Seventy years of captivity
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the peo ple of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, which was the first year of Nebu chad nezzar, king of Baby lon. 2 And this word was transmitted by the prophet Jeremiah to all the people of Judah and to all the citizens of Jeru salem:
3 “For twenty-three years, that is, from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon until today, the word of Yahweh has come to me and I have continuously spoken to you, 4 but you would not listen. Besides Yahweh has sent his servants the pro phets to you again and again, but you neither listened nor paid attention. 5 They said, ‘Turn from your evil ways and repent of your wicked deeds that you may live in the land that Yahweh gave to you and your ancestors forever and ever. 6 Do not turn after other gods to serve and worship them. Do not provoke my anger with these things your own hands have made, and I will do you no harm.’ 7 But you refused to listen – it is Yahweh who speaks – and provoked my anger with these gods you yourselves have made to your own detriment.
8 That is why Yahweh God of hosts says to you: Since you have not listened to what I said, 9 I will summon all the clans of the north – it is Yahweh who speaks – and my steward Nebu chad nezzar will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy these people, making them desolate, an object of ridicule, an everlasting ruins. 10 I will banish from them every sound of joy and happiness, the song of the bride and bridegroom, the noise of the mill and the light of the lamp.
11 All the land will be a ruin and a desolation and for seventy years these na tions will serve the king of Babylon.
12 (But after seventy years I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation for their guilt – it is Yahweh who speaks – and I will make it for ever desolate!)
13 On this land I will now bring all that I fore told, all that is written in this book. 14 They will be subject to great nations and kings! I will re pay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
The cup of God’s wrath
15 Yahweh, the God of Israel, instructed me, “Take from my hand this cup of wine and let all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. 16 They will drink and stagger and lose control of their minds before the sword I am sending among them.”
17 So I took the cup from Yahweh’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink from it: 18 ( ) to bring them in ruins, a desolation which is an object of ridicule and curses, as they are today. 19 Then I gave it to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to his ministers, his princes and all his people, to all the countries of the west, 20 to all the kings of Uz, to all the kings of the Philistines in Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and those left at Ashdod; 21 to all the people of Edom, Moab and Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon: the kings of the coastlands across the sea; 23 Deda, Tama, Buz and 24 all the kings of Arabia and the kings of the west and the kings of those who live in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, Elim and Media and 26 all the kings of the north, far and near, one after the other; all the kings that are found on the face of the earth! And after them the king of Babylon shall drink it!
27 You will say to them, “This is the message of Yahweh the God of hosts and the God of Israel: ‘Drink, get drunk, vomit, fall without raising again in front of the sword I am sending against you.’
28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, tell them, ‘Yahweh the God of hosts has spoken: You also must drink. 29 When you see that I am punishing first the city where my Name rests, do you think you will be spared? No, you will not, for I am personally bringing down a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth – it is Yahweh God of hosts who speaks.’
30 You will communicate all these words to them and say, “Yahweh roars on high and from his holy dwelling threatens all the inhabitants of the world. His mighty roar echoes to the farthest ends of the earth. 31 For Yahweh judges all the nations and passes sentence against all humankind, and he abandons the wicked to the sword – word of Yahweh.”
32 Yahweh, God of hosts, says, “See, disaster spreads from nation to nation. A storm arises from the ends of the earth. 33 On that day Yah weh’s victims will be spread from one end of the earth to the other. No one will mourn for them; no one will gather them up or bury them – they will be like dung on the soil!
34 Howl, shepherds, and lament!
34 Roll in the dust you leaders of flocks for the day of slaughter and dispersal has come for you and you will fall like fattened rams.
35 The shepherds will find no refuge and the leaders of the the flocks will not be able to escape.
36 The shepherds cry out and the leaders of flocks wail, 37 for Yahweh lays waste the grasslands, and the pastures are silent because of the fury of Yahweh’s anger.
38 Like a lion he leaves his lair; be cause of his fierce wrath the land has been stricken by the sword and has be come a wasteland.”