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Jeremiah 46:2

Context
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 1  over Judah. 2 

Jeremiah 46:13

Context
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. 3 

Jeremiah 25:1-2

Context
Seventy Years of Servitude for Failure to Give Heed

25:1 In the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah 4  concerning all the people of Judah. (That was the same as the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.) 5  25:2 So the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the people who were living in Jerusalem. 6 

1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 tn Heb “The word was to Jeremiah.” It is implicit from the context that it was the Lord’s word. The verbal expression is more in keeping with contemporary English style.

5 sn The year referred to would be 605 b.c. Jehoiakim had been placed on the throne of Judah as a puppet king by Pharaoh Necho after the defeat of Josiah at Megiddo in 609 b.c. (2 Kgs 23:34-35). According to Jer 46:2 Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho at Carchemish in that same year. After defeating Necho, Nebuchadnezzar had hurried back to Babylon where he was made king. After being made king he then returned to Judah and attacked Jerusalem (Dan 1:1. The date given there is the third year of Jehoiakim but scholars are generally agreed that the dating there is based on a different system than the one here. It did not count the part of the year before New Year’s day as an official part of the king’s official rule. Hence, the third year there is the fourth year here.) The identity of the foe from the north referred to in general terms (4:6; 6:1; 15:12) now becomes clear.

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



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