Jeremiah 25 – Judah’s Captivity & The 70 Years of Captivity

Hands OutI see that slavery is nothing new and I think it’s still going on today.  In the United States it isn’t legal anymore, but I think it still happens, but they call it Human Trafficking.

1 Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchadnezzar II
By the 7th century BC, ancient Babylonia fell under the shadow of other powers in the region. But then a great king was born — it was time for Babylon to rise again.

Nebuchadnezzar II was Babylon’s great builder king, reigning from 605 until 562 BC. In his more than 40 years of rule, Nebuchadnezzar II extended the borders of his kingdom and undertook immense architectural efforts in his cities, most notably in the capital of Babylon.

For one, the iconic, glimmering-blue Ishtar Gate was commissioned under his command, the reconstruction of which can today be seen in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

 Jeremiah 25
Judah’s Captivity

1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon;

 25:1-29:32 – the dominant theme in chapters 25-29 is the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and exile to Babylon in 586 B.C. (hinted at briefly in 24:10).

25:1-38 – divine judgment will descend not only on Judah but on “all … nations round about.”

“Fourth year of Jehoiakim…first year of Nebuchadnezzar” – the synchronism yields the date 605 B.C.

2 The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,

3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.

“Thirteenth year of Josiah” – 626 B.C. or possibly as early as 627 B.C.

4 And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.

5 They said, Turn ye again now everyone from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:

6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

8 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,

9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.

2 Sennacherib of Assyria
Sennacherib was the king of Assyria from 705 BCE to 681 BCE. He is principally remembered for his military campaigns against Babylon and Judah, and for his building programs – most notably at the Akkadian capital of Nineveh.

He was assassinated in obscure circumstances in 681 BCE, apparently by his eldest son (his designated successor, Esarhaddon, was the youngest).

The primary preoccupation of his reign was the so-called “Babylonian problem”, the refusal of the people of Babylon to accept Assyrian rule, culminating in his destruction of the city in 689 BCE.

Further campaigns were carried out in Syria, in the mountains east of Assyria, against the kingdoms of Anatolia, and against the Arabs in the northern Arabian deserts.

His campaigns in Syria are recorded in the Second Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible. His death was welcomed in Babylon as divine punishment for the destruction of that city.

He was also a notable builder: it was under him that Assyrian art reached its peak. His building projects included the beautification of Nineveh, a canal 50 km long to bring water to the city, and the “Palace Without Rival”, which included what may have been the prototype of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or even the actual Hanging Gardens.

“Families of the north” – Babylon and her allies.

10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

25:11-12 – “Seventy years” – this round number, as in Ps 90:10; Isa 23:15, probably represents the period from 605 to 538 B.C., which marked the beginning of Judah’s return from exile.  The 70 years of Zech 1:12 are not necessarily the same as those here and in 29:10.

They probably represent the period from 586, when Solomon’s temple was destroyed, to 516 B.C., when Zerubbabel’s temple was completed.

12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

“Punish the king…and that nation” – the city of Babylon was captured by the Medes and Persians in 539 B.C., near the end of Jeremiah’s 70 years.

13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.

“Book” – after this word, the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) inserts the material found in chapters 46-51, though rearranged.

14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.

“Great kings” – Cyrus and his associates.

15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.

16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:

18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;

19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;

25:19-26 – the roster of nations begins with Egypt and ends with Babylon, as in chapters 46-51, but Damascus is omitted and a few other regions are added.

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 Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,

“Remnant of Ashdod” – according to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichus I (664-610 B.C.) destroyed Ashdod after a long siege.  By Nehemiah’s time, it was inhabited again.  The fifth main Philistine city, Gath, though important earlier was destroyed and apparently not rebuilt (in later centuries it is no mentioned with the other four cities).

21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,

22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea,

23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners,

24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,


25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes,

3 The Queen of the Night Relief
The “Queen of the Night” Relief
(1800-1750 B.C.E., Old Babylonian, baked straw-tempered clay, 49 x 37 x 4.8 cm, Southern Iraq © Trustees of the British Museum)..

This large plaque is made of baked straw-tempered clay, modeled in high relief. The figure of the curvaceous naked woman was originally painted red. .

She wears the horned headdress characteristic of a Mesopotamian deity and holds a rod and ring of justice, symbols of her divinity. Her long multi-colored wings hang downwards, indicating that she is a goddess of the Underworld. Her legs end in the talons of a bird of prey, similar to those of the two owls that flank her. v
The background was originally painted black, suggesting that she was associated with the night. She stands on the backs of two lions, and a scale pattern indicates mountains..

The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and war, or Ishtar’s sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal who ruled over the Underworld, or the demoness Lilitu, known in the Bible as Lilith. The plaque probably stood in a shrine.

“Zimri” – not to be confused with the Israelite king of that name, Zimri is perhaps the same as Zimran, whom Keturah bore to Abraham (see Gen 25:1-2).  The region known as Zimri (location unknown) would then have been named after him.

26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

“Sheshach” – a cryptogram for Babylon.  The cryptogram is formed by substituting the first consonant of the Hebrew alphabet for the last, the second for the next-to-last, etc.  Its purpose is not fully understood, though in some cases the cryptogram itself bears a suitable meaning.

27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.

28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.

29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.

30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.

32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

35 And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.

36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture.

37 And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

38 He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion: for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.

The 70 Years of Captivity

The prophetic expression describing the time of Judah’s captivity as “seventy years” (Jer 25:11, 12, 29:10) has prompted speculation throughout the history of interpretation.

The systems of the ancient Near East were predominantly hexadecimal (based upon ascending groups of six), and that maximum number that could be easily calculated was 60.  The number 70 may have been used in the same way in Jeremiah 25.

As in Israel’s announcement that Tyre would be desolate for 70 years (Isa 23:15, 17), and a similar usage may be reflected in the Black Stone of Esarhaddon, in which Marduk decreed displeasure against Babylon for 70 years. 

4 Babylon in 1932
A 1932 photograph of the Lion of Babylon from the Matson collection in U.S. Library of Congress.
The Lion of Babylon, a 2600 year-old black basalt statue of a lion trampling a man, is among the most celebrated archeological artifacts in the history of modern Mesopotamia since its discovery by local villagers in the early 20th Century.

The irony is that the basalt statute does not seem to be of Mesopotamian or Babylonian origin despite the fact that it was unearthed in the heart of the ancient city of Babylon. Most archeologists believe that the statue is a leftover from the Hittites’ presence in Babylon who sacked the city in the 2nd millennium BC.

The original context of the prophetic word was the fourth year of Jehoiakim of Judah and the first of Nebuchadnezzar (605 B.C.).  “Until this very day” (Jer 25:3) Jeremiah anticipated a period of devastation and judgment during which Judah would serve Babylon.

Upon the completion of this interval, the prophet expected that divine judgment would be visited upon Babylon and Judah and that Jerusalem would be restored (29:10-14).

King Jehoiakim began to serve the Babylonians by politically consigning Judah as a vassal state in 604 B.C.  Almost 70 years later Babylon was captured by the Persians, bringing about the end of Babylonian sovereignty over Judah and initiating the process of exilic return under Cyrus the Great (539/538 B.C.).

The interpretation of Jeremiah’s 70 years of captivity as the approximate period between 604-539/538 B.C. is more explicitly stated in later Biblical texts. 

According to 2 Chr 36:20-21, divine judgment was executed against the Judahites by the Babylonian king in that “they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persian came to power…until the 70 years were completed.

“Both the Chronicler (2 Chr 36:22) and Ezra 1:1 interpreted the edict of Cyrus, which authorized the return of the exiles and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2-4, 6:1-12), as the fulfillment of the prophetic word of Jeremiah.

A different calculation of the “Seventy years of captivity” appears to underlie Zechariah 1:2 and 7:5.  There it denotes the interval between the physical destruction of the temple (586 B.C.) and its rededication 515 B.C.).

We’ve talked about all these evil organizations, like the Illuminati, the Church of Satan, The Skull and Bones, the Catholic Church, the fake Jews, and yesterday we talked about Satan’s children, so now I’m wondering, how long is the list of the devil’s puppets, You know, the idiots like the Bushs, Clintons and Obamas that think they are great and powerful?

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