Jeremiah 25:11 MEANING

Jeremiah 25:11
(11) Shall serve the king of Babylon seventy-years.--This is the first mention of the duration of the captivity. The seventy years are commonly reckoned from B.C. 606, the date of the deportation of Jehoiakim and his princes, to B.C. 536, when the decree for the return of the exiles was issued by Cyrus. In 2 Chronicles 36:21 the number is connected with the land "enjoying her Sabbaths," as though the long desolation came as a retribution for the people's neglect of the law of the Sabbatical year, and, perhaps, also for their non-observance of the weekly Sabbaths. (Isaiah 56:4; Jeremiah 17:21-22.) For the apportionment of the reigns of the Babylonian kings that made up the seventy years, see the Chronological Table in the Introduction. Symbolically the number, as the multiple of seven and ten, represents the highest measure of completeness (comp. Matthew 18:22).

Verse 11. - Shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Widely different opinions are held as to the meaning of this prophecy. The most probable view is that "seventy" is an indefinite or round number (as in Isaiah 23:17), equivalent to "a very long time." This is supported by the analogy of Jeremiah 27:7, where the captivity is announced as lasting through the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, his son, and his grandson - a statement evidently vague and indefinite (see ad loc.), and in any case not answering to a period of seventy years. Besides, we find the "seventy years" again in Jeremiah 29:10, a passage written probably eleven years later. Others think the number is to be taken literally, and it is certainly true that from B.C. 606, the fourth year of Jehoiakim, to the fall of Babylon, B.C. 539, sixty-seven years elapsed. But is it desirable to press this against the internal evidence that Jeremiah himself took the number indefinitely?

25:8-14 The fixing of the time during which the Jewish captivity should last, would not only confirm the prophecy, but also comfort the people of God, and encourage faith and prayer. The ruin of Babylon is foretold: the rod will be thrown into the fire when the correcting work is done. When the set time to favour Zion is come, Babylon shall be punished for their iniquity, as other nations have been punished for their sins. Every threatening of the Scripture will certainly be accomplished.And this whole land shall be a desolation,.... Not only the city of Jerusalem, but all Judea, without inhabitants, or very few, and shall be uncultivated, and become barren and unfruitful:

and an astonishment; to all other nations, and to all persons that pass through, beholding the desolations of it:

and other nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years; both the Jews, and other nations of Egypt, reckoning from the date of this prophecy, the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, when Daniel and others were carried captive, Daniel 1:1; to the first year of Cyrus.

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