Jeremiah 25:1-14 Seventy Years Of Desolation.
Again, unlike the false prophets who speak from the evil imaginations of their own deceitful hearts, Jeremiah received the word of the LORD and obeyed by going forth to proclaim it to the people (vv. 1-2). Jeremiah bears witness that from the start of his ministry (Cf. 1:2), to twenty three years out, he has risen early and spoken the word of the LORD to them, but they would not listen (v. 3). This echoes what he had said earlier (Cf. 7:13; 11:7-8, 10). The vast majority had broken the covenant, even as they refused to listen to all his previous servant prophets he had sent to them (v. 4). They all made clear that repentance was required if they were to escape the curses of the covenant (v. 5). The prohibition against idolatry was foundational to the covenantal bond (v. 6). Instead they provoked the LORD to anger with their spiritual adultery (v. 7).
Therefore the LORD would raise up a political and military servant in Nebuchadnezzar, through whom to execute his judgment on the covenant community (vv. 8-9). Moreover, he would “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 lamp” (v. 10). When a people rejects the voice of the LORD God, then the voices of blessing and prosperity cease. They and their land would be desolate, and along with some other nations, they would “serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (v. 11). At the end of the seventy years the LORD would then “‘punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation” (v. 12).
Two things are worthy of note here, God is the sovereign Lord of history, and that which is sown will one day be reaped (v. 14). We then find the remarkable promise of verse 13. “So I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning all nations.” Firstly, as another sign of a true prophetic word, what the LORD has predicted here through Jeremiah he promises will come to pass in his timing. Secondly, the words of this book are the words which Jeremiah prophesied. This period of seventy years “may be counted in round figures from 605 B.C. (v. 1; Dan. 1:1) to 538 B.C., when the exiles began to return home following Cyrus’s decree (2 Chr. 36:20-23). The seventy years allow the Lord’s (sic) word of judgment to have full effect before new salvation can be experienced.” (NGSB. 1193)