25:26 all the kings of the north, whether near or far from one another; and all the other kingdoms which are on the face of the earth. After all of them have drunk the wine of the Lord’s wrath, 1 the king of Babylon 2 must drink it.
25:27 Then the Lord said to me, 3 “Tell them that the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 4 says, 5 ‘Drink this cup 6 until you get drunk and vomit. Drink until you fall down and can’t get up. 7 For I will send wars sweeping through you.’ 8 25:28 If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink it, tell them that the Lord who rules over all says 9 ‘You most certainly must drink it! 10 25:29 For take note, I am already beginning to bring disaster on the city that I call my own. 11 So how can you possibly avoid being punished? 12 You will not go unpunished! For I am proclaiming war against all who live on the earth. I, the Lord who rules over all, 13 affirm it!’ 14
‘Like a lion about to attack, 17 the Lord will roar from the heights of heaven;
from his holy dwelling on high he will roar loudly.
He will roar mightily against his land. 18
He will shout in triumph like those stomping juice from the grapes 19
against all those who live on the earth.
For the Lord will bring charges against the nations. 21
He will pass judgment on all humankind
and will hand the wicked over to be killed in war.’ 22
The Lord so affirms it! 23
‘Disaster will soon come on one nation after another. 25
A mighty storm of military destruction 26 is rising up
from the distant parts of the earth.’
25:33 Those who have been killed by the Lord at that time
will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other.
They will not be mourned over, gathered up, or buried. 27
Their dead bodies will lie scattered over the ground like manure.
25:34 Wail and cry out in anguish, you rulers!
Roll in the dust, you who shepherd flocks of people! 28
The time for you to be slaughtered has come.
You will lie scattered and fallen like broken pieces of fine pottery. 29
The shepherds of the flocks will not be able to escape.
[25:26] 1 tn The words “have drunk the wine of the
[25:26] 2 tn Heb “the king of Sheshach.” “Sheshach” is a code name for Babylon formed on the principle of substituting the last letter of the alphabet for the first, the next to the last for the second, and so on. On this principle Hebrew שׁ (shin) is substituted for Hebrew ב (bet) and Hebrew כ (kaf) is substituted for Hebrew ל (lamed). On the same principle “Leb Kamai” in Jer 51:1 is a code name for Chasdim or Chaldeans which is Jeremiah’s term for the Babylonians. No explanation is given for why the code names are used. The name “Sheshach” for Babylon also occurs in Jer 51:41 where the term Babylon is found in parallelism with it.
[25:27] 3 tn The words “Then the
[25:27] 7 tn Heb “Drink, and get drunk, and vomit and fall down and don’t get up.” The imperatives following drink are not parallel actions but consequent actions. For the use of the imperative plus the conjunctive “and” to indicate consequent action, even intention see GKC 324-25 §110.f and compare usage in 1 Kgs 22:12; Prov 3:3b-4a.
[25:28] 10 tn The translation attempts to reflect the emphatic construction of the infinitive absolute preceding the finite verb which is here an obligatory imperfect. (See Joüon 2:371-72 §113.m and 2:423 §123.h, and compare usage in Gen 15:13.)
[25:29] 12 tn This is an example of a question without the formal introductory particle following a conjunctive vav introducing an opposition. (See Joüon 2:609 §161.a.) It is also an example of the use of the infinitive before the finite verb in a rhetorical question involving doubt or denial. (See Joüon 2:422-23 §123.f, and compare usage in Gen 37:8.)
[25:30] 17 tn The words “like a lion about to attack” are not in the text but are implicit in the metaphor. The explicit comparison of the
[25:30] sn For the metaphor of the
[25:30] 18 sn The word used here (Heb “his habitation”) refers to the land of Canaan which the
[25:30] 19 sn The metaphor shifts from God as a lion to God as a mighty warrior (Jer 20:11; Isa 42:13; Zeph 3:17) shouting in triumph over his foes. Within the metaphor is a simile where the warrior is compared to a person stomping on grapes to remove the juice from them in the making of wine. The figure will be invoked later in a battle scene where the sounds of joy in the grape harvest are replaced by the sounds of joy of the enemy soldiers (Jer 48:33). The picture is drawn in more gory detail in Isa 63:1-6.
[25:31] sn There is undoubtedly a deliberate allusion here to the reference to the “wars” (Heb “sword”) that the
[25:32] 26 tn The words “of military destruction” have been supplied in the translation to make the metaphor clear. The metaphor has shifted from that of God as a lion, to God as a warrior, to God as a judge, to God as the author of the storm winds of destruction.
[25:32] sn For the use of this word in a literal sense see Jonah 1:4. For its use to refer to the wrath of the
[25:34] sn The term “shepherd” has been used several times in the book of Jeremiah to refer to the leaders of the people who were responsible for taking care of their people who are compared to a flock. (See Jer 23:1-4 and the notes there.) Here the figure has some irony involved in it. It is the shepherds who are to be slaughtered like sheep. They may have considered themselves “choice vessels” (the literal translation of “fine pottery”), but they would be slaughtered and lie scattered on the ground (v. 33) like broken pottery.
[25:34] 29 tn The meaning of this line is debated. The Greek version does not have the words “lie scattered” and it reads the words “like broken pieces of fine pottery” (Heb “like choice vessels”; כִּכְלִי חֶמְדָּה, kikhli khemdah) as “like choice rams” (כְּאֵילֵי חֶמְדָּה, kÿ’ele khemdah); i.e., “the days have been completed for you to be slaughtered and you will fall like choice rams.” The reading of the Greek version fits the context better, but is probably secondary for that very reason. The word translated “lie scattered” (תְּפוֹצָה, tÿfotsah) occurs nowhere else and the switch to the simile of “choice vessels” is rather abrupt. However, this section has been characterized by switching metaphors. The key to the interpretation and translation here is the consequential nature of the verbal actions involved. “Fall” does not merely refer to the action but the effect, i.e., “lie fallen” (cf. BDB 657 s.v. נָפַל 7 and compare Judg 3:25; 1 Sam 31:8). Though the noun translated “lie scattered” does not occur elsewhere, the verb does. It is quite commonly used of dispersing people and that has led many to see that as the reference here. The word, however, can be used of scattering other things like seed (Isa 28:25), arrows (2 Sam 22:15; metaphorical for lightning), etc. Here it follows “slaughtered” and refers to their dead bodies. The simile (Heb “ fallen like choice vessels”) is elliptical, referring to “broken pieces” of choice vessels. In this sense the simile fits in perfectly with v. 33.