Jeremiah 25

 

הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־הָיָה עַל־יִרְמְיָהוּ עַל־כָּל־עַם יְהוּדָה בַּשָּׁנָה הָרְבִעִית לִיהֹויָקִים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה   25:1 הִיא הַשָּׁנָה הָרִאשֹׁנִית לִנְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃

Jere. 25:1   The word that occurred to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah in the fourth year for Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah -- it was the first year for Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon

                                                                             [Return to Jere. 36:1]          [Return to Jere. 45:1]

אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא עַל־כָּל־עַם יְהוּדָה וְאֶל כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֵאמֹר׃   25:2

Jere. 25:2   – that Jeremiah, the prophet, spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying:

מִן־שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְיֹאשִׁיָּהוּ בֶן־אָמֹון מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וְעַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה זֶה שָׁלֹשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה הָיָה   25:3 דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלָי וָאֲדַבֵּר אֲלֵיכֶם אַשְׁכֵּים וְדַבֵּר וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם׃

Jere. 25:3   “From the thirteenth year for Josiah son of Ammon, king of Judah, and until this day, now twenty-three years, has the word of the Lord occurred to me that I have spoken to you frequently, but you have not listened.”

The time frame of this chapter is around 604-603 BCE.

וְשָׁלַח יְהוָה אֲלֵיכֶם אֶת־כָּל־עֲבָדָיו הַנְּבִאִים הַשְׁכֵּם וְשָׁלֹחַ וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם וְלֹא־הִטִּיתֶם אֶת־אָזְנְכֶם   25:4 לִשְׁמֹעַ׃

Jere. 25:4   “And the Lord has often sent all His servants, the prophets, to you, and He sent, but you did not extend your ear to listen,

לֵאמֹר שׁוּבוּ־נָא אִישׁ מִדַּרְכֹּו הָרָעָה וּמֵרֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶם וּשְׁבוּ עַל־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהוָה לָכֶם   25:5 וְלַאֲבֹותֵיכֶם לְמִן־עֹולָם וְעַד־עֹולָם׃

Jere. 25:5   saying:  ‘Turn back now, each one from his way of evil, and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your ancestors for from everlasting and to everlasting,

וְאַל־תֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לְעָבְדָם וּלְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת לָהֶם וְלֹא־תַכְעִיסוּ אֹותִי בְּמַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיכֶם וְלֹא   25:6 אָרַע לָכֶם׃

Jere. 25:6   and do not walk after other gods, to serve them and bow down to them, so you do not provoke Me by the labor of your hands, and I will not do harm to you.’

וְלֹא־שְׁמַעְתֶּם אֵלַי נְאֻם־יְהוָה לְמַעַן (הִכְעִסוּנִי) [הַכְעִיסֵנִי] בְּמַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיכֶם לְרַע לָכֶם׃   25:7

Jere. 25:7   ’But you have not listened to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to the end of provoking Me -- by the labor of your hands -- to do harm to you.’

As far as I am concerned, the word in parentheses is not in error.  It is almost universally translated as if it were an active verb with a first-person objective suffix, such as in “you might provoke Me to anger,” which would make the spelling of the word incorrect.  However, that translation ignores the grammar of the word itself, in that it is not a second-person plural active verb as the other translators (or copiers?) have imagined it to be.  I believe it is more likely a participle ending with a first-person suffix as I’ve translated it, and is therefore correctly spelled.

לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות יַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹא־שְׁמַעְתֶּם אֶת־דְּבָרָי׃   25:8

Jere. 25:8   “Therefore, thus declares the Lord of hosts:  ‘For the reason that you did not hear My words,

וַהֲבִאֹתִים הִנְנִי שֹׁלֵחַ וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶת־כָּל־מִשְׁפְּחֹות צָפֹון נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְאֶל־נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל עַבְדִּי   25:9 עַל־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וְעַל־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ וְעַל כָּל־הַגֹּויִם הָאֵלֶּה סָבִיב וְהַחֲרַמְתִּים וְשַׂמְתִּים לְשַׁמָּה וְלִשְׁרֵקָה     וּלְחָרְבֹות עֹולָם׃

Jere. 25:9   behold, I am stretching forth, and I will take all the families of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘and to Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, My servant, and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these surrounding nations, and I will exterminate them and set them for a horror and a hissing and perpetual desolations.’

וְהַאֲבַדְתִּי מֵהֶם קֹול שָׂשֹׂון וְקֹול שִׂמְחָה קֹול חָתָן וְקֹול כַּלָּה קֹול רֵחַיִם וְאֹור נֵר׃   25:10

Jere. 25:10   ’And I will cause the sound of joy to vanish from them, and the sound of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of millstones, and the light of the lamp.’”

וְהָיְתָה כָּל־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לְחָרְבָּה לְשַׁמָּה וְעָבְדוּ הַגֹּויִם הָאֵלֶּה אֶת־מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה׃   25:11

Jere. 25:11   ‘And all this land shall be for a ruin and a wasteland, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.’                                                                   [Return to Dani. 9:2]

וְהָיָה כִמְלֹאות שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה אֶפְקֹד עַל־מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וְעַל־הַגֹּוי הַהוּא נְאֻם־יְהוָה אֶת־עֲוֹנָם וְעַל־אֶרֶץ   25:12 כַּשְׂדִּים וְשַׂמְתִּי אֹתֹו לְשִׁמְמֹות עֹולָם׃

Jere. 25:12   ‘Then it shall be at the completion of the seventy years, I will visit upon the king of Babylon and upon that nation,’ declares the Lord, ‘their iniquity, and upon the land of the Chaldeans, and I will set it for wastelands of long duration.’

 וְהֵבֵאיתִי] [וְהֵבֵאתִי] עַל־הָאָרֶץ הַהִיא אֶת־כָּל־דְּבָרַי אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּרְתִּי עָלֶיהָ אֵת כָּל־הַכָּתוּב בַּסֵּפֶר   25:13 הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נִבָּא יִרְמְיָהוּ עַל־כָּל־הַגֹּויִם׃

Jere. 25:13   ‘And I will bring upon that land My whole word that I declare against it, all the writing in this book that Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations.’

There’s alleged to be an extra yad in the word before the left parenthesis.  The intended correction is in the brackets.  Once more I have to question the sages.  I believe the correction is inappropriate for the context.  I believe the error in the word is not an extra yad but a misplaced yad.  I believe the yad and the aleph are interchanged.  The word as I would correct it should be ytiaybehew.  And once more I ask that you please forgive the absence of the right parenthesis at the beginning of the verse.

כִּי עָבְדוּ־בָם גַּם־הֵמָּה גֹּויִם רַבִּים וּמְלָכִים גְּדֹולִים וְשִׁלַּמְתִּי לָהֶם כְּפָעֳלָם וּכְמַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם׃   25:14

Jere. 25:14   ‘Indeed, they also labored among them, many nations and great kings, and I will recompense them according to their actions and according to the product of their hands.’”

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵלַי קַח אֶת־כֹּוס הַיַּיִן הַחֵמָה הַזֹּאת מִיָּדִי וְהִשְׁקִיתָה אֹתֹו   25:15               אֶת־כָּל־הַגֹּויִם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ אֹותְךָ אֲלֵיהֶם׃

Jere. 25:15   “For thus says the Lord, God of Israel, to me: ‘Take this cup of the wine of rage from My ‘hand’ and cause all the nations to drink it to which I am sending you.’

וְשָׁתוּ וְהִתְגֹּעֲשׁוּ וְהִתְהֹלָלוּ מִפְּנֵי הַחֶרֶב אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ בֵּינֹתָם׃   25:16

Jere. 25:16   ‘And they shall drink, then they shall reel and act like madmen, because of the sword that I am sending between them.’

וָאֶקַּח אֶת־הַכֹּוס מִיַּד יְהוָה וָאַשְׁקֶה אֶת־כָּל־הַגֹּויִם אֲשֶׁר־שְׁלָחַנִי יְהוָה אֲלֵיהֶם׃   25:17

Jere. 25:17   So I took the cup from the “hand” of the Lord and gave all the nations to drink to which the Lord had sent me:

אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְאֶת־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה וְאֶת־מְלָכֶיהָ אֶת־שָׂרֶיהָ לָתֵת אֹתָם לְחָרְבָּה לְשַׁמָּה לִשְׁרֵקָה וְלִקְלָלָה   25:18 כַּיֹּום הַזֶּה׃

Jere. 25:18   Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and its kings, its princes, making them for a ruin, a horror, a hissing, and a curse as this day,

אֶת־פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרַיִם וְאֶת־עֲבָדָיו וְאֶת־שָׂרָיו וְאֶת־כָּל־עַמֹּו׃   25:19

Jere. 25:19   Pharoah, king of Egypt, and his servants and his princes and all his people,

וְאֵת כָּל־הָעֶרֶב וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי אֶרֶץ הָעוּץ וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְאֶת־אַשְׁקְלֹון וְאֶת־עַזָּה   25:20                  וְאֶת־עֶקְרֹון וְאֵת שְׁאֵרִית אַשְׁדֹּוד׃

Jere. 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 Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,

Commentators apparently conclude that the mingled people mentioned here are the foreigners who had settled in Egypt.

אֶת־אֱדֹום וְאֶת־מֹואָב וְאֶת־בְּנֵי עַמֹּון׃   25:21

Jere. 25:21   Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,

וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי־צֹר וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי צִידֹון וְאֵת מַלְכֵי הָאִי אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיָּם׃   25:22

Jere. 25:22   and all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the coast-land that are on the opposite side of the sea,

וְאֶת־דְּדָן וְאֶת־תֵּימָא וְאֶת־בּוּז וְאֵת כָּל־קְצוּצֵי פֵאָה׃   25:23

Jere. 25:23   Dedan and Tema and Buz, and all the cutters off of the edge,

The three names are those of cities in Edom.  The phrase translated by me as “cutters off of the edge” (the last three words in the verse) is repeated here in the very same Hebrew as in Jere. 9:25.  These people are apparently those who round off the edge of their head (see Levi. 19:27).  But I’m quite certain that Jeremiah is not referring to Jews.  He’s referring to pagans.  Nevertheless, he is casting aspersions against his Jewish brethren, especially the men of Anatoth.  It is likely that they and many in Judah didn’t follow many of the commandments of the Torah.  He would put them in the same pot as the pagans he refers to here.

וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי עֲרָב וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי הָעֶרֶב הַשֹּׁכְנִים בַּמִּדְבָּר׃   25:24

Jere. 25:24   and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people dwelling in the wilderness,

וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי זִמְרִי וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי עֵילָם וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי מָדָי׃   25:25

Jere. 25:25   and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes,

וְאֵת כָּל־מַלְכֵי הַצָּפֹון הַקְּרֹבִים וְהָרְחֹקִים אִישׁ אֶל־אָחִיו וְאֵת כָּל־הַמַּמְלְכֹות הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי   25:26 הָאֲדָמָה וּמֶלֶךְ שֵׁשַׁךְ יִשְׁתֶּה אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃

Jere. 25:26   and all the kings of the north, near and far, each against the other, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the surface of the earth.  And the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

The prevailing assumption is that Sheshach is another name for Babylon, perhaps taken from the goddess called Shach.                                                                                                    [Return to Jere. 51:41]

וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם ס כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁתוּ וְשִׁכְרוּ וּקְיוּ וְנִפְלוּ וְלֹא תָקוּמוּ מִפְּנֵי   25:27 הַחֶרֶב אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ בֵּינֵיכֶם׃

Jere. 25:27   “Then you shall declare to them:  ‘Thus declares the Lord of hosts, God of Israel:  ‘Drink! And become drunk, and vomit, and fall, and do not rise up!  Because of the sword that I am sending between you!’”

What do you think?  Did Jeremiah actually visit all these lands of the middle east with a cup of wine (the Lord’s “rage”) in his hand?  I seriously doubt it.  I believe any one of at least three possibilities:  (1) the Lord had Jeremiah do this symbolically, or (2) Jeremiah dreamed the events of this chapter, or (3) he conducted his travels in the spiritual realm, appearing in solid form in each appropriate location in turn.

וְהָיָה כִּי יְמָאֲנוּ לָקַחַת־הַכֹּוס מִיָּדְךָ לִשְׁתֹּות וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות שָׁתֹו תִשְׁתּוּ׃   25:28

Jere. 25:28   “’And it shall be when they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall declare to them, ‘Thus declares the Lord of hosts:  ‘Surely you shall drink,

כִּי הִנֵּה בָעִיר אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא־שְׁמִי עָלֶיהָ אָנֹכִי מֵחֵל לְהָרַע וְאַתֶּם הִנָּקֵה תִנָּקוּ לֹא תִנָּקוּ כִּי חֶרֶב   25:29

 אֲנִי קֹרֵא עַל־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאֹות׃

Jere. 25:29   for, lo, on the city by which My name is called, I begin to bring evil -- and will you be utterly free from guilt?  You will not be free from guilt, for I call forth a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

וְאַתָּה תִּנָּבֵא אֲלֵיהֶם אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם יְהוָה מִמָּרֹום יִשְׁאָג וּמִמְּעֹון קָדְשֹׁו   25:30 יִתֵּן קֹולֹו שָׁאֹג יִשְׁאַג עַל־נָוֵהוּ הֵידָד כְּדֹרְכִים יַעֲנֶה אֶל כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ׃

Jere. 25:30   ‘Now you shall prophesy all these words concerning them and declare to them:

                        ‘The Lord shall roar from on high,

                                 and from His holy dwelling

                        extend His voice;

                                mightily He shall roar

                        over His shepherd's abode.

                                Shouting like archers,

                        He will respond

                                 to the inhabitants of the earth.’

בָּא שָׁאֹון עַד־קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ כִּי רִיב לַיהוָה בַּגֹּויִם נִשְׁפָּט הוּא לְכָל־בָּשָׂר הָרְשָׁעִים נְתָנָם לַחֶרֶב   25:31         נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

Jere. 25:31   ‘A din as far as the end of the earth comes,

                                for there is a dispute for the Lord

                        with the nations;

                               He has pleaded for all flesh.

                        The guilty? He gives them

                                to the sword, declares the Lord.’

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הִנֵּה רָעָה יֹצֵאת מִגֹּוי אֶל־גֹּוי וְסַעַר גָּדֹול יֵעֹור מִיַּרְכְּתֵי־אָרֶץ׃   25:32

Jere. 25:32   ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts:

                        ‘Behold, evil is going forth

                                 from nation to nation

                        and a great storm shall be roused

                                 from the extremes of the earth.’

וְהָיוּ חַלְלֵי יְהוָה בַּיֹּום הַהוּא מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ וְעַד־קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ לֹא יִסָּפְדוּ וְלֹא יֵאָסְפוּ וְלֹא יִקָּבֵרוּ   25:33   לְדֹמֶן עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה יִהְיוּ׃

Jere. 25:33   And the slain of the Lord

                                 shall be on that day

                        from one end of the earth

                                 and all the way

                        to the other end of the earth.

                                They shall not be mourned

                        or gathered or buried;

                                 for they shall be dung

                        on the surface of the ground.

הֵילִילוּ הָרֹעִים וְזַעֲקוּ וְהִתְפַּלְּשׁוּ אַדִּירֵי הַצֹּאן כִּי־מָלְאוּ יְמֵיכֶם לִטְבֹוחַ וּתְפֹוצֹותִיכֶם וּנְפַלְתֶּם    25:34         כִּכְלִי חֶמְדָּה׃

Jere. 25:34   Wail, you shepherds and cry,

                                 and coat yourselves in dust,

                        you leaders of flocks!

                                 For your days to slaughter are completed,

                        and I will break you apart

                                 and you shall fall like a precious vessel.

וְאָבַד מָנֹוס מִן־הָרֹעִים וּפְלֵיטָה מֵאַדִּירֵי הַצֹּאן׃   25:35

Jere. 25:35   So the place of refuge shall vanish

                                 because of the shepherds,

                        also deliverance,

                                 because of the leaders of the flock.

קֹול צַעֲקַת הָרֹעִים וִילְלַת אַדִּירֵי הַצֹּאן כִּי־שֹׁדֵד יְהוָה אֶת־מַרְעִיתָם׃   25:36

Jere. 25:36   A sound!  The cry of the shepherds

                                 and the wail of the leaders of the flock!

                        For the Lord devastates their pasture.

וְנָדַמּוּ נְאֹות הַשָּׁלֹום מִפְּנֵי חֲרֹון אַף־יְהוָה׃   25:37

Jere. 25:37   So shall the folds of safety be destroyed

                                 because of the fierceness

                        of the “anger” of the Lord.

עָזַב כַּכְּפִיר סֻכֹּו כִּי־הָיְתָה אַרְצָם לְשַׁמָּה מִפְּנֵי חֲרֹון הַיֹּונָה וּמִפְּנֵי חֲרֹון אַפֹּו׃   25:38

Jere. 25:38   He forsakes, like a lion, His covert

                                 that their land becomes for a horror,

                        because of the fierceness of the violence

                                 and because of the burning of His “anger.”

I believe it is difficult to understand and interpret this chapter.  Against whom is it written?  Judah and Jerusalem?  All the nations?  The prophets?  And when is the time to which it refers?  Is it mainly contemporaneous, or nearly so, with Jeremiah?  Is it at the end of the Babylonian Exile?  Or is Jeremiah describing the end of days?  I can’t figure it out.

 

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