capital was constantly) to represent the country.” Smith’s Bible Dictionary.—S. R. A.].

Jeremiah 25:27-29. Therefore thou shalt saythe Lord of hosts. These verses, containing the figure of the cup, express the immutability of the divine counsel.—Which is called by my name. Jeremiah 25:29. Comp. Comm. on Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 7:10.—Ye shall not be unpunished. Comp. Jeremiah 49:12, after which passage ours is formed.

Footnotes:

FN#10 - Jeremiah 25:12.—Hitzig would find an intimation of spuriousness in the reading כמלאות. These forms are certainly prevalent in the later writings, but there are also instances of them in the earlier. Comp. Judges 8:1; Psalm 25:7; Micah 1:5; Jeremiah 15:13, etc. Comp. besides Olsh, § S. 299, 344; 534.—The LXX. translates Jeremiah 25:12, ἐκδικησω τὸ ε͂̔θνος ἓκεινο καὶ θἡσομαι αὐτοὺς εἰς ἀφανισμὸν αἰώνιον, thus omitting על מלך ב׳ and נאס־י׳ to סשׂדים. But such an omission in the LXX. has no authority. The position of נאס־י׳ (Hitzig finds it, as in Jeremiah 25:9, too far back in the sentence) has nothing objectionable in it, if we consider that a double more remote object is connected with אפקד by means of the preposition על. Comp. Jeremiah 5:15; Jeremiah 13:11; Jeremiah 16:5, etc.

FN#11 - Jeremiah 25:12.—ועל־הגוי ההוא. הוא is perfectly regular here (comp. Naegelsb. Gr., §79, 3), as a pronoun referring to something more remote in opposition to what is said δεικτκῶς, הגוים האלה, הארץ הזאת, Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 25:11. There is no rule, as Movers supposes, why את־עונם should not be separated from אפקד by נאם י׳. There is good reason for the subsequent position of ועל־ארץ כשׂרים, in that guilt cannot be ascribed to the land as to the king and the people. The use of אֹתו finally is explained thus, that the prophet does not refer it to ארץ only (though this also is of common gender), but also to גוֹי, as in Jeremiah 25:9 also he refers וְשַׂמְתִּים לְשַׁמָּה וגו׳ to the preceding גוֹיִם and הָאָרֶץ. These reasons would not therefore determine me to believe in the unauthenticity of Jeremiah 25:12. But there are other reasons, which afford important testimony against the authenticity not only of this verse, but of the two following verses. Comp. Exegetical Notes.

FN#12 - Jeremiah 25:18.—אֹתָם is construed like וֹתוֹ in Jeremiah 25:12, and the suffixes of the verbs in Jeremiah 25:9 b.

FN#13 - Jeremiah 25:20.—ואת כל־הערב. The expression is found also in Exodus 12:38, where it is said that רב ערב went with the Israelites out of Egypt; Nehemiah 13:3 (in both these places punctuated עִוֵב), where it is said that after hearing the Torah they separated from themselves כל־ערב; Jeremiah 50:37, where it is predicted that the sword will come also אשׁר מתוך בבל אל כל־הערב; Ezekiel 30:5, where in a prophecy against Egypt, among those who are to perish by the sword, together with Cush, Phut, etc., כל־הערב is mentioned. In all these places the meaning is easily perceived. They are συμμικτοί, i.e. strangers who are mingled with a nation as μέτοικοι, allies, vassals, mercenaries. This meaning corresponds exactly to the root עָוַב, which m Chald. and Syr. denotes miscere, in Hebrew however is found only in the subst. עֵוֶב, the woof in weaving ( Leviticus 13:48-59), and in Hithpael הִתְעָרֵב (to mix one’s self in anything, Proverbs 14:10, to enter into company with any one, Psalm 106:35; Proverbs 20:19; Proverbs 24:21; in the marriage relation, Ezra 9:2) only reveals this meaning.

FN#14 - Jeremiah 25:20.—כל־הממלבות ארץ. The artic**e before ממלבות is contrary to rule (comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 71, 5), and therefore Graf supposes, with reference to Jeremiah 15:4; Jeremiah 24:9, etc., and not incorrectly, that הארץ, which is besides superfluous, has crept in by mistake.

FN#15 - Jeremiah 25:27.—קיו, ἅπ. λεγ. It is the other form of קוא ( Leviticus 18:28). Comp. קיא. Isaiah 28:8, etc.

3. THE JUDGMENT OF THE WORLD

Jeremiah 25:30-38

30 But do thou prophesy against them all these words,

And say unto them:

Jehovah roareth from on high,[FN16]

And utters his voice from his holy habitation:

He roareth against his pasture;

With a clear cry, like the vintagers, he answers the inhabitants of the land.

31 Tumult reacheth to the extremity of the earth,

For Jehovah hath a controversy with the nations; [FN17]

He pleadeth[FN18] with all flesh:

The godless—he giveth them a prey to the sword, saith Jehovah.

32 Thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth:

Behold, evil goeth forth from nation to nation,

And a great tempest riseth from the ends of the earth.

33 And the slain of Jehovah shall on that day lie

From one end of the earth to the other end of the earth;

They shall not be lamented nor gathered nor buried;

They shall become dung on the face of the earth.

34 Howl, O ye shepherds and cry aloud,

And wallow, ye strong ones of the flock:

For your days for slaughter are accomplished;[FN19]

And I scatter you,[FN20] that ye shall fall like an elegant vessel.

35 And the refuge shall vanish from the shepherds,

And deliverance from the strong ones of the flock.

36 Hark! Crying of the shepherds and howling[FN21] of the strong ones of the flock;

For Jehovah devastates their pasture.

37 The fields of peace are desolated[FN22] before the fury of Jehovah’s anger.

38 He hath quitted, like a lion, his covert,

For their land is become waste before the fury of the destroyer,[FN23]

And before the fury of his anger.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

While in the previous section a long series of nations was adduced by name as the object of judgments, in such wise, however, that the enumeration ended indefinitely ( Jeremiah 25:26), in what follows no nation is mentioned by name, but the limits of the territory to be reached by the judgment are strictly defined in the words all the inhabitants of the earth ( Jeremiah 25:30), all flesh ( Jeremiah 25:31), from one end, etc. ( Jeremiah 25:33). From this it follows that the prophet here beholds the judicial act of God in its last and highest stage. After having, in Jeremiah 25:1-11, described the judgment of the kingdom of God in the world, in Jeremiah 25:12-29 the judgment of the kingdom of the world (i.e. that kingdom which represents the culminating point of history), he now describes the world-judgment, i.e. the judgment of all nations of the earth absolutely, without regard to their greater or less historical importance. We thus perceive here the same appearance, which not rarely occurs elsewhere (comp. ex. gr. Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1-2 coll. Jeremiah 3:4 sqq.; Isaiah 13:9 sqq.; Zephaniah 1:2-18; Matthew 24), viz., that single temporal acts of divine judgment are designated as types and preludes of the last and highest judgment.—The passage includes four sections: 1. Jeremiah 25:30-31, prediction of the judgment in general, declaration as to who is the Judges, from whence the judge proceeds, how far the judgment will extend; 2. Jeremiah 25:32-33, more special description of that which the judge does; the storm rolls from nation to nation, till the whole surface of the earth is covered with the slain; 3. Jeremiah 25:34-35, address to the judged; they are to howl and wallow, for the day of slaughter is come and there is no possibility of escaping it; 4 Jeremiah 25:36-38, the judgment is in course of execution, the cry of the oppressed is heard;—afterwards all becomes quiet, the lion has desolated the land.

Jeremiah 25:30-31. But do thou prophesy … saith Jehovah. The person of Jehovah is evidently presented in these two verses as the judge. His appearance is described in its terribleness, as at the conclusion of His judicial acts.—But do thou prophesy. With these words the Lord, having dismissed those who protest against the cup ( Jeremiah 25:28-29), turns to the prophet, in order to put into his mouth, not a more moderate, but on the contrary a more emphatic threatening of judgment. We see that the prophet plainly wishes to represent the judgment as proceeding from the upper sanctuary. He was the more obliged to do this as the earthly sanctuary was itself to be an object of the judgment. Comp. his pasture, directly afterwards. The roaring is immediately explained by the synonymous utters his voice, which in Old Testament usage is frequently a designation of the thunder ( Psalm 18:1; Psalm 29:3 sqq.; Psalm 46:7; Psalm 68:34; Joel 2:11).—Against his pasture. The holy land, of course including Jerusalem and the temple. Here, as in Jeremiah 25:18 coll. מחל Jeremiah 25:29, the prophet names these sacred places first. On נוה, pasture, comp. Jeremiah 10:25; Psalm 79:7; Exodus 15:13.—With a clear cry, etc. Nature in uproar! Thunder, lightning and tempest ! The thunder roars, the tempest howls, hisses, whistles. This is the הֵידָר the hillo, heigh- Hosea, of the vintager (comp. הֹלּוּלִים, Judges 9:27), who, however, here wades in human blood instead of the blood of the grape; for in the words like the treaders, an allusion has, doubtless correctly, been found to the comparison of a bloody conqueror with a treader of the wine-press. חידר is found also in Jeremiah 48:33; Jeremiah 51:14; Isaiah 16:9-10, and everywhere in a sense similar to that of this passage.—He answers. Comp. Jeremiah 51:14; Psalm 32:18; 119:172.—Tumult reacheth, etc. Description of the whole tumult and its extent.—For Jehovah, etc. The Lord disputes not with individuals but with all. Therefore the noise is so fearful.—To the sword. Comp. Jeremiah 15:9.

Jeremiah 25:32-33. Thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth … face of the earth. The person of the judge retires; what He does is brought into the foreground and is described as proceeding from the ends of the earth, from nation to nation, a destructive tempest ( Jeremiah 25:32), especially as a universal dying, in consequence of which the earth will be full of unburied corpses ( Jeremiah 25:33).—Goeth forth. Comp. Jeremiah 9:2; Jeremiah 23:19.—Ariseth. Comp. Jeremiah 6:22.—Pleadeth, etc. Comp. Isaiah 66:16.—Shall not be lamented, etc. A quotation from Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 16:4. Observe, moreover, the Old Testament coloring of this description. The prophet’s gaze remains fixed on the earth. Comp, on the other hand, Matthew 24:30 sqq.; Jeremiah 25:31 sqq.; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 sqq.

Jeremiah 25:34-35. Howl … strong ones of the flock. The prophet turns to the judged themselves, chiefly to the shepherds and the strong ones of the flock. Since the judgment of the world appears generally in Holy Scripture as the overthrow of worldly empires by the kingdom of God (comp. Psalm 2:8 sqq.; Psalm 110:1 sqq.; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:27; 1 Corinthians 15:24 sqq.; Hebrews 12:26 sqq.; Revelation 11:15), by which it is proved that the first shall be last, and the last first, and that God has chosen the foolish and weak things of the world to confound the strong;—we have here to understand by the shepherds and strong ones of the flock primarily the kings and princes (comp. “the kings thereof,” etc., Jeremiah 25:18), as the most eminent bearers and representatives of worldly power. Still a limitation and an extension are in place; a limitation, in so far that by shepherds are most usually meant the kings of kings, i.e. the rulers of the world in general, here primarily Babylon,—an extension, in so far as the strong ones of the flock doubtless denote all that is great, strong and glorious in the world. Comp. Deuteronomy 32:15; Psalm 22:13; Jeremiah 50:11; Ezekiel 39:17 sqq.—Wallow. Wallowing in dust and ashes is also elsewhere an expression of anxious supplication in the greatest distress. Comp. Jeremiah 6:26; Micah 1:10; Ezekiel 27:30.

Jeremiah 25:36-38. Hark … his anger. The prophet describes here both the judgment in its sourse ( Jeremiah 25:36) and the appearance of the earth after its accomplishment. The cry of the mighty and the strong is heard, for the Lord is devastating their pasturage. Here also only the shepherds and the strong ones of the flock, the fat rams, the strong steers, the wild stallions, are mentioned, for the Lord has chosen the weak ones of the world.—The fields of peace, the pastures hitherto peaceful.—Before the fury. Comp. Jeremiah 4:26.—Like a lion. Comp. Hosea 5:14; Psalm 10:9.—For their land, etc. We might perhaps expect therefore. But then the following reason before the fury, etc., would be dragging tautology. The sentence with כִּי simply explains the figure used:—because the land, in consequence of the divine anger, is devastated by the sword, it may be said that it looks like a pasturage visited by a lion.

Footnotes:

FN#16 - Jeremiah 25:30.—יהוה ממרום ישׁאג. These words to קולו are a quotation from Joel 4:16; Amos 1:2, only that instead of מציון there, we have ממרום, and ממעון קדשׁו instead of מירושלים.

FN#17 - Jeremiah 25:31.—רים, with בְּ, as in Genesis 31:36; Judges 6:32; Hosea 2:4.

FN#18 - Jeremiah 25:31.—נשׁפט (to have a suit at law, litigare. Comp. Jeremiah 2:25) with לְ here only.

FN#19 - Jeremiah 25:34.—כי מלאו וגו׳ The construction (constr. prægnans. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 112, 7) is as in Genesis 25:24.

FN#20 - Jeremiah 25:34.—ותפוצותיכם. The Masoretes would have this word pronounced וּתֶפוֹצוֹתִיכֶם. Many MSS. and Edd. however read וּתִפוּצוֹתֶיכֶם. So also Aquila, Theod, Symm. (οι̇ σκὸρπισμοὶ ὑμῶν); Jerome, dissipationes vestræ [A. V.: your dispersions]. Now whether we connect this idea with the foregoing context (“your days are accomplished and your scatterings,” as Rashi, Ewald in his Crit. Gr, S. 186, Maurer, Umbreit read), or with the following (“and as to your scatterings—,” as Kimchi and others; “and your scatterings will take place,” as Chr. B. Michaelis), the construction is still artificial or faulty and the sense feeble. The Masoretes would have the form regarded as a verb. But since תְּפוצוֹתִיכֶם is a monstrous form, Hitzig and Graf would read וּתְפִיצוֹתִיכֶמ as Hiph, with strengthened ת, like תֶּֽחֱרָה, Jeremiah 12:5; Jeremiah 22:15 coll. תרגל Hosea 11:3. The ת has given occasion to regard the form as a substantive; since, however, there are no substantives of the form תפוצות,תקימה has been made from תפיצות. I also adopt this view. As to the meaning of the word, however, I hold that of “scattering” to be correct. For1. the Hiph. occurs only in this sense, never that of breaking; 2. breaking in relation to the preceding context would be tautological, while it is very suitable to say that a part of the flock shall be slaughtered, another part scattered, but in such wise that the scattered also shall be overthrown and broken, like fine delicate vessels (כלי המדה Hosea 13:15; 2 Chronicles 32:27; 2 Chronicles 36:10; Nehemiah 2:10; Daniel 11:8); 3. The mention of the מָנוֹם and of the פָלֵיטָה Jeremiah 25:35 (comp. פליט, the escaped) applies better to scattered fugitives than to broken vessels.

FN#21 - Jeremiah 25:36.—On the form וִילְלַת comp. Olsh, § 39 b; 78 e.

FN#22 - Jeremiah 25:37.—Since there is no utterance transporting the reader to the future, ונדמו is to be taken either as præterite or present (comp. Comm. on Jeremiah 18:4; Jeremiah 19:4-5). The latter is to be preferred, since) נדמו is evidently parallel to שׁדד, which expresses the present ( Jeremiah 25:36). The participle נדמים should be taken as præterite. (Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 96, 2).

FN#23 - Jeremiah 25:38.—יונה [destroyer, from וָנָה, to be violent] does not occur elsewhere as an independent substantive. It stands objectively after חֶרֶב, Jeremiah 46:16; Jeremiah 50:16, after עִיר, Zephaniah 3:1. More frequently it is not found. On the other hand, חרון stands only before אַף י׳. The word does not occur in any other connection. The hypothesis of Hitzig, Ewald, Graf is therefore well-founded, that with the LXX. and Chald. we are to read חֶרֶב הַיוֹנָה.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. On Jeremiah 25:3-7. “ God is a long-suffering God, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but that he may turn and live, Ezekiel 33:11. Therefore He gives the first world120 years time for repentance, Genesis 6:3. Lot preaches to Sodom and Gomorrah more than twenty-five years, Genesis 13:13; Genesis 19:14. Christ preaches repentance three and a half years, the apostles forty years, before the destruction of Jerusalem. But dost thou not know that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4.” Cramer.

2. How is it that those to whom the Lord has chiefly revealed His goodness and truth and whom He has made the bearers and medium of His promises; how is it, we ask, that it is just these men who are the most hardened in impenitence? The people of Nineveh, says the Lord, in Matthew 12:41, will rise at the last judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold a greater than Jonah is here. And He cries. Woe to Chorazin and Bethsaida, for had such mighty works been done in Tyre and Sidon as were done in them, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. And in like manner He says to Capernaum, which was exalted to heaven, that it shall be brought down to hell, for if such mighty works had been done in Sodom it would have remained to this day ( Matthew 11:21-23). The key is contained in the words “temple of Jehovah, temple of Jehovah,” Jeremiah 7:4. Israel does not hear the “if” in the words of his calling and election. They regard themselves as chosen unconditionally, and on this account as better than all others, being such as need no repentance. Thus grace has become, a snare to them, and so it is to all who use their privileges as a lever of their wickedness. ( 1 Peter 2:16). [The election to gracious privileges not being necessarily election to eternal life.—S. R. A.]

3. [“Nebuchadnezzar my servant. It is remarkable that the Holy Spirit gives to Nebuchadnezzar by Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 27:6; Jeremiah 43:10) the same title that Isaiah gives even to the Messiah Himself: namely, ‘My Servant.’ And inasmuch as the Chaldean king was appointed and empowered by God to conquer the nations, such as Ammon, Edom, Moab (which were types of the enemies of Christ and His Church,) we need not scruple to say that in these victories He foreshadowed the conquests of Christ, who made Himself a servant to do His Father’s will.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.]

4. On Jeremiah 25:12. “Deus uti consuevit impiorum opera quoad malum pœnæ. Malum vero culpæ minime prodit, sed eos ipsos propter illud gravissime punit, præsertim si modum excesserint ( Zechariah 1:15). Solet istud illustrari apposita similitudine a virga, quam pater in castiganda sobole usurpat, usurpatum vero mox in ignem conjicit” Förster.

5. On Jeremiah 25:12. “Verbum Domini est veracissimum tum in comminationibus, de quibus hic et 2 Reg. Jeremiah 10:16, tum in promissionibus, de quibus Psalm 23:14. Unde scite Augustinus (de Civ. D. 22, 3); ‘venient hæc quoque sicut ista venerunt; idem enim Deus utraque promisit, utraque ventura esse prædixit.’—Per quod quia peccat, per idem punitur et ipse.” Förster.

6. On Jeremiah 25:29. “Verissimum est illud Clementis Alexandrini: proximus Deo plenissimus flagellis (the nearer God, the nearer trouble, the better Christian, the greater the cross: it meets him first who is nearest to God). Contra vero Bernhardus: Qui hic non in laboribus hominum, illic erunt in laboribus dæmonum,” Försteb.

7. On Jeremiah 25:30 sqq. “The strict judgment of God sounds much stronger and clearer than we can bear. Hence the600,000 men were so terrified when they heard the voice of God, that they said: let not God speak with us, lest we die ( Exodus 20:19). It is well that we do not refuse to hear, or stop our ears against the sweet sound of God’s voice in the sacred office of the preacher, because we can have it ( Psalm 95:8), or the time will come, when we shall be obliged to hear its awful roaring, which God forbid. For when the lion roars, who shall not be afraid? ( Amos 3:8.)” Cramer.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The entire chapter treats of the divine judgments and affords occasion to speak of them (in a series of sermons) in various relations. We can thus speak, I. of the judicial acts of God according to the conditions of their manifestation They are (1) required by the sins of men ( Jeremiah 25:5-6); (2) deferred by the love of God ( Jeremiah 25:5-6); (3) driven to accomplishment by the impenitence of mankind ( Jeremiah 25:7 sqq.).—II. Of the judicial acts of God according to the stages of their manifestation. (1) The preliminary, (a) in the life of individuals, (b) in the life of nations. God judges continually here below both single individuals and entire nations ( Jeremiah 25:9-29). (2) The final judgment; (a) in so far as it has already begun ( Jeremiah 25:9-11; Jeremiah 25:29 coll. 1 Peter 4:17; Matthew 24.). The theocracy in its outer relations is already judged; in this sense the universal judgment has begun at the house of God; (b) in so far as it is still future (single empires have already been destroyed, as well as single men, but the judgment of the world as a whole is still impending, Jeremiah 25:30 sqq.).—III. The judicial acts of God differently represented in the Old and New Testaments. (1) In the Old Testament they are (a) represented in figures ( Jeremiah 25:30-31 sqq, 38). (b) limited to the earth ( Jeremiah 25:30; Jeremiah 25:33); (2) In the New Testament they are represented (a) in their full super terrestrial reality, (b) as extended over heaven and earth. (Comp. in contrast to this passage Matthew 25; 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4; 2 Peter 3).—IV. The judicial acts of God differently felt, according to the different inward conditions of men—(1) As destruction on the part of the godless ( Jeremiah 25:7 sqq.); (2) As deliverance on the part of the pious ( Jeremiah 25:11-12).

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 25:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/jeremiah-25.html. 1857-84.

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