Judah's people will be in a foreign land for 70 years
1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Jehoiakim ruled Judah as king. Jehoiakim was the son of King Josiah. It was also the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. The Lord's message was about the people of Judah. 2 So the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the people who were living in Jerusalem.
3 He said, ‘For 23 years the Lord has been giving me his messages. I started to tell you his messages when Amon's son Josiah had been ruling Judah for 13 years. I have continued to tell you many times what the Lord has said, even until today. But you have refused to listen.
4 The Lord has also sent his servants, the prophets, to speak to you many times. You have refused to listen to them too. 5 The Lord's message to you was, “Turn away from your wicked way of life. Stop doing the evil things that you are doing. If you do that, you may continue to live in this land. It is the land that the Lord gave to you and to your ancestors to be their home for ever. 6 Do not look for other gods that you can serve and worship. Do not continue to do things that make me angry. Then I will not hurt you.”
7 So now the Lord says, “You have refused to listen to my messages. You have continued to do things that make me angry. So you have brought trouble on yourselves.”
8 The Lord Almighty says, “You have not listened to my messages. 9 So I, the Lord, tell you that I will call the nations in the north to come. I will call my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to come. I will bring them to attack this land and the people who live here. They will also attack all the nations that are around you. I will completely destroy this land, its people and all the nations around it. Their houses will become heaps of stones for ever. The land will become a terrible place. People will always see how foolish my people are. 10 Everywhere, I will stop people's happy songs and their marriage parties. Nobody will make flour any more. Nobody will light lamps in their homes. 11 This whole place will be as empty as a desert. Nobody will live here. The people of Judah and these other nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.”
12 The Lord also says, “But after the 70 years have finished, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation. I will punish them for their sins. I will destroy the land of the Babylonians. It will be a heap of stones for ever. 13 I will certainly do to them all the terrible things that I have spoken about. I will do to them everything that is written in this book. I will cause them to have all the trouble that Jeremiah prophesies against all the nations. 14 Many nations and great kings will have power over the king of Babylon and his people. The Babylonians will become their slaves. In that way, I will punish the Babylonians for all the bad things that they did to my people.” ’
Jeremiah's vision of a cup of wine
15 The Lord, Israel's God, said to me, ‘Take this cup from me. It is full of wine that shows my great anger. Take it to the nations where I send you. Make them drink this wine of punishment. 16 When they drink it, they will walk like people who are drunk. They will seem to be crazy, because they know that I will send armies to attack them.’
17 So I took the cup from the Lord's hand. In my vision, I took it to the nations where the Lord sent me. I made them drink the wine of his punishment. 18 I went to Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. I made the people of Judah, its kings and its officers drink from the cup. It was to destroy them all. Judah would become a terrible place. People would see that its people are very foolish. They would use their name as a curse. That is already happening today.
19 I also took the cup of punishment to these people:Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his officers, his servants and his people; 20 the foreign people who lived in Egypt;all the kings of Uz;all the kings of the Philistines (They were the kings of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and the people who were still living in Ashdod); 21 the people of Edom, Moab and Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre and all the kings of Sidon;the kings of the nations around the Mediterranean Sea; 23 the people of Dedan, Tema, and Buz;the people who live in the desert and who cut their hair short; 24 all the kings of Arabia and the kings of the tribes who live in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media; 26 all the kings of the nations in the north, those who live near together and those who live far apart;the people of all the other kingdoms everywhere on the earth.
Finally, the king of Babylon will have to drink the wine of the Lord's great anger.
27 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Tell them that the Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says, “Drink the wine from this cup until you become drunk. Drink so much that you are sick. Drink it until you fall down and cannot get up again, because you know that I will send armies to attack you.”
28 But people may refuse to take the cup from you. They may refuse to drink from it. Then you must tell them that the Lord Almighty says this: “You must drink this wine of my punishment! 29 I have already begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that is my special home. So do not think that I will leave you other nations alone! I will certainly punish you too. I will send war against everyone who lives on the earth. That is what the Lord Almighty says will happen!”
30 Now Jeremiah, prophesy this message against them:
“The Lord will shout from his high place above.
He will roar like a lion that is ready to attack his land.
He will make a noise like thunder from his holy home.
He will shout aloud like people who are stamping on grapes
to make wine.
He will shout against everyone who lives on the earth.
31 People everywhere will hear his message.
The Lord will accuse the nations of their sins,
and he will judge all the people on the earth.
He will send war to kill all the wicked people.”
That is what the Lord says.
32 The Lord Almighty also says this:
“Listen to me! Great trouble will come to every single nation.
War will come like a great storm
from the ends of the earth.”
33 At that time, dead bodies will lie everywhere,
all over the earth.
Those will be people that the Lord has killed.
Nobody will weep for them.
Nobody will take their bodies
to bury them in the ground.
Their dead bodies will lie on the ground like dung.
34 You leaders should have been like shepherds
to take care of my people.
But now it is time for you to weep!
Roll on the ground in the dust!
The time of your death has arrived.
You will lie on the ground,
like pieces of a broken pot.
35 The leaders will not be able to run away and hide.
The shepherds of my people will not escape.
36 Listen to the leaders as they weep!
The Lord's people were like their sheep.
Now the shepherds are weeping loudly,
because the Lord is destroying their fields.
37 The Lord will completely destroy the fields
where the sheep quietly ate the grass.
He will do that because he is very angry.
38 The Lord will come out,
like a lion that comes out of its cave.
He will make their land a terrible place.
Cruel armies will destroy the land,
because of the Lord's great anger.’