Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
25:1. “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;”
The year was 605 BC, and
time had almost run out for rebel Judah, for Jehoiakim had only another seven
years left to reign, his successor reigning for just three months, and his
successor, Zedekiah the last king of Judah reigning only eleven years before
being slain by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC, at the end of the final siege of
Equally wicked apostate
Christendom may have even less time left, for the Rapture could occur today,
leaving only what is believed to be a very brief interval before the
seven-year Tribulation begins, during the final three and a half years of
which the whole fabric of society will be left in ruins by wars, famine, and
pestilence worse than any the world has ever known.
It was this chapter to which
Daniel made reference in Dan 9:2 relative to Judah’s seventy-year captivity in
25:2. “The which
Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,”
God’s faithful servant
didn’t hesitate to declare the woeful tidings to all the people, including the
king and the great men in Jerusalem; and if no other lesson is learnt from
this it is that we too have a similar responsibility to warn men of the
imminence of the terrible judgments with which a righteous God is about to
punish equally wicked Christendom which has been foremost in setting an evil
example for the rest of the world.
25:3. “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
For twenty-three years,
beginning in the thirteenth year of the good king Josiah, Jeremiah had
faithfully warned the people of coming judgment, but they had refused to
listen, choosing rather to mock God’s messenger, and thus indirectly mock God
The warning given to
apostate Christendom has continued for two thousand years, each generation
having that warning available to it in the Scriptures, besides the warnings
given by faithful believers of each generation, but the result has been the
same as that which attended Jeremiah’s faithful preaching: each generation,
with the exception of the very few individuals who have heeded the warning,
repented, and trusted Christ as Savior, has ignored the written Word, and
mocked God’s messengers. World conditions today indicate that this may well
be the last generation to receive warning, for everything points to the
imminence of the threatened Tribulation judgments.
The need of obedience,
however, isn’t limited to unbelievers. There is very great need for believers
to heed the warning given in Ezek 33 relative to those who are aware of coming
judgment, but who fail to warn others, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked
man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his
way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require
at thine hand,” Ezek 33: 8.
25:4. “And the
Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and
sending them; but you have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.”
A faithful God Who is “not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Pe
3:9, has gone to infinite trouble to warn men of the need to avail themselves
of His “so great salvation,” but like heedless Judah, men have refused to
listen, none being more indifferent or more hostile to that warning than
today’s Christendom, except for the generation of Israel which crucified the
Lord Jesus Christ.
said, Turn ye again now every one 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:”
This was the message
delivered by the earlier prophets, but not by Jeremiah. The generation of his
day had crossed the invisible line that separates God’s mercy from His wrath.
By failing to repent in His time they had irrevocably sealed their doom, and
must perish, so that his warning was of coming unmitigated judgment.
“Turn ye ... every one
from his evil way,” emphasizes the fact that salvation is a personal
God’s having given the land
unto them and to their fathers “for ever and ever,” has to be understood in
its proper context. That was a bona fide offer to every generation of Israel,
but it was contingent on their obedience, see, for example, De 8:19-20, and no
generation has yet fulfilled that Divine requirement; but the repentant
believing remnant that will emerge alive from the Great Tribulation, will be
that Israel, God’s promise being made good to them in the Millennium.
25:6. “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.”
Jeremiah reminded them of
the conditions of blessing which they had promised to keep, but they had
quickly turned away from Jehovah, and had bowed themselves down in worship to
the idols of the surrounding nations, thus incurring His wrath, and cutting
themselves off from blessing.
As has been noted in our
study of earlier chapters, apostate Christendom has been guilty of the same
evil, for though there may be no visible idols, only the spiritually blind
will deny that Mammon, Pleasure, Education, and a host of lesser gods, are
worshiped today with the same devotion as were Israel’s actual idols. And as
Israel’s idolatry brought the judgment of God upon their guilty heads, so will
that of apostate Christendom bring similar judgment in the now imminent
25:7. “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.”
disobedience wasn’t accidental. They had sinned deliberately, thus provoking
God not just to anger, but to furious anger. It is to be remembered that He
had ordained appropriate offerings for the expiation of relatively minor
offences, but none for serious sins deliberately committed, as for example
that of David, whose confession and penitent cry are recorded in Ps 51, after
Nathan the prophet had come to him in connection with his, David’s, sin with
Bathsheba. Sin of deliberate commission could be expiated only by sincere
repentant contrition exercised in anticipation of the Lord’s sin-atoning
“... to your hurt.” Hurt is
the inevitable concomitant of sin, for there is no sin that doesn’t harm the
offender and another in time or eternity, and that doesn’t offend God Who
cannot permit sin to go unpunished without impugning His Own holy character,
something He will not do.
thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,”
25:9. “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
a hissing, and perpetual desolations.”
God warned them that His
punishment for their rebellion would be His destruction of them and the
neighboring nations by a northern coalition under the leadership of
Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, the destruction of Judah’s allies being
not only for aiding Judah, but for having first taught her to worship idols,
the threat being fulfilled in 586 BC.
The practical lesson for
believers is to be careful not to “stumble others,” i.e., lead astray other
believers, see Ro 14 and 1 Cor 8:9-13.
The latter part of the verse
“... an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations” is also
translated “an object of horror, of ridicule, and of everlasting reproach” -
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.”
They would be bereft of all
that had formerly made life pleasant, the happy activities of normal society
being exchanged for the misery of slavery under harsh taskmasters in a foreign
A similar dire change awaits
Christendom in the impending Great Tribulation which will bring the
dissolution of the whole structure of society, as the world is ravished by
war, famine, disease, and anarchy, worse than anything that has ever been on
the earth. And a still more terrible future awaits all those who die without
having repented of their sin, and having trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as
Savior. They will descend into the torment of hell to await the resurrection
of damnation, and the consignment of body, soul, and spirit to eternal torment
in the lake of fire following the judgment of the great white throne, Rev
Since millstones grind wheat
which is a symbol of Scripture as spiritual food; and since the candle or lamp
is a symbol of the Word as “a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path,”
Ps 119:105, the reference here to the absence of both may be the symbolic
announcement of the truth that rebel Judah was about to experience the loss of
those blessings. They had considered them of little worth when they were
available, but would realize the value of what they had lost when God made them
So is it with those now in
hell, and so will it be with apostate Christendom when she finds herself
engulfed in the terrible Tribulation judgments.
25:11. “And this
whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall
serve the king of
Babylon seventy years.”
“... desolation ...
astonishment” are also rendered devastated and reduced to a desert: a
scandal and a horror. With its inhabitants in Babylonian bondage, the
untended land would become a virtual desert evoking the astonished horror of
those who looked upon it.
The reason for the
seventy-year captivity is given in 2 Chr 36:21, “To fulfil the word of the
Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as
long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten
years.” In Lev 25 God had commanded that the land be allowed to lie fallow
every seventh year thus keeping a sabbath, He promising to give in the sixth
year enough to last until the harvest of the eighth year would be ready.
Greedy Israel, however, for four-hundred and ninety years had ignored that
command, but God enforced His word ensuring that the land did enjoy those
seventy sabbaths during the seventy-year captivity.
In the present context the
king of Babylon is a type of the Tribulation age Beast emperor, so that in the
devastated land God is showing us in symbol what the whole world will have
become at the end of the seven year Tribulation era, the judgments of the
final three and a half years of the Beast’s reign bringing the whole world to
That coming literal ruin of
the earth is itself a symbolic picture of the eternal spiritual ruin that will
be the portion of all who depend on mere religion for salvation, instead of in
the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. It will bring them first into hell, and
following the judgment of the great white throne, into the eternal torment of
the lake of fire.
25:12. “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.”
This was fulfilled when Medo-Persia
overcame Babylon, the Persian king Cyrus authorizing the return of the Jews to
Palestine, as recorded in 2 Chr 36:20-23; Ezra 1.
Chaldea was simply another
name for Babylon, which even then would have been largely desert except for
the extensive system of irrigation canals which rendered it fertile. With the
collapse of Babylon that watering system fell into decay, causing the greater
part of the land to revert to its original desert state, a state which has
continued until today, and which according to this prediction, will continue
Keeping in mind that
typologically Babylon represents false religion, the perpetual desert state of
the land is the symbolic declaration of the truth that false religion governs
the spiritual sphere which is also barren desert, and which brings its dupes
down to eternal death. Apostate Christendom is the spiritual equivalent of
25:13. “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.”
History confirms the
accuracy, not just of this particular prophecy, but of a very large percentage
of prophecy in general, that fulfillment furnishing very convincing evidence
that the little bit awaiting accomplishment will come to pass with the same
degree of accuracy. It is instructive to note, in fact, that the Bible is the
only book that has dared to foretell the future, and leave history to confirm
the accuracy of its predictions, and leaving the skeptic to explain how mere
men could have foretold future events with such precision.
That same book declares the
awful future awaiting the man who dies unconverted, and he is a very great
fool who ignores its pronouncements.
Many competent scholars see
in the “all the nations” an indication that Jeremiah’s prophecies go far
beyond the immediate future of his own day to embrace the nations of today’s
world, the wickedness of Judah being so similar to that of Christendom as to
lend support to their view.
25:14. “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
This verse clearly goes
beyond the nations of that day, and thus confirms what has been discussed
above, i.e., that Jeremiah’s prophecy is world-wide, embracing in its scope
our present day world, for Babylon was only one of many nations that have
exploited the Jews through the centuries. And as God punished Babylon for her
treatment of His people, so will He also judge every other such nation, it
having been written concerning His relationship to the Jews, “... he that
toucheth you toucheth the apple (pupil) of his (God’s) eye,” Zec 2:8.
If this is the measure of
God’s love for His earthly people, how much greater must be His love for
believers of this Church age, of whom it is written that we are, “... members
of his (Christ’s) body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” Eph 5:30, and again,
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular,” 1 Cor 12:27!
25:15. “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.”
The language is metaphoric.
The prophet was to carry to all the nations to which God sent him the warning
of impending irrevocable judgment, their wickedness having filled that cup of
wrath, i.e., the judgment would be in proportion to the measure of their
rebellion against God.
The same principle applies
to every man. The degree of torment to be suffered eternally by every
unbeliever in the lake of fire will be according to the measure of his sin;
the reward given every believer at the Bema will be proportionate to the
faithfulness of his service.
Christ prayed, “Father, if
it be possible let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not my will, but thine
be done,” but He drained that deadly cup of wrath at Calvary, and in doing so
filled a cup of life and blessing for all who will confess themselves sinners,
and trust Him as Savior. That cup of life, however, may not be available
tomorrow. Tomorrow you could be dead, leaving you to drink instead, first in
hell, and then for ever in the torment of the lake of fire, that terrible cup
of judgment you yourself have filled.
25:16. “And they
shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send
“... be moved” means to
reel or stagger; and “be mad” means be crazed: as madmen. As a
result of their being compelled to drink the cup of God’s wrath, i.e., their
being slaughtered, and the survivors being carried away captive by the
Babylonians, they would become like drunken, crazed men in their terror and
helplessness against the foe. And so will it be with multitudes in the
quickly approaching Great Tribulation.
took I the cup at the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto
whom the Lord had sent me:”
The language continues to be
metaphoric, and means simply that Jeremiah conveyed to the people the warning
of their inescapable doom given Him by God. The prophet’s faithfulness in
conveying a message which the majority would reject, and respond to by mocking
and hating him, rebukes our disobedience, for we too have been commissioned by
God to announce virtually the same warning to apostate Christendom and a
godless world. An even more terrible judgment is about to engulf the whole
world in the rapidly approaching Tribulation, yet must we not admit with shame
that we seldom open our mouths to warn men of their danger, and to tell them
how to prepare for death by confessing themselves sinners, and by trusting in
the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior?
25:18. “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;”
Beginning with Jerusalem
(judgment must begin at the house of God, 1 Pe 4:17, their privileges being
greater by reason of their having been given more enlightenment) and the king,
God’s faithful messenger had gone throughout the whole land warning the people
of the terrible judgments with which God was about to requite their
wickedness, some of those judgments having already made the land a desolation
through drought, and having made the people themselves objects of derision and
hatred, their very name being used in the invocation of a curse.
“... as it is this day”
wasn’t limited to the prophet’s lifetime, for as it was then so has it been
until today, and so will it continue until the Millennium. This is a further
evidence that what Jeremiah has written wasn’t limited to that bygone day, but
is equally applicable to the present, the partial fulfillments of 586 BC and
70 AD being but foreshadowings of the now imminent Tribulation judgments.
king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;”
This and the following
verses make it clear that the prophecy wasn’t just for the generation of Judah
addressed by Jeremiah, nor for the nations of that day: it included the whole
world, and nations which didn’t then exist, see, for example verse 26, and
confirms its applicability to this present day, every sign pointing to the
imminence of the foretold judgments.
The Egypt of that day was to
suffer God’s judgment, as will the Egypt of today.
25:20. “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,”
“... the mingled people”
were the foreign population of Egypt.
The term, “the remnant of
Ashdod” is used because it had been virtually destroyed in an earlier war.
The location of Uz is
uncertain, but believed to have been in the general area of Edom; and Azzah is
considered to have been another name for Gaza thus making all of these, except
Uz, Philistine cities, so that the statement is of the judgment to come upon
the land of Uz, and upon the Philistine kings and their cities. Since,
however, the Philistines represent apostasy, their destruction points to the
coming destruction of the great apostate travesty, Christendom headed up by
the Roman church so-called, and to be destroyed in the coming Great
and Moab, and the children of Ammon,”
These three groups, though
blood relatives of the Israelites, were their enemies, and they are usually
regarded as being representative of the flesh in its constant antagonism to
the spirit. Their foretold destruction is the symbolic announcement of the
truth that for the believer the flesh will ultimately be destroyed, his
earthly body being replaced with a glorious spiritual body fashioned like unto
that of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereas the unbeliever will suffer eternal
torment, not only in his soul and spirit, but in his body also.
25:22. “And all
the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles
which are beyond the sea,”
Tyre and Zidon and all the
coastal cities of the Mediterranean were also to be destroyed; but it is
instructive to note that in Ezek 28 the king of Tyre is addressed as though he
were Satan, which serves to remind us that that evil spirit is the unseen
power behind the thrones of earth, every unconverted ruler - and most of them
are unconverted - being simply his minion. What is written in this verse is
the assurance that in the Millennium Satan will be imprisoned in the
bottomless pit, and will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire, the Lord
Jesus Christ reigning supreme not only in the Millennium, but eternally.
and Tema, and Buz and all that are in the utmost corners,”
There is uncertainty about
the exact location of Dedan, but if the city mentioned here is the Dedan south
of Edom it was a prosperous caravan center.
Tema was in northwest
Arabia; and all that is known of Buz is that it was the name of an Arab people
descended from Buz, the brother of Abraham.
The latter half of this
verse is also translated, “”Buz and all that have the corners of their hair
cut off,” and if this translation is accepted, the reference is to Arab
peoples, who unlike the Jews, shaved the hair on their cheeks and in front of
their ears, and who were despised by the Jews.
25:24. “And all
the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the
The latter part of this
verse refers to the nomadic tribes living in the Arabian desert.
25:25. “And all
the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the
Nothing is known of Zimri.
Elam lay just north of the Persian Gulf; and the kingdom of the Medes was
southwest of the Caspian Sea.
25:26. “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.”
The kings of the north
appear to include far distant northern kingdoms which didn’t then exist, or
were so far distant as to be unknown by the peoples around the Mediterranean
Sea. This, together with “all the kingdoms of the world,” seems to support
the view that the prophecy embraces also the present.
Sheshach was another name
for Babylon, and the words “shalt drink after them” mean simply that Babylon
and its king would be the last of those nations to drink from that terrible
wine cup of Divine judgment. A further significance may lie in the fact that
Babylon represents the world of false religion, so that the reference here may
be not only to the Babylon of that day, but to the destruction of the great
harlot one-world church in the now imminent Tribulation, see Rev 17 and 18.
“Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of
Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue (vomit), and fall, and rise no
more, because of the sword which I will send among you.”
“... the Lord of hosts” is
literally “the Lord of armies,” and points to His ability to carry out the
Having, by His compulsion,
drunk of that terrible cup of judgment, the rebel nations would become like
drunken men, staggering around helplessly, falling in their own vomit (their
physically filthy state corresponding to their equally filthy spiritual
“... and rise no more.”
They would be utterly destroyed, God using the Babylonians as His instrument.
The destruction of those evil nations, however, is the foreshadowing of that
which is about to engulf this present evil world in the Great Tribulation.
25:28. “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.”
Their refusal to take the
cup refers to their rejection of the message, not of the judgment itself,
their rejection of the message being powerless to avert the destruction. And
so is it today. A scoffing, unbelieving Christendom, and a godless world
laugh at the application of this prophecy to them also: the former believing
only in the existence of a God too loving to punish sin; and the latter
refusing to believe even in the existence of God at all. But as the nations
of Jeremiah’s day suddenly discovered the terrible reality of the foretold
destruction, so will those of this present evil age also experience the same
dreadful awakening in the fast approaching Tribulation. Their unbelief will
not avert the threatened judgment.
25:29. “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.”
God was about to bring
judgment upon His own city Jerusalem, hence His question as to why the equally
sinful nations imagined that they could escape His judgment. Clearly they
The nations today would do
well to consider the impossibility of their escaping His wrath, since He did
not spare His Own Son when that Son made Himself accountable for our sins.
The reference to “all the
inhabitants of the earth” continues to indicate that Jeremiah’s prophecy
embraces today’s world as well as that of his own day.
“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.”
The Lord’s roaring from His
holy place in heaven is like that of an angry lion about to pounce on a flock
of sheep, and is so loud that it echoes across the whole heaven, reverberating
like the shout of those who tread the grapes at harvest time.
This reference to the
treading of grapes points also to judgment, for the process is used in
Scripture as a metaphor for judicial destruction, see Isa 63:1-6; Re 14:19-20;
“... against all the
inhabitants of the earth” continues to point to the still future judgment of
the nations in the Great Tribulation.
25:31. “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.”
This continues to point to
the still future judgment of all the nations in the Great Tribulation, many
dying by war, famine, and disease during that dreadful era, the surviving
wicked being cast bodily into hell by the Lord Jesus Christ just prior to the
inauguration of His millennial kingdom.
“... plead” is used here in
the context of a court trial.
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 (ends) of the earth.”
“... evil” is also
translated calamity: disaster: ruin; and “whirlwind” is translated
mighty storm, tempest, and their going forth “from nation to nation”
declares that the terrible disasters will involve all nations. This also
points very clearly to the terrible Tribulation judgments that will leave the
world in ruins, for no disasters however great have yet affected the world to
the extent indicated here.
25:33. “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.”
The language continues to
point to what will be in the impending Tribulation, for nothing like this has
ever been known; but the weapons of mass destruction presently stockpiled
should leave no doubt in any rational mind that the slaughter described here
is not only possible and probable, but in fact inevitable. Scripture does not
employ extravagant language, nor do the prophesies already fulfilled - and to
the letter - furnish any reason to expect anything but the literal fulfillment
of what is written in this verse.
25:34. “Howl, ye
shepherds (rulers), and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal
(chiefs) of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions
(scattering) are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.”
The direct application was
to the leaders of Judah at the time Jeremiah spoke. Their destruction and
scattering were imminent, being fulfilled in the Babylon captivity; but the
ultimate application is to leaders and people alike worldwide today, and in
the quickly approaching Tribulation.
Their falling “like a
pleasant vessel” i.e., a precious delicate vase, means that they who had once
been precious to Jehovah had made themselves worthless to him. By its
rebellion, the once precious “vessel” Judah, had reduced itself to the
equivalent of that same vessel irreparably shattered. She had crossed
irrevocably over the invisible line that separates God’s mercy from His
wrath. They were about to be destroyed.
The tragedy is repeated
daily by those who resist the striving of the Holy Spirit and thus doom
themselves eternally, God’s warning to all men being, “My spirit shall not
always strive with man,” Ge 6:3, and, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth
his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy,” Pr 29:1.
25:35. “And the
shepherds (rulers) shall have no way to flee, nor the principal (chiefs) of
the flock to escape.”
Once a man or a nation has
crossed the invisible line that separates eternal life from eternal death, it
is doomed without hope of escape, hence the imperative of heeding God’s
warning, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
salvation,” 2 Cor 6:2. How bitter will be the eternal wailing of those who by
repeated rejection of God’s pardon and gift of eternal life, make themselves
the objects of His eternal wrath! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the
hands of the living God,” Heb 10:31.
The fact that this warning
is addressed to the leaders may not be taken to mean that the common people
would escape: they wouldn’t. The leaders represented the whole nation. What
was said to them was for all the people.
25:36. “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.”
The spoiling of their
pastures is generally understood to mean that God was going to make desolate
the fertile land He had graciously given their fathers, a land flowing with
milk and honey. The spiritual truth being declared to all men is that for
those who reject God’s gift of eternal life, the pleasant things of this world
will give way to awful eternal torment, first in hell, and eternally in the
lake of fire.
25:37. “And the
peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”
“... peaceful habitations”
is also translated peaceful meadows or pastures: quiet sheep folds:
All that had made life
enjoyable would be taken away, and exchanged for the misery of slavery to
harsh taskmasters in Babylon. The ultimate application is to those who die
unsaved, no contrast being greater than what is represented by “peaceful
habitations,” and what they will have to endure eternally in the unquenchable
flame of the dreadful lake of fire.
25:38. “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.”
Some understand the first
part to have reference to a lion abandoning its lair, the desolation of the
land having left it without prey. Others take it to be Jehovah, Who as a
mighty lion watching over and protecting Judah, had now abandoned them to
their enemies, and making the land desolate. The context indicates that the
latter is the more accurate interpretation.