Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) August 31
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Jeremiah 43:1--46:28

Context

43:1 Jeremiah finished telling all the people all these things the Lord their God had sent him to tell them. 1  43:2 Then Azariah 2  son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and other arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God did not send you to tell us, ‘You must not go to Egypt and settle there.’ 43:3 But Baruch son of Neriah is stirring you up against us. 3  He wants to hand us over 4  to the Babylonians 5  so that they will kill us or carry us off into exile in Babylon.” 43:4 So Johanan son of Kareah, all the army officers, and all the rest of the people did not obey the Lord’s command to stay in the land. 43:5 Instead Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led off all the Judean remnant who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 6  43:6 They also led off all the men, women, children, and royal princesses 7  that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had left with Gedaliah, 8  the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. This included the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 43:7 They went on to Egypt 9  because they refused to obey the Lord, and came to Tahpanhes. 10 

Jeremiah Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Plunder Egypt and Its Gods

43:8 At Tahpanhes the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 11  43:9 “Take some large stones 12  and bury them in the mortar of the clay pavement 13  at the entrance of Pharaoh’s residence 14  here in Tahpanhes. Do it while the people of Judah present there are watching. 15  43:10 Then tell them, 16  ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 17  says, “I will bring 18  my servant 19  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones which I 20  have buried. He will pitch his royal tent 21  over them. 43:11 He will come and attack Egypt. Those who are destined to die of disease will die of disease. Those who are destined to be carried off into exile will be carried off into exile. Those who are destined to die in war will die in war. 22  43:12 He will set fire 23  to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives. 24  He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing. 25  He will leave there unharmed. 26  43:13 He will demolish the sacred pillars in the temple of the sun 27  in Egypt and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.”’”

The Lord Will Punish the Judean Exiles in Egypt for Their Idolatry

44:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah concerning 28  all the Judeans who were living in the land of Egypt, those in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the region of southern Egypt. 29  44:2 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 30  says, ‘You have seen all the disaster I brought on Jerusalem 31  and all the towns of Judah. Indeed, they now lie in ruins and are deserted. 32  44:3 This happened because of the wickedness the people living there did. 33  They made me angry 34  by worshiping and offering sacrifice to 35  other gods whom neither they nor you nor your ancestors 36  previously knew. 37  44:4 I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over 38  again warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate. 39  44:5 But the people of Jerusalem and Judah 40  would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods. 41  44:6 So my anger and my wrath were poured out and burned like a fire through the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. That is why they have become the desolate ruins that they are today.’

44:7 “So now the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 42  asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant? 44:8 That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing. 43  You are making me angry by sacrificing to other gods here in the land of Egypt where you live. You will be destroyed for doing that! You will become an example used in curses 44  and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth. 45  44:9 Have you forgotten all the wicked things that have been done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem by your ancestors, by the kings of Judah and their 46  wives, by you and your wives? 44:10 To this day your people 47  have shown no contrition! They have not revered me nor followed the laws and statutes I commanded 48  you and your ancestors.’

44:11 “Because of this, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘I am determined to bring disaster on you, 49  even to the point of destroying all the Judeans here. 50  44:12 I will see to it that all the Judean remnant that was determined to go 51  and live in the land of Egypt will be destroyed. Here in the land of Egypt they will fall in battle 52  or perish from starvation. People of every class 53  will die in war or from starvation. They will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 54  44:13 I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt with war, starvation, and disease just as I punished Jerusalem. 44:14 None of the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah. Though they long to return and live there, none of them shall return except a few fugitives.’” 55 

44:15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods, as well as all their wives, answered Jeremiah. There was a great crowd of them representing all the people who lived in northern and southern Egypt. 56  They answered, 44:16 “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! 57  44:17 Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 58  We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 59  just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 60  44:18 But ever since we stopped sacrificing and pouring out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven, we have been in great need. Our people have died in wars or of starvation.” 61  44:19 The women added, 62  “We did indeed sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven. But it was with the full knowledge and approval of our husbands that we made cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her.” 63 

44:20 Then Jeremiah replied to all the people, both men and women, who responded to him in this way. 64  44:21 “The Lord did indeed remember and call to mind what you did! He remembered the sacrifices you and your ancestors, your kings, your leaders, and all the rest of the people of the land offered to other gods 65  in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. 66  44:22 Finally the Lord could no longer endure your wicked deeds and the disgusting things you did. That is why your land has become the desolate, uninhabited ruin that it is today. That is why it has become a proverbial example used in curses. 67  44:23 You have sacrificed to other gods! You have sinned against the Lord! You have not obeyed the Lord! You have not followed his laws, his statutes, and his decrees! That is why this disaster that is evident to this day has happened to you.” 68 

44:24 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people, particularly to all the women. 69  “Listen to what the Lord has to say all you people of Judah who are in Egypt. 44:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 70  have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’ 71  44:26 But 72  listen to what the Lord has to say, all you people of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt. The Lord says, ‘I hereby swear by my own great name that none of the people of Judah who are living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name in their oaths! Never again will any of them use it in an oath saying, “As surely as the Lord God lives….” 73  44:27 I will indeed 74  see to it that disaster, not prosperity, happens to them. 75  All the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will die in war or from starvation until not one of them is left. 44:28 Some who survive in battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed! 76  Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 77  mine or theirs.’ 44:29 Moreover the Lord says, 78  ‘I will make something happen to prove that I will punish you in this place. I will do it so that you will know that my threats to bring disaster on you will prove true. 79  44:30 I, the Lord, promise that 80  I will hand Pharaoh Hophra 81  king of Egypt over to his enemies who are seeking to kill him. I will do that just as surely as I handed King Zedekiah of Judah over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his enemy who was seeking to kill him.’”

Baruch is Rebuked but also Comforted

45:1 The prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah while he was writing down in a scroll the words that Jeremiah spoke to him. 82  This happened in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 83  45:2 “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you, Baruch. 45:3 ‘You have said, “I feel so hopeless! 84  For the Lord has added sorrow to my suffering. 85  I am worn out from groaning. I can’t find any rest.”’”

45:4 The Lord told Jeremiah, 86  “Tell Baruch, 87  ‘The Lord says, “I am about to tear down what I have built and to uproot what I have planted. I will do this throughout the whole earth. 88  45:5 Are you looking for great things for yourself? Do not look for such things. For I, the Lord, affirm 89  that I am about to bring disaster on all humanity. 90  But I will allow you to escape with your life 91  wherever you go.”’”

Prophecies Against Foreign Nations 92 

46:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah about the nations. 93 

The Prophecy about Egypt’s Defeat at Carchemish

46:2 He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling 94  over Judah. 95 

46:3 “Fall into ranks with your shields ready! 96 

Prepare to march into battle!

46:4 Harness the horses to the chariots!

Mount your horses!

Put on your helmets and take your positions!

Sharpen you spears!

Put on your armor!

46:5 What do I see?” 97  says the Lord. 98 

“The soldiers 99  are terrified.

They are retreating.

They have been defeated.

They are overcome with terror; 100 

they desert quickly

without looking back.

46:6 But even the swiftest cannot get away.

Even the strongest cannot escape. 101 

There in the north by the Euphrates River

they stumble and fall in defeat. 102 

46:7 “Who is this that rises like the Nile,

like its streams 103  turbulent at flood stage?

46:8 Egypt rises like the Nile,

like its streams turbulent at flood stage.

Egypt says, ‘I will arise and cover the earth.

I will destroy cities and the people who inhabit them.’

46:9 Go ahead and 104  charge into battle, you horsemen!

Drive furiously, you charioteers!

Let the soldiers march out into battle,

those from Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields,

and those from Lydia 105  who are armed with the bow. 106 

46:10 But that day belongs to the Lord God who rules over all. 107 

It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. 108 

His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied!

It will drink their blood until it is full! 109 

For the Lord God who rules over all 110  will offer them up as a sacrifice

in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.

46:11 Go up to Gilead and get medicinal ointment, 111 

you dear poor people of Egypt. 112 

But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use; 113 

there will be no healing for you.

46:12 The nations will hear of your devastating defeat. 114 

your cries of distress will echo throughout the earth.

In the panic of their flight one soldier will trip over another

and both of them will fall down defeated.” 115 

The Lord Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack and Plunder Egypt

46:13 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt. 116 

46:14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.

Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. 117 

‘Take your positions and prepare to do battle.

For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.’ 118 

46:15 Why will your soldiers 119  be defeated? 120 

They will not stand because I, the Lord, will thrust 121  them down.

46:16 I will make many stumble. 122 

They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. 123 

They will say, ‘Get up!

Let’s go back to our own people.

Let’s go back to our homelands

because the enemy is coming to destroy us.’ 124 

46:17 There at home they will say, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise! 125 

He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’ 126 

46:18 I the King, whose name is the Lord who rules over all, 127  swear this:

I swear as surely as I live that 128  a conqueror is coming.

He will be as imposing as Mount Tabor is among the mountains,

as Mount Carmel is against the backdrop of the sea. 129 

46:19 Pack your bags for exile,

you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. 130 

For Memphis will be laid waste.

It will lie in ruins 131  and be uninhabited.

46:20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.

But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies. 132 

46:21 Even her mercenaries 133 

will prove to be like pampered, 134  well-fed calves.

For they too will turn and run away.

They will not stand their ground

when 135  the time for them to be destroyed comes,

the time for them to be punished.

46:22 Egypt will run away, hissing like a snake, 136 

as the enemy comes marching up in force.

They will come against her with axes

as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.

46:23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest.

But I, the Lord, affirm 137  that the enemy will cut them down.

For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts.

They will be too numerous to count. 138 

46:24 Poor dear Egypt 139  will be put to shame.

She will be handed over to the people from the north.”

46:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 140  says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes. 141  I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him. 142  46:26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the Lord, affirm it!” 143 

A Promise of Hope for Israel

46:27 144 “You descendants of Jacob, my servants, 145  do not be afraid;

do not be terrified, people of Israel.

For I will rescue you and your descendants

from the faraway lands where you are captives. 146 

The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.

They will be secure and no one will terrify them.

46:28 I, the Lord, tell 147  you not to be afraid,

you descendants of Jacob, my servant,

for I am with you.

Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you,

I will not completely destroy you.

I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure.

I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 148 

1 tn This sentence contains an emphasis that is impossible to translate into idiomatic English that would not sound redundant. In Hebrew the sentence reads: “When Jeremiah finished [the temporal subordination is left out here because it would make the sentence too long] telling all the people all the words [or all the things] which the Lord their God had sent him [to say] to them, namely all these words,…” The last phrase has been left out of the translation as already having been included. Though they have been left out of the translation, attention is called to their presence here.

2 sn See the study note on 42:1 for the possible identification of this man with Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite.

3 tn Or “is inciting you against us.”

4 tn Heb “in order to give us into the hands of the Chaldeans.” The substitution “he wants to” as the equivalent of the purpose clause has been chosen to shorten the sentence to better conform with contemporary English style.

5 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

6 sn These are the people who are referred to in Jer 40:11-12.

7 tn Heb “the daughters of the king.” See the translator’s note on 41:10.

8 sn This refers to the group mentioned in Jer 40:7 and 41:10. The two groups together constituted all the people who were at Mizpah when Gedaliah was murdered, had been taken captive by Ishmael, had been rescued by Johanan and the other army officers, and had consulted Jeremiah at Geruth Chimham.

9 sn This had been their intention all along (41:17). Though they consulted the Lord and promised to do what he told them whether they agreed with it or not (42:5-6), it is clear that they had no intention of doing so. Jeremiah could see that (42:19-22). They refused to believe that the Lord had really said what Jeremiah told them (43:4) and feared reprisal from the Babylonians more than any potential destruction from the Lord (43:3).

10 sn Tahpanhes was an important fortress city on the northern border of Egypt in the northeastern Nile delta. It is generally equated with the Greek city of Daphne. It has already been mentioned in 2:16 in conjunction with Memphis (the Hebrew name is “Noph”) as a source of soldiers who did violence to the Israelites in the past.

11 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah at Tahpanhes, saying.”

12 tn Heb “Take some large stones in your hands.”

13 tn The meaning of the expression “mortar of the clay pavement” is uncertain. The noun translated “mortar” occurs only here and the etymology is debated. Both BDB 572 s.v. מֶלֶט and KBL 529 s.v. מֶלֶט give the meaning “mortar.” The noun translated “clay pavement” is elsewhere used of a “brick mold.” Here BDB 527 s.v. מַלְבֵּן 2 gives “quadrangle” and KBL 527 s.v. מַלְבֵּן 2 gives “terrace of bricks.” HALOT 558 s.v. מֶלֶט and מַלְבֵּן 2 give “loamy soil” for both words, seeing the second noun as a dittography or gloss of the first (see also note c in BHS).

14 sn All the commentaries point out that this was not Pharaoh’s (main) palace but a governor’s residence or other government building that Pharaoh occupied when he was in Tahpanhes.

15 tn Heb “in Tahpanhes in the eyes of the men of Judah.”

16 sn This is another of those symbolic prophecies of Jeremiah which involved an action and an explanation. Compare Jer 19, 27.

17 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” Compare 7:3 and see the study note on 2:19 for explanation of the translation and significance of this title.

18 tn Heb “send and take/fetch.”

19 sn See the study note on Jer 25:9 for the use of this epithet for foreign rulers. The term emphasizes God’s sovereignty over history.

20 tn The Greek version reads the verbs in this sentence as third person, “he will set,” and second person, “you have buried.” This fits the context better but it is difficult to explain how the Hebrew could have arisen from this smoother reading. The figure of substitution (metonymy of cause for effect) is probably involved: “I will have him set” and “I have had you bury.” The effect of these substitutions is to emphasize the sovereignty of God.

21 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. The word here (שַׁפְרִירוֹ [shafriro] Qere, שַׁפְרוּרוֹ [shafruro] Kethib) occurs only here in the Hebrew Bible. According to the lexicons it refers to either the carpet for his throne or the canopy over it. See, e.g., HALOT 1510 s.v. שַׁפְרִיר.

22 tn As in 15:2 the Hebrew is very brief and staccato-like: “those to death to death, and those to captivity to captivity, and those to the sword to the sword.” As in 15:2 most commentaries and English versions assume that the word “death” refers to death by disease. See the translator’s note on 15:2 and compare also 18:21 where the sword is distinctly connected with “war” or “battle” and is distinct from “killed by death [i.e., disease].”

23 tc The translation follows the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions. The Hebrew text reads: “I will set fire to.” While it would be possible to explain the first person subject here in the same way as in the two verbs in v. 12b, the corruption of the Hebrew text is easy to explain here as a metathesis of two letters, י (yod) and ת (tav). The Hebrew reads הִצַּתִּי (hitsatti) and the versions presuppose הִצִּית (hitsit).

24 tn Heb “burn them or carry them off as captives.” Some of the commentaries and English versions make a distinction between the objects of the verbs, i.e., burn the temples and carry off the gods. However, the burning down of the temples is referred to later in v. 13.

sn It was typical in the ancient Near East for the images of the gods of vanquished nations to be carried off and displayed in triumphal procession on the return from battle to show the superiority of the victor’s gods over those of the vanquished (cf., e.g., Isa 46:1-2).

25 tn Or “he will take over Egypt as easily as a shepherd wraps his cloak around him.” The translation follows the interpretation of HALOT 769 s.v. II ָעטָה Qal, the Greek translation, and a number of the modern commentaries (e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 671). The only other passage where that translation is suggested for this verb is Isa 22:17 according to HAL. The alternate translation follows the more normal meaning of עָטָה (’atah; cf. BDB 741 s.v. I עָטָה Qal which explains “so completely will it be in his power”). The fact that the subject is “a shepherd” lends more credence to the former view though there may be a deliberate double meaning playing on the homonyms (cf. W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:302).

26 tn Heb “in peace/wholeness/well-being/safety [shalom].”

27 sn It is generally agreed that the temple of the sun was located in Heliopolis, which is elsewhere referred to as On (cf. Gen 41:45). It was the center for the worship of Amon-Re, the Egyptian sun god, and was famous for its obelisks (conical shaped pillars) dedicated to that god. It was located about 6 miles (10 km) northeast of modern-day Cairo.

28 tn Heb “The word came to Jeremiah concerning.” Though the phrase “from the Lord” is missing from this formula which occurs elsewhere at 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 30:1; 32:1; 34:1, 8; 35:1; 40:1, it is clearly implied from the words that follow. As in these other passages, the more active form has been chosen for the translation to better conform with contemporary English style.

29 sn The first three cities, Migdol, Tahpanhes, and Memphis, are located in Northern or Lower Egypt. Memphis (Heb “Noph”) was located south of Heliopolis (which was referred to earlier as “the temple of the sun”) and was about fourteen miles (23 km) south of Cairo. For the identification and location of Tahpanhes see the study note on Jer 43:7. The location of Migdol has been debated but is tentatively identified with a border fortress about twenty-five miles (42 km) east-northeast of Tahpanhes. The “region of southern Egypt” is literally “the land of Pathros,” the long Nile valley extending north and south between Cairo and Aswan (biblical Syene). For further information see the discussion in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 262-63. Reference here is to Judean exiles who had fled earlier as well as to those from Mizpah who were led into Egypt by Johanan and the other arrogant men (43:3, 5).

30 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” Compare 7:3 and see the study note on 2:19 for explanation and translation of this title.

31 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

32 tn Heb “Behold, they are in ruins this day and there is no one living in them.”

33 tn Heb “they.” The referent must be supplied from the preceding, i.e., Jerusalem and all the towns of Judah. “They” are those who have experienced the disaster and are distinct from those being addressed and their ancestors (44:3b).

34 tn Heb “thus making me angry.” However, this is a good place to break the sentence to create a shorter sentence that is more in keeping with contemporary English style.

35 tn Heb “by going to offer sacrifice in serving/worshiping.” The second לְ (lamed) + infinitive is epexegetical of the first (cf. IBHS 608-9 §36.2.3e).

36 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 9, 10, 17, 21).

37 sn Compare Jer 19:4 for the same thought and see also 7:9.

38 tn See 7:13 for an explanation of this idiom and compare 7:25; 25:4; 26:5; 29:19; 35:15 for similar references to the persistent warnings of the prophets.

39 tn Heb “sent…over again, saying, ‘Do not do this terrible thing that I hate.’” The indirect quote has been used to shorten the sentence and eliminate one level of embedded quotes.

sn This refers to the worship of other gods mentioned in the previous verse.

40 tn There appears to be a deliberate shift in the pronouns used in vv. 2-5. “You” refers to the people living in Egypt who are being addressed (v. 2) and to the people of present and past generations to whom the Lord persistently sent the prophets (v. 4). “They” refers to the people of Jerusalem and the towns of Judah who have suffered disaster (v. 2) because of the wickedness of sacrificing to other gods (vv. 3, 5). The referents have been explicitly identified in the translation for the sake of clarity.

41 tn Heb “They did not listen or incline their ear [= pay attention] by turning from their wickedness by not sacrificing to other gods.” The לְ (lamed) + the negative + the infinitive is again epexegetical. The sentence has been restructured and more idiomatic English expressions have been used to better conform with contemporary English style but an attempt has been made to retain the basic relationships of subordination.

42 tn Heb “Yahweh, the God of armies, the God of Israel.” Compare 35:17; 38:17 and for the title “God of armies” see the study note on 2:19.

43 tn Heb “the works of your hands.” Here the phrase is qualified by the epexegetical לְ (lamed) + infinitive, לְקַטֵּר (lÿqatter, “by sacrificing [to other gods]”). For further discussion on the use of this phrase see the translator’s note on 25:6.

44 tn Heb “a curse.” For the meaning of this phrase see the translator’s note on 24:9 and see the usage in 24:9; 25:18; 26:6; 29:22.

45 tn Verses 7b-8 are all one long, complex sentence governed by the interrogative “Why.” The Hebrew text reads: “Why are you doing great harm to your souls [= “yourselves” (cf. BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.b[6])] so as to cut off [= destroy] from yourselves man and woman, child and baby [the terms are collective singulars and are to be interpreted as plurals] from the midst of Judah so as not to leave to yourselves a remnant by making me angry with the works of your hands by sacrificing to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to live so as to cut off [an example of result rather than purpose after the particle לְמַעַן (lÿmaan; see the translator’s note on 25:7)] yourselves and so that you may become a curse and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style. An attempt has been made to retain an equivalent for all the subordinations and qualifying phrases.

sn What is being threatened is not the total destruction of a remnant of Judah. Jeremiah recognizes those who have been carried off to Babylon as well as other places as seeds for a new beginning (e.g., 24:5-6; 29:14; 30:3). But he denies here that any of those who have gone to Egypt and are continuing to practice idolatry will be among them. All of them will be cut off (i.e., destroyed) from the midst of Judah so that not a remnant of them will be left.

46 tn Heb “his.” This should not be viewed as a textual error but as a distributive singular use of the suffix, i.e., the wives of each of the kings of Judah (cf. GKC 464 §145.l and compare the usage in Isa 2:8; Hos 4:8).

47 tn Heb “they” but as H. Freedman (Jeremiah [SoBB], 284) notes the third person is used here to include the people just referred to as well as the current addressees. Hence “your people” or “the people of Judah.” It is possible that the third person again reflects the rhetorical distancing that was referred to earlier in 35:16 (see the translator’s note there for explanation) in which case one might translate “you have shown,” and “you have not revered.”

48 tn Heb “to set before.” According to BDB 817 s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.b(g) this refers to “propounding to someone for acceptance or choice.” This is clearly the usage in Deut 30:15, 19; Jer 21:8 and is likely the case here. However, to translate literally would not be good English idiom and “proposed to” might not be correctly understood, so the basic translation of נָתַן (natan) has been used here.

49 tn Heb “Behold I am setting my face against you for evil/disaster.” For the meaning of the idiom “to set the face to/against” see the translator’s note on 42:15 and compare the references listed there.

50 tn Heb “and to destroy all Judah.” However, this statement must be understood within the rhetoric of the passage (see vv. 7-8 and the study note on v. 8) and within the broader context of the Lord’s promises to restore the remnant who are in Babylon and those scattered in other lands (23:3; 24:5-6; 29:14; 30:3; 32:27). In this context “all Judah” must refer to all the Judeans living in Egypt whom Jeremiah is now addressing. This involves the figure of synecdoche where all does not extend to all individuals but to all that are further specified or implied (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 616-18, and the comments in H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 285). The “and” in front of “to destroy” is to be understood as an example of the epexegetical use of the conjunction ו (vav; see BDB 252 s.v. וַ 1.b and compare the translation of J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 260).

51 tn Heb “they set their face to go.” Compare 44:11 and 42:14 and see the translator’s note at 42:15.

52 tn Heb “fall by the sword.”

53 tn Or “All of them without distinction,” or “All of them from the least important to the most important”; Heb “From the least to the greatest.” See the translator’s note on 42:1 for the meaning of this idiom.

54 tn See the study note on 24:9 and the usage in 29:22 for the meaning and significance of this last phrase.

sn See Jer 42:18 for parallel usage.

55 tn Heb “There shall not be an escapee or a survivor to the remnant of Judah who came to sojourn there in the land of Egypt even to return to the land of Judah which they are lifting up their souls [= “longing/desiring” (BDB 672 s.v. נָשָׂא Piel.2)] to return to live there; for none shall return except fugitives.” The long, complex Hebrew original has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style. Another possible structure would be “None of the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will escape or survive. None of them will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah where they long to return to live. Indeed (emphatic use of כִּי [ki]; cf. BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e) none of them shall return except a few fugitives.” This verse is a good example of rhetorical hyperbole where a universal negative does not apply to absolutely all the particulars. Though the Lord denies at the outset that any will escape or survive the punishment of vv. 12-13 to return to Judah, he says at the end that a few fugitives will return (the two words for fugitive are from the same root and mean the same thing). (E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 618-19, might classify this as a synecdoche of genus where a universal negative does not deny particularity.) That this last statement is not a gloss or an afterthought is supported by what is said later in v. 28.

56 tn The translation is very interpretive at several key points: Heb “Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods and all their wives who were standing by, a great crowd/congregation, and all the people who were living in the land of Egypt in Pathros answered, saying.” It is proper to assume that the phrase “a great crowd” is appositional to “all the men…and their wives….” It is also probably proper to assume that the phrase “who were standing by” is unnecessary to the English translation. What is interpretive is the assumption that the “and all the people who were living in Egypt in Pathros” is explicative of “the great crowd” and that the phrase “in Pathros” is conjunctive and not appositional. Several commentaries and English versions (e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 678-79, n. 2; NJPS) assume that the phrase is descriptive of a second group, i.e., all the Jews from Pathros in Egypt (i.e., southern Egypt [see the study note on 44:1]). Those who follow this interpretation generally see this as a gloss (see Thompson, 678, n. 2, and also W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:279, n. 15b). It is probably better to assume that the phrase is explicative and that “all” is used in the same rhetorical way that it has been used within the chapter, i.e., “all” = representatives of all. Likewise the phrase “in Pathros” should be assumed to be conjunctive as in the Syriac translation and as suggested by BHS fn c since Jeremiah’s answer in vv. 24, 26 is directed to all the Judeans living in Egypt.

57 tn Heb “the word [or message] you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord.” For an explanation of the rendering of “in the name of the Lord” see the study notes on 10:25 and 23:27.

58 tn Heb “that went out of our mouth.” I.e., everything we said, promised, or vowed.

59 tn Heb “sacrifice to the Queen of Heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” The expressions have been combined to simplify and shorten the sentence. The same combination also occurs in vv. 18, 19.

sn See the translator’s note and the study note on 7:18 for the problem of translation and identification of the term translated here “the goddess called the Queen of Heaven.”

60 tn Heb “saw [or experienced] no disaster/trouble/harm.”

61 tn Heb “we have been consumed/destroyed by sword or by starvation.” The “we” cannot be taken literally here since they are still alive.

sn What is being contrasted here is the relative peace and prosperity under the reign of Manasseh, who promoted all kinds of pagan cults including the worship of astral deities (2 Kgs 21:2-9), and the disasters that befell Judah after the reforms of Josiah, which included the removal of all the cult images and altars from Jerusalem and Judah (2 Kgs 23:4-15). The disasters included the death of Josiah himself at the battle of Megiddo, the deportation of his son Jehoahaz to Egypt, the death of Jehoiakim, the deportation of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) and many other Judeans in 597 b.c., the death by war, starvation, and disease of many Judeans during the siege of Jerusalem in 588-86 b.c., and the captivity of many of those who survived. Instead of seeing these as punishments for their disobedience to the Lord as Jeremiah had preached to them, they saw these as consequences of their failure to continue the worship of the foreign gods.

62 tc The words “And the women added” are not in the Hebrew text. They are, however, implicit in what is said. They are found in the Syriac version and in one recension of the Greek version. W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:279, n. 19a) suggests that these words are missing from the Hebrew text because of haplography, i.e., that the scribe left out וַהַנָּשִׁים אָמְרוּ כִי (vahannashimomru khi) because his eye jumped from the ו at the beginning to the כִּי (ki) that introduced the temporal clause and left out everything in between. It is, however, just as likely, given the fact that there are several other examples of quotes which have not been formally introduced in the book of Jeremiah, that the words were not there and are supplied by these two ancient versions as a translator’s clarification.

63 tn Or “When we sacrificed and poured out drink offering to the Queen of Heaven and made cakes in her image, wasn’t it with the knowledge and approval of our husbands?” Heb “When we sacrificed to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings [for the use of לְ (lamed) + the infinitive construct to carry on the tense of the preceding verb see BDB 518 s.v. לְ 7.b(h)] to her, did we make cakes to make an image of her and pour out drink offerings apart from [i.e., “without the knowledge and consent of,” so BDB 116 s.v. בִּלְעֲדֵי b(a)] our husbands?” The question expects a positive answer and has been rendered as an affirmation in the translation. The long, complex Hebrew sentence has again been broken in two and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.

sn According to Jer 7:18-19 it was not only with the full knowledge and approval of their husbands but also with their active participation. Most of the commentaries call attention to the fact that what is being alluded to here is that a woman’s vow had to have her husband’s conscious approval to have any validity (cf. Num 30:7-16 and see the reference to the vow in v. 17).

64 tn Heb “And Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men and to the women, namely to all the people who answered him a word.” The appositional phrases have been combined to eliminate what would be redundant to a modern reader.

65 tn The words “to other gods” are not in the text but are implicit from the context (cf. v. 17). They are supplied in the translation for clarity. It was not the act of sacrifice that was wrong but the recipient.

66 tn Heb “The sacrifices which you sacrificed in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your leaders and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them and [did they not] come into his mind?” The question is again rhetorical and expects a positive answer. So it is rendered here as an affirmative statement for the sake of clarity and simplicity. An attempt has been made to shorten the long Hebrew sentence to better conform with contemporary English style.

67 tn Heb “And/Then the Lord could no longer endure because of the evil of your deeds [and] because of the detestable things that you did and [or so] your land became a desolation and a waste and an occasion of a curse without inhabitant as this day.” The sentence has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style, but an attempt has been made to preserve the causal and consequential connections.

68 tn Heb “Because you have sacrificed and you have sinned against the Lord and you have not listened to the voice of the Lord and in his laws, in his statutes, and in his decrees you have not walked, therefore this disaster has happened to you as this day.” The text has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.

69 tn Heb “and to all the women.” The “and” (ו, vav) is to be explained here according to BDB 252 s.v. וַ 1.a. The focus of the address that follows is on the women. See the translator’s note on the next verse.

70 tn Or “You and your wives.” The text and referent here is uncertain because of the confusing picture that the alternation of pronouns presents in this verse. Three of the main verbs are second feminine plurals and one of them is second masculine plural. All the pronominal suffixes on the nouns are second masculine plurals. The Hebrew text reads: “You [masc. pl.] and your [masc. pl.] wives have spoken [2nd fem. pl.; תְּדַבֵּרְנָה, tÿdabberÿnah] with your [masc. pl.] mouth and you have fulfilled [masc. pl.; מִלֵּאתֶם, milletem] with your [masc. pl.] hands, saying, ‘We [common gender] will certainly carry out….’ Indeed fulfill [2nd fem. pl.; תָּקִימְנָה, taqimnah] your [masc. pl.] vows and indeed carry out [2nd fem. pl.; תַעֲשֶׂינָה, taasenah] your [masc. pl.] vows.” Older commentaries, such as K&D 22:165, explain the feminine verbs as a matter of the women being the principle subject. Most all modern commentaries (e.g., J. A. Thompson, J. Bright, W. L. Holladay, and G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers) follow the reading of the Greek version which reads “you women” (= אַתֵּנָה הַנָּשִּׁים, [’attenah hannashim]) in place of “you and your wives” (אַתֶּם וּנְשֵׁיכֶם, ’attem unÿshekhem) in the Hebrew. None of them, however, explain the use of the 2nd masc. plurals here. This is possibly a case where the masculine forms are used in the place of the feminine due to the dislike of Hebrew to use the feminine plural forms (cf. GKC 459 §144.a and 466 §145.t). This seems all the more probable when 2nd fem. pl. verbs are qualified by nouns with 2nd masc. pl. suffixes. The translation here follows this interpretation of the masc. pl. forms and reads “you women” with the Greek version in place of “you and your wives” and sees the referents throughout as the women.

71 tn Heb “Carry out your vows!”

sn The commands here are, of course, sarcastic and not meant to be taken literally.

72 tn Heb “Therefore.” This particle quite often introduces the announcement of judgment after an indictment or accusation of a crime. That is its function here after the statement of cause in vv. 24-25. However, it would not sound right after the immediately preceding ironical or sarcastic commands to go ahead and fulfill their vows. “But” is a better transition unless one wants to paraphrase “Therefore, since you are so determined to do that….”

73 tn Heb “Behold I swear by…that my name will no more be pronounced in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt saying, ‘As the Lord Yahweh lives.’” The sentence has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style and the significance of pronouncing the name has been interpreted for the sake of readers who might not be familiar with this biblical idiom.

sn They will no longer be able to invoke his name in an oath because they will all be put to death (v. 27; cf. vv. 11-14).

74 tn Heb “Behold I.” For the use of this particle see the translator’s note on 1:6. Here it announces the reality of a fact.

75 tn Heb “Behold, I am watching over them for evil/disaster/harm not for good/prosperity/ blessing.” See a parallel usage in 31:28.

76 tn Heb “The survivors of the sword will return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number [more literally, “men of number”; for the idiom see BDB 709 s.v. מִסְפָּר 1.a].” The term “survivors of the sword” may be intended to represent both those who survive death in war or death by starvation or disease, a synecdoche of species for all three genera.

sn This statement shows that the preceding “none,” “never again,” “all” in vv. 26-27 are rhetorical hyperbole. Not all but almost all; very few would survive. The following statement implies that the reason that they are left alive is to bear witness to the fact that the Lord’s threats were indeed carried out. See vv. 11-14 for a parallel use of “all” and “none” qualified by a “few.”

77 tn Heb “will stand,” i.e., in the sense of being fulfilled, proving to be true, or succeeding (see BDB 878 s.v. קוּם 7.g).

78 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

79 tn Heb “This will be to you the sign, oracle of the Lord, that I will punish you in this place in order that you may know that my threats against you for evil/disaster/harm will certainly stand [see the translator’s note on the preceding verse for the meaning of this word here].” The word “sign” refers to an event that is a pre-omen or portent of something that will happen later (see BDB 16 s.v. אוֹת 2 and compare usage in 1 Sam 14:10; 2 Kgs 19:29). The best way to carry that idea across in this context seems to be “I will make something happen to prove [or portend].” Another possibility would be “I will give you a pre-omen that,” but many readers would probably not be familiar with “omen/pre-omen.” Again the sentence has been broken in two and restructured to better conform with English style.

80 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I will hand…’” The first person and indirect quote have been chosen because the Lord is already identified as the speaker and the indirect quote eliminates an extra level of embedded quotes.

81 sn Hophra ruled over Egypt from 589-570 b.c. He was the Pharaoh who incited Zedekiah to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar and whose army proved ineffective in providing any long-term relief to Jerusalem when it was under siege (see Jer 37 and especially the study note on 37:5). He was assassinated following a power struggle with a court official who had earlier saved him from a rebellion of his own troops and had ruled as co-regent with him.

82 sn It is unclear whether this refers to the first scroll (36:4) or the second (36:32). Perhaps from the reactions of Baruch this refers to the second scroll which was written after he had seen how the leaders had responded to the first (36:19). Baruch was from a well-placed family; his grandfather, Mahseiah (32:12) had been governor of Jerusalem under Josiah (2 Chr 34:8) and his brother was a high-ranking official in Zedekiah’s court (Jer 51:59). He himself appears to have had some personal aspirations that he could see were being or going to be jeopardized (v. 5). The passage is both a rebuke to Baruch and an encouragement that his life will be spared wherever he goes. This latter promise is perhaps the reason that the passage is placed where it is, i.e., after the seemingly universal threat of destruction of all who have gone to Egypt in Jer 44.

83 tn Heb “[This is] the word/message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch son of Neriah when he wrote these words on a scroll from the mouth of Jeremiah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, saying.”

84 tn Heb “Woe to me!” See the translator’s note on 4:13 and 10:19 for the rendering of this term.

85 sn From the context it appears that Baruch was feeling sorry for himself (v. 5) as well as feeling anguish for the suffering that the nation would need to undergo according to the predictions of Jeremiah that he was writing down.

86 tn The words, “The Lord told Jeremiah” are not in the text but are implicit in the address that follows, “Thus you shall say to him.” These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

87 tn Heb “Thus you shall say to him [i.e., Baruch].”

88 tn Heb “and this is with regard to the whole earth.” The feminine pronoun הִיא (hi’) at the end refers to the verbal concepts just mentioned, i.e., this process (cf. GKC 459 §144.b and compare the use of the feminine singular suffix in the same function GKC 440-41 §135.p). The particle אֶת (’et) is here functioning to introduce emphatically the object of the action (cf. BDB 85 s.v. I אֵת 3.α). There is some debate whether אֶרֶץ (’erets) here applies to the whole land of Israel or to the whole earth. However, the reference to “all mankind” (Heb “all flesh”) in the next verse as well as “anywhere you go” points to “the whole earth” as the referent.

89 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

90 sn Compare Jer 25:31, 33. The reference here to universal judgment also forms a nice transition to the judgments on the nations that follow in Jer 46-51 which may be another reason for the placement of this chapter here, out of its normal chronological order (see also the study note on v. 1).

91 tn Heb “I will give you your life for a spoil.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on 21:9 and compare the usage in 21:9; 38:2; 39:18.

92 sn Jeremiah was called to be a prophet not only to Judah and Jerusalem but to the nations (1:5, 10). The prophecies or oracles that are collected here in Jer 46-51 are found after 25:13a in the Greek version where they are also found in a different order and with several textual differences. The issue of which represents the original placement is part of the broader issue of the editorial or redactional history of the book of Jeremiah which went through several editions, two of which are referred to in Jer 36, i.e., the two scrolls written in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 b.c.), a third which included all the preceding plus the material down to the time of the fall of Jerusalem (cf. the introduction in 1:1-3) and a fourth that included all the preceding plus the materials in Jer 40-44. The oracles against the foreign nations collected here are consistent with the note of judgment sounded against all nations (including some not mentioned in Jer 46-51) in Jer 25. See the translator’s note on 25:13 for further details regarding the possible relationship of the oracles to the foreign nations to the judgment speeches in Jer 25.

93 tn Heb “That which came [as] the word of the Lord to Jeremiah about the nations.” See the translator’s note on 14:1 for the construction here.

94 sn The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign proved very significant in the prophecies of Jeremiah. It was in that same year that he issued the prophecies against the foreign nations recorded in Jer 25 (and probably the prophecies recorded here in Jer 46-51) and that he had Baruch record and read to the people gathered in the temple all the prophecies he had uttered against Judah and Jerusalem up to that point in the hopes that they would repent and the nation would be spared. The fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 b.c.) marked a significant shift in the balance of power in Palestine. With the defeat of Necho at Carchemish in that year the area came under the control of Nebuchadnezzar and Judah and the surrounding nations had two options, submit to Babylon and pay tribute or suffer the consequences of death in war or exile in Babylon for failure to submit.

95 tn Heb “Concerning Egypt: Concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was beside the Euphrates River at Carchemish which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah.” The sentence has been broken up, restructured, and introductory words supplied in the translation to make the sentences better conform with contemporary English style. The dating formula is placed in brackets because the passage is prophetic about the battle, but the bracketed words were superscription or introduction and thus were added after the outcome was known.

96 tn This is often translated “prepare your shields, both small and large.” However, the idea of “prepare” is misleading because the Hebrew word here (עָרַךְ, ’arakh) refers in various senses to arranging or setting things in order, such as altars in a row, dishes on a table, soldiers in ranks. Here it refers to the soldiers lining up in rank with ranks of soldiers holding at the ready the long oval or rectangular “shield” (צִנָּה [tsinnah]; cf. BDB 857 s.v. III צִנָּה) which protected the whole body and the smaller round “buckler” (מָגֵן, magen) which only protected the torso (the relative size of these two kinds of shields can be seen from the weight of each in 1 Kgs 10:16-17). These were to be arranged in solid ranks to advance into battle. It would be pedantic and misleading to translate here “Fall into ranks with your large and small shields at the ready” because that might suggest that soldiers had more than one kind. It is uncertain who is issuing the commands here. TEV adds “The Egyptian officers shout,” which is the interpretation of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 688).

97 tn Heb “Why do I see?” The rendering is that of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 685, 88) and J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 301; TEV; NIV). The question is not asking for information but is expressing surprise or wonder (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 951).

sn The passage takes an unexpected turn at v. 5. After ironically summoning the Egyptian army to battle, the Lord rhetorically expresses his surprise that they are so completely routed and defeated.

98 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.” This phrase, which is part of a messenger formula (i.e., that the words that are spoken are from him), are actually at the end of the verse. They have been put here for better poetic balance and to better identify the “I.”

99 tn Heb “Their soldiers.” These words are actually at the midpoint of the stanza as the subject of the third of the five verbs. However, as G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 291) note, this is the subject of all five verbs “are terrified,” “are retreating,” “have been defeated,” “have run away,” and “have not looked back.” The subject is put at the front to avoid an unidentified “they.”

100 tn Heb “terror is all around.”

101 tn The translation assumes that the adjectives with the article are functioning as superlatives in this context (cf. GKC 431 §133.g). It also assumes that אַל (’al) with the jussive is expressing here an emphatic negative rather than a negative wish (cf. GKC 317 §107.p and compare the usage in Ps 50:3).

102 tn Heb “they stumble and fall.” However, the verbs here are used of a fatal fall, of a violent death in battle (see BDB 657 s.v. נָפַל Qal.2.a), and a literal translation might not be understood by some readers.

103 tn The word translated “streams” here refers to the streams of the Nile (cf. Exod 7:19; 8:1) for parallel usage.

sn The hubris of the Egyptian Pharaoh is referred to in vv. 7-8 as he compares his might to that of the Nile River whose annual flooding was responsible for the fertility of Egypt. A very similar picture of the armies of Assyria overcoming everything in its path is presented in Isa 8:7-8.

104 tn The words “Go ahead and” are not in the text but are intended to suggest the ironical nature of the commands here. The Lord is again setting them up for a fall (v. 10). See the translator’s note on v. 4.

105 sn The peoples that are referred to here are all known to have been mercenaries in the army of Egypt (see Nah 3:9; Ezek 30:5). The place names in Hebrew are actually Cush, Put, and Lud. “Cush” has already been identified in Jer 13:23 as the region along the Nile south of Egypt most commonly referred to as Ethiopia. The identification of “Put” and “Lud” are both debated though it is generally felt that Put was a part of Libya and Lud is to be identified with Lydia in Asia Minor. For further discussion see M. J. Mellink, “Lud, Ludim” IDB 3:178, and T. O. Lambdin, “Put,” IDB 3:971.

106 tn Heb “who grasp and bend the bow.”

107 tn Heb “the Lord Yahweh of armies.” See the study note at 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title for God.

108 sn Most commentators think that this is a reference to the Lord exacting vengeance on Pharaoh Necho for killing Josiah, carrying Jehoahaz off into captivity, and exacting heavy tribute on Judah in 609 b.c. (2 Kgs 23:29, 33-35).

109 tn Or more paraphrastically, “he will kill them/ until he has exacted full vengeance”; Heb “The sword will eat and be sated; it will drink its fill of their blood.”

sn This passage is, of course, highly figurative. The Lord does not have a literal “sword,” but he uses agents of destruction like the Assyrian armies (called his “rod” in Isa 10:5-6) and the Babylonian armies (called his war club in Jer 51:20) to wreak vengeance on his foes. Likewise, swords do not “eat” or “drink.” What is meant here is that God will use this battle against the Egyptians to kill off many Egyptians until his vengeance is fully satisfied.

110 tn Heb “the Lord Yahweh of armies.” See the study note at 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title for God.

111 tn Heb “balm.” See 8:22 and the notes on this phrase there.

112 sn Heb “Virgin Daughter of Egypt.” See the study note on Jer 14:17 for the significance of the use of this figure. The use of the figure here perhaps refers to the fact that Egypt’s geographical isolation allowed her safety and protection that a virgin living at home would enjoy under her father’s protection (so F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 379). By her involvement in the politics of Palestine she had forfeited that safety and protection and was now suffering for it.

113 tn Heb “In vain you multiply [= make use of many] medicines.”

114 tn Heb “of your shame.” The “shame,” however, applies to the devastating defeat they will suffer.

115 tn The words “In the panic of their flight” and “defeated” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give clarity to the metaphor for the average reader. The verbs in this verse are all in the tense that emphasizes that the action is viewed as already having been accomplished (i.e., the Hebrew prophetic perfect). This is consistent with the vav consecutive perfects in v. 10 which look to the future.

116 tn Heb “The word which the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt.”

sn Though there is much debate in the commentaries regarding the dating and reference of this prophecy, it most likely refers to a time shortly after 604 b.c. when Nebuchadnezzar followed up his successful battle against Necho at Carchemish with a campaign into the Philistine plain which resulted in the conquest and sacking of Ashkelon. Nebuchadnezzar now stood poised on the border of Egypt to invade it. See J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 691, and for a fuller discussion including the other main options see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 287-88.

117 tn Heb “Declare in Egypt and announce in Migdol and announce in Noph [= Memphis] and in Tahpanhes.” The sentence has been restructured to reflect the fact that the first command is a general one, followed by announcements in specific (representative?) cities.

sn For the location of the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes see the note on Jer 44:1. These were all cities in Lower or northern Egypt that would have been the first affected by an invasion.

118 tn Heb “For the sword devours those who surround you.” The “sword” is again figurative of destructive forces. Here it is a reference to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar which have already destroyed the Egyptian forces at Carchemish and have made victorious forays into the Philistine plain.

119 tn The word translated “soldiers” (אַבִּירִים, ’abbirim) is not the Hebrew word that has been used of soldiers elsewhere in these oracles (גִּבּוֹרִים, gibborim). It is an adjective used as a noun that can apply to animals, i.e., of a bull (Ps 50:13) or a stallion (Judg 5:22). Moreover, the form is masculine plural and the verbs are singular. Hence, many modern commentaries and English versions follow the redivision of the first line presupposed by the Greek version, “Apis has fled” (נָס חַף, nas khaf) and see this as a reference to the bull god of Memphis. However, the noun is used of soldiers in Lam 1:15 and the plural could be the distributive plural, i.e., each and every one (cf. GKC 464 §145.l and compare usage in Gen 27:29).

120 tn The Hebrew word used here only occurs here (in the Niphal) and in Prov 28:3 (in the Qal) where it refers to a rain that beats down grain. That idea would fit nicely with the idea of the soldiers being beaten down, or defeated. It is possible that the rarity of this verb (versus the common verb נוּס, nus, “flee”) and the ready identification of Apis with the bull calf (אַבִּיר, ’abbir) has led to the reading of the Greek text (so C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 327). The verbs in this verse and the following are in the perfect tense but should be understood as prophetic perfects since the text is dealing with what will happen when Nebuchadnezzar comes into Egypt. The text of vv. 18-24 shows a greater mixture with some perfects and some imperfects, sometimes even within the same verse (e.g., v. 22).

121 tn Heb “the Lord will thrust them down.” However, the Lord is speaking (cf. clearly in v. 18), so the first person is adopted for the sake of consistency. This has been a consistent problem in the book of Jeremiah where the prophet is so identified with the word of the Lord that he sometimes uses the first person and sometimes the third. It creates confusion for the average reader who is trying to follow the flow of the argument and has been shifted to the first person like this on a number of occasions. TEV and CEV have generally adopted the same policy as have some other modern English versions at various points.

122 tn Heb “he multiplied the one stumbling.” For the first person reference see the preceding translator’s note.

123 tc The words “in their hurry to flee” are not in the text but appear to be necessary to clarify the point that the stumbling and falling here is not the same as that in vv. 6, 12 where they occur in the context of defeat and destruction. Reference here appears to be to the mercenary soldiers who in their hurried flight to escape stumble over one another and fall. This is fairly clear from the literal translation “he multiplies the stumbling one. Also [= and] a man falls against a man and they say [probably = “saying”; an epexegetical use of the vav (ו) consecutive (IBHS 551 §33.2.2a, and see Exod 2:10 as a parallel)] ‘Get up! Let’s go…’” A reference to the flight of the mercenaries is also seen in v. 21. Many of the modern commentaries and a few of the modern English versions follow the Greek text and read vv. 15a-16 very differently. The Greek reads “Why has Apis fled from you? Your choice calf [i.e., Apis] has not remained. For the Lord has paralyzed him. And your multitudes have fainted and fallen; and each one said to his neighbor…” (reading רֻבְּךָ כָּשַׁל גַּם־נָפַל וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ instead of כּוֹשֵׁל הִרְבָּה גַּם־נָפַל אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ). One would expect אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ (’ishel-reehu) to go with וַיֹּאמְרוּ (vayyomÿru) because it is idiomatic in this expression (cf., e.g., Gen 11:3; Judg 6:29). However, אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ (’ishel-reehu) is also found with singular verbs as here in Exod 22:9; 33:11; 1 Sam 10:11. There is no doubt that the Hebrew text is the more difficult and thus probably original. The reading of the Greek version is not supported by any other text or version and looks like an attempt to smooth out a somewhat awkward Hebrew original.

124 tn Heb “to our native lands from before the sword of the oppressor.” The compound preposition “from before” is regularly used in a causal sense (see BDB 818 s.v. פָּנֶה 6.a, b, c). The “sword” is again interpreted as a figure for the destructive power of an enemy army.

125 tn Heb “is a noise.” The addition of “just a big” is contextually motivated and is supplied in the translation to suggest the idea of sarcasm. The reference is probably to his boast in v. 8.

126 tn Heb “he has let the appointed time pass him by.” It is unclear what is meant by the reference to “appointed time” other than the fact that Pharaoh has missed his opportunity to do what he claimed to be able to do. The Greek text is again different here. It reads “Call the name of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt Saon esbeie moed,” reading קִרְאוּ שֵׁם (qiru shem) for קָרְאוּ שָׁם (qoru) and transliterating the last line.

127 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

128 tn Heb “As I live, oracle of the King, whose….” The indirect quote has been chosen to create a smoother English sentence and avoid embedding a quote within a quote.

129 tn Heb “Like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea he will come.” The addition of “conqueror” and “imposing” are implicit from the context and from the metaphor. They have been supplied in the translation to give the reader some idea of the meaning of the verse.

sn Most of the commentaries point out that neither Tabor nor Carmel are all that tall in terms of sheer height. Mount Tabor, on the east end of the Jezreel Valley, is only about 1800 feet (540 m) tall. Mount Carmel, on the Mediterranean Coast, is only about 1700 feet (510 m) at its highest. However, all the commentators point out that the idea of imposing height and majesty are due to the fact that they are rugged mountains that stand out dominantly over their surroundings. The point of the simile is that Nebuchadnezzar and his army will stand out in power and might over all the surrounding kings and their armies.

130 tn Heb “inhabitants of daughter Egypt.” Like the phrase “daughter Zion,” “daughter Egypt” is a poetic personification of the land, here perhaps to stress the idea of defenselessness.

131 tn For the verb here see HALOT 675 s.v. II נָצָה Nif and compare the usage in Jer 4:7; 9:11 and 2 Kgs 19:25. BDB derives the verb from יָצַת (so BDB 428 s.v. יָצַת Niph meaning “kindle, burn”) but still give it the meaning “desolate” here and in 2:15 and 9:11.

132 tn Heb “Egypt is a beautiful heifer. A gadfly from the north will come against her.”
The metaphors have been turned into similes for the sake of clarity. The exact meaning of the word translated “stinging fly” is uncertain due to the fact that it occurs nowhere else in Hebrew literature. For a discussion of the meaning of the word which probably refers to the “gadfly,” which bites and annoys livestock, see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:331, who also suggests, probably correctly, that the word is a collective referring to swarms of such insects (cf. the singular אַרְבֶּה [’arbeh] in v. 23 which always refers to swarms of locusts). The translation presupposes the emendation of the second בָּא (ba’) to בָּהּ (bah) with a number of Hebrew mss and a number of the versions (cf. BHS, fn b).

133 tn Heb “her hirelings in her midst.”

134 tn The word “pampered” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation to explain the probable meaning of the simile. The mercenaries were well cared for like stall-fed calves, but in the face of the danger they will prove no help because they will turn and run away without standing their ground. Some see the point of the simile to be that they too are fattened for slaughter. However, the next two lines do not fit that interpretation too well.

135 tn The temporal use of the particle כִּי (ki; BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 2.a) seems more appropriate to the context than the causal use.

136 tn Or “Egypt will rustle away like a snake”; Heb “her sound goes like the snake,” or “her sound [is] like the snake [when] it goes.” The meaning of the simile is debated. Some see a reference to the impotent hiss of a fleeing serpent (F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 382), others the sound of a serpent stealthily crawling away when it is disturbed (H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 297-98). The translation follows the former interpretation because of the irony involved.

sn Several commentators point out the irony of the snake slithering away (or hissing away) in retreat. The coiled serpent was a part of the royal insignia, signifying its readiness to strike. Pharaoh had boasted of great things (v. 8) but was just a big noise (v. 17); now all he could do was hiss as he beat his retreat (v. 22).

137 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” Again the first person is adopted because the Lord is speaking and the indirect quotation is used to avoid an embedded quotation with quotation marks on either side.

138 tn The precise meaning of this verse is uncertain. The Hebrew text reads: “They [those who enter in great force] will cut down her forest, oracle of the Lord, though it [the forest] cannot be searched out/through for they [those who come in great force] are more numerous than locusts and there is no number to them.” Some see the reference to the forest as metaphorical of Egypt’s population which the Babylonian army decimates (H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 298, and see BDB 420 s.v. I יַעַר 1.a which refers to the forest as a figure of foes to be cut down and destroyed and compare Isa 10:34). Others see the reference to literal trees and see the decimation of Egypt in general (C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 329). And some see it as a continuation of the simile of the snake fleeing, the soldiers cutting down the trees because they cannot find it (J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 693). However, the simile of v. 22a has already been dropped in v. 22b-d; they come against her. Hence it is probably best to see this as a continuation of the simile in v. 22c-d and see the reference to the Babylonian army coming against her, i.e., Egypt (the nation or people of Egypt), like woodcutters cutting down trees.

139 tn Heb “Daughter Egypt.” See the translator’s note on v. 19.

140 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

141 tn Heb “Amon of No.”

sn The Egyptian city called No (נֹא, no’) in Hebrew was Thebes. It is located about 400 miles (666 km) south of modern-day Cairo. It was the capital of Upper or southern Egypt and the center for the worship of the God Amon who became the state god of Egypt. Thebes is perhaps best known today for the magnificent temples at Karnak and Luxor on the east bank of the Nile.

142 tc Heb “Behold I will punish Amon of No and Pharaoh and Egypt and its gods and its kings and Pharaoh and all who trust in him.” There appears to be a copyist slip involving a double writing of וְעַל־פַּרְעֹה (vÿal-paroh). The present translation has followed the suggestion of BHS and deleted the first one since the second is necessary for the syntactical connection, “Pharaoh and all who trust in him.”

143 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

144 sn Jer 46:27-28 are virtually the same as 30:10-11. The verses are more closely related to that context than to this. But the presence of a note of future hope for the Egyptians may have led to a note of encouragement also to the Judeans who were under threat of judgment at the same time (cf. the study notes on 46:2, 13 and 25:1-2 for the possible relative dating of these prophecies).

145 tn Heb “And/But you do not be afraid, my servant Jacob.” Here and elsewhere in the verse the terms Jacob and Israel are poetic for the people of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob. The terms have been supplied throughout with plural referents for greater clarity.

146 tn Heb “For I will rescue you from far away, your descendants from the land of their captivity.”

147 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” Again the first person is adopted because the Lord is speaking and the indirect quotation is used to avoid an embedded quotation with quotation marks on either side.

148 tn The translation “entirely unpunished” is intended to reflect the emphatic construction of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb.



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