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Explain Jeremiah 25:17

Drinking the cup of the wrath of the LORD.

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Jeremiah 25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:

The cup in question is not a literal cup. Jeremiah did not travel to all the nations and officials listed with a literal cup.

By pronouncing the words of God against the nations (and writing them down) Jeremiah was causing them to drink (ie receive the words). Those who would not ‘receive the words (ie believe them) would nonetheless ‘drink’ (experience) what was prophesied.

Jeremiah 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.

It may well be that the prophecy was sent in the form of a scroll or document to the nations named but we are not specifically told this.We see the metaphor used in the New Testament.

John 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

The meaning is that Jesus must fulfil that which was prophesied of him.

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

The words of God through Moses and the prophets concerning Christ constituted the cup which he was to drink.Similarly the metaphor of drinking for receiving words.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Jeremiah’s cup was a cup of God’s fury which was to be meted out by Babylon.

Jeremiah 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.16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

The metaphor is used often in scripture.

Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Psalms 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Psalms 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalms 73:10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

Psalms 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Psalms 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Isaiah 51:17Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.

Isaiah 51:22Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:

Ezekiel 23:31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand.

Revelation 16:19And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

And so on.

If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course available on our website, www.thisisyourbible.com? This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort... You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith

 
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