44 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah concerning 1 all the Judeans who were living in the land of Egypt, those in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the region of southern Egypt. 2 2 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 3 says, ‘You have seen all the disaster I brought on Jerusalem 4 and all the towns of Judah. Indeed, they now lie in ruins and are deserted. 5 3 This happened because of the wickedness the people living there did. 6 They made me angry 7 by worshiping and offering sacrifice to 8 other gods whom neither they nor you nor your ancestors 9 previously knew. 10 4 I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over 11 again warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate. 12 5 But the people of Jerusalem and Judah 13 would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods. 14 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.’
7 “So now the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 15 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? 8 That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing. 16 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 17 and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth. 18 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 19 wives, by you and your wives? 10 To this day your people 20 have shown no contrition! They have not revered me nor followed the laws and statutes I commanded 21 you and your ancestors.’
11 “Because of this, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘I am determined to bring disaster on you, 22 even to the point of destroying all the Judeans here. 23 12 I will see to it that all the Judean remnant that was determined to go 24 and live in the land of Egypt will be destroyed. Here in the land of Egypt they will fall in battle 25 or perish from starvation. People of every class 26 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. 27 13 I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt with war, starvation, and disease just as I punished Jerusalem. 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.’” 28
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. 29 They answered, 16 “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! 30 17 Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 31 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 32 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. 33 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.” 34 19 The women added, 35 “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.” 36
20 Then Jeremiah replied to all the people, both men and women, who responded to him in this way. 37 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 38 in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. 39 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. 40 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.” 41
24 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people, particularly to all the women. 42 “Listen to what the Lord has to say all you people of Judah who are in Egypt. 25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 43 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!’ 44 26 But 45 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….” 46 27 I will indeed 47 see to it that disaster, not prosperity, happens to them. 48 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. 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! 49 Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 50 mine or theirs.’ 29 Moreover the Lord says, 51 ‘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. 52 30 I, the Lord, promise that 53 I will hand Pharaoh Hophra 54 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.’”
46 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah about the nations. 1
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 2 over Judah. 3
3 “Fall into ranks with your shields ready! 4
Prepare to march into battle!
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!
5 What do I see?” 5 says the Lord. 6
“The soldiers 7 are terrified.
They are retreating.
They have been defeated.
They are overcome with terror; 8
they desert quickly
without looking back.
6 But even the swiftest cannot get away.
Even the strongest cannot escape. 9
There in the north by the Euphrates River
they stumble and fall in defeat. 10
7 “Who is this that rises like the Nile,
like its streams 11 turbulent at flood stage?
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.’
9 Go ahead and 12 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 13 who are armed with the bow. 14
10 But that day belongs to the Lord God who rules over all. 15
It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. 16
His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied!
It will drink their blood until it is full! 17
For the Lord God who rules over all 18 will offer them up as a sacrifice
in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
11 Go up to Gilead and get medicinal ointment, 19
you dear poor people of Egypt. 20
But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use; 21
there will be no healing for you.
12 The nations will hear of your devastating defeat. 22
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.” 23
13 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt. 24
14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.
Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. 25
‘Take your positions and prepare to do battle.
For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.’ 26
15 Why will your soldiers 27 be defeated? 28
They will not stand because I, the Lord, will thrust 29 them down.
16 I will make many stumble. 30
They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. 31
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.’ 32
17 There at home they will say, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise! 33
He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’ 34
18 I the King, whose name is the Lord who rules over all, 35 swear this:
I swear as surely as I live that 36 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. 37
19 Pack your bags for exile,
you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. 38
For Memphis will be laid waste.
It will lie in ruins 39 and be uninhabited.
20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.
But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies. 40
21 Even her mercenaries 41
will prove to be like pampered, 42 well-fed calves.
For they too will turn and run away.
They will not stand their ground
when 43 the time for them to be destroyed comes,
the time for them to be punished.
22 Egypt will run away, hissing like a snake, 44
as the enemy comes marching up in force.
They will come against her with axes
as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.
23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest.
But I, the Lord, affirm 45 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. 46
24 Poor dear Egypt 47 will be put to shame.
She will be handed over to the people from the north.”
25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 48 says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes. 49 I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him. 50 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!” 51
27 “You descendants of Jacob, my servants, 53 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. 54
The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.
They will be secure and no one will terrify them.
28 I, the Lord, tell 55 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.” 56