Jeremiah 44: Coming Disaster in Egypt because
Comment: While the Lord still has His mouthpiece, Jeremiah,
with His people in Egypt, He keeps on warning them against idolatry.
First, he reminds them of their history [v.1-6,9,10], then He
asks will they continue to bring similar disasters on themselves
[v.7,8] because He will bring judgment on them in Egypt for their
ongoing disobedience [v.11-14]. Bizarrely the people abuse Jeremiah
and declare they will continue to worship their gods [v.15-19].
Jeremiah reminds them how the Lord dealt with such behaviour in
the past [v.20-23] and says go ahead [v.24,25] judgment will come
on you and you will die [v.26-30]. It is all a very clear warning.]
Jeremiah has a word for the Jews in Egypt reminding them what
the Lord did
word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower
Egypt – in Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis – and in Upper
is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: you saw the
great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of
Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins
of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense
to and worshipping other gods that neither they nor you nor your
ancestors ever knew.
and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, “Do not do
this detestable thing that I hate!”
they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their
wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods.
my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of
Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate
ruins they are today.
The Lord asks will they bring disaster on themselves now?
this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: why
bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah
the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves
without a remnant?
arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense
to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will
destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse and an object of
reproach among all the nations on earth.
They should remember their ancestors and learn from them
you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by
the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by
you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem?
this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence,
nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you
and your ancestors.
He declares He will destroy the unbelieving remnant in Egypt
this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am
determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah.
will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go
to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they
will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the
greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a
curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach.
will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and
plague, as I punished Jerusalem.
of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape
or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long
to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.'
The people insist they will continue with their idolatry
all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to
other gods, along with all the women who were present – a
large assembly – and all the people living in Lower and Upper
Egypt, said to Jeremiah,
will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name
of the Lord!
will certainly do everything we said we would: we will burn incense
to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her
just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did
in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that
time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.
ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and
pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have
been perishing by sword and famine.'
women added, ‘When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and
poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that
we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out
drink offerings to her?'
Jeremiah reminds them how the Lord dealt with such behaviour in
Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were
not the Lord remember and call to mind the incense burned in the
towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors,
your kings and your officials and the people of the land?
the Lord could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable
things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste
without inhabitants, as it is today.
you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have
not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations,
this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.'
Very well, says the Lord, do what you've said [implied – you were
Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, ‘Hear the
word of the Lord, all you people of Judah in Egypt.
is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: you and your
wives have done what you said you would do when you promised,
“We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense
and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.”
ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows!
Very well, He continues, the judgment WILL come on you.
hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt: “I swear
by my great name,” says the Lord, “that no one from Judah living
anywhere in Egypt shall ever again invoke my name or swear, ‘As
surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.'
I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt
will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed.
who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt
will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to
live in Egypt will know whose word will stand – mine or theirs.
will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,”
declares the Lord, “so that you will know that my threats of harm
against you will surely stand.”
is what the Lord says: “I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king
of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just
as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.”'
to Chapter 45