Jeremiah 51:7
Babylon has been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
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(7) Babylon hath been a golden cup . . .—The “golden cup” points to the splendour of Babylon, outwardly, as a vessel made to honour (see Notes on Jer. 1.37). But the “wine” in that cup was poisoned, intoxicating men with wild ambitions and dark idolatries. The same image re-appears in Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:4, save that there the “golden cup” is in the hand of the harlot, “whose name is MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT.”

51:1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, Re 18:9,19. The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.Literally, "A golden cup is Babel in the hand of Yahweh, intoxicating the whole earth." Jeremiah beholds her in her splendor, but the wine whereof she makes the nations drink is the wrath of God. As God's hammer Jeremiah 50:23, Babylon was strong: as His cup of gold, she was rich and beautiful, but neither saves her from ruin. 7. Babylon is compared to a cup, because she was the vessel in the hand of God, to make drunken with His vengeance the other peoples (Jer 13:12; 25:15, 16). Compare as to spiritual Babylon, Re 14:8; 17:4. The cup is termed "golden," to express the splendor and opulence of Babylon; whence also in the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar (Da 2:38) the head representing Babylon is of gold (compare Isa 14:4). A golden cup, because of her great riches and plenty. God hitherto had made me of Babylon as a rod in his hand, and had given her riches, and power, and prosperity proportioned to the service he had for her to do; what she did she did by commission from God; therefore this golden cup is said to have been

in the Lord’s hand. She had made all the nations about her drunken with the Lord’s fury, conquering them all, and making them mad through the misery and smart they felt from her. Babylon in Daniel is compared to a head of gold; and, Revelation 17:4, she is said to have a golden cup in her hand; but the meaning is no more than this, that God had raised up Babylon to great degrees of dignity and splendour, intending to make use of her to execute his vengeance upon many other people; and he did accordingly so use her, to give the cup of his fury to many nations to the enraging of divers people; but now the course of his providence toward her was altering, &c. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord,.... Either so called from the liquor in it, being of a yellow colour, or pure as gold, as the Jewish commentators generally; or from the matter of it, being made of gold, denoting the grandeur, splendour, and riches of the Babylonian empire; which, for the same reason, is called the head of gold, Daniel 2:38; this was in the hand of the Lord, under his direction, and at his dispose; an instrument he make use of to dispense the cup of his wrath and vengeance to other nations, or to inflict punishment on them for their sins; see Jeremiah 25:15; or else the sense is, that, by the permission of God, Babylon had by various specious pretences drawn the nations of the earth into idolatry, and other sins, which were as poison in a golden cup, by which they had been deceived; and this suits best with the use of the phrase in Revelation 17:4;

that made all the earth drunken; either disturbed them with wars, so that they were like a drunken man that reels to and fro, and falls, as they did, into ruin and destruction; or made them drunk with the wine of her fornication, with idolatry, so that they were intoxicated with it, as the whore of Rome, mystical Babylon, is said to do, Revelation 17:2;

the nations have drunken of her wine, therefore the nations are mad: they drank of the wine of God's wrath by her means, being engaged in wars, which proved their ruin, and deprived theft of their riches, strength, and substance, as mad men are of their reason; or they drank in her errors, and partook of her idolatry, and ran mad upon her idols, as she did, Jeremiah 50:38; see Revelation 18:3.

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the {d} LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunk: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are {e} mad.

(d) By whom the Lord poured out the drink of his vengeance, to whom it pleased him.

(e) For the great afflictions that they have felt by the Babylonians.

7. a golden cup] In ch. Jeremiah 25:15 f., Jeremiah was commanded to make the nations drink of the wine of God’s wrath. Babylon is here spoken of under the same figure, as having made all the nations drunk, but the wine in this case, as the epithet “golden” suggests, denotes the influence for evil which her brilliance and luxury have upon the nations. She is called a golden cup from the splendour and glory which belonged to her as an empire. For the N.T. application of the figure see Revelation 17:4. See also Nahum 3:4.

are mad] Cp. Jeremiah 25:16.Verse 7. - Babylon, as the instrument used by God for his judicial purposes, is likened to a wine cup, which "made all the earth drunken" (comp. Jeremiah 25:15, 16); and, more than this, to a golden cup, such was the impression made upon the Jewish prophets, by Babylon's unexampled splendour. (Golden cups were not unknown in Palestine; Jehu sent some to Shalmaneser; Smith, 'Assyrian Canon,' p. 114.) So, in Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the image, the head of the image is of gold (Daniel 2:32, 38). But neither her splendour nor her honourable position as God's minister could save her from merited destruction. In Jeremiah 51:1-4, the terrible character of the hostile nation is further described. Against Babylon and the inhabitants of Chaldea, God stirs up the "spirit of a destroyer," viz., a savage nation that will massacre the Chaldeans without pity. לב , lit., "the heart of mine adversaries," is the word כּשׂדּים, changed, according to the canon Atbash (see on Jeremiah 25:26), for the purpose of obtaining the important meaning that Chaldea is the centre of God's enemies. This explanation of the name involves the thought that all enmity against God the Lord culminates in Babylon; on the basis of this representation Babylon is called, Revelation 17:5, "the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." רוּח משׁחית does not mean καύσωνα διαφθείροντα (lxx), ventum pestilentem (Vulgate), "a sharp wind" (Luther), nor, as it is usually translated, "a destroying wind;" for העיר רוּח is nowhere used of the rousing of a wind, but everywhere means "to rouse the spirit of any one," to stir him up to an undertaking; cf. Haggai 1:14; 1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Chronicles 21:16, and 2 Chronicles 36:22. Jeremiah also employs it thus in Jeremiah 51:11, and this meaning is quite suitable here also. משׁחית is a substantive, as in Jeremiah 4:7 : "the spirit of a destroyer." The figure of winnowing, which follows in Jeremiah 51:2, does not by any means necessarily require the meaning "wind," because the figure contained in the word זרוּה was first called forth by the employment of זרים, "strangers" equals barbarians. The sending of the זרים to Babylon has no connection with the figure of the wind, and it even remains a question whether זרוּה really means here to winnow, because the word is often used of the scattering of a nation, without any reference to the figure of winnowing; cf. Leviticus 26:33; Ezekiel 5:10; Ezekiel 12:15, etc., also Jeremiah 49:32, Jeremiah 49:36. However, this thought is suggested by what follows, "they empty her hand," although the clause which assigns the reason, "because they are against her round about" (cf. Jeremiah 4:17), does not correspond with this figure, but merely declares that the enemies which attack Babylon on every side disperse its inhabitants and empty the land.
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