Jeremiah 25 Commentary
The LORD would punish Israel for her wickedness. Not exactly the right statement from this chapter. The LORD would punish Israel for failing to listen to the word of the LORD. Yes, you have sinned and I understand, but repent; forsake idolatry and return to me. This is the word of the LORD that Israel has not heeded. And it is Israel’s failure to heed the word of the LORD that causes all the problems.
Yes, there is wickedness in the world – ever increasing, but that isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem is humanity’s failure to heed the word of the LORD. Repent. Return to the LORD. That is the key!
But it hasn’t happened for Judah. So the LORD decrees 70 years of enslavement. It is seventy years of banishment from the land of promise. It is similar to the famous banishment from Eden – the Garden of the LORD. The reader is invited to ponder the symbolism and visuals in scripture.
Nebuchadnezzar is called the LORD’s servant because he is simply a faithful tool that the LORD uses to inflict punishment on Judah. But Babylon has her own day in court. The Babylonians will be punished for their own guilt. Verse 12.
“They themselves will be enslaved by the many nations and great kings.” Verse 14. Is the LORD referring to the Medes and the Persians?
The second section of chapter 25 deals with the rest of the people on the earth. The day will come when the LORD will judge the entire earth – all peoples.
See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? Verse 29a. This is God’s message to the nations and to us today. We can read about Judah’s punishment and always feel they are fools for failing to do the simple things of life. Well, we have the same exam right in front of our noses.
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