*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
The Prophet now, as I have said, shews more clearly why the time of the captivity and exile had been defined, even that the faithful might know that God would not forget his covenant, though he deprived the people of the inheritance of the land. These words were not addressed indiscriminately to the whole body of the people, as we have observed before in other places; but the Prophet intended to consult the benefit of God's elect, who always retained a concern for true religion; for they must have a hundred times despaired had not this promise been added. This, then, was a special doctrine intended as food for God's children; for he addressed, as it was apart, the elect and faithful only. God says also, that at the end of seventy years he would visit the iniquity of the king of Babylon, and of his whole people. We hence learn that Nebuchadnezzar was not called God's servant because he deserved anything for his service, but because God led him while he was himself unconscious, or not thinking of any such thing, to do a service which neither he nor his subjects understood to be for God. Though, then, the Lord employs the ungodly in executing his judgments, yet their guilt is not on this account lessened; they are still exposed to God's judgment. And these two things well agree together, -- that the devil and all the ungodly serve God, though not of their own accord, but whenever he draws them by his hidden power, and that they are still justly punished, even when they have served God; for though they perform his work, yet not because they are commanded to do so. They are therefore justly liable to punishment, according to what the Prophet teaches us here. Grant, Almighty God, that as we see everywhere evidences of thy wrath, and as our own conscience convinces every one of us, so that we are constrained to confess that we are all, from the highest to the lowest, guilty before thee, -- O grant that we may in due time return to the right way, and seek to be reconciled to thee, and never doubt but that thou wilt be merciful and gracious to us, whenever we solicit pardon in the name of thy only-begotten Son; and may we also be so reconciled to thee, that we may know that thou art indeed with us as our Father, by ruling us by thy Spirit, so that thy name may to the end be glorified, through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- Amen.
Perpetual desolations - The ruins of Babylon form its only lasting memorial.
And that nation - הגוי ההוא haggoi hahu. Dr. Blayney contends that this should be translated his nation, and that ההוא hahu is the substantive pronoun used in the genitive case. It is certainly more clear and definite to read, "I will punish the king of Babylon, and His nation."
Will make it perpetual desolations - See the note on Isaiah 13:19, where the fulfillment of this prophecy is distinctly marked.
And it shall come to pass, when (i) seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish (k) 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.
(i) This revelation was for the confirmation of his prophecy because he told them of the time that they would enter and remain in captivity, (2-Chronicles 36:22; Ezra 1:1; Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:2).
(k) For seeing the judgment began at his own house, the enemies must be punished most grievously, (Ezekiel 9:6; 1-Peter 4:17).
And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished,.... Which were accomplished in the first year of Cyrus: they began with the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned two years and two months with his father Nabopolassar; after that forty three years by himself; Evilmerodach two years: Neriglissar four years; Belshazzar or Nabonadius seventeen years; and Darius the Median two years; which all make sixty nine years and two months; and if ten months more be added to complete the said seventy years, it will carry the end of them to the first year of Cyrus (g). These years are differently reckoned by others; by Spanhemius, from the first of Nebuchadnezzar, or fourth of Jehoiakim, to the destruction of the city under Zedekiah, nineteen years; thence to the death of Nebuchadnezzar, twenty four; then Evilmerodach, two; then the reign of Neriglissar, including some months of Laborosoarchod, five; then the years of Nabonadius, or Belshazzar, seventeen; and from his death, or the taking of Babylon, to the death of Darius the Mede, two years; which make sixty nine, exclusive of the first of Cyrus; and comes to much the same as the former. By James Alting thus; from the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, complete, to his death, twenty six years; Evilmerodach, twenty three; Belshazzar, three; Darius the Mede, eighteen, after the destruction of the Babylonish empire; which seems very wrong; better, by Dr. Lightfoot, thus; Nebuchadnezzar, forty five current; Evilmerodach, twenty three; and Belshazzar, three (h). So the Jewish chronicle (i):
that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity; the king for his tyranny, and the nation for their idolatry; and both for these and other sins they were guilty of; for, though they did the will of God in carrying the Jews captive, they no doubt in their usage of them exceeded their commission, and were justly punishable for their iniquities. This is not to be understood of the present king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar; but of Nabonadius, or Belshazzar, whom the Lord punished by Cyrus; who appears to have been a very wicked man, and in the excess of not, profaning the vessels of the temple the night he was slain, Daniel 5:1;
and the land of the Chaldeans; and will make it perpetual desolations; even as other nations had been made by them, Jeremiah 25:9.
(g) See Prideaux's Connexion, par. 1. B. 2. p. 130. (h) Vid. Witsii Exercitat. 11. in Miscel. Sacr. tom. 2. p. 282, 283. (i) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 28. p. 81.
The overthrow of the king of Babylon's sovereignty. - Jeremiah 25:12. "But when seventy years are accomplished, I will visit their iniquity upon the king of Babylon and upon that people, saith Jahveh, and upon the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it everlasting desolations. Jeremiah 25:13. And I bring upon that land all my words which I have spoken concerning it, all that is written in this book, that Jeremiah hath prophesied concerning all peoples. Jeremiah 25:14. For of them also shall many nations and great kings serve themselves, and I will requite them according to their doing and according to the work of their hands."
The punishment or visitation of its iniquity upon Babylon was executed when the city was taken, after a long and difficult siege, by the allied Medes and Persians under Cyrus' command. This was in b.c. 538, just 68 years after Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar for the first time. From the time of the fall of Babylon the sovereignty passed to the Medes and Persians; so that the dominion of Babylon over Judah and the surrounding nations, taken exactly, last 68 years, for which the symbolically significant number 70 is used. The Masoretes have changed the Chet. הבאתי into הבאתי (Keri), because the latter is the usual form and is that which alone elsewhere occurs in Jeremiah, cf. Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 36:31; Jeremiah 49:36.; whereas in Jeremiah 25:9 they have pointed הבאתים, because this form is found in Isaiah 56:7; Ezekiel 34:13, and Nehemiah 1:9. - The second half of the Jeremiah 25:13, from "all that is written" onwards, was not, of course, spoken by Jeremiah to the people, but was first added to explain "all my words," etc., when his prophecies were written down and published.
Accomplished - Counted from the time that the Jews were carried away in the time of Jeconiah or Jehoiakim, 2-Kings 24:15-16. Desolations - This was fulfilled by Darius, the king of Persia, Daniel 4:31, of these seventy Nebuchadnezzar reigned thirty six, 2-Kings 25:27. Evil - merodach thirty two, and Belshazzar at least two, Daniel 8:1.
*More commentary available at chapter level.