Jeremiah 25


Kings of Judah
2 Kings
2 Chronicles
1 Nephi and Jer
(640-609 BC)
2 Kgs. 22:1-2
2 Chron. 34:1-7
Jer. 1-3
2 Chron. 34:8-19
2 Kgs. 22:3-20
Jer. 11
2 Chron. 34:20-33
Jer. 7-8
2 Kgs. 23:21-23
2 Chron. 35:1-19
Jer. 4-6
2 Kgs. 23:24-28
2 Chron. 35:20-27
2 Kgs. 23:29-30
Jer. 9-10
Jehoahaz or Shallum
2 Kgs. 23:31-35
2 Chron. 36:1-4
Jer. 22-23
Jehoiakim or Eliakim
(609-598 BC)
2 Kgs. 23:36-37
Jer. 12-13, 26, 25, 35-36, 45-49
2 Chron. 36:5-8
2 Kgs. 24:1-7
Jer. 15-20
Jehoiachin or Coniah
2 Chron. 36:9-10
2 Kgs. 24:8-16
Jer. 24
(598-587 BC)
2 Kgs. 24:17-20
2 Chron. 36:11-16
1 Ne. 1, Jer. 27-31, 21, 37-38
2 Kgs. 25:1-3
Jer. 32, 14, 33-34
2 Kgs. 25:4-21
2 Chron. 36:17-21
Jer. 39, 52:1-30, 40
2 Kgs. 25:22-26
Jer. 41-44, 50-51
2 Kgs. 25:27-30
Jer. 52:31-34
(Jeremiah chapters 11, 14, and 50-51 are placed based on content rather than chronology in an effort to match current events with Jeremiah’s prophecies. The prophecies may have been given either earlier or later.)
Jeremiah 25:1  the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Mosiah… was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar

Chronologically, this is the first we hear of Nebuchadrezzar.  He will be the Babylonian leader to destroy Jerusalem.  Near this time, he starts his military exploits against surrounding powers. 

Now in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, one whose name was Nebuchadnezzar took the government over the Babylonians, who at the same time went up with a great army to the city Carchemish, which was at Euphrates, upon a resolution he had taken to fight with Neco king of Egypt, under whom all Syria then was. And when Neco understood the intention of the king of Babylon, and that this expedition was made against him, he did not despise his attempt, but made haste with a great band of men to Euphrates to defend himself from Nebuchadnezzar; and when they had joined battle, he was beaten, and lost many ten thousands [of his soldiers] in the battle. So the king of Babylon passed over Euphrates, and took all Syria, as far as Pelusium, excepting Judea. But when Nebuchadnezzar had already reigned four years, which was the eighth of Jehoiakim's government over the Hebrews, the king of Babylon made an expedition with mighty forces against the Jews, and required tribute of Jehoiakim, and threatened upon his refusal to make war against him. He was affrighted at his threatening, and bought his peace with money, and brought the tribute he was ordered to bring for three years. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book X, 6:1)

Jeremiah 25:3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah… even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year

Some prophets have brief ministries.  Howard W. Hunter was the Prophet for only 3 months.  Brigham Young was the Prophet for 30 years. Jonah preached in Nineveh less than 40 days (Jonah 3:4).  Samuel the Lamanite preached for “many days” in the eighty and sixth year but when he was done, “he was never heard of more among the Nephites” (Hel. 13:1; 16:8).

Jeremiah has been at it for 23 years and it has not been fun.  Perhaps, his message was well received at first under the reign of righteous King Josiah, but for the last 4-5 years, his words have fallen on dead ears, stiff necks, and hard hearts.  His longevity should have given him some credibility with the Jews, but it didn’t, “I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.”

Jeremiah 25:4 the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them

If you include Ezekiel, Daniel, and Lehi, whose ministries are just about to begin, then there are quite a few prophets contemporary to Jeremiah:  Hulda the prophetess (2 Kgs. 22), Jeduthun the seer (2 Chron. 35:15), Urijah (Jer. 26:20), Zephaniah (Zeph 1:1), Habakkuk (see BD), and Nahum (see BD).  Micah preceded this group, warning the Jews of destruction (Jer. 26:18).  The flow of prophets, many unnamed, continues as recorded by Nephi:

For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah… that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.” (1 Ne. 1:4)

Jeremiah 25:11 these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years

In Jewish history, these seventy years of servitude in Babylon has a name—the Exile.  History and literature is organized into pre-exilic and post-exilic categories.  Just as the children of Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness of Sinai until every adult had died, so 70 years in Babylon would be long enough for every accountable soul to die before the return from Babylon.  It would seem the Lord wanted an entirely new generation to re-establish Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.

“The Babylonian Captivity had a number of serious effects on Judaism and Jewish culture. For example, the current Hebrew script was adopted during this period, replacing the traditional Israelite script. This period saw the last high-point of biblical prophecy in the person of Ezekiel, followed by the emergence of the central role of the Torah in Jewish life. According to many historical-critical scholars, the Torah was altered during this time, and began to be regarded as the authoritative text for Jews. This period saw their transformation into an ethno-religious group who could survive without a central Temple.

“This process coincided with the emergence of scribes and sages as Jewish leaders (see Ezra). Prior to exile, the people of Israel had been organized according to tribe. Afterwards, they were organized by smaller family groups. Only the tribe of Levi continued in its temple role after the return.” (

“Jeremiah prophesied that Judah would serve the Babylonians for 70 years and then be liberated (see Jer. 25:11–12). Ezra records the fulfillment of this prophecy when Cyrus, king of Persia, conquered Babylon and decreed that the Jews, or those of the kingdom of Judah, were free to return to their country and rebuild their city and temple (see Ezra 1). Details concerning the conditions of their captivity are scarce. It appears, though, that many retained their identity as Jews and longed to return to their land (see Ps. 137). However, when Cyrus gave them permission to return, only a minority actually did so. 2 Chapter 2 of Ezra provides a census of the families who returned. The rest remained in the communities of what was the Persian empire. Some surely continued faithful to their spiritual heritage, while others were assimilated into the local population.” (Paul K. Browning, “Gathering Scattered Israel: Then and Now,” Ensign, July 1998, 58)

Jeremiah 25:15-28 cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it

Jeremiah is a Jewish prophet but he is not a prophet just to the Jews.  His mantle includes the responsibility to warn the entire world.  Whether other nations recognize it, Jeremiah is the Lord’s prophet, and he has a message for them.  It is symbolized by a bitter drink of wine—a judgment from the Lord—“the wine cup of… fury.”  Look at all the nations who must drink of it—a destruction from the Lord: 

  1. Egypt,
  2. Uz,
  3. Philistines,
  4. Ashkelon,
  5. Azzah,
  6. Ekron,
  7. Ashdod,
  8. Edom,
  9. Moab,
  10. Ammonites,
  11. Tyrus,
  12. Zidon,
  13. the isles which are beyond the sea,
  14. Dedan,
  15. Tema,
  16. Buz,
  17. All that are in the utmost corners
  18. Arabia,
  19. the mingled people that dwell in the desert,
  20. Zimri,
  21. Elam,
  22. Medes,
  23. The north far and near,
  24. Sheshach, and
  25.  All the kingdoms of the world
Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear: 
Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. (D&C 1:11-13)
Ezra Taft Benson
Contemplate the great responsibility that rests on the Church today to carry the message to the entire world. I cannot think of a greater responsibility. (“News of the Church,” Ensign, May 1986, 107)
George Q. Cannon
It is not a pleasant duty for men to discharge, to have to warn their fellowmen of impending evil. It is much more pleasant to predict peace and to say, “You are all right, you are doing just what you ought to do. Keep on.” We are all pleased when we are praised and are told that our course is a proper one; but it has been the unpleasant duty of the Elders of this Church to bear a different testimony. They have been commanded to say to the people, “You are doing wrong; you are going to destruction; and you must turn round and repent or God will scourge you and remove you out of your place.” For saying these things the Latter-day Saints have been mobbed. For the first sixteen years of their organization they were driven from place to place, and in order to escape further trouble, after their leading men had been murdered for bearing this testimony, they had to flee into the desert… (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 4, July 8, 1894)
Wilford Woodruff
I wish to warn all nations of the judgments of God which are at their doors. Thrones will be cast down, nations will be overturned, anarchy will reign, all legal barriers will be broken down, and the laws will be trampled in the dust. You are about to be visited with war, the sword, famine, pestilence, plague, earthquakes, whirlwinds, tempests, and with the flame of devouring fire; by fire and with the sword will God plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord will be many. The anger of the Lord is kindled and His sword is bathed in heaven, and is about to fall upon Idumea, or the world. And who is able to abide these things? And who will stand when He appeareth? (Wilford Woodruff, His Life and Labors, comp. Matthias F. Cowley [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1916], 511 - 512)
Jeremiah 25:30-33 the Lord hath a controversy with the nations
John Taylor
Elders were told that we approached the latter times, when God would have a controversy with the nations, and the message which
they had to proclaim was that which was described by John when wrapped in prophetic vision upon the Isle of Patmos. Among other great and important events he said, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.” This was the commission given by the Lord to the Latter-day Saints. This is the mission we have been trying to carry out from that time to the present; and I myself have traveled tens of thousands of miles without purse or scrip, trusting in God, to teach these holy principles, and so have many of my brethren by whom I am surrounded. (Journal of Discourses, 23:49)
Orson Pratt
The Lord has a controversy among all the nations of the Gentiles. He has sent to them a warning. He has sent his servants to prophesy to them. He has sent them to preach and bear record of the truth. He has sent them to call upon the nations to repent, both high and low, rich and poor, religionist and non-religionist, priest and people, for all of them to repent and receive the Gospel in its fullness, and not only to do this, but to gather out from these nations. Will they hear? They will not. We know they will not; but this does not justify us in being slack in delivering our message. We have a responsibility placed upon us, and that responsibility we must fulfill, whether the people hear, or whether they forbear, we must warn them, so that they shall not have any excuse, when the tribulations shall come which I have named. (Journal of Discourses, 20:150)
Wilford Woodruff
I want the Latter-day Saints to understand their position. Our trust is in God. With regard to men, it is our duty to treat our fellowmen aright, to leave them in the hands of God if they persecute us. The Lord has a controversy with this generation. This Bible, the Old and New Testament, contains a vast amount of, I will say, tremendous revelations, tremendous events, which hang over the heads of the people of this dispensation. Are these events going to fall unfulfilled? No; no more than they did in the days of the fall of Babylon, of Nineveh, of Jerusalem, and of other cities in the nations of the earth. When the inhabitants of Jerusalem became ripe in iniquity; though Jerusalem was the royal city, in which was the Urim and Thummim, and in which sacrifices were made unto the Lord, yet the city was laid low, and the Jews have been trampled under the feet of the Gentiles for 1,800 years. We are living at the commencement of the Millennium, and near the close of the 6,000th year of the world's history. Tremendous events await this generation. You can read an account of them in the revelations of St. John; the opening of the seals; the blowing of the trumpets; the pouring out of the plagues; the judgments of God which will overtake the wicked when Great Babylon comes in remembrance before God, and when the sword that is bathed in heaven shall fall on Idumea, or the world, who shall be able to abide these things? Here we are living in the midst of these tremendous events. (Journal of Discourses, 25:9-10)
Orson Pratt
O, ye children of Zion! Do you suppose that the Lord has forgotten, because many years have passed away, your tribulation, your sacrifices if they can be called such—your mobbings and persecutions in times that are past? No. They are written as it were on the palms of his hands, they are printed indelibly upon the thoughts of his heart. He has all these things in remembrance, and a day of controversy is coming, and it is not far in the future—a controversy for Zion; a controversy with all the nations of the earth that fight against Mount Zion—the Lord has all these things in his mind, and he will fulfil them in his own due time and season. (Journal of Discourses, 21:177)
Brigham Young
When my mind is opened by the visions of the Lord to see the weeping, the wailing, and distress of the nations, that many who now live will see, there is not a person in this room that could bear it. There are no eyes looking upon me that could bear to see the awful distress that the nations are bringing upon themselves—to look upon the judgments of the Almighty that they are bringing upon themselves. (Journal of Discourses, 7:205)