Jeremiah 25

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Read Jeremiah 25

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.

And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. They said, “Turnnow, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever.Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have arousedmy anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servantNebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn,and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylonand his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

The Cup of God’s Wrath

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16 When they drink it, they will stagger and go madbecause of the sword I will send among them.”

17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn, a curse—as they are today; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab and Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon;the kings of the coastlands across the sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places; 24 all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the wilderness; 25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media;26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshakwill drink it too.

27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.’ 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it!29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword on all who live on the earth, declares the Lord Almighty.’

30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:

“‘The Lord will roar from on high;
    he will thunder from his holy dwelling
    and roar mightily against his land.
He will shout like those who tread the grapes,
    shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth,
    for the Lord will bring charges against the nations;
he will bring judgment on all mankind
    and put the wicked to the sword,’”
declares the Lord.

32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Look! Disaster is spreading
    from nation to nation;
a mighty storm is rising
    from the ends of the earth.”

33 At that time those slain by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried,but will be like dung lying on the ground.

34 Weep and wail, you shepherds;
    roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
For your time to be slaughtered has come;
    you will fall like the best of the rams.
35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,
    the leaders of the flock no place to escape.
36 Hear the cry of the shepherds,
    the wailing of the leaders of the flock,
    for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
37 The peaceful meadows will be laid waste
    because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
38 Like a lion he will leave his lair,
    and their land will become desolate
because of the sword of the oppressor
    and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.

Go Deeper

Jeremiah opens by reminding the people of Judah that he has been speaking persistently and yet they have not listened. This was not a matter of opportunity but rather of choice. The opportunity to repent had been presented by the prophets, who were God’s chosen instruments, to warn them their sin would cost them. Despite hearing all this, the people of Judah chose their way and destruction was inevitable. As Jeremiah said previously, “Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25). Not only will the people suffer, but also the land that God has given them.

In Jeremiah 25:11 God says that these nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years. God is the only one who has the power and wisdom to set a timeline for this destruction. For 70 years they will be under the rule and reign of another “king”. However, this king is not loving, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love as the Lord is (Exodus 34). This text is a clear reminder that we were made to worship and serve a master. The people of Judah did not escape being under someone’s rule; they just simply chose the lesser option of a king.  

After communicating the clear and coming result of their turning away from God, we see a glimpse of the future restoration that God will bring. After 70 years have passed, God will punish the king of Babylon for the oppression of His people in exile. In a moment where people’s sins are ever before them, we are reminded that we have the opportunity to serve a Lord who delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18). 

Jeremiah is told to take a cup of wine for all whom God appoints to drink. This cup serves as a symbol of God’s wrath that will be poured on nations. Due to the pride of the nation in doing what seemed best to them (Proverbs 14:12) and their refusal to humble themselves before God, God’s judgment is coming. The Lord is clear that none will go unpunished (v. 29).


  1. In the same way the people of Judah were going to serve a master, what master does your life reveal that you serve?
  2. Who in your life needs a reminder that God’s love for them is not based on their performance but on Jesus’ death and resurrection? 
  3. What sin do you need to repent of today through the warning of God’s Word?

A Quote

“Repentance is not merely about pleading for mercy but about opening your wound to Jesus the Physician” – John Mark Comer

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3 thoughts on “Jeremiah 25”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Before I judge the people Jeremiah addressed, I need to honestly answer some hard questions:
    •When have I not listened or paid attention to God’s Word?
    •When have I worshiped things rather than God?
    •How have I invited God’s wrath by willful disobedience?
    Today, I will ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the shadowy, hidden sin that is seeking to take up residence in my life, and then thoroughly repent begging forgiveness. I will recommit myself to not forsaking the God I love so that I may continue “to declare the praises of him who called me out of darkness into his glorious light.”

  2. You and I were made, created, formed, now in this time, for God! We were formed to worship and be a child of the most High King. Jeremiah spoke to people for 25 years and God had other prophets before that calling to them. But they chose to not listen. Key word is chose. For me it is a wake-up to clean my ears, so that I can hear the voice that is calling.

    God again I pray for the fresh fire. Thank You for blowing on the embers of my heart to kindle more and more of You. (Psalm 139:13-16) God I know you formed me, my inward parts. That You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God wonderful are Your works my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. You God knew me, and I am so thankful for my breath. For in You and through You and to You are all things. To You be the glory forever and ever. God thank You for ears to hear Your Holy Spirit guidance, eyes to see this world through Your love goggles. Thank You for a voice that says what You need me to say for this day and these minutes today in Jesus name amen.

  3. 8 “Because you have not listened to my words,”

    I need to do better at applying the two ears to one mouth ratio in my conversations with God!

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