Jeremiah 25


This chapter contains a summary of the judgments denounced by

Jeremiah against Judah, Babylon, and many other nations. It

begins with reproving the Jews for disobeying the calls of God

to repentance, 1-7;

on which account their captivity, with that of other

neighbouring nations, during seventy years, is foretold, 8-11.

At the expiration of that period, (computing from the invasion

of Nebuchadnezzar in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, to the

famous edict of the first year of Cyrus,) an end was to be put

to the Babylonian empire, 12-14.

All this is again declared by the emblem of that cup of wrath

which the prophet, as it should seem in a vision, tendered

to all the nations which he enumerates, 15-29.

And for farther confirmation, it is a third time repeated in a

very beautiful and elevated strain of poetry, 30-38.

The talent of diversifying the ideas, images, and language,

even when the subject is the same, or nearly so, appears no

where in such perfection as among the sacred poets.


Verse 1. The word that came to Jeremiah-to the fourth year] This

prophecy, we see, was delivered in the fourth year of Jehoiakim,

and the chapter that contains it is utterly out of its place. It

should be between chapters xxxv. and xxxvi.

The defeat of the Egyptians by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish, and

the subsequent taking of Jerusalem, occurred in this year, viz.,

the fourth year of Jehoiakim.

The first year of Nebuchadrezzar] This king was associated with

his father two years before the death of the latter. The Jews

reckon his reign from this time, and this was the first of those

two years; but the Chaldeans date the commencement of his reign

two years later, viz., at the death of his father.

Verse 7. That ye might provoke] Ye would not hearken; but chose

to provoke me with anger.

Verse 9. Behold, I will send] At this time Nebuchadrezzar had

not invaded the land, according to this Version; but the Hebrew

may be translated, "Behold I am sending, and have taken all the

families;" that is, all the allies of the king of Babylon.

Instead of veel, "and TO Nebuchadrezzar," as in the common

Hebrew Bible, seven MSS. of Kennicott's and De Rossi's, and one

of my own, have , veeth, "AND Nebuchadrezzar," which is

undoubtedly the true reading.

Verse 10. I will take from them] See Jer 7:34; 16:9.

The sound of the mill-stones, and the light of the candle.]

These two are conjoined, because they generally ground the corn

before day, by the light of the candle. Sir J. Chardin has

remarked, that every where in the morning may be heard the noise

of the mills; for they generally grind every day just as much as

is necessary for the day's consumption. Where then the noise of

the mill is not heard, nor the light of the candle seen, there

must be desolation; because these things are heard and seen in

every inhabited country.

Verse 11. Shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.] As

this prophecy was delivered in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and

in the first of Nebuchadnezzar, and began to be accomplished in

the same year, (for then Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judea, and took

Jerusalem,) seventy years from this time will reach down to the

first year of Cyrus, when he made his proclamation for the

restoration of the Jews, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. See the

note on Isa 13:19, where the subject is farther considered in

relation to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and the city of Babylon.

Verse 12. And that nation] haggoi hahu. Dr. Blayney

contends that this should be translated his nation, and that

hahu is the substantive pronoun used in the genitive case. It is

certainly more clear and definite to read, "I will punish the king

of Babylon, and HIS nation."

Will make it perpetual desolations] See Clarke on Isa 13:19,

where the fulfilment of this prophecy is distinctly marked.

Verse 14. Many nations and great kings] The Medes and the

Persians, under Cyrus; and several princes, his vassals or


Verse 15. Take the wine cup of this fury] For an ample

illustration of this passage and simile,

See Clarke on Isa 51:21.

Verse 17. Then took I the cup-and made all the nations to drink]

This cup of God's wrath is merely symbolical, and simply means

that the prophet should declare to all these people that they

shall fall under the Chaldean yoke, and that this is a punishment

inflicted on them by God for their iniquities. "Then I took the

cup;" I declared publicly the tribulation that God was about to

bring on Jerusalem, the cities of Judah, and all the nations.

Verse 19. Pharaoh king of Egypt] This was Pharaoh-necho, who was

the principal cause of instigating the neighbouring nations to

form a league against the Chaldeans.

Verse 20. All the mingled people] The strangers and foreigners;

Abyssinians and others who had settled in Egypt.

Land of Uz] A part of Arabia near to Idumea. See Clarke on Job 1:1.

Verse 22. Tyrus and-Zidon] The most ancient of all the cities of

the Phoenicians.

Kings of the isles which are beyond the sea.] As the

Mediterranean Sea is most probably meant, and the Phoenicians

had numerous colonies on its coasts, I prefer the marginal

reading, the kings of the region by the sea side.

Verse 23. Dedan] Was son of Abraham, by Keturah, Ge 25:3.

Tema] Was one of the sons of Ishmael, in the north of Arabia,

Ge 36:15.

Buz] Brother of Uz, descendants of Nahor, brother of Abraham,

settled in Arabia Deserta, Ge 22:21.

Verse 24. The mingled people] Probably the Scenite Arabians.

Verse 25. Zimri] Descendants of Abraham, by Keturah,

Ge 25:2, 6.

Elam] Called Elymais by the Greeks, was on the south frontier of

Media, to the north of Susiana, not far from Babylon.

Verse 26. The kings of the north, far and near] The first may

mean Syria; the latter, the Hyrcanians and Bactrians.

And the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.] Sheshach was

an ancient king of Babylon, who was deified after his death. Here

it means either Babylon, or Nebuchadnezzar the king of it. After

it has been the occasion of ruin to so many other nations, Babylon

itself shall be destroyed by the Medo-Persians.

Verse 27. Be drunken, and spue] Why did we not use the word

vomit, less offensive than the other, and yet of the same


Verse 29. The city which is called by my name] Jerusalem, which

should be first given up to the destruction.

Verse 32. Evil shall go forth from nation to nation] One nation

after another shall fall before the Chaldeans.

Verse 33. From one end of the earth] From one end of the land

to the other. All Palestine shall be desolated by it.

Verse 34. Howl, ye shepherds] Ye kings and chiefs of the people.

Ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.] As a fall will break and

utterly ruin a precious vessel of crystal, agate, &c., so your

overthrow will be to you irreparable ruin.

Verse 38. As the lion] Leaving the banks of Jordan when

overflowed, and coming with ravening fierceness to the champaign


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