Jeremiah Chapter 46
Verses 1-12: Jeremiah announced in advance that Egypt would fall to the Babylonians at the Battle of Carchemish (in 605 B.C.). This defeat would bring judgment on the excessive pride of Egypt, which desired to “cover the earth” like the Nile flooding its banks.
Chapters 46-51: Comprise a collection of prophecies against various foreign nations. Like (25:15-38), they deal with a sovereign God’s judicial sentence against the rampant wickedness of the Gentile nations. They underscore the fact that all nations are under the power of the God of the universe (compare Isa. 44:24 – 45:6; Dan. 2:20-21; 4:3; and chapters 34-37). These chapters are arranged in somewhat different fashion in the Greek translation of the Old Testament and are placed (after 25:13a), after which follows the material (in 25:15-38). These prophecies were received from the LORD and delivered by Jeremiah at various times. They are collected here as a body of texts dealing with God’s judgment of the nations. For other such collections (see Isaiah Chapters 13-21; chapter 23; Ezekiel chapters 25-32; and Amos 1:3 to 2:3).
Jeremiah 46:1 “The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles;”
“Against the Gentiles”: Jeremiah had already proclaimed that all the nations at some times are to “drink the cup” of God’s wrath (25:15-26). In (chapters 46-51), God selected certain nations and forecast their doom. Likely given to Jeremiah at different times, the prophecies were collected according to the nations, not the chronology.
The Gentiles covered all who were not Jews. We will notice however, that much of this is meant for Egypt and the other Gentile nations in this vicinity.
Verses 2-26: “Against Egypt” (compare Isa. Chapters 19-20; Ezek. 29-32).
Verses 2-12: Depict Pharaoh-necho’s overthrow by the Babylonians at Carchemish by the Euphrates River (in 605 B.C.), in which Egypt lost all its territory west of the river.
Jeremiah 46:2 “Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.”
The messages against “Egypt” fall into two parts: the first (verses 2-12), deals with Egypt’s defeat at “Carchemish” (in 605 B.C.), and the second refers to Egypt’s coming judgment at the hands of “Nebuchadrezzar (verses 13-26).
This prophecy is addressed to Pharaoh-necho. This Pharaoh was not Jewish. This battle had already occurred before the destruction of Jerusalem. The Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar, was the attacker. Carchemish was a very prominent Hittite city in Mesopotamia.
Verses 3-6: Here was a derisive call to Egypt to ready itself for defeat.
Jeremiah 46:3 Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.
A derisive summons to battle. With all your mighty preparation for the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, when ye come to the encounter, ye shall be “dismayed” (Jer. 46:5). Your mighty threats shall end in nothing.
“Buckler”: This was a small round shield which the light-armed troops carried.
“And shield”: Belonged to the heavily-armed troops, and was large enough to protect the whole body and carried by the heavily armed infantry.
“And draw near to battle”: Engage the enemy briskly, and with the greatest courage, and use all your military skill. And, when ye have done so, it will all be in vain.
Jeremiah 46:4 “Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with [your] helmets; furbish the spears, [and] put on the brigandines.”
Put on their bridles and saddles and gird them. Or, “bind the horses”; that is, to the chariots. Put them to, as we commonly express it. Egypt abounded in horses, and so no doubt brought a large cavalry and a multitude of chariots into the field of battle.
“And get up, ye horsemen”: Upon the horses, or into the chariots. And so be ready to receive the enemy or to attack him.
“And stand forth with your helmets”: Present themselves on horseback, or in their chariots. With their helmets on their heads, to cover them in the day of battle.
“Furbish the spears”: That they may be sharp and piercing, and look bright and glittering. And strike terror in the enemy.
“And put on the brigandines”: Coats of mail, to cover the whole body. Which were made of iron, consisting of rings, as Kimchi observes.
This is a warning to get ready for war
Jeremiah 46:5 “Wherefore have I seen them dismayed [and] turned away back? and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: [for] fear [was] round about, saith the LORD.”
The Egyptians, after all this preparation for war, and seeming ardent to engage in battle. And yet, when they came to it, were seized with a panic, and thrown into the utmost dismay, and turned their backs upon their enemy. These are either the words of the prophet, who had a view by a spirit of prophecy, of the distress, confusion, and flight of the Egyptian army. Or of the LORD, who foresaw all this, and represents it as if it was done because of the certainty of it. Upbraiding the Egyptians with their lacking courage and cowardice.
“And their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back”: Or, “their mighty ones are broken”; their valiant soldiers and officers, their best troops were broken to pieces. Their ranks and files are thrown into the utmost disorder. And therefore, made all the haste they could to escape the fury of the enemy. And fled with the utmost haste, and never stopped to look back upon their pursuers; so great was their fear.
“For fear was round about, saith the LORD “: From whence it came; it was he that put it into them. Took away their courage, and made them a “fearful”, or “fear round about”, the word here used (see Jer. 20:3). The Targum states, “they looked not back to resist them that slay with the sword, who are gathered against them round about, saith the LORD.” Their enemies surrounded them, and that was the reason fear was round about them, and both were from the LORD. Or as he had said, determined, and foretold it should be.
The Egyptian army was a well-equipped, well trained army. It is interesting that they would turn and run. This is speaking of overwhelming fear that came upon them and caused them to run.
Jeremiah 46:6 “Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates.”
That is, it is in vain for the swift to flee away. The mighty men shall not escape, but they shall stumble and fall at Carchemish. Which was near the river Euphrates, and northward from Egypt.
This is saying it would probably do no good to run. Since this is a prophecy of God, there is no running from it. It will happen, whether they fight or not.
Jeremiah 46:7 “Who [is] this [that] cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers?”
In (Jer. 46:3-6), we saw only a mighty army marshalling for battle, and its hasty flight. In (Jer. 46:7-12), the prophet tells us at whose defeat we have been present.
“A flood”: The Nile. The metaphor describing the advance of the Egyptian army is naturally drawn from the annual overflow of their own sacred stream.
“Whose waters are moved”: Literally, his waters toss to and fro as the rivers, as the natural branches of the Nile in Lower Egypt.
Jeremiah 46:8 “Egypt riseth up like a flood, and [his] waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, [and] will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof.”
This is the answer to the above question; that it was Egypt that was seen. The king of Egypt, as the Syriac version; he with his army. As the Targum states; and which was so numerous, that it seemed as if the whole country of Egypt, all the inhabitants of it, were come along with him. These rose up like the Nile, and moved like the several sluices of it, with great velocity and force, as if they would carry all before them.
“And he saith, I will go up”. Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt said, I will go up from my own land to the north, to meet the king of Babylon.
“And will cover the earth”: With his army: even all, the north country, the whole Babylonish empire. Which he effected to be master of, grasping at, universal monarchy.
“I will destroy the city, and the inhabitants thereof”: Which Abarbinel restrains to the city Carchemish, where his army was smitten. But it is better to interpret, the singular by the plural, as the Targum does, “I will destroy cities”. Since it was not a single city he came up to take, nor would this satisfy his ambitious temper.
Egypt was a strong force, and intended to take over their part of the world. They had planned to take many of the cities around them. They had no thought for human life. They were a very worldly country.
Jeremiah 46:9 “Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle [and] bend the bow.”
Their ancient way of fighting was with chariots and bows. The prophet calls, in the name of the commanders of the Egyptian armies, for the horses and chariots to come on, and engage in the fight.
The Ethiopians”: Were the Cushites, who were neighbors to the Egyptians, and so were the Libyans. Both of them it should seem were famous for handling the shield.
“The Libyans”: Were descended from Phut; both the Cushites and the Puhites or Libyans were descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6). The Lydians were as famous for the use of the bow in war. The Lydians here meant are thought to be those descended from Mizraim, and some think these
were Ethiopians. They were all auxiliaries to the Egyptians in this expedition.
These Ethiopian, Libyan, and Lydian soldiers were hired to fight in the Egyptian army. They were what we would call today mercenaries. They were soldiers for hire.
Jeremiah 46:10 “For this [is] the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.”
“The day of the Lord” often refers to an eschatological judgment on earth (such as in Zeph. 1:7; Mal. 4:5; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10), it also may refer to a historical day. In this case it refers to the Egyptian defeat (compare Lam. 2:22; see note on Isa. 2:12).
“The sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood”; that is, the sword of the Chaldeans shall destroy the Egyptians in such vast numbers, that there shall be no more to be slain; or there shall be no desire in the enemy to slay anymore; they shall be glutted with their blood. All the phrases are designed to show the carnage that should be made; the vast destruction of the people; and the large numbers that should be slain.
Jeremiah 46:11 “Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; [for] thou shalt not be cured.”
Great states are ordinarily in Scripture called virgins, for their beauty and pleasant state.
“Gilead” was a most famous place for balm. The prophet ironically calls to the Egyptians to go to Gilead for balm. But tells them it would be to no purpose, God was about to wound them beyond all help of medicines.
(See the note on 18:13; 8:20-22).
When God speaks judgement, there is no stopping it. There is no medicine strong enough to heal this wound.
Jeremiah 46:12 “The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, [and] they are fallen both together.”
The prophet kept to his old prophetic style, speaking of things that were to come to pass some years after as if they were already past, because of the certainty of them. In this sense, he saith other nations had seen, because they should see the shame and confusion of the Egyptians upon their overthrow. And the cry of their slain and wounded men would fill other lands. For the Egyptians should certainly be overthrown. Either by the Chaldeans stumbling upon the Babylonians, or the Babylonians on them, or they (fleeing). for haste stumbling one upon another. So as both those that went before, and those who followed after, should both fall together.
This is really speaking of their turning their swords on each other, and this is not one nation, but many. Egypt is a mighty man, but stumbleth against mighty as well, and they both fall.
Verses 13-26: The LORD would bring further judgment on Egypt when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt (in 568 B.C.). This judgment would not be the end of the Egyptians, because they would again live in their land “as in the days of old”.
Babylon’s invasion of Egypt, 15 or 16 years before the destruction of Jerusalem, is here detailed (601 B.C; compare verse 13). Having spent 13 years in a siege of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar was promised Egypt as a reward for humbling Tyre (compare Ezek. 29:17-20).
Jeremiah 46:13 “The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come [and] smite the land of Egypt.”
This is a new and distinct prophecy from the former, though concerning Egypt as that. But in this they differ. The former prophecy respects only the overthrow of the Egyptian army at a certain place. This latter, the general destruction of the land which was fulfilled some years after the other. Jarchi says, according to their chronicles, in the twenty seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign.
“How Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come”. Or, concerning the coming to smite the land of Egypt. Who was to come, and did come, out of his country, into the land of Egypt. To smite the inhabitants of it with the sword, take their cities, plunder them of their substance, and make them tributary to him.
Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.
Jeremiah 46:14 “Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee.”
The coming of the king of Babylon, and his intention to invade the land, and subdue it. “And publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph, and in Tahpanhes”. Of these places (see Jer. 44:1). These were principal cities in the land of Egypt, where the enemy should come, and which he should lay waste. And therefore, the things are to be published for their warning. And particularly, these were places where the Jews that went into Egypt contrary to the will of God resided. And therefore, for their sakes also, this publication must be made. To let them see and know that they would not be safe there, but would be involved in the general calamity of the nation.
“Say ye, stand fast, and prepare thee”: O Egypt, and the several cities mentioned, and all others. Prepare for war, and to meet the enemy, resist and repel him. Present yourselves on the frontiers of your country and put yourselves in proper places, and keep your ground.
“For the sword shall devour round about thee”: The sword of the Chaldeans, into whose hands fell Palestine, Judea, Syria, and other neighboring countries. And therefore, it was high time for them to bestir themselves, and provide for their defense and safety.
Migdol was near the Red Sea. Noph was a Hebrew name for the city of Memphis. Memphis was the capital of Lower Egypt. Tahpanhes was the home of the Pharaoh. Nebuchadnezzar did attack this very area of Egypt. The attack was as much against God’s people exiled here, as it was
Jeremiah 46:15 “Why are thy valiant [men] swept away? they stood not, because the LORD did drive them.”
The prophet first asks a question, then returns an answer to himself. Egypt was full of valiant men, yet, saith the prophet, they shall be swept away, or broken down. As fruit or grass is beaten down with a violent storm of hail (so the word is used, Proverbs 28:3). Why does this come to pass? (Saith the prophet). He answered himself; because it was of God to destroy Egypt, who worketh, and none can let Him; when He strikes, none can stand before Him; none can stand up against Him.
They were valiant against other men, not against the power of God. They fled from the LORD.
Jeremiah 46:16 “He made many to fall, yea, one fell upon another: and they said, Arise, and let us go again to our own people, and to the land of our nativity, from the oppressing sword.”
The prophet had before spoken of Nebuchadnezzar, as an instrument in the hand of God, who being armed with his commission and power, made many to fall. Yea, God caused such a fear to fall upon them, that in their flight they fell upon one another. And though they had many soldiers that came to help them from Cush, and Phut, and Libya, yet all was too little. The prophet foretells they should all be glad to go home again, and should speak to one another to that purpose. For the success of the king of Babylon’s sword should be such, as they should quickly see there would be no standing before it.
This is the very thing those from Judah said when they fled to Egypt. We can hide from man, but there is no place to hide from God. The Egyptian army was made up of mercenaries from many countries. That is what they are speaking of, about going to their own country. They were in such a hurry to run that they fell over each other.
Jeremiah 46:17 “They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt [is but] a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.”
That is, the Ethiopians and Lubims that should come to help the king of Egypt, they should cry.
Or the Chaldeans or the Egyptians themselves should cry. Pharaoh is but a noise. That is, hath
made a great noise, but it cometh to nothing. Others make the sense, Pharaoh is a man of noise,
or tumult. That hath made a great deal of disturbance to himself and us.
“He hath passed the time appointed”: That is, say the most, he hath passed the time he himself
fixed whereat he would come and fight the Chaldeans. But these words compared with the next
verse incline others to think that either Pharaoh’s soldiers or his allies are here brought in
mocking at Pharaoh. Promising himself that the king of Babylon would not come, and laughing
at Jeremiah’s prophecy, saying the time appointed was past. That is, the time of his coming
mentioned by Jeremiah was past. Jeremiah foretells that Pharaoh’s army and confederates would
see reason to cry out. Pharaoh, in saying so, was but a noise.
They had come to fight for Pharaoh, because they thought Egypt was a powerful nation. It
appears that Egypt is no match for this battle. The reason being, this battle is of God.
Nebuchadnezzar’s army may be the ones fighting, but it is God’s battle.
Jeremiah 46:18 “[As] I live, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor [is] among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, [so] shall he come.”
“Tabor … Carmel”: As those two mountains rise about the hills of Palestine, so Nebuchadnezzar will be superior. As this word stands firm, that:
“Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come”: His destruction come. The words, according to the accents, may be better rendered, “as Tabor among the mountains, and Carmel also, he shall come into the sea”. That is, Pharaoh, though he lift up his head as high as Tabor and Carmel, he shall be brought low into the depths of the sea. Into a most forlorn and deplorable condition, into a very low estate.
This just means Nebuchadnezzar was coming from every direction at once.
Jeremiah 46:19 “O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant.”
That is, O ye inhabitants of Egypt, that have long dwelt there, in great security. Enjoying great plenty, and who promised themselves a long continuance.
“Furnish thyself to go into captivity”: Or, “make”, or “prepare for thyself vessels of captivity”. Or such things as are proper for captives, as suitable clothes to travel in, shoes to walk in, scrip and staff, and the like. Expect captivity, and prepare for it.
“For Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant”: The city Memphis, as the Targum, and all the versions. This is particularly mentioned, because it was a royal city, as Kimchi observes. And, though a very populous one, its destruction should be so general, that not an inhabitant should be left in it. The devastation of this city is put for that of all the rest, and as a sure token of it and the whole nation going into captivity.
Noph is Hebrew for Memphis, you remember. The “daughter dwelling in Egypt” is referring to those of Judah who are exiled there. It appears that Memphis will be destroyed by the army of Nebuchadnezzar.
Verses 20-21: “A very fair heifer … fatted bullocks”: Fat and untamed, ready to kill.
Jeremiah 46:20 “Egypt [is like] a very fair heifer, [but] destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north.”
That is, Egypt is now in a thriving, prosperous condition, having not used to be under any yoke. Like a heifer that is fair and fat; but she will not be so long, she is but as a beast fatted for the slaughter. And there are slaughterers coming out of Chaldea that will kill this fair heifer, and make her a sacrifice to the justice of God.
The “very fair heifer” is speaking of a land that is fruitful and beautiful. Nothing is beautiful, after it is ravaged by war.
Jeremiah 46:21 “Also her hired men [are] in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, [and] are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, [and] the time of their visitation.”
Or, “bullocks of the stall”. Soldiers of other countries that were hired into the service of Egypt, and lived so deliciously there. That they were unfit for war, and were like fatted beasts prepared for the slaughter. The Targum and Jarchi interpret it: her princes; who had the care of this heifer, and of the feeding of it. These themselves were like that, nourished for the day of slaughter.
“For they also are turned back, and are fled away together”: They turned their backs upon the enemy in battle, and fled in great confusion and suddenness (see Jer. 46:15).
“They did not stand”: And face the enemy, and engage him, but fell or fled before him.
“Because the day of their calamity was come upon them, and the time of their visitation”: The time appointed by the LORD to visit and punish them, and bring destruction on them for their sins.
This again is speaking of those hired by Egypt from other countries to be their army. They had been sitting back and drawing their wages in peacetime, but suddenly there is war. They have fled the country. They realized they would die if they stayed, so they ran.
Jeremiah 46:22 “The voice thereof shall go like a serpent; for they shall march with an army, and come against her with axes, as hewers of wood.”
Egypt is now like a heifer that makes a great bellowing. But the time shall come when she shall make a lesser noise, like the hissing of a serpent when it seeth itself set upon. For the Chaldeans shall come with a great army, armed with battle-axes, as if they came to fell down some wood in a forest or wood.
When the army leaves, Egypt is left helpless. The voice like a serpent is a soft hissing sound. There will not be great clamor, as is common in war. The soldiers have fled, and it is no trouble for the enemy to use axes and hewers to cut everything in sight.
Jeremiah 46:23 “They shall cut down her forest, saith the LORD, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and [are] innumerable.”
Egypt is compared to a forest, either for the multitude of cities or of people in that country. And to a thick forest, because as it is a hard thing to make one’s way through a forest, so it was judged as hard for an enemy to make his way into that country. In human probability, Egypt could not be searched; yet (saith God) the Chaldeans shall cut down this forest. And it shall be no more to them than for hewers of wood, with tools fitted for the purpose, to make their way through a forest. For the army of the Chaldeans shall be as numerous as the inhabitants of Egypt. More than the grasshoppers, which come in such troops as in a short time they devour every green herb in a place.
This does not mean that they cut all the trees that they came to, because there were too many. They perhaps cut a path to pass through. “The trees being as grasshoppers” and innumerable, means the forest was very thick with trees.
Jeremiah 46:24 “The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.”
Brought to shame before all the nations of the earth, being conquered by the Chaldeans. That is, the kingdom of Egypt, as the Targum; or the inhabitants of it, being subdued and carried captive.
“She shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north”: The Chaldeans, who dwelt northward of Egypt, as is manifest from what follows.
Daughter here, does not mean women, but men who are as weak as women. They were not the soldiers. They had run because they were hired men. This just means Nebuchadnezzar shall take Egypt.
Jeremiah 46:25 “The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and [all] them that trust in him:”
These names are often given unto God, the first signifying His power or ability to do what he either promised or threatened. The other speaking His kindness and near relation to the Jews.
“Behold, I will punish the multitude of No”: There are great critical disputes about this phrase, whether the word translated multitude signifies so, (as it does Jer. 52:15), and if so, whether it should not be multitude from No (ancient Thebes). Or whether it signifies the nourisher, (as some would have it), because No nourished all the adjacent parts. By those that trusted in Pharaoh the Jews are most probably meant. Who all along in their prosperity put too much confidence in Egypt, and after that Jerusalem was taken some of them (as we before heard), fled into Egypt for sanctuary.
No had to do with the false sun god Ra. No was known as Amon-Ra. This is an attack on all the false gods of Egypt, and the false gods those of Judah had been worshipping as well. Some even worshipped Pharaoh, so the false gods included him. This is not just literal Egypt, but is worldliness of all kind which Egypt symbolizes.
Jeremiah 46:26 “And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD.”
“Afterward”: Forty years after Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt, it threw off the Babylonian yoke but never regained its former glory (Ezek. 29:15).
Egypt will be destroyed as was Judah and Jerusalem, but it will come back again. God does not utterly destroy it to where it will never come back, like He does the city of Babylon at a later date.
Verses 27-28: A short glimpse of hope is tacked onto the end of the prophecy concerning Egypt. God is still “Israel’s” covenant God who will yet deal with a righteous remnant by restoring it to the land in accordance with His unconditional promises of old (see the notes on 23:3-5; 31:7; 31:31-34).
The leaders of Judah looked to Egypt as an ally to help deliver them from the Babylonians (37:11), and Jeremiah’s message about Egypt’s judgment was an important reminder that the LORD was their source of security and the One who would “save” them.
Jacob … make him afraid”: Though Israel has been scattered to the nations, the nations will receive their judgments, and the LORD will restore Israel (repeated from 30:10-11), from dispersion to its own land (as in Jer. 23:5-8; 30-33). No matter what judgments fall on Israel, they will not be destroyed (as Paul reiterates in Rom. 11:1-2, 15, 25-27).
Jeremiah 46:27 “But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make [him] afraid.”
“For, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land their captivity”: Grotius thinks the Jews carried into Egypt by Pharaoh-necho, along with Jehoahaz, are meant. But it does not appear that any were carried captive along with him, (2 Kings 23:33). Jarchi supposes these to be the righteous in Egypt, who were carried there by Johanan against their will. But though they may be included, even that small remnant that should escape (Jer. 44:28). Yet the Jews in Babylon, and other provinces, are chiefly designed. And the words are intended to comfort them in their captivity, with a promise of their return. Lest they should be discouraged, in hearing that the Egyptians should inhabit their own land again, and they not theirs.
“And Jacob shall return, and be in rest, and at ease, and none shall make him afraid”: This will have its full accomplishment hereafter in the latter day. When the Jews will be converted, and return to their own land. And never be disturbed more, as they have been, ever since their return from the Babylonish captivity. So Kimchi says this passage respects time to come.
When Jacob is mentioned instead of Israel, it is speaking of the twelve tribes of Israel. This is not just speaking to Judah and Benjamin, but to all the twelve tribes. This prophesied their return to the Promised Land. This speaks of a time of peace for all Israel. This had a near fulfillment in their return from Babylon, but this also has a far fulfillment that is going on even today. Physical Israel is being called from all nations of the world, where they had been scattered even today. They were to be scattered, until the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled.
Luke 21:24 “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
Jeremiah 46:28 “Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I [am] with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.”
Though afar off, in foreign lands, and in captivity. This exhortation is repeated, to strengthen their consolation, and them, against their fears of being cast off by the Lord.
“For I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee”: The Babylonians and Chaldeans will be no more.
“But I will not make a full end of thee”: The Jews to this day remain a people, and distinct from others, though scattered about in the world.
“But correct thee in measure”: With judgment, and in mercy.
“Yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished” (see note on Jer. 30:11).
This is primarily speaking of Babylon, to whom they were captive. Babylon will be destroyed, and Israel will return to the land God gave them. This chastisement they suffered was to turn them back to God. This also includes the inhuman acts against them, like the holocaust in Germany in World War 2. One sixth of all the Jews were killed in these atrocities against them. God has always saved a remnant of them. They are moving back to their Promised Land today.
Jeremiah Chapter 46 Questions
- To whom was this prophecy in verse 1 addressed?
- Who are the Gentiles?
- Who attacks the Pharaoh-necho?
- Carchemish was a very prominent __________ city of Mesopotamia.
- What is verse 3 and 4 speaking of?
- The Egyptian army was _______ trained and equipped.
- Why will it not help to run?
- What is the flood of verse 7?
- What was the intention of Egypt toward their neighbors?
- There is a day set aside for God’s ____________.
- What does “satiate” mean?
- Who would smite Egypt?
- What was another name for Noph?
- _______________ was the home of the Pharaoh.
- The Egyptians army was made up of _________________.
- Who is “the daughter dwelling in Egypt”?
- What did the Egyptian hired army do when the fighting came?
- What is meant by “the trees being as grasshoppers”?
- What does “daughter”, in verse 24, mean?
- What false God did No have to do with?
- Who will God make a full end of?
- What is the modern fulfillment of this?
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