Jer 25.1-38 is a prophecy about the destruction of Judah and other nations by the king of Babylon, and of Babylon itself after the seventy years of captivity.
v 1…The word (davar) came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Yehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (he reigned two years with his father Nabopolasser-time is running out for Judah with less than twenty years before the final siege),
v 2…which Jeremiah the prophet spoke spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem (warning everyone), saying,
v 3…”From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again (literally “rising up early” meaning he was diligent and zealous), but you have not listened.
v 4…And the Lord (Yehovah) has sent to you all his servants the prophets (like Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Huldah, etc) again and again (“rising up early”), but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear,
v 5…saying, ‘Turn now every one from his evil way (we all have our own way of evil) and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever (l’olam vaed);
v 6…and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke me to anger with the work of your hands (idols), and I will do you no harm.
v 7…Yet you have not listened to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘in order that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm (what sin does).’
v 8…Therefore (as a result) thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah of the armies), ‘Because you have not listen to my words,
v 9…behold (see for yourself, take note), I will send and take all the families of the north (Babylon and all those in alliance with them),’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (who will carry out God’s plan), my servant, and I will bring them against this land, and against its inhabitants, and against all these nations round about (Judah’s allies); and I will make them a horror, and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation (“olam” but not a forever desolation-Jer 31.4).
v 10…Moreover (and in addition), I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstone (no grain for food) and the light of the lamp (no oil and the houses will be empty; daily life will cease).
v 11…And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations (Judah and their neighbors) shall serve the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar now in control of Babylon after his father is dead) seventy years (beginning 606 BC-Dan 9.2).
v 12…Then it will be when the seventy years are completed (the edict of Cyrus) I will punish (with Medo-Persia) the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the Lord, ‘for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and will make it an everlasting (olam) desolation (ruin).
v 13…And I will bring upon that land (Babylon) all my words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations (Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Edom, Arabis, Persia, Ammon, Syria, including Babylon-Jer 46 through 51).
v 14…For many nations and great kings shall make slaves of them, even them (of the nations listed above); and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the work of their hands (measure for measure).'”
v 15…For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of my wrath (stupefying judgment-Rev 18.6; Lam 4.21; Isa 51.19-22) from my hand and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it (have it all come upon them).
v 16…And they shall drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”
v 17…Then I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations drink, to whom the Lord sent me:
v 18…Jerusalem and the cities of Judah (heading the list because judgment begins with the household of God), and its kings (Yehoiakim, Yeconiah, Zedekiah) and its princes, to make them a horror, a hissing, and a curse, as it is this day;
v 19…Pharaoh king of Egypt (they are mentioned first because they were Judah’s main ally so Babylon struck them first-Jer 46.2), his servants, his princes, and all his people;
v 20…and all the foreign people (mixed people near the borders of Egypt), all the kings of the land of Uz (near the borders of NW Edom and Egypt where Job was), all the kings of the land of the Philistines (even Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and the remnant of Ashdod);
v 21…Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon (Jer 48 and 49);
v 22…and all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon (Jer 47.4), and all the kings of the coastlands which are beyond the sea (along the Mediterranean and on its islands);
v 23…and Dedan, Tema, Buz (in Arabia) and all the utmost corners (Arabians who bordered Israel), all who cut the corners of the edges (the cheeks and the front of the ears which is a pagan custom);
v 24…and all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign (mingled) people who dwell in the desert);
v 25…and all the kings of Zimri (Arabian tribe going east towards the Euphrates), all the kings of Elam (Persians), and all the kings of Media (Medes);
v 26…and all the kings of the north, near and far (in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates), one with another; and all the kingdoms of the earth which are upon the face of the ground, and the king of Sheshach (or “Babel”-the name of an idol god in Babylon, from where the name Babylon came from; in addition, using a technique called At-Bash, the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet were put in reverse order, so Sheshach meant Babel) shall drink (the cup of wrath) after them (last of all).
v 27…And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Drink, be drunk (with the cup of wrath), vomit, fall, and rise no more (totally destroyed) because of the sword which I will send among you.'”
v 28…”And it will be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink (refuse Jeremiah’s message of destruction), then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “You shall surely drink!
v 29…For behold (see for yourself), I am beginning to work calamity (evil) in this city which is called by my name (Jerusalem where Yehovah’s name was called upon), and shall you be free from punishment (if that city is destroyed)? You shall not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,” declares the Lord of hosts.’
v 30…Therefore (as a result) you shall prophesy against them all these words, and you shall say to them, ‘The Lord will roar from on high (like an angry lion, dreadful and terrifying), and utter his voice from his holy habitation (heaven, the “upper sanctuary” because judgment will fall on Jerusalem and his earthly Temple, the “lower sanctuary”); he will roar mightily against his fold (the picture is of a lion devastating a flock of sheep. Yehovah will roar like a lion among his flock, and then to other nations). He will shout (Hebrew (“hedad” or make a great noise) like those who tread the grapes (a regular shout to keep time as they tread), against all the inhabitants of the earth (this has allusions to the birth-pains, or tribulation period, before Messiah comes).
v 31…A clamor (noise) has come to the end of the earth (sound of war everywhere), because the Lord has a controversy (a quarrel or argument) with the nations (they will enter into legal and judicial proceedings). He is entering into judgment with all flesh (like he will during the birth-pains or tribulation period); as for the wicked (rashim) he haas given them to the sword,’ declares the Lord.”
v 32…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold (see), evil is going forth (progressing) from nation to nation, and a great storm is being stirred up from the remotest parts of the earth (rising and expanding to other nations).
v 33…And those slain by the Lord (Yehovah by war) on that day (alludes to the day of the Lord) shall be from one end of the earth to the other (the dead will be everywhere). They shall not be lamented, gathered, or buried-Jer 16.4); they shall be as dung on the face of the ground (decaying, acting as fertilizer).”
v 34…”Wail (howl), you shepherds (rulers) and cry (he calls for them to mourn); and wallow (in ashes), you masters of the flock (the strong ones, wealthy); for the days of your slaughter and your dispersions (those scattered) have come, and you shall fall like a choice vessel (a fine piece of pottery that falls and is broken).
v 35…Flight shall perish from the shepherds (nowhere to run; no way out), and escape from the masters of the flock (a parallelism).
v 36…Hear the sound of the cry of the shepherds, and the wailing of the masters of the flock! For the Lord is destroying their pasture (their kingdoms, cities, towns of people).
v 37…and the peaceful folds (where they live) are made silent (cut down) because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
v 38…He has left his hiding place like a lion (refers to heaven as God’s covert dwelling-Hos 5.15); for their land has become a horror (waste) because of the fierceness of the oppressor, because of his fierce anger (God’s anger in destroying not only Judah, but the other nations mentioned).”