Seventy Years in Babylon
1A message from the Lord about all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah. It came in the fourth year that Jehoiakim was the king of Judah. It was the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. Jehoiakim was the son of Josiah. 2 Jeremiah, the Lord’s prophet, spoke to all the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He said, 3 “For 23 years the Lord’s messages have been coming to me. They began to come in the 13th year that Josiah was king of Judah. He was the son of Amon. The Lord’s messages still come to me today. I’ve spoken to you people again and again. But you haven’t listened to me.
4 “The Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you. They’ve come to you again and again. But you haven’t listened. You haven’t paid any attention to them. 5 They said, ‘Each of you must turn from your evil ways and practices. Then you can stay in the land forever. It’s the land the Lord gave you and your people of long ago. 6 Don’t follow other gods. Don’t serve them or worship them. Don’t make the Lord angry with the gods your own hands have made. Then he won’t harm you.’
7 “ ‘But you did not listen to me,’ announces the Lord. ‘You have made me very angry with the gods your hands have made. And you have brought harm on yourselves.’
8 “The Lord who rules over all says, ‘You have not listened to my words. 9 So I will send for all the nations in the north. And I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon,’ announces the Lord. ‘I will bring all of them against this land and against you who live here. They will march out against all the nations that are around this land. I will set apart Judah and the nations around it in a special way to be destroyed. People will be shocked because of them. And they will make fun of them. Those nations will be destroyed forever. 10 I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness. I will put an end to the voices of brides and grooms. The sound of grinding millstones will not be heard anymore. And lamps will not be lit anymore. 11 This whole country will become dry and empty. And these nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.
12 “ ‘But I will punish that king and his nation because they are guilty. I will do this when the 70 years are over,’ announces the Lord. ‘I will make that land a desert forever. 13 I have spoken against that land. And I will make all these things happen to it. Everything will happen that is written in this book. And I will make everything Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations come true. 14 The people of Babylon will become slaves of many other nations and great kings. I will pay them back for what they have done.’ ”
The Cup of God’s Great Anger
15 The Lord is the God of Israel. He said to me, “Take this cup from my hand. It is filled with the wine of my great anger. Make all the nations to which I send you drink it. 16 When they drink it, they will not even be able to walk straight. It will drive them out of their minds. I am going to send war against them.” 17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand. I made all the nations to which he sent me drink from it.
18 He sent me to Judah’s kings and officials. He told me to go to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. He wanted me to tell them they would be destroyed. Then people would be shocked because of them. They would make fun of them. They would use their name in a curse. And that’s how things still are today.
19 Here is a list of the other kings and nations he sent me to.
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt
his attendants, his officials, all his people
20 all the people from other lands who lived there
all the kings of Uz
the Philistine kings of Ashkelon, Gaza and Ekron
the Philistines still living in Ashdod
21 Edom, Moab, Ammon
22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon
the kings of the islands and other lands along the Mediterranean Sea
23 Dedan, Teman, Buz
all the other places far away in the east
24 all the kings of Arabia
all the other kings of people who live in the desert
25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media
26 all the kings in the north, near and far
So he sent me to all the kingdoms on the face of the earth, one after the other. They will all drink from the cup of the Lord’s anger. After they drink, the king of Babylon will drink from it too.
27 The Lord says, “Tell them, ‘The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, “Drink from this cup. Get drunk and throw up. Fall down and do not get up again. I am going to send war against you.” ’ 28 But they might refuse to take the cup from your hand. They might not want to drink from it. Then tell them, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “You must drink from it! 29 I am beginning to bring trouble on the city where I have put my Name. You might think you will not be punished. But you will certainly be punished. I am sending war against everyone who lives on earth,” announces the Lord who rules over all.’
30 “Jeremiah, prophesy against them. Tell them,
“ ‘The Lord will roar from heaven like a lion.
His voice will sound like thunder
from his holy temple there.
He will roar loudly against his land.
He will shout like those who stomp on grapes in winepresses.
He will shout against everyone who lives on earth.
31 The noise of battle will be heard
from one end of the earth to the other.
That’s because the Lord will bring charges against the nations.
He will judge every human being.
He will kill sinful people with his sword,’ ”
announces the Lord.
32 The Lord who rules over all says,
“Look! Horrible trouble is spreading
from one nation to another.
A mighty storm is rising.
It is coming from a place
that is very far away.”
33 At that time those the Lord kills will be lying around everywhere. They will be found from one end of the earth to the other. No one will mourn for them. Their dead bodies will not be gathered up or buried. Instead, they will be like human waste lying there on the ground.
34 Weep and cry, you shepherds.
Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
Your time to be killed has come.
You will fall like the best of the rams.
35 The shepherds won’t have any place to run to.
The leaders of the flock won’t be able to escape.
36 Listen to the cries of the shepherds.
Hear the weeping of the leaders of the flock.
The Lord is destroying their grasslands.
37 Their peaceful meadows will be completely destroyed
because of the Lord’s great anger.
38 Like a lion he will leave his den.
The land of those leaders will become a desert.
That’s because the sword of the Lord brings great harm.
His anger will burn against them.