Jeremiah (Ch 45-46)

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Josiah (reign 640–609), Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586)

Jeremiah 45

1 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book out of the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, — the fourth year of Jehoiakim would be perhaps 606 BC or whereabout (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon); having the same beginning as chapter 25;

— in the fourth year of Jehoiakim; which was eighteen years before the destruction of Jerusalem; which would more properly have followed the 36th chapter; where we have an account of what Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah in a roll, and read to the people, and after that to the princes; which exposed him to danger, and caused the grief expressed by him in this chapter is postponed to this place.

“Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch:

Thou didst say, ‘Woe is me now! For the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.’ — thou didst say, woe is me now!… what will become of me? I am ruined; this he said in his heart, if not with his lips, perhaps both ways; and when the king gave orders to apprehend him and the prophet, being provoked at the roll which he had wrote and read, Jeremiah 36:26;

— for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; caused him grief upon grief, sorrow upon sorrow; for there was a variety of things which occasioned grief and sorrow; the trouble of his office as a scribe to the prophet; the grievous things contained in the prophecies he transcribed, concerning the ruin of his people and nation; the king’s displeasure at the roll and his burning it;

— I fainted in my sighing; he sighed and groaned at what he saw coming upon his country, which overcame his spirits; he sunk and swooned away: or “I laboured in my sighing” amidst his sighs and groans, he prayed to the Lord, and laboured in prayer, that he might be delivered from the evils he feared were coming upon him.

Thus shalt thou say unto him, ‘The Lord saith thus: Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. — the Lord saith thus, behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up; even the Jewish nation which the Lord had built up as a spacious and beautiful house to dwell in, and had planted as a vineyard and set it with pleasant plants; but now would demolish this building and destroy his estate:

— even this whole land; not a few cities only, or only Jerusalem the metropolis but the whole land of Judea; no part of it but what should be left desolate. The Targum says, “even the whole land of Israel, is mine.”

And seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not; for behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord, but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.’” — seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not… riches and wealth honour and esteem, peace and prosperity; these were not to be sought after and expected, when the whole nation would be involved in such a general calamity. Baruch perhaps expected that his reading the roll to princes would have been a means of honouring him at court, of advancing him to some office, in which he might have acquired wealth and got applause and lived in peace and plenty all his days; but this was not to be expected; when the very roll he wrote and read contained in it prophecies of the general ruin of the nation;

— for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh; not upon every individual person in the world; but upon all the inhabitants of Judea, who should either die by the sword or by famine, by pestilence or be carried as captives;

— but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places wherever thou goest; suggesting that he should be obliged to quit his native place and country, and go from place to place; as he did, after the destruction of Jerusalem, along with the prophet; and even into Egypt with the Jews that went there; where his life would be in danger, and yet the Scriptures are silent here, that he and Jeremiah and the king’s daughters should be taken by another great eagle to Ireland, see Ezekiel 17.

Jeremiah 46

1 The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations. — the word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations; distinguished from the Jews; not all the nations of the world, but some hereafter mentioned: the Egyptians, Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Syrians, Arabians, Persians, and Chaldeans: or “concerning the nations” mentioned above; though the prophecies delivered are all against them, none favourable.

Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho 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: — against Egypt… this is the title of the first prophecy against Egypt; which is first mentioned because the Jews were most familiar with and have placed great confidence in and much relied on the Egyptians for help:

Wiki: Carchemish was the location of an important battle, about 605 BC, between the Babylonians  and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible (Jeremiah 46:2). 

“Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle!

Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines!

Why 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. — wherefore have I seen them dismayed and turned away back?… the Egyptians, after all this preparation for war and seeming ardent to engage in battle; yet when they came to it, were seized with a panic, and thrown into the utmost consternation and turned their backs upon their enemy: these are either the words of the prophet, who are led by a spirit of prophecy, foreseeing the consternation, confusion and flight of the Egyptian army; or of the Lord, who foresaw all this:

— and their mighty ones are beaten down and 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, and 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 horror and never stopped to look back upon their pursuers;

— for fear was round about, saith the Lord; their enemies surrounded them, and that was the reason fright was all around them, and both were from the Lord; or as he had determined and foretold it.

“Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble and fall toward the north by the River Euphrates. — let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty men escape… those that were swift of foot, or carried but light armour, let not such trust to their swiftness; nor let the mighty man think to escape by reason of his great strength, to make his way through the enemy, and get out of his hands. Or this may be rendered as future, “the swift shall not flee away” so the Targum says neither one nor the other shall escape by the nimbleness of their heels, or the stoutness of their hearts:

— they shall stumble and fall toward the north, by the river Euphrates; which lay north of Judea, and also was to the north of Egypt, whose destruction is threatened: the place where this route and slaughter would be made was Carchemish, which was situated by that great river Euphrates.

“Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers? — who is this that cometh up as a flood… these are either the words of the prophet, who having a vision in prophecy of the march of the Egyptian army from the south to the north, which he compares to a flood; in allusion to the river Nile, which used to overflow its banks; or they are the words of God, who puts this question in order to give an answer to it and thereby upbraid the Egyptians with their arrogance, pride and vanity; which would all come to nothing:

— whose waters are moved as the rivers? whose numerous armies came with a great noise and force, like the openings of the Nile, the seven gates of it; which were very boisterous, especially in hard gales of wind: it is no unusual thing for large armies to be compared to floods and rivers, which move forcibly and swiftly, and make a large spread; Isaiah 8:7. The Targum says, “who is this that comes up with his army as a cloud, and covers the earth, and as a fountain of water, whose waters are moved?”

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.’ — and he saith, I will go up; Pharaohnecho 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 Egyptian army: even all toward the north country, including the Babylonish empire;

— I will destroy the city, and the inhabitants thereof; which 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 ambition and temper.

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. — come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots… these are either the words of Pharaoh, giving orders to his cavalry and charioteers to make haste and come up to battle, not doubting of victory: or rather of the Lord by the prophet, ironically calling upon the horsemen in the Egyptian army to come on and engage with the enemy, and behave gallantly; and those in the chariots to drive;

— the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; or Cush and Phut, both sons of Ham, and brethren of Mizraim, from whence Egypt had its name, Genesis 10:6; the posterity of these are meant. The Cushites or Ethiopians were near neighbours of the Egyptians, and their allies and confederates.

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 sated and made drunk with their blood; for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the River Euphrates. — and 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 any more; they shall be glutted with their blood;

— for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates near Carchemish, which lay north of Egypt; an allusion to the sacrifices of great warriors, which are many; the Lord of hosts had a sacrifice, or a great slaughter of men, his enemies; inflicted punishment on them, wherein his power and justice were displayed.

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. — and take balm, O virgin, daughter of Egypt; the kingdom of Egypt, as the Targum says; so called because of its glory and excellency; and because as yet it had not been conquered and brought under the power of another.

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 nations have heard of thy shame… their shameful defeat and overthrow by the Chaldean army; so, after the manner of prophecy uttered, the warning fulfilled; the battle fought, and the victory obtained; and the rumour and fame spread among the nations, to the great mortification of this proud people:

— and thy cry hath filled the land; the shrieks of the wounded; the cry of the pursued and taken; the lamentation of friends and relations for their dead; with one thing or another of this kind the whole land of Egypt was filled; yea, all the countries round about them, in confederacy with them, were filled with distress for the loss of their own; the calamity was large and spreading:

— for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, and they are fallen both together; either the mighty Egyptians against the mighty Chaldeans; and though the latter were the conquerors, yet lost abundance of men; so that there were mighty ones fell on both sides. The Targum says both were slain.

13 The word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon should come and smite the land of Egypt: — the word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet… 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; and was fulfilled some years after the other;

— 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; Rashi says, according to their chronicles, this was a second blow, in the twenty seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign; around 579 BC.

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.’ — declare ye in Egypt… the coming of the king of Babylon, and his intention to invade the land and subdue it:

— 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; 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 Jerusalem, Judea, Syria and other neighbouring countries; and therefore it was high time for them to bestir themselves and provide for their defence and safety.

15 Why are thy valiant [showing courage] men swept away? They stood not, because the Lord did drive them. — why are thy valiant men swept away?… as with a mighty torrent, or a sweeping rain; to which the Chaldean army may be compared; which came with such irresistible force as to drive the Egyptians from their posts, so that they could not stand their ground;

— the Septuagint renders it, “why does Apis flee from thee? thy choice ox does not continue,” which was the god of the Egyptians, they worshipped in the form of an ox; this could not protect them, thought by them to be very mighty and powerful; their choice ox, Apis, of the Egyptians is believed to be a most powerful deity; yet could not save them;

— because the Lord did drive them; by means of the Chaldeans; he dispirited them; he put them into a panic and they fled from their posts; there is no standing against the Lord.

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.’ — and they said, arise: not those that fell, which may seem at first sight; but either the strangers in the land of Egypt, such as the Jews were; who, perceiving the destruction that was coming on Egypt, exhort one another to arise, and get out of it; or rather the auxiliaries of the Egyptians, as the Ethiopians, Libyans and Lydians,

— and let us go again to our own people, and to the land of our own country, where we were born, and where our friends and relations lived; so that we might be safe;

— from the oppressing sword; the sword of the Chaldeans.

17 They did cry there, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise! He hath passed the time appointed.’ — Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he boasted and bragged of great things he would do, but does nothing; he promised to bring a large army into the field, and talked big of attacking the enemy with great ardour and fury, and hectored and blustered as if he feared nothing, and was sure of victory; but when it came to the push, his courage failed him; and it may be said of him what the man said of his nightingale, “vox et praeterea nihil” a voice and nothing else. This was not Pharaohnecho, as the Septuagint have wrongly inserted, but Pharaohhophra, Jeremiah 44:30; or it may be supplied thus, “Pharaoh king of Egypt is a king of noise” a noisy, big and blusterous king in words, but in deeds nothing.

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, a mountain in Galilee; and Carmel is by the sea of Galilee.

19 O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity; for Noph shall be waste and desolate, without an inhabitant. — 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 be prepared for it;

— for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant; the city Memphis as the Targum says: this is particularly mentioned, because it was a royal city, 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.

20 “Egypt is like a very fair heifer, but destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north. — the Targum says, “Egypt was a beautiful kingdom.”

— but destruction cometh, it cometh from the north; that is, the destruction of Egypt, which should come from Chaldea, which lay north of Egypt; and this threat is repeated.

21 Also her hired men are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, and have fled away together. They did not stand, because the day of their calamity had come upon them, and the time of their visitation. — all her hired men are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks… 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 interprets it, her princes; who had the care of this heifer and of the feeding of this princeling; these themselves were like that, nourished for the day of slaughter.

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. — the voice thereof shall go like a serpent… that is, the voice of Egypt before compared to a heifer when in its glory; but now it shall not bellow like a heifer in fat pasture, bat hiss like a serpent when drove and pursued out of its hole; signifying, that their voice should be low and submissive and should not speak one big or murmuring word to their conquerors;

— for they shall march with an army; the Targum adds, against you; the meaning is, that the Chaldeans should come with a great army, and march against the Egyptians with great strength, force and fury:

— and come against her with axes, as hewers of wood; with battle axes as if they came to cut down trees; nor would they spare the Egyptians any more than such hewers do the trees; nor would they be able any more to resist them than trees can resist hewers of wood.

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. — they shall cut down her forest, saith the Lord… the land of Egypt compared to a forest for the multitude of its cities, towns and their inhabitants; which should be destroyed by the Chaldeans as a forest is cut down by hewers of wood;

— the metaphor is continued with the Targum interpreting this as the princes of Egypt and their destruction;

— because they are more than grasshoppers, are innumerable; which creatures come in large numbers, and eat up every green tree and herb; and so the Chaldean army, being alike numerous, would easily cut down the trees of this forest, because they were so many.

24 The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.” — the daughter of Egypt shall be confounded… brought to shame before all the nations of the earth, being conquered by the Chaldeans; that is, the kingdom of Egypt, as the Targum says; 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.

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. — behold, I will punish the multitude of No; the inhabitants of it, which were many, called “populous No” in Nahum 3:8; a famous city in Egypt. Some take it to be Diospolis or Thebes; and others the same that is now called Alexandria; and so the Targum renders it;

— and Pharaoh and Egypt, with their gods and their kings; Pharaoh, their present king of Egypt, who was Pharaohhophra, and all the land of Egypt; and all their numerous idols, which were many indeed; and the several governors of the nomes or provinces into which the land was distributed; these should be punished and suffer in the general calamity.

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. — and afterwards it shall be inhabited as in the days of old, saith the Lord; after forty years, as Ezekiel prophesied, Ezekiel 29:11-13; not that it should rise to the same glory and dignity as before, for it would be but a base kingdom; but whereas it was desolate and uninhabited after this destruction, it should now be inhabited again.

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. — I will save thee from afar off; these maybe the righteous in Egypt, who were carried there by Johanan against their will; and these small remnant should escape, Jeremiah 44:28; and these words are intended to comfort those in 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; as Jacob includes the other ten tribes when all Israelites return to their own land, and never be disturbed any more.

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.” — fear thou not, O Jacob, my servant, saith the Lord, for I am with thee… though afar off in foreign lands and in captivity: this exhortation is repeated to strengthen their consolation and against their fears of being cast off by the Lord;

— but correct thee in measure; with judgement and in mercy for the full house of Jacob: yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

~ by Joel Huan on November 22, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 45-46)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 45 and 46 HERE ~ —— […]

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