Jer. 25:1 ¶ The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah
in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the
first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;
Jer. 25:2 The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah,
and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,
Jer. 25:3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah,
even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD
hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking;
but ye have not hearkened.
This chapter opens with a statement of Jeremiah’s frustration. He declares that
he has been faithfully prophesying the word of the LORD for 23 years to no
avail. The people of Jerusalem and Judah have ignored his message and given
no evidence of repentance or shame. Point is made that this message was
received during the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign as king in Babylon.
Jer. 25:4 And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising
early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to
Jer. 25:5 They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from
the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto
you and to your fathers for ever and ever:
Jer. 25:6 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
Jer. 25:7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might
provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
Jeremiah goes on to acknowledge that he is just one of many prophets that God
had sent to declare His word to the people. The message of each was basically
the same—Repent of your evil ways in serving other gods; stop provoking Me to
anger. If you do, I will not hurt you.
It also stood out to me that the LORD continues to affirm His covenant with the
patriarchs that the land would belong to their descendants forever. This promise
is not affected by God’s decision to judge the people for their sin by sending
them into captivity. God has determined that the land of Israel is to belong to the
descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob forever. That covenant is still
as valid today as it was the day it was established with Abraham. It will find
complete fulfillment when Jesus returns to rule the nations from the throne of
David in Jerusalem.
As I thought about the core message of the prophets, I couldn’t help but connect
with the Father’s heart. He wants to be able to lavish His love on His chosen
people, but they insist on continuing to reject His authority. He knows you can’t
force love, so He at least desires to get obedience that will mitigate a response of
In spite of the LORD’s mercy and patience, the people of Judah continued in
their evil ways. They chose to worship “other gods,” idols made with their own
hands, in rejection of Almighty God.
The phrase “other gods” stood out to me. I know that there is only one true God,
but God declares that we can worship “other gods.” These gods come in many
forms and include any person or thing to or in which we give the priority of our
energy, passion and time. In Jeremiah’s day it was a reference to the pagan gods
worshipped by the nations surrounding Judah. The more I study, the more I
believe that some of these “gods” were actually a result of the manifestation
and/or influence of demonic spirits. I personally believe that the world today
gives evidence of the continuing activity of these same demons. I believe these
are the enemies to which Paul was referring in his letter to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.”
Any time we choose to reject God and follow false gods, we do it to our own
Proverbs 8:36 “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:”
In context, Solomon is talking about wisdom, but he also goes on to declare that
the fear of God is where wisdom begins.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of
the holy is understanding.”
Jer. 25:8 ¶ Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard
Jer. 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the
LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring
them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all
these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an
astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Jer. 25:10 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.
Jeremiah now declares that God’s patience has run its course and judgment is
forthcoming. Because they have chosen to ignore His message, He is going to
judge them through Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, “my servant.” Is God
saying that Neb was serving Him in faith and obedience? No. He is declaring
that in His sovereignty He is going to empower Neb to accomplish his desires to
expand his empire at the expense of Judah. Because he will be acting in
accordance with God’s desire to judge Judah, he will in effect be God’s servant.
Not only will Judah fall to the king of Babylon, so will the surrounding nations.
His subjugation of the nations will result in their destruction and suffering.
Jer. 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and
these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
In this section we are told that Judah and the nations will serve Babylon for 70
years. It seems that Daniel had access to this chapter, if not the whole book of
Daniel 9:2 “In the first year of his [Darius} reign I Daniel understood by books the
number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he
would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
The writer of Chronicles tells us that 70 years was determined to allow the land
to enjoy the sabbaths that God had commanded the people to observe and had
2 Chronicles 36:20–21 “And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to
Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of
Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had
enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil
threescore and ten years.”
The people had no excuse. They had been warned through Moses of the
consequences of turning against God in disobedience.
Leviticus 26:27–28, 32-34 “And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk
contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury…. And I will bring
the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you:
and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy
her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then
shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.”
Jer. 25:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that
I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their
iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual
Jer. 25:13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have
pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah
hath prophesied against all the nations.
Jer. 25:14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them
also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the
works of their own hands.
The LORD now allows the prophet to share a bit of hope. After 70 years in
captivity, He will then punish the Babylonians for their own sin. As they had
subjugated others, they will themselves be subjugated to other great nations and
kings; as they had treated those whom they conquered, they too would be
treated. They will reap what they have sown. This is a principle throughout
Job 4:8 “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap.”
It is important to note that although God used Nebuchadnezzar to accomplish
His purposes, He was not causing Neb to act outside of his own choice and
Babylon was eventually conquered by the Medes and the Persians, but the
prophecy concerning “perpetual desolations” is yet future and is described in
chapters 50-51. Babylon, however, will not be the only nation to suffer God’s
hand of judgment; there are also many prophecies made concerning “the
Jer. 25:15 ¶ For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup
of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to
Jer. 25:16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the
sword that I will send among them.
Jer. 25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to
drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
This certainly appears to be a use of figurative language. The LORD God of
Israel is declaring through the prophet the coming judgment of the nations.
Jeremiah is pictured as giving a cup full of the fury of God to the kings of
particular nations and making them drink it. I am reminded that God’s word
always accomplishes His purposes.
Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return
unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing
whereto I sent it.”
I am also reminded that God’s word is like a sword.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints
and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Revelation 19:15–16 “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should
smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress
of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh
a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Jer. 25:18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and
the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing,
and a curse; as it is this day;
Jer. 25:19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his
Jer. 25:20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and
all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and
Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,
Jer. 25:21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,
Jer. 25:22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings
of the isles which are beyond the sea,
Jer. 25:23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners,
Jer. 25:24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people
that dwell in the desert,
Jer. 25:25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the
kings of the Medes,
Jer. 25:26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all
the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king
of Sheshach shall drink after them.
In this section of verses the LORD specifically identifies the kings and their
nations that are to be judged, beginning with Judah. Their identifications to the
best of my ability according to research are:
• Pharaoh & Egypt – It reads to me as though the mingled people are
included as part of the domain of Egypt.
• Uz – In Lamentations this land is mentioned in connection with Edom. It
was the home of Job.
• Philistines – Ashkelon, Azzah, Ekron and Ashdod are identified as some
of the main cities.
• Edom – Located in the southern part of modern day Jordan.
• Moab – Located north of Edom in modern day Jordan.
• Ammon – Located north of Moab in modern day Jordan.
• Tyre – land of the Phoenicians and part of modern day Lebanon
• Zidon – land of the Phoenicians and part of modern day Lebanon
• The isles beyond the sea – The Hebrew for isles speaks of coastlands and
is probably referencing the European coastlands across the Mediterranean
• Dedan – The area east of Ammon in modern day Saudi Arabia
• Tema – Also part of modern day Saudi Arabia
• Buz – Another part of Saudi Arabia
• All in the utmost corners – could be a reference to the four corners of the
earth, meaning the lands furthest north, south, east & west from Israel
• Arabia – broader land mass including today’s Syria & Yemen
• The desert nomads – probably a reference to the rest of the Arabian
• Zimri – Eerdman’s Dictionary indicates could be an athbash code
associated with Elam
• Elam – area of modern day Iran
• Medes – area of modern day northern Iraq and western Turkey
• All the kings of the north, far and near & All the kingdoms of the world
upon the face of the earth – includes any nation on earth not specifically
• King of Sheshach – Another name for Babylon, today known as Iraq
The specific nations mentioned are all noted for their proximity to Israel and are
basically identified with today’s Middle East. Important to note, however, is the
fact that the judgment being referenced will impact all the nations on earth. This
tells me that the time of wrath being referenced in verses 15-17 is yet future and
is connected with the last seven years on planet earth before Jesus returns to set
up His kingdom. This time is more commonly known as the tribulation, the time
when evil reigns under the rule of Satan’s Antichrist who will once again rule
Jer. 25:27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts,
the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no
more, because of the sword which I will send among you.
Jer. 25:28 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; Ye shall
Jer. 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by 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.
These verses read like an exclamation point to the fact all the nations on earth are
going to suffer according to God’s wrath. The LORD is basically declaring that if
He brings such harsh judgment against His own people, the other nations on
earth should not think that they would escape judgment.
“rise no more” – I believe this is a reference to the truth that after this judgment
to appease God’s wrath, the God of Israel in the person of Jesus Christ will rule
over the whole world from Jerusalem. No other nation will again be allowed to
rise in power and authority over any other nation.
Jer. 25:30 ¶ Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say
unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his
holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a
shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
Jer. 25:31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a
controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them
that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.
These verses give yet another exclamation point on the coming judgment of
YHWH against the nations. This time of judgment and pouring out of God’s
wrath on the nations will run concurrent with the 70th week of Daniel that God
has purposed to refine the people of Israel and bring forth a believing remnant
through whom He will fulfill His covenant with Abraham. (See journal on
The LORD is pictured as roaring like a mighty lion looking out over His
domain. Hosea and Amos use the same comparison.
Hosea 11:10 “They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall
roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.”
Amos 3:7–8 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his
servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath
spoken, who can but prophesy?”
The Hebrew for the word “plead” (v31) is another word for “judgment,
pronouncing sentence against, punish.” Point is again made that this judgment
will be against “all the inhabitants of the earth.”
Jer. 25:32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation
to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
Jer. 25:33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the
earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither
gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
The LORD continues to declare that His judgment will entail “evil…from nation
to nation.” A whirlwind is a picture of destruction resulting from a powerful,
fast moving storm. When reading of the judgments that are going to be poured
out on planet earth as detailed in the book of Revelation, that is exactly the
picture I get when realizing that it will all take place in just a seven-year period.
Jer. 25:34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye
principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions
are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.
Jer. 25:35 And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the
flock to escape.
Jer. 25:36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal
of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture.
Jer. 25:37 And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce
anger of the LORD.
Jer. 25:38 He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion: for their land is desolate
because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.
The shepherds and principals of the flock represent the leaders, spiritual and
governmental, of the nations, but Jeremiah’s message places the focus on the
leaders of Judah. The kings and priests of the nations will be judged along with
the nations they lead. Though yet future, verse 36 tells us that the deed is as
good as done in God’s eyes.
History shows us over and over again how those in spiritual and governmental
leadership over the nations take advantage of the people they are supposed to
“shepherd.” God’s coming judgment will destroy the “pasture” of these evil
“shepherds” and will once and for all put an end to such abuses of responsibility.
“forsaken his covert” – This is a statement of the LORD forsaking the temple in
Jerusalem, His designated dwelling place on earth. Revelation 19 vividly
describes Jesus leading His heavenly armies to destroy the armies of Satan at the
final battle of Armageddon. Again, the judgments described in Revelation make
it clear that planet earth will suffer great destruction as a result of the 21
judgments that unleash God’s wrath against His enemies.