Prophecies Against Egypt
Verse 1 – The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations.
In this chapter, we will gain insights about God and His plan for the world: (1) Although God chose Israel for a special purpose, He loves all people and wants all to come to Him. (2) Our God is holy and can not tolerate sin. (3) God does not delight in judgement, but in salvation. (4) God’s standards are not prejudice, they are the same for everyone.
Verse 2 – Against Egypt, concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, which was by the River Euphrates in Carchemish, and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
Verse 3 – “Order the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle!
Verse 4 – Harness the horses, and mount up, you horsemen! Stand forth with your helmets, polish the spears, put on the armor!
Verse 5 – Why have I seen them dismayed and turned back? Their mighty ones are beaten down; they have speedily fled, and did not look back, for fear was all around,” says the Lord.
Verse 6 – “Do not let the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they will stumble and fall toward the north, by the River Euphrates.
This king, Necho, is the one who killed King Josiah of Judah at Megiddo in 609 B.C. Necho placed Johoahaz on the throne for 3 months and then removed him and put him in prison. He then put Jehoiakim in his place. The Babylonians defeated Egypt in the battle at Carchemish by surprise which passed leadership to Babylon. So, with Egypt’s power declining, it was wrong for Judah to form alliance with Egypt.
Verse 7 – “Who is this coming up like a flood, whose waters move like rivers?
Verse 8 – Egypt rises up like a flood, and its waters move like the rivers; and he says, ‘I will go up and cover the earth, I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.’
Verse 9 – Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! and let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, and the Lydians who handle and bend the bow.
The soldiers from Cush and Put were from eastern and northern Africa. The men of Lydia may have been from Greece. Apparently these were mercenary troops that followed the Egyptian army to Cush or Ethiopia.
Verse 10 – For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; it shall be satiated and made drunk with your blood; for the country by the River Euphrates.
The day of vengeance is much broader than God’s vengeance on Egypt for killing King Josiah. Egypt’s defeat is viewed as a sacrifice to the Lord.
Verse 11 – “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; in vain you will use many medicines; you shall be cured.
Verse 12 – The nations have heard of your shame, and your cry has filled the land; for the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; they both have fallen together.”
One mighty man against another. The champions hired to fight Egypt’s battle get in one another’s way and are slaughtered together.
Verse 13 – The word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would come and strike the land of Egypt.
Verse 14 – “Declare to Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Noph and in Tahpanhes; say, ‘Stand fast and prepare yourselves, for the sword devours all around you.’
Verse 15 – Why are your valiant men swept away? They did not stand because the Lord drove them away.
Verse 16 – He made many fall; yes, one fell upon another. And they said, ‘Arise! Let us go back to our own people and to the land of our nativity from the oppressing sword.’ (These were the foreign mercenaries supporting Egypt who were talking.)
Verse 17 – They cried there, ‘Pharaoh, king of Egypt is but a noise. He has passed by the appointed time!’
The Pharaoh had promised to come to Jerusalem’s aide, but had been all talk and no action. Oh, he started out to march against the Babylonians, but when the Babylonian army resisted and stood against him, the Egyptians retreated.
Verse 18 – “As I live,” says the king, whose name is the Lord of host, “Surely as Tabor is among the mountains and as Carmet by the sea, so he shall come.
Verse 19 – O you daughter dwelling in Egypt, prepare yourself to go into captivity! For Noph shall be waste and be desolate, without inhabitant.
Verse 20 – “Egypt is like a very pretty heifer, but destruction comes, it comes from the north.
Verse 21 – Also her mercenaries are in her midst like fat bulls, for they also turned back, they have fled away together. They did not stand, for the day of their calamity had come upon them, the time of their punishment.
Verse 22 – Her noise shall go like a serpent, for they shall march with an army and come against her axes, like those who chop wood.
Verse 23 – “They shall cut down her forest,” says the Lord, “Though it cannot be searched, because they are innumerable, and more numerous than grasshoppers.
Verse 24 – The daughter of Egypt shall be ashamed; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.”
Verse 25 – The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will bring punishment on Amon of No, and Pharaoh and Egypt, with their gods and their kings-Pharaoh and those who trust in him.
Despite the Egyptians hiding in the forest, they would laterally be cut down by the Babylonian army.
The multitude of No – Rather Amon of No, Amon of Jupiter-Amon was the deity invisible, whose name signifies “the concealed.” No-Amon is the city of Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt.
Verse 26 – “And I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of his servants. Afterward it shall be inhabited as in the days of old,” says the Lord.
Later the god of Amon was merged with Re to become Amon-Re, the sun-god and the god of rulers of Egypt. However, after Thebes is punished, there is a promise of restoration, which is repeated for other nations as well.
Verse 27 – “But do not fear, O My servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; no one shall make him afraid.
Verse 28 – Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,” says the Lord, “For I am with you; for I will make a complete end of all nations to which I have driven you, but I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you, for I will leave you wholly unpunished.”
These verses are the same as what was written in 30:10 and 11. God would bring destruction on all the nations that He had banished His people to. Discipline fell on Judah, but God saved a remnant.