Jeremiah 43 commentary

JEREMIAH 43 COMMENTARY EDITED BY GLENN PEASE 1 When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— BARNES 1-3, "These captains belonged to the party who had all along resisted Jeremiah’s counsels, and had led Zedekiah astray. Now however that events had proved that the prophet’s counsels had been wise and true, they cannot for shame find fault with him, but they affirm that he is under the influence of Baruch, a traitor who has sold himself to the Chaldaeans, and seeks only the hurt of the people. These captains belonged to the party who had all along resisted Jeremiah’s counsels, and had led Zedekiah astray. Now however that events had proved that the prophet’s counsels had been wise and true, they cannot for shame find fault with him, but they affirm that he is under the influence of Baruch, a traitor who has sold himself to the Chaldaeans, and seeks only the hurt of the people. GILL, "And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people,.... The princes and the people, the whole body of them, who had desired the prophet to seek the Lord for them, and whom he called together to relate his answer, and declare his will; see Jer_42:1; they heard him out, and that was as much as they did; for as soon as he had done, they rose up and contradicted him: however, he faithfully declared all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God sent him to them, even all the words; which are related in the preceding chapter, which were the words of the Lord, and so ought to have been regarded; and the rather, as they were the words of their God, whom they professed, and which he had sent his prophet to declare unto them; and who had kept back nothing, but had made known the whole; he had told the truth, and nothing but the truth, and all the truth. HENRY, "What God said to the builders of Babel may be truly said of this people that Jeremiah is now dealing with: Now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do, Gen_11:6. They have a fancy for Egypt, and to Egypt they will go, 1

Transcript of Jeremiah 43 commentary

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1 When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them—

BARNES 1-3, "These captains belonged to the party who had all along resisted Jeremiah’s counsels, and had led Zedekiah astray. Now however that events had proved that the prophet’s counsels had been wise and true, they cannot for shame find fault with him, but they affirm that he is under the influence of Baruch, a traitor who has sold himself to the Chaldaeans, and seeks only the hurt of the people.

These captains belonged to the party who had all along resisted Jeremiah’s counsels, and had led Zedekiah astray. Now however that events had proved that the prophet’s counsels had been wise and true, they cannot for shame find fault with him, but they affirm that he is under the influence of Baruch, a traitor who has sold himself to the Chaldaeans, and seeks only the hurt of the people.

GILL, "And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people,.... The princes and the people, the whole body of them, who had desired the prophet to seek the Lord for them, and whom he called together to relate his answer, and declare his will; see Jer_42:1; they heard him out, and that was as much as they did; for as soon as he had done, they rose up and contradicted him: however, he faithfully declared all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God sent him to them, even all the words; which are related in the preceding chapter, which were the words of the Lord, and so ought to have been regarded; and the rather, as they were the words of their God, whom they professed, and which he had sent his prophet to declare unto them; and who had kept back nothing, but had made known the whole; he had told the truth, and nothing but the truth, and all the truth.

HENRY, "What God said to the builders of Babel may be truly said of this people that Jeremiah is now dealing with: Now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do, Gen_11:6. They have a fancy for Egypt, and to Egypt they will go,


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whatever God himself says to the contrary. Jeremiah made them hear all he had to say, though he saw them uneasy at it; it was what the Lord their God had sent him to speak to them, and they shall have it all. And now let us see what they have to say to it.

JAMISON, "Jer_43:1-13. The Jews carry Jeremiah and Baruch into Egypt. Jeremiah foretells by a type the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, and the fate of the fugitives.

K&D 1-3, "The march of the people to Egypt. - When Jeremiah had thus ended all the words which the Lord had announced to him for the people, then came forward Azariah (probably an error for Jezaniah, see on Jer_42:1) the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and the rest of the insolent men, and said to Jeremiah, "Thou dost utter falsehood; Jahveh our God hath not sent thee unto us, saying, Ye must not go to Egypt to sojourn there; Jer_43:3. But Baruch the son of Neriah inciteth thee against us, in order to give us into the hand of the Chaldeans, to kill us, and to take us captive toBabylon." אמרים is not the predicate to כל־האנשים, but forms a resumption of יאמר , with which it thus serves to connect its object, Jeremiah, and from which it would otherwise be pretty far removed. Azariah (or, more correctly, Jezaniah) occupies the last place in the enumeration of the captains, Jer_40:8, and in Jer_42:1 is also named afterJohanan, who is the only one specially mentioned, in what follows, as the leader on the march. From this we may safely conclude that Jezaniah was the chief speaker and the leader of the opposition against the prophet. To avoid any reference to the promise they had made to obey the will of God, they declare that Jeremiah's prophecy is an untruth, which had been suggested to him, not by God, but by his attendant Baruch, with the view of delivering up the people to the Chaldeans.

CALVIN, "Here the Prophet proceeds with the remaining part of the narrative. He says that the whole people obstinately persevered in their wicked design, so that he effected nothing by his warning and protest. Now this stupidity of the people was monstrous; for they had found out by experience the fidelity of the Prophet for many years; and further, they had gone to him because they believed that he was a faithful and an approved servant of God. He had not merely answered them in God’s name, but as he knew their hardness, he added protestations which might have moved even stones. But he addressed the deaf; and it hence appears that they were wholly fascinated by the devil. And thus let us learn not to mock God, nor bring a double heart when we inquire as to his will, but to suffer ourselves to be ruled by his word. COFFMAN, "Verse 1JEREMIAH 43JUDAH MOVES TO EGYPT; TAKING JEREMIAH AND BARUCH


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This is a tragic chapter indeed. "Think of it! Abraham's descendants returned to Egypt long after their liberation from it. With great suffering they had been delivered from their bondage in Egypt, only to return nearly nine hundred years later a defeated, hopeless remnant!"[1]There is probably nowhere to be found a better comment upon the incredible blindness of human politicians than the one afforded by this chapter.The chapter divisions are: (1) Judah's leaders reject God's word (Jeremiah 43:1-4); (2) Jeremiah and Baruch taken to Egypt (Jeremiah 43:5-7); (3) Prophecy of conquest of Egypt (Jeremiah 43:8-11); and (4) Prophecy against the gods of Egypt (Jeremiah 43:12-13).Jeremiah 43:1-4JUDAH'S LEADERS REJECT GOD'S WORD"And it came to pass that when Jeremiah had made an end to speaking unto all the people all the words of Jehovah their God, wherewith Jehovah their God had sent him unto them, even all these words, then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: Jehovah our God hath not sent thee to say, Ye shall not go into Egypt to sojourn there; but Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, to deliver us into the hands of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death, and carry us away captive to Babylon. So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of Jehovah, to dwell in the land of Judah.""And all the proud men ..." (Jeremiah 43:2). The two prominent leaders, Azariah and Johanan, were backed up by a group of men, called here "the proud men." The versions provide further insight into the meaning of these words: "the insolent men" (Revised Standard Version); "the arrogant men" (the Good News Bible). They were the bold and confident unbelievers who constituted the vast majority of that apostate generation of the Chosen People, having no regard whatever, either for Almighty God, or God's prophets.We do not believe that there was anything whatever in the allegations of those Jewish leaders of either truth or probability. For example, their suggestion that Baruch was the author of Jeremiah's prophecies here was an outright falsehood. What a preposterous proposition it was that, "The prophet who would not trim his message for the king himself would have allowed himself to be manipulated by his secretary!"[2]"All the people obeyed not ..." (Jeremiah 43:4) The insolent, loud-mouthed, arrogant, and confident claims of the false leaders quickly swept away all objections


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to their policies; and they proceeded at once to Egypt. Jeremiah did not defend himself against the charge of prophesying a falsehood, but trusted in the future to reveal who was true and who was false.TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:1 And it came to pass, [that] when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, [even] all these words,Ver. 1. And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end, &c.] See here how wicked men, and hypocrites especially, grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Balaam being resolved to curse, however, went not as at other times but set his face toward the wilderness. [Numbers 24:1-2] Now he would build no more altars, but curse whatever came of it; so would these refractories, without God’s good leave, go down to Egypt, putting it to the venture. Jeremiah’s sweet words were even lost upon them.PETT, "Verses 1-7The People Of Judah And Their Leaders Reject The Word Of YHWH And Seek Refuge In Egypt (Jeremiah 43:1-7).Even as Jeremiah had been giving to the people ‘the word of YHWH’ he had recognised from their reaction that they were going to reject it. And so it proved. A group of ‘proud men’, which included the leaders of the people, came to Jeremiah and accused him of prophesying at the behest of Baruch, the son of Neriah, who had been Jeremiah’s amanuensis and was a man of high standing. And they then subsequently sought refuge in Egypt, in the border town of Tahpanes. This had clearly always been their intention, whatever word from YHWH Jeremiah brought them. So once again Judah proved itself unwilling to obey the voice of YHWH.We must not underestimate the significance of this event. YHWH had made a clear offer to Judah to re-establish it in accordance with His promises in Jeremiah 31:28, by ‘building it and planting it’. This was thus an open and direct rejection of the new covenant. It will be noted that they did not attack Jeremiah directly. They did so through Baruch, suggesting that Jeremiah’s influence over many of the people was still large. By this means they justified to themselves their disobedience to the word of YHWH. How easily we can find ourselves doing the same thing. We do not directly refuse to obey God. Instead we find some way of arguing our way round what He demands in order to justify our own position.Jeremiah 43:1‘And it came about that, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking to all the people all the words of YHWH their God, with which YHWH their God had sent him to them, even all these words,’


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Note the emphasis on the fact that Jeremiah had brought to them the word of ‘YHWH THEIR God’ (repeated twice), and that they had listened while he pronounced the whole. It was a momentous situation. Judah were once more being faced up to the question as to whether they were truly willing to respond to YHWH as THEIR God by obeying His word through Jeremiah, as they had solemnly promised to do (Jeremiah 42:2-5).

2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’

CLARKE, "Thou speakest falsely - They had no other color for their rebellion than flatly to deny that God had spoken what the prophet related.

GILL, "Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah,.... Perhaps the same with Jezaniah, or a brother of his, Jer_42:1; he is mentioned first, it may be, because he was the contriver of this scheme to go into Egypt, advised unto it, and was most for it it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions call him the son of Maaseiah; and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men; the great men among them, who are commonly proud of their greatness; of their descent, family and blood; of their wealth and riches, and posts of honour; perhaps the captains of the forces are meant, who elsewhere are mentioned along with Johanan, Jer_40:13; these were men full of themselves, had a high opinion of their own wisdom, and were prudent in their own eyes; and could not bear to be contradicted or advised by the prophet, nor even by the Lord himself; and are justly, by the Targum, called wicked men; and so the Syriac version renders it; their pride was the cause of their rebellion against God, and disobedience to him, and of their ungenteel and insolent behaviour to the prophet saying unto Jeremiah, thou speakest falsely: or, "a lie" (e); it being contrary to their minds: so the prophets of the Lord, the ministers of the word, and even the word of God itself, are charged with falsehoods, when contrary to men's sentiments and lusts;


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the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, go not into Egypt to sojourn there; they did not care to own it was the word of the Lord, Whatever convictions of it they had in their minds; because they would not openly appear to be fighters against God, whom they professed to be their God; but deny that the prophet was sent by him with any such message to them; when they had all the reason to believe by former prophecies, which had had their fulfilment, that Jeremiah was a true prophet of the Lord, and that he had acted a very faithful part in the present affair: they themselves had sent him to the Lord to pray for them; he had done so, and the Lord had returned an answer by him; of which they had no reason to doubt, but their pride would not allow them to receive it. HENRY 2-3, "They deny it to be a message from God: Johanan, and all the proud

men, said to Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely, Jer_43:2. See here, 1. What was the cause of their disobedience - it was pride; only by that comes contention both with God and man. They were proud men that gave the lie to the prophet. They could not bear the contradiction of their sentiments and the control of their designs, no, not by the divine wisdom, by the divine will itself. Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?Exo_5:2. The proud unhumbled heart of man is one of the most daring enemies God has on this side hell. 2. What was the colour for their disobedience. They would not acknowledge it to be the word of God: The Lord hath not sent thee on this errand to us. Either they were not convinced that what was said came from God or (which I rather think) though they were convinced of it they would not own it. The light shone strongly in their face, but they either shut their eyes against it or would not confess that they saw it. Note, The reason why men deny the scriptures to be the word of God is because they are resolved not to conform to scripture-rules, and so an obstinate infidelity is made the sorry subterfuge of a wilful disobedience. If God had spoken to them by an angel, or as he did from Mount Sinai, they would have said that it was a delusion. Had they not consulted Jeremiah as a prophet? Had he not waited to receive instructions from God what to say to them? Had not what he said all the usual marks of prophecy upon it? Was not the prophet himself embarked in the same bottom with them? What interests could he have separate from theirs? Had he not always approved himself an Israelite indeed? And had not God proved him a prophet indeed? Had any of his words ever fallen to the ground? Why, truly, they had some good thoughts of Jeremiah, but they suggest (Jer_43:3), Baruch sets thee on against us. A likely thing, that Baruch should be in a plot to deliver them into the hands of the Chaldeans; and what would he get by that? If Jeremiah and he had been so well affected to the Chaldeans as they would represent them, they would have gone away at first with Nebuzaradan, when he courted them, to Babylon, and not have staid to take their lot with this despised ungrateful remnant. But the best services are no fences against malice and slander. Or, if Baruch had been so ill disposed, could they think Jeremiah would be so influenced by him as to make God's name an authority to patronise so villainous a purpose? Note, Those that are resolved to contradict the great ends of the ministry are industrious to bring a bad name upon it. When men will persist in sin they represent those that would turn them from it as designing men for themselves, nay, as ill-designing men against their neighbours. It is well for persons who are thus misrepresented that their witness is in heaven and their record on high.JAMISON, "Azariah — the author of the project of going into Egypt; a very different


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man from the Azariah in Babylon (Dan_1:7; Dan_3:12-18).proud — Pride is the parent of disobedience and contempt of God.

K&D 1-3, "The march of the people to Egypt. - When Jeremiah had thus ended all the words which the Lord had announced to him for the people, then came forward Azariah (probably an error for Jezaniah, see on Jer_42:1) the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and the rest of the insolent men, and said to Jeremiah, "Thou dost utter falsehood; Jahveh our God hath not sent thee unto us, saying, Ye must not go to Egypt to sojourn there; Jer_43:3. But Baruch the son of Neriah inciteth thee against us, in order to give us into the hand of the Chaldeans, to kill us, and to take us captive toBabylon." אמרים is not the predicate to כל־האנשים, but forms a resumption of יאמר , with which it thus serves to connect its object, Jeremiah, and from which it would otherwise be pretty far removed. Azariah (or, more correctly, Jezaniah) occupies the last place in the enumeration of the captains, Jer_40:8, and in Jer_42:1 is also named afterJohanan, who is the only one specially mentioned, in what follows, as the leader on the march. From this we may safely conclude that Jezaniah was the chief speaker and the leader of the opposition against the prophet. To avoid any reference to the promise they had made to obey the will of God, they declare that Jeremiah's prophecy is an untruth, which had been suggested to him, not by God, but by his attendant Baruch, with the view of delivering up the people to the Chaldeans.

CALVIN, "Now he says, that when he had finished speaking to the whole people, as God had commanded, then John the son of Kareah, and Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, being the first among them, spoke against him. As to Azariah, we cannot know with any certainty what he was. But we have here in John the son of Kareah an example deserving of notice. We have seen that he was a bold, wise, and prudent man, and also of an upright mind. In short, when we consider what the Prophet has before said of him, we cannot but think he was by nature a heroic man; nay, when he is compared with Gedaliah, who, at the same time, was an excellent man, and whom the Prophet has adorned with high commendations, he yet far excelled him. Gedaliah, indeed, had a kind disposition, he was courageous in protecting the people, he was a man of integrity; and, besides, he was a father to the people, and so conducted himself when things were in a hopeless state, that, beyond the expectation of all, he gathered together the remnant of the people; and we have also seen that by his efforts the Prophet had been delivered from instant death. But John the son of Kareah had been a remarkable helper to him, having come to him of his own accord, and offered to him his assistance; and further, he faithfully and prudently warned him to beware of the perfidy of that unprincipled man, by whom he was afterwards killed. Gedaliah fell through extreme credulity. John, then, the son of Kareah, had a greater appearance of excellency than Gedaliah had exhibited. But what does the Spirit of God now declare respecting him and his associates? They are said to have been proud and obstinate. We hence see that some men excel in greatness of mind, and are yet of a refractory disposition; and this is for the most part the case during’ a disturbed state of things. For some come forth wonderfully


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courageous; but when things do not fall in with their wishes, they become ferocious and rebel against God and men, and besides, they will never bear to be brought under submission. Such, then, was John the son of Kareah: at one time he manifested extraordinary virtue, but at length it appeared what he really was.The Prophet, with the authority of a judge, declares that he and his associates were proud: then Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and John the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, said, A falsehood dost thou speak. This was extremely insolent and reproachful; for they had lately testified that they regarded Jeremiah as God’s faithful servant, and that they would receive whatever he might bring as God’s true oracle; but now they charge him with falsehood! how great was this presumption! But it hence appears how deep and various, and how tortuous are the recesses which are in the hearts of men; for at one time they announce honied words, and afterwards they utter nothing’ but virulence. So from the same mouth, as it were, almost in the same moment, comes forth what is sweet; and what is bitter.Let us hence learn that the heart of man is full of every kind of deceit, until it be cleansed by the Spirit of God. We also see, when once impiety boils up, to what extremes it will proceed; for these men were not only insolent and reproachful towards Jeremiah, but also towards God himself. And they did not now make evasions as before, nor did they raise objections; but they openly raved against the Prophet. Thus hypocrisy has indeed for a time its coverings, but when the ungodly are urged by God, then they observe no bounds: Thou speakest what is false COKE, "Jeremiah 43:2. Azariah—and all the proud men— That is, all those who refused to obey the commands of the Almighty. The Hebrew word זדים zeidiim, signifies pride, insolence, temerity, self-conceit. The greater part of those who composed the company led on by Johanan, answered this character. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:Ver. 2. Then spake Azariah.] See on Jeremiah 42:1.And all the proud men.] Pride is the root of rebellion. See Jeremiah 13:15. These men’s pride budded, {as Ezekiel 7:10} and as the leprosy, brake forth in their foreheads. See Hosea 7:1. {See Trapp on "Hosea 7:1"}Saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely.] By this foul aspersion, not proven at all, they seek to discredit his prophecy, like as the Jews do to this day the New Testament, and the Papists the Book of Martyrs and other monuments of the Church, saying of them, So many lines, so many lies.PETT, "Jeremiah 43:2-3


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‘Then spoke Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men, saying to Jeremiah, “You speak falsely. YHWH our God has not sent you to say, “You shall not go into Egypt to sojourn there but Baruch the son of Neriah set you on against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death, and carry us away captive to Babylon.”Up to this point Johanan had been the prominent one but now the leadership is taken by Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, who may have been the brother of the Jezaniah mentioned in Jeremiah 42:1, or may indeed be identical with him. (It was not unusual for people to have two names. Some, however, see one of the names as being a copying error, but there is no reason why this should be so, although LXX sees it that way). This may have been because Azariah was the leader of the discontented party, or because in governmental matters he held precedence over the military leaders. The ‘arrogant/proud men’ were those whose self-pride made them exalt themselves against YHWH, they were the ‘discontents’. It may simply be a way of describing the whole attitude of the group of leading men.They came as a group to Jeremiah and informed him that in their view he was speaking falsely, and not bringing them the word of YHWH at all. They refused to believe that YHWH had commanded them not to go to Egypt. It may be significant that they altered what Jeremiah had actually said, replacing ‘al (not at this time) with lo (not at all). This has ever been the method of the deceiver of men, right from the time of his activity in the Plain of Eden.Indeed they claimed that he had simply been influenced by Baruch, the son of Neriah, his former amanuensis and assistant (Jeremiah 32:12-16; Jeremiah 36:4-32), who was also with the party (Jeremiah 43:6). Baruch was clearly a man from an influential family, and an aristocrat, who undoubtedly owed his freedom to the fact that he had been Jeremiah’s close supporter (his brother Seraiah had been transported to Babylon (Jeremiah 51:59) and was designated as a ‘prince’ or ‘noble’). He is rebuked elsewhere for a certain tendency to seek greatness and influence (Jeremiah 45:5), a danger for us all. This may suggest that unlike Jeremiah he had taken advantage of Nebuchadrezzar’s goodwill to further himself and his ambitions, something for which he had to be rebuked. In Jewish tradition he is depicted as the author of the apocryphal book of Baruch, and is portrayed as having lived in Babylon for a period, and as having had influence there, although we must remember that that book might have arisen directly as a result of what is written here. However that might be, Jeremiah is being accused of being influenced by Baruch with a view to Nebuchadrezzar being able to gain his revenge on them. The words bear all the marks of being an excuse, but they do indicate how sure they were that Nebuchadrezzar would seek to do just that.Of course most of them had for a long period in the past been prejudiced against Jeremiah, considering him to be a false prophet. Thus in spite of the fact that what he had prophesied came true, and that he had refused to go to Babylon and had remained among them, there was that within them that would always hold Jeremiah


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in suspicion of being a Babylonian collaborator

3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians,[a] so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”

GILL, "But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us,.... First they charge the prophet with a lie, and deny his mission from the Lord; and now to lessen the prophet's crime they charged him with, they lay the blame on Baruch, as if he, out of ill will to them, had instigated the prophet to deliver such a message; which is not at all likely, that he should be prevailed upon by a younger person, and his secretary, to take such a step: nor can it be thought that Baruch should have any interest to serve by it; and, besides, both he and the prophet were too good men, the one to instigate, and the other to be instigated, to declare a falsehood in the name of the Lord. The end proposed, they suggest, was for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon; either that he or the prophet might deliver them into the hands of the Chaldeans, to be put to death by them, or be carried captive; which is not at all probable, it being inconsistent with that piety and humanity which were conspicuous in them both, and with their conduct, who chose rather to abide in their own land, with this small and despicable handful of people, than to go and live in the court of Babylon, where good care would have been taken of them.

JAMISON, "Baruch — He being the younger spake out the revelations which he received from Jeremiah more vehemently. From this cause, and from their knowing that he was in favor with the Chaldeans, arose their suspicion of him. Their perverse fickleness was astonishing. In the forty-second chapter they acknowledged the trustworthiness of Jeremiah, of which they had for so long so many proofs; yet here they accuse him of a lie. The mind of the unregenerate man is full of deceits.CALVIN, "They afterwards throw the blame on Baruch, who had been the Prophet’s faithful servant. As they could not find out any reason why Jeremiah should speak falsely, they turned their fury against Baruch. They did not then spare Jeremiah for honor’s sake, but as they had no reason whatever to speak evil of him, they fixed the blame on Baruch, who yet was as innocent as Jeremiah. Baruch, they said, excites thee against us Had Jeremiah so prophesied through the influence of


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another, yet his crime might have been at least extenuated. Now they said that he was mendacious, and brought forth nothing but impositions; but the ungodly do not regard what they say, for the devil drives them on headlong. And they charged Baruch with a very groat crime, that he wished to betray them to the Chaldeans, and then to expose them to slaughter, and to deliver them that they might be driven into exile. All this would have been the greatest cruelty.: But then if we consider what sort of man Baruch had been, and how innocently he had conducted himself, how he had endangered his life in defending the true worship of God and prophetic doctrine, there was surely no reason for loading him with so great a reproach.But we see that God’s servants have been always exposed to extreme reproaches, even when they have exhibited the greatest integrity. If then, at this day, we hear of evil reports, after having labored to act uprightly, it ought not to appear to us a hard or a new thing to bear them with patience. We must, indeed, do what we can to stop the mouths of the malevolent and the wicked; nor ought we to give occasion, as Paul admonishes us, to the malignant. But when we have done our duty faithfully, if yet dogs bark at us, if we be loaded with many reproaches and crimes, let us learn patiently to endure them. This, then, ought to be done by us, since we see that Baruch was accused of extreme perfidy and cruelty.What now had Baruch to do with the Chaldeans? Had he fled to them? Was he anxious to gain influence for himself? or to procure favor for himself? There was no such thing; he always followed Jeremiah wherever he went. Jeremiah had indeed obtained some favor; but this was to be attributed to the gratuitous kindness of God. Baruch, then, had got leave from the Chaldeans to remain with the Prophet; for the condition of both was the same. But yet he had not followed the Chaldeans, when his option was given to him. For when the Chaldeans offered quietness and rest to Jeremiah, Baruch might have also gone to that fertile country; but he chose to remain in the land. We hence see that he had removed from himself every suspicion, and yet he could not stop the mouths of the malevolent, but they slandered and. calumniated him. Let us then know that God’s servants prove their firmness and constancy, when they are assailed on every side by the calumnies of men, and yet are satisfied with the testimony of their own conscience, and go on in their course, and look forward to the judgment of God, and care not what men think or speak, provided God approves of them, and is their judge in heaven.COKE, "Jeremiah 43:3. Baruch, the son of Neriah— They would not directly accuse Jeremiah of partiality towards, or confederacy with the Chaldeans, as his enemies had done formerly, chap. Jeremiah 37:13 but they lay the blame upon Baruch, whom they knew to be an intimate companion of Jeremiah, and to have been kindly used by the Chaldeans upon his account. Houbigant renders the last clause of the verse, That he may devote us to death, or that we may be carried away. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:3 But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.


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Ver. 3. But Baruch, the son of Neriah, setteth thee on against us.] A likely matter. What should Baruch gain by that? but malice careth not how truly or rationally it speaketh or acteth, so it may gall or kill Jeremiah and Baruch must be said to be in league together, and to collude for a common disturbance, like as the Papists say Luther and Zuinglius did; whereas they knew nothing one of another for a long time after that they began to stickle against Popery in several climates; and when they did hear of one another, they differed exceedingly, in the doctrine of the sacrament especially.PULPIT, "Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on. A singular supposition—Jeremiah leaving the initiative to his secretary! It may be conjectured that Baruch had somehow made himself specially unpopular; he may have been a more practical man (comp. Jeremiah 45:5) than Jeremiah.

4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah.

BARNES, "All the people - Many, nevertheless, would be unwilling agents, compelled to do what their unscrupulous leaders forced upon the community.GILL, "So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people,.... The generality of them, at least, all agreed together, were of the same mind, and in the same sentiment and practice: and so obeyed not the voice of the Lord, to dwell in the land of Judah; it was the command of the Lord they should dwell there, and not go into Egypt; but they would not believe this was the voice of the Lord, only a scheme concerted between the prophet and Baruch; or which the former was instigated to deliver as the word of the Lord by the latter, and therefore would not give heed unto it; though the truth of the matter was, it was contrary to their inclination and resolution, and therefore, though they had reason to believe it was the will of God they should abide in their own land, yet they were determined they would not, but go into Egypt, as they, did.

HENRY 4-7, "They determine to go to Egypt notwithstanding. They resolve not to 12

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dwell in the land of Judah, as God had ordered them (Jer_43:4), but to go themselves with one consent and to take all that they had under their power along with them to Egypt. Those that came from all the nations whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah, out of a sincere affection to that land, they would not leave to their liberty, but forced them to go with them into Egypt (Jer_43:5), men, women, and children (Jer_43:6), a long journey into a strange country, an idolatrous country, a country that had never been kind of faithful to Israel; yet thither they would go, though they deserted their own land and threw themselves out of God's protection. It is the folly of men that they know not when they are well off, and often ruin themselves by endeavouring to better themselves; and it is the pride of great men to force those they have under their power to follow them, though ever so much against their duty and interest. These proud men compelled even Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch his scribe to go along with them to Egypt; they carried them away as prisoners, partly to punish them (and a greater punishment they could not inflict upon them than to force them against their consciences; theirs is the worst of tyranny who say to men's souls, even to good men's souls, Bow down, that we may go over), partly to put some reputation upon themselves and their own way. Though the prophets were under a force, they would make the world believe that they were voluntary in going along with them; and who could have blamed them for acting contrary to the word of the Lord if the prophets themselves had acted so? They came to Tahpanhes, a famous city of Egypt (so called from a queen of that name, 1Ki_11:19), the same with Hanes (Isa_30:4); it was now the metropolis, for Pharaoh's house was there, Jer_43:9. No place could serve these proud men to settle in but the royal city and near the court, so little mindful were they of Joseph's wisdom, who would have his brethren settle in Goshen. If they had had the spirit of Israelites, they would have chosen rather to dwell in the wilderness of Judah than in the most pompous populous cities of Egypt.

K&D 4-7, "Thereupon Johanan and the other captains took "all the remnant of Judah, that had returned from all the nations whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah-the men and women and children, the king's daughters, and all the souls whom Nebuzaradan, chief of the body-guard, had committed to Gedaliah...and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah, - and went to the land of Egypt -for they did not hearken to the voice of Jahveh - and came to Tahpanhes." In this enumeration of those who were conducted to Egypt, Hitzig, Graf, and others distinguish two classes: (1) the men, women, children, etc., who had been in Mizpah with Gedaliah, and had been led to Gibeon, after the murder of the latter, by Ishmael, but had afterwards been brought to Bethlehem by Johanan and the other captains (Jer_43:6, cf. Jer_40:7; Jer_41:10, Jer_41:16); (2) those who had returned from the foreign countries whither they had fled, but who had hitherto lived in the country, scattered here and there, and who must have joined the company led by Johanan to Bethlehem during the ten days of halt at that resting-place (Jer_43:5, cf. Jer_40:11-12). There is no foundation, however, for this distinction. Neither in the present chapter is there anything mentioned of those who had been dispersed through the land joining those who had marched to Bethlehem; nor are the Jews who had returned from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and other countries to their own home distinguished, in Jer 40 and 41, as a different class from those who had been with Gedaliah in Mizpah; but on the other hand, according to Jer_40:12, these returned Jews also came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered grapes and fruit. Besides, in these verses the distinction can only be made after


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the insertion into the text of the conjunction ו before את־הגברים. To "all the remnant of Judah who had returned from the nations" belong the men, women, children, etc., whom Nebuzaradan had committed to the care of Gedaliah. The enumeration in Jer_43:6 gives only one specification of the "whole remnant of Judah," as in Jer_41:16. "And all the souls;" as if it were said, "and whoever else was still left alive;" cf. Jos_10:28. Tahpanhes was a frontier town of Egypt on the Pelusian branch of the Nile, and named Δάφναι by the Greeks; see on Jer_2:16. Here, on the borders of Egypt, a halt was made, for the purpose of coming to further resolutions regarding their residence in that country. Here, too, Jeremiah received a revelation from God regarding the fate now impending on Egypt.

CALVIN, "The Prophet had sufficiently shewn that John the son of Kareah and the rest had not in good faith inquired of the Prophet what the will of God was; for when they saw that God’s counsel did not harmonize with their wicked and foolish desire, they rose up against the Prophet. But he now more clearly condemns their obstinacy in not obeying God; and it is said emphatically, that they did not obey the voice of God, because they denied that God had spoken. Though then they sought to evade, Jeremiah on the other hand declares, that he was a true interpreter of God’s will, that he had announced nothing but what had come from God. He then brings them all in as guilty, the leaders and the whole people, that no man might think it strange that innocent men, willing to submit to God, were driven into Egypt. Hence the Prophet shews here that they were all implicated in the same sin, since the leaders alone did not resist the oracle, but also the whole people. It now follows, TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.Ver. 4. So Johanan the son of Kareah, &c.] Nothing is more audacious and desperate than a hypocrite when once discovered. Now these subdoli show themselves in their colours, appear in their likeness, going on end with their work.PETT, "Jeremiah 43:4‘So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, did not obey the voice of YHWH, to dwell in the land of Judah.’The consequence was that the commanders of the Judean forces, headed by Johanan, together with ‘all the people’ (i.e. those present in the party) did not obey YHWH’s voice. They refused to continue living in the land of Judah with the constant threat of Nebuchadrezzar’s vengeance hanging over them. There is a reminder here for all of us that before changing our whereabouts we should consider the will of God.


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5 Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered.

BARNES, "All the remnant of Judah that were returned - In this way, the utter depopulation of the land was completed. Thus was fulfilled the predictions of Jer_24:8-10, and the sole hope of the nation now centered in the exiles at Babylon Jer_24:5-7.GILL, "But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces,.... Who were united in their resolution to go into Egypt, contrary to the declared will of God: took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah; both such who were left in the land, when the rest were carried captive into Babylon, more particularly mentioned in Jer_43:6; and those, who upon the invasion of the land, and siege of Jerusalem, had fled to other countries, but now were returned from thence, in order to settle in it; having heard that a governor from among the Jews was appointed over it; as from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and other countries; see Jer_40:11; these, some of their own accord, others through persuasion, and others by force, went along with, or were taken and carried by the above captains into Egypt.

JAMISON, "remnant ... returned from all nations — (Jer_40:11, Jer_40:12).CALVIN, "The Prophet now gives us a narrative of what he had briefly touched upon. He then says that John and the rest of the leaders took the remnant of the people, who were there alive, and those who had returned from various countries; for many had become fugitives among the Moabites and the Idumeans, when they saw the city surrounded by the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar. Then they fled here and there, as it usually happens, and waited for the issue of the war. But after Nebuchadnezzar had departed, and a permission had been given to Gedaliah to collect what remained of the people and to place them in cities and towns, many returned into the land, now desolate; for they had dwelt with aliens, and had been miserably treated. As then they could not settle out of their own land nor find any


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quiet habitation, they returned, as it is usual with men reduced to want, who have no settled dwelling. They then returned, that they might live under the protection of Gedaliah.Now the Prophet says, that they were taken by John and brought into.Egypt. This then was the way in which they shewed their obstinacy. We hence see how audacious must these leaders have been, that they hesitated not to go into Egypt, though it was shewn to be a fatal step. There was not indeed at that time any army of Nebuchadnezzar in Judea, though his vengeance might have been dreaded. And then, having fled to: Egypt, they might have been ill-treated there, and not hospitably received.: But we hence perceive, that when men once shake off the yoke of God, they are hurried on by a diabolical madness, so that there is nothing insurmountable to them. Had they been asked whether they acted rightly, they might have raised a thousand arguments as excuses; but when they followed their own propensity, they in a manner, so to speak, leaped over the clouds. Impiety then is always full of rashness and audacity. But as we see that the ungodly thus rush headlong into ruin, even when God pronounces a curse on their counsels and proceedings, let us learn to take encouragement ever to obey God; for he promises a joyful and blessed issue at all times when we follow the ways pointed out by him. John then and the other leaders of the forces took the remnant of the peopleAnd then he shews how little those exiles consulted their own good, who had returned to dwell in the land of Judea; for they might have still rested in safety among the nations who had in kindness received them; but in Egypt God soon executed his judgments on the natives as well as on strangers. But they deserved such a reward, because they preferred to obey the command of the perverse and obstinate, rather than to obey the voice of God speaking by his Prophet. COFFMAN, "THE RETURN OF JUDAH TO EGYPT"But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all the nations whither they had been driven, to sojourn in the land of Judah; the men, and the women, and the children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah. And they came into the land of Egypt; for they obeyed not the voice of Jehovah: and they came unto Tahpanhes.""Johanan... took all the remnant ... and Jeremiah... and Baruch... and came into the land of Egypt ..." (Jeremiah 43:5-7). From this, it is certain that both Jeremiah and his amanuensis Baruch were unwilling participants in this migration back to Egypt.Tragic as this pitiful maneuver actually was, "It resulted in the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy that Jerusalem would be uninhabited (Jeremiah 24:8-10). This migration to Egypt accomplished the utter de-population of the land; and the sole hope of the nation was then (and afterward) centered in the Babylonian exiles."[3]


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In the light of the unbelieving arrogance and conceit of that whole generation of apostates, there was nothing whatever that God could have done with them, unless it had been preceded by the sincere repentance and reformation of the people, that being, according to all indications, an utterly impossible thing to have anticipated."Tahpanhes ..." (Jeremiah 43:7). This was an important fortified city on the eastern Delta of the Nile, where Pharaoh had a summer home and some kind of an administrative center. It seems to be the same place which Herodotus called Daphnai, now thought to be the modern Tell-Defenneh, some 27 miles south-southwest of Port Said.[4]The immigrants probably stopped here in order to procure permission of Pharaoh to enter Egypt, and to explore possible ways of making a living.TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:5 But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah;Ver. 5. But Johanan … took all the remnant of Judah.] Whose preservation had been but a reservation to further mischief, a just punishment of their incorrigibleness.PETT, "Jeremiah 43:5-6‘But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, who were returned from all the nations where they had been driven, to sojourn in the land of Judah, the men, and the women, and the children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah,’Thus the whole group, ‘the remnant of Judah’, decamped and set off for Egypt. It is difficult to know how far the description of those who went with them takes in all the inhabitants of Judah. The description certainly covers the men who were in the various fighting groups who had been guerillas, no doubt along with their families, (they would see themselves as liable to retribution), together with former refugees who had returned to Judah and could be seen as there ‘without permission’ (Jeremiah 40:11). And it includes all who had been living in Mizpah under the protection of Gedaliah, who could be seen as liable to suspicion, especially daughters of the royal house who could be made an example of. And it includes Jeremiah and Baruch who were probably forced to go with them (even though they may have been quite willing to go so as to cater to the spiritual needs of the people) . But there would be many elsewhere in Judah who had survived the invasion, and among them would be many of ‘the poor of the land’ to whom Nebuzaradan had given land who were no doubt scattered throughout Judah (Jeremiah 39:10). None of them had much to fear from Nebuchadrezzar’s reprisals. Thus the land may well have


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remained fairly well populated, as in fact is required by the fact that when Nebuchadrezzar did arrive he was able to take into exile 745 of the leading men in Judah (Jeremiah 51:30), no doubt with their families.PULPIT, "All the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations. The specification is peculiar, as it seems to leave out of sight the most important part of the gathering at Mizpah, via. the "men, and women, and children, and those of the poor of the land" (Jeremiah 40:7)—the very persons who are mentioned just afterwards. Possibly there is some confusion in the text. "All nations" doubtless means especially Moab, Ammon, and Edom.

6 They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women, the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them.

CLARKE, "Men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters - See the note on Jer_41:10 (note). It is truly surprising that the Chaldeans should have left behind any of the royal family of Judah! But,

1. Perhaps they knew not there were any.2. If they did know, they might think, being children of concubines, they could not inherit. Or,3. That being females, they were not eligible. And they had taken care to seize all Zedekiah’s sons, and slay them before his eyes.

GILL, "Even men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters,.... This, according to the supplement of our version, explains who they were that were taken and had into Egypt, persons of every sex, age, and rank; though rather these words


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design and describe persons distinct from the former, that came out of other countries; see Jer_41:10; and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan: even the poor of the land to till it; and to whom he gave fields and vineyards, and committed them to the care and government of Gedaliah, when the rest were carried captive to Babylon; and now these, in some sort, may be said to be carried captive by their own brethren into Egypt: and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah; whom they forced with them, partly to punish them, and partly to give countenance to their conduct; but not without the will of God, who so ordered it in his providence, that they might have the prophet with then, to reprove them for their sins, and warn them of their danger and ruin, and so leave them inexcusable.CALVIN, "The Prophet also mentions particularly who they were; they were men and women and children Some render the last word “puberty,” which I do not approve, since Scripture speaks thus of children. Then John and his associates took childhood, or children; and he adds, the daughters of the king We have before inquired who these daughters of the king were: the probability is that they were his daughters by his concubines; and that they had been put in some safe place, so that if any great evil happened, they might not fall into the hands of enemies. Then these daughters of the king had returned with the other exiles, but were afterwards carried into Egypt. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:6 [Even] men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.Ver. 6. And Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.] This was not without a special providence of God, that these desperadoes might still have a prophet with them, for the making of them the more inexcusable. If it befall any of God’s faithful servants to be hurried whither they would not, as it did Jeremiah and Baruch here, Paul also and Peter, [John 21:18] Ignatius, Polycarp, and other prisoners and sufferers for the truth in all ages, let them comfort themselves with these examples.

7 So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.19

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BARNES, "Tahpanhes - See the Jer_2:16 note.

CLARKE, "Came they even to Tahpanhes - This city was called Daphne by the Greeks, and was situated at the extremity of Lower Egypt, near to Heliopolis. It was called Daphne Pelusiaca. They halted at this place, most probably for the purpose of obtaining the king’s permission to penetrate farther into Egypt. It was at this place that, according to St. Jerome, tradition says the faithful Jeremiah was stoned to death by these rebellious wretches; for whose welfare he had watched, prayed, gone through many indignities, and suffered every kind of hardship. And now he sealed the truth of his Divine mission with his blood.

GILL, "So they came into the land of Egypt,.... They set out from the habitation of Chimham, where they were, Jer_41:17; and proceeded on their journey, till they entered the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the Lord; to continue in Judea, and not to go into Egypt; and though the prophet of the Lord, who was with them, might, as they went along, advise them to go back, they regarded him not, but still went on: thus came they even to Tahpanhes; the same with Hanes, Isa_30:4; and might be so called, as here, from a queen of Egypt of this name, 1Ki_11:19. The Septuagint version, and others after that, call it Taphnas. It is thought to be the Daphnae Pelusiae of Herodotus (f) It was a seat of the king of Egypt, as appeals from Jer_43:9; and no less a place would these proud men stop at, or take up with, but where the king's palace was. Tyrius (g) calls it Tapium, and says it was in his time a very small town.

JAMISON, "Tahpanhes — (See on Jer_2:16); Daphne on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, near Pelusium. They naturally came to it first, being on the frontier of Egypt, towards Palestine.

CALVIN, "At last he adds, all the souls which had been left by Nebuzaradan with Gedaliah, with Jeremiah, and with Baruch This had not been expressed elsewhere, that is, that Jeremiah and Baruch were joined with Gedaliah as rulers over the remnant of the people. But it was not the design of Jeremiah to relate everything that then took place. Now then, when an occasion occurred, he says that he and also Baruch were made governors in connection with Gedaliah. He then adds, that they all came into Egypt, or that they entered into Egypt,. For the word first used, ויבאו , vaibau, may be rendered, “and they entered into Egypt;” and then he adds, ויבאו עד-תחפנחס , vaibau od-tachephnuches, “and they entered (or penetrated) as far as Tachephnuches.” It was formerly one of the chief cities of Egypt; but its name has perished together with is wealth; for in heathen writers hardly the name of this city


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is found. They indeed mention the city Taphnim, but speak not of Taphnees. It is then probable, as changes take place in a country, that this city became by degrees forsaken, so as to become obscure and mean, and that other cities were built which exceeded it in wealth. He then says that they came to Taphnees It now follows, —But this prophecy was greatly disliked; for as the Jews had been already much exasperated, this threatening was still more calculated to kindle up their fury; and Jeremiah did also create danger to himself from the Egyptians, for he not only threatened the Jews, but also the whole kingdom of Egypt. We hence perceive how invincible was his courage, for he marched through certain deaths, and was yet terrified by no dangers, but performed the office entrusted to him by God. Some think that he was on this account stoned by the Jews; but this is not probable, nay, it may be gathered from other places that he died a natural death. However this may have been, his perseverance and firmness were wonderful, for he struggled to the end, and without weariness, with those wild beasts, whose savageness he had more than enough experienced.Let us now see what this prophecy is: The word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah; and the sum of it is, that the Prophet was bidden not only to proclaim the vengeance of God, but also to confirm it by a visible symbol, as it was necessary to arouse unbelieving men. For so great was their stupidity, that unless God roused all their senses, they would have never attended; they were deaf. Then the Lord set before their eyes what they were unwilling and refused to hear. For this reason the Prophet was bidden to add an outward sign to his prophecy; according to what we have stated in other places, signs were often connected with the doctrine on account of the tardiness, or rather the stupidity of men.COKE, "Jeremiah 43:7. Thus came they even to Tahpanhes— That is to say, to Daphne. This was one of the principal cities of Egypt; and in it was a palace where their kings often resided. It is supposed by many to be the same city which was afterwards called Daphne Pelusiaca. See Isaiah 30:4. St. Jerome tells us from an ancient tradition, that the prophet Jeremiah was stoned to death in this place by the Jews. See Lowth, and Calmet. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they [even] to Tahpanhes.Ver. 7. Thus came they even to Tahpanhes.] A chief city of Egypt, called also Hanes. [Isaiah 30:4] Jerome calleth it Tunis, and Herodotus, Daphnis Pelusiae.PETT, "Jeremiah 43:7‘And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of YHWH, and they came to Tahpanhes.’So the refugees made for Egypt, and it is emphasised that this was because ‘they did


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not obey the voice of YHWH’. And when they came to the border town of Tahpanhes they settled there. A thpnhs is in fact referred to in a Phoenician papyrus letter of the 6th century BC found in Egypt.Tahpanhes is usually located at modern Tell Defneh, 43 km south-south-west of Port Said (on the grounds of location, the archaeological discovery of Greek pottery, and its similarity in name to the Greek Daphnae, a fortress town fortified by Psammatichus I) and it may mean ‘Mansion of the Nubian’ (t-h(wt)-p-nhsy), having reference to the fortress built there by Psammeticus I for Greek mercenaries. It is probable that there was already a Jewish community there.Jeremiah no doubt saw it as ironic that after over 600 years of ‘freedom’ from Egypt God’s nominal people had returned there. They had by their own free choice returned to the subjection from which they had been delivered. We can compare how Hosea, in fact, insisted that their heart had always been there (Hosea 11). That was why God’s initial step after the birth of His Son, was to bring Him out of Egypt (Matthew 2:15) finally fulfilling deliverance from Egypt and reversing what had happened here. Men’s hearts have to be ‘delivered from Egypt’.PULPIT, "Tahpanhea. An Egyptian frontier city (see Ezekiel 30:18 and note on Jeremiah 2:16), where the fugitives had to wait till the views of the Egyptian government respecting them were made known. The supposed site of the Pelusiac Daphnae has not yet been explored; a single inscribed fragment would reveal the Egyptian name, and probably ratify the identity of Daphnae with the Tahpanhes of the prophets.

8 In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:

BARNES, "On arriving at the frontiers of Egypt, the captains would be compelled to halt in order to obtain the king’s permission to enter his country. Jeremiah therefore takes the opportunity to predict, first, the downfall of Egypt; and secondly, that of the false gods.GILL, "Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, at Tahpanhes,.... Where he was with the rest the captains carried thither with them; and as soon as he and they


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had got here, the word of the Lord came unto him, declaring the destruction of this place, and of the whole land. Here Jerom says the prophet was stoned to death; saying; as follows:

HENRY, "We have here, as also in the next chapter, Jeremiah prophesying in Egypt. Jeremiah was now in Tahpanhes, for there his lords and masters were; he was there among idolatrous Egyptians and treacherous Israelites; but there, 1. He received the word of the Lord; it came to him. God can find his people, with the visits of his grace, wherever they are; and, when his ministers are bound, yet the word of the Lord is not bound. The spirit of prophecy was not confined to the land of Israel. When Jeremiah went into Egypt, not out of choice, but by constraint, God withdrew not his wonted favour from him. 2. What he received of the Lord he delivered to the people. Wherever we are we must endeavour to do good, for that is our business in this world. Now we find two messages which Jeremiah was appointed and entrusted to deliver when he was in Egypt. We may suppose that he rendered what services he could to his countrymen in Egypt, at least as far as they would be acceptable, in performing the ordinary duties of a prophet, praying for them and instructing and comforting them; but only two messages of his, which he had received immediately from God, are recorded, one in this chapter, relating to Egypt itself and foretelling its destruction, the other in the next chapter, relating to the Jews in Egypt. God had told them before that if they went into Egypt the sword they feared should follow them; here he tells them further that the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, which they were in a particular manner afraid of, should follow them.

K&D 8-11, "Prediction regarding Egypt. - Jer_43:8. "And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, Jer_43:9. Take in thine hand large stones, and hide them in the clay in the brick-kiln, which is at the entrance to the house of Pharaoh in Taphanhes, in the eyes of the Jews; Jer_43:10. And say to them: Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and will place his throne over these stones which I have hidden, and he shall stretch his tapestry over them. Jer_43:11. And he shall come and smite the land of Egypt, (he who is) for death, to death, - (he who is) for captivity, to captivity, - (he who is) for the sword, to the sword. Jer_43:12. And I will kindle fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away; and he shall wrap the land of Egypt round him as the shepherd wraps his cloak round him, and thence depart in peace. Jer_43:13. And he shall destroy the pillars of Beth-shemesh, which is in the land of Egypt, and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire."

This prophecy is introduced by a symbolical action, on which it is based. But in spite of the fact that the object of the action is stated in the address which follows, the action itself is not quite plain from the occurrence of "whose usual meaning, "brick-kiln ,במלבן(cf. Nah_3:14), does not seem suitable here. Eichhorn and Hitzig think it absurd that there should be found before the door of a royal habitation a brick-kiln on which a king was to place his throne. From the Arabic malbin, which also signifies a rectangular figure like tile or brick, and is used of the projecting entablature of doors, - from the employment, also, in the Talmud of the word מלבן to signify a quadrangular tablet in the form of a tile, - Hitzig would claim for the word the meaning of a stone floor, and accordingly renders, "and insert them with mortar into the stone flooring." But the


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entablatures over doors, or quadrangular figures like bricks, are nothing like a stone flooring or pavement before a palace. Besides, in the way of attaching to the word the signification of a "brick-kiln," - a meaning which is well established, - or even of a brickwork, the difficulties are not so great as to compel us to accept interpretations that have no foundation. We do not need to think of a brick-kiln or brickwork as being always before the palace; as Neumann has observed, it may have indeed ben there, although only for a short time, during the erecting of some part of the palace; nor need it have been just at the palace gateway, but a considerable distance away from it, and on the opposite side. Alongside of it there was lying mortar, an indispensable building material. טמן, "to hide," perhaps means here not merely to embed, but to embed in such a way that the stones could not very readily be perceived. Jeremiah was to press down the big stones, not into the brick-kiln, but into the mortar which was lying at (near) the brick-kiln, - to put them, too, before the eyes of the Jews, inasmuch as the meaning of this act had a primary reference to the fate of the Jews in Egypt. The object of the action is thus stated in what follows: Jahveh shall bring the king of Babylon and set his throne on these stones, so that he shall spread out his beautiful tapestry over them. שפרור (Qeri splendour, beauty," signifies a glittering" ,שפרה ,שפר an intensive form of ,(שפרירornament, - here, the decoration of the throne, the gorgeous tapestry with which the seat of the throne was covered. The stones must thus form the basis for the throne, which the king of Babylon will set up in front of the palace of the king of Egypt at Tahpanhes. But the symbolical meaning of this action is not thereby exhausted. Not merely is the laying of the stones significant, but also the place where they are laid, - at the entrance, or opposite Pharaoh's palace. This palace was built of tiles or bricks: this is indicated by the brick-kiln and the mortar. The throne of the king of Babylon, on the contrary, is set up on large stones. The materials of which the palace and the throne are formed, shadow forth the strength and stability of the kingdom. Pharaoh's dominion is like crumbling clay, the material of bricks; the throne which Nebuchadnezzar shall set up opposite the clay-building of the Pharaohs rests on large stones, - his rule will be powerful and permanent. According to Jeremiah's further development of the symbol in Jer_43:11., Nebuchadnezzar will come to Egypt (the Kethib באה is to be read באה, "he came down," to Egypt, א ב being construed with the accus.), and will smite the land together with its inhabitants, so that every man will receive his appointed lot, viz., death by pestilence, imprisonment, and the sword, i.e., death in battle. On the mode of representation here, cf. Jer_15:2.

CALVIN, "This passage shews that the Prophet was by force drawn away with others, so that he became an exile in Egypt contrary to his own wishes; for he did not go there of his own accord, inasmuch as we have seen how strictly he forbade them all to go down to Egypt. He was, however, compelled to go there, as though he had been bound with chains. He did not then go there designedly, nor did he through despair follow those miserable men; for he would have preferred to die a hundred times through famine and want in the land of Judah rather than to have sought in this way the lengthening of his life. It then appears that he was driven there as it were by enemies.


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But as nothing happens except through God’s purpose, so from this prophecy it appears that God ordered the going down of his servant, and that he was not so subjected to the will of the wicked, but that he was always guided by the hidden influence of God; for it was God’s will to have his herald even in the midst of Egypt, that he might declare to the Jews what, was to be. His doctrine, indeed, was not of any benefit to them; but it was God’s purpose to drive them as it were into madness, inasmuch as their wickedness was wholly irreclaimable; for it is a harder thing for the wicked to hear God’s voice when he threatens vengeance, than to feel his hand. When, therefore, the unbelieving avoid the word of God, they are still constrained, willing or unwilling, to hear what they willfully reject, even that God will be their judge. The Prophet then was sent, according to the hidden purpose of God, into Egypt, that he might there perform his wonted vocation and proceed in the discharge of his office, and there carry on his prophetic work.COFFMAN, "JEREMIAH PROPHESIES THE CONQUEST OF EGYPT"Then came the word of Jehovah unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, Take great stones in thy hand, and hide them in mortar in the brickwork, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the sons of Judah; and say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. And he shall come and smite the land of Egypt; such as are for death, shall be given to death, such as are for captivity to captivity, and such as for the sword to the sword."We reject such irresponsible comment on this paragraph as that of Thompson who stated that, "Jeremiah's prophecy was not fulfilled literally."[5] On the contrary, both the Babylonian historian Berossus "confirms the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar";[6] and the Jewish historian Josephus flatly declared that, "Nebuchadnezzar fell upon Egypt to subdue it; and he slew the king that then reigned and set up another. He also took those Jews that were there captives, and led them away to Babylon."[7] In the light of both Babylonian and Jewish historians agreeing that such a conquest did indeed occur, we consider the historical evidence heavily weighted in favor of the exact and circumstantial fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy here. Yes, we are aware that there is a fad among current scholars who accept only the writings of Josephus which they think can be used to support their critical theories, rejecting all others; but we have no confidence in such rejections of the only known historian of that era among the Jews.Herodotus contradicted some of the things that Josephus wrote; but the reverse is also true. Josephus contradicted some of the things Herodotus wrote. The ability to decide who was correct in a given matter is simply not to be found in any man living thousands of years after the events.There is also some fragmentary archaeological evidence that Nebuchadnezzar indeed invaded Egypt. "Three of Nebuchadnezzar's inscriptions have been found


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near Tahpanhes."[8] "An ancient inscription confirms the fact that Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt in 568 B.C, when Amasis was Pharaoh."[9]It should always be remembered in the case of deciding whether or not prophecies were fulfilled by historical events, that the fragmentary information which has drifted down through history concerning those ancient times is totally inadequate to justify the extravagant assertions of some critics denying that certain prophecies were fulfilled. As Green noted, "The paucity of knowledge concerning the period is such that it is impossible to know what happened."[10] In addition to that impediment, there is in this very chapter the question of exactly what is meant by the sacred text. For example, the word translated "obelisks" in Jeremiah 43:12, "pillars" in some translations, etc., actually means "images" and is so used in Isaiah.Regarding this matter, we appreciate the words of Cheyne who stated that "some have wrongfully controverted"[11] the proposition that Jeremiah's prophecies were actually literally fulfilled.RAPP, "Jeremiah 43:8 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying,Ver. 8. Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying.] And although many more words besides came to him while he was there, and many remarkable passages happened, yet the Holy Ghost has recorded no more thereof than what we find in this and the next chapter.PETT, "Verses 8-13YHWH Declares To Judah That Far From Escaping The Vengeance Of Nebuchadrezzar, It Will Reach Them In Tahpanhes (Jeremiah 43:8-13).We know from a damaged Babylonian tablet that Nebuchadrezzar did invade Egypt, where, after various successes he reached an understanding with Ahmose II (Amasis c.570-526 BC). It was probably an extensive punitive campaign mainly affecting northern Egypt, but it would be devastating and far reaching while it lasted. It would include within its scope Tahpanhes which was close to the northern border. Indeed the sheltering of these ‘fugitives’ may have been one of Nebuchadrezzar’s grievances against Egypt.Jeremiah 43:8‘Then the word of YHWH came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying,’The word of YHWH was not limited to Palestine. And thus it came to Jeremiah in Egypt. God was still concerned to speak to those who claimed to be His people, even though they were living in disobedience, and worse. God’s word knows no limitations.


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EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE COMMENTARY, "Verses 8-13CHAPTER XVIIEGYPTJeremiah 43:8-13, Jeremiah 44:30, Jeremiah 46:1-28"I will visit Amon of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods and their kings: even Pharaoh and all them that trust in him." Jeremiah 46:25THE kings of Egypt with whom Jeremiah was contemporary-Psammetichus II, Pharaoh Necho, and Pharaoh Hophra-belonged to the twenty-sixth dynasty. When growing distress at home compelled Assyria to loose her hold on her distant dependencies, Egypt still retained something of her former vigorous elasticity. In the rebound from subjection under the heavy hand of Sennacherib, she resumed her ancient forms of life and government. She regained her unity and independence, and posed afresh as an equal rival with Chaldea for the supremacy of Western Asia. At home there was a renascence of art and literature, and, as of old, the wealth and devotion of powerful monarchs restored the ancient temples and erected new shrines of their own.But this revival was no new growth springing up with a fresh and original life from the seeds of the past; it cannot rank with the European Renascence of the fifteenth century. It is rather to be compared with the reorganisations by which Diocletian and Constantine prolonged the decline of the Roman Empire, the rally of a strong constitution in the grip of mortal disease. These latter-day Pharaohs failed ignominiously in their attempts to recover the Syrian dominion of the Thothmes and Rameses; and, like the Roman Empire in its last centuries, the Egypt of the twenty-sixth dynasty surrendered itself to Greek influence and hired foreign mercenaries to fight its battles. The new art and literature were tainted by pedantic archaism. According to Brugsch, "Even to the newly created dignities and titles, the return to ancient times had become the general watchword. The stone door posts of this age reveal the old Memphian style of art, mirrored in its modern reflection after the lapse of four thousand years." Similarly Meyer tells us that apparently the Egyptian state was reconstituted on the basis of a religious revival, somewhat in the fashion of the establishment of Deuteronomy by Josiah.Inscriptions after the time of Psammetichus are written in archaic Egyptian of a very ancient past; it is often difficult to determine at first sight whether inscriptions belong to the earliest or latest period of Egyptian history.The superstition that sought safety in an exact reproduction of a remote antiquity could not, however, resist the fascination of Eastern demonology. According to Brugsch, (2:293) in the age called the Egyptian Renascence the old Egyptian theology was adulterated with Graeco-Asiatic elements - demons and genii of whom


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the older faith and its purer doctrine had scarcely an idea; exorcisms became a special science, and are favourite themes for the inscriptions of this period. Thus, amid many differences, there are also to be found striking resemblances between the religious movements of the period in Egypt and amongst the Jews, and corresponding difficulties in determining the dates of Egyptian inscriptions and of sections of the Old Testament.This enthusiasm for ancient custom and tradition was not likely to commend the Egypt of Jeremiah’s age to any student of Hebrew history. He would be reminded that the dealings of the Pharaohs with Israel had almost always been to its hurt; he would remember the Oppression and the Exodus-how, in the time of Solomon, friendly intercourse with Egypt taught that monarch lessons in magnificent tyranny, how Shishak plundered the Temple, how Isaiah had denounced the Egyptian alliance as a continual snare to Judah. A Jewish prophet would be prompt to discern the omens of coming ruin in the midst of renewed prosperity on the Nile.Accordingly at the first great crisis of the new international system; in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, either just before or just after the battle of Carchemish-it matters little which-Jeremiah takes up his prophecy against Egypt. First of all, with an ostensible friendliness which only masks his bitter sarcasm, he invites the Egyptians to take the field:-"Prepare buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.Harness the horses to the chariots, mount the chargers,Stand forth armed cap-a-pie for battle;Furbish the spears, put on the coats of mail."This great host with its splendid equipment must surely conquer. The prophet professes to await its triumphant return; but he sees instead a breathless mob of panic-stricken fugitives, and pours upon them the torrent of his irony:-"How is it that I behold this?These heroes are dismayed and have turned their backs;Their warriors have been beaten down;They flee apace, and do not look behind them:Terror on every side-is the utterance of Jehovah."Then irony passes into explicit malediction:-


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"Let not the swift flee away, nor the warrior escape;Away northward, they stumble and fall by the river Euphrates."Then, in a new strophe, Jeremiah again recurs in imagination to the proud march of the countless hosts of Egypt:"Who is this that riseth up like the Nile,Whose waters toss themselves like the rivers?Egypt riseth up like the Nile,His waters toss themselves like the rivers.And he saith, I will go up and cover the land"(like the Nile in flood);"I will destroy the cities and their inhabitants"(and, above all other cities, Babylon).Again the prophet urges them on with ironical encouragement:-"Go up, ye horses; rage, ye chariots;Ethiopians and Libyans that handle the shield,Lydians that handle and bend the bow"(the tributaries and mercenaries of Egypt).Then, as before, he speaks plainly of coming disaster:"That day is a day of vengeance for the Lord Jehovah Sabaoth, whereon He will avenge Him of His adversaries"(a day of vengeance upon Pharaoh Necho for Megiddo and Josiah)."The sword shall devour and be sated, and drink its fill of their blood:For the Lord Jehovah Sabaoth hath a sacrifice in the northern land, by the river Euphrates."In a final strophe, the prophet turns to the land left bereaved and defenceless by the


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defeat at Carchemish:-"Go up to Gilead and get thee balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt:In vain dost thou multiply medicines; thou canst not be healed.The nations have heard of thy shame, the earth is full of thy cry:For warrior stumbles against warrior; they fall both together."Nevertheless the end was not yet. Egypt was wounded to death, but she was to linger on for many a long year to be a snare to Judah and to vex the righteous soul of Jeremiah. The reed was broken, but it still retained an appearance of soundness, which more than once tempted the Jewish princes to lean upon it and find their hands pierced for their pains. Hence, as we have seen already, Jeremiah repeatedly found occasion to reiterate the doom of Egypt, of Necho’s successor, Pharaoh Hophra, and of the Jewish refugees who had sought safety under his protection. In the concluding part of chapter 46, a prophecy of uncertain date sets forth the ruin of Egypt with rather more literary finish than in the parallel passages.This word of Jehovah was to be proclaimed in Egypt, and especially in the frontier cities, which would have to bear the first brunt of invasion:-"Declare in Egypt, proclaim in Migdol, proclaim in Noph and Tahpanhes:Say ye, Take thy stand and be ready, for the sword hath devoured round about thee.Why hath Apis fled and thy calf not stood?Because Jehovah overthrew it."Memphis was devoted to the worship of Apis, incarnate in the sacred bull; but now Apis must succumb to the mightier divinity of Jehovah, and his sacred city become a prey to the invaders."He maketh many to stumble; they fall one against another.Then they say, Arise, and let us return to our own peopleAnd to our native land, before the oppressing sword."We must remember that the Egyptian armies were largely composed of foreign mercenaries. In the hour of disaster and defeat these hirelings would desert their employers and go home."Give unto Pharaoh king of Egypt the name. Crash; he hath let the appointed time


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pass by."The form of this enigmatic sentence is probably due to a play upon Egyptian names and titles. When the allusions are forgotten, such paronomasia naturally results in hopeless obscurity. The "appointed time" has been explained as the period during which Jehovah gave Pharaoh the opportunity of repentance, or as that within which he might have submitted to Nebuchadnezzar on favourable terms."As I live, is the utterance of the King, whose name is Jehovah Sabaoth,One shall come like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea."It was not necessary to name this terrible invader; it could be no other than Nebuchadnezzar."Get thee gear for captivity, O daughter of Egypt, that dwellest in thine own land:For Noph shall become a desolation, and shall be burnt up and left without inhabitants.Egypt is a very fair heifer, but destruction is come upon her from the north."This tempest shattered the Greek phalanx in which Pharaoh trusted:-"Even her mercenaries in the midst of her are like calves of the stall;Even they have turned and fled together, they have not stood:For their day of calamity hath come upon them, their day of reckoning."We do not look for chronological sequence in such a poem, so that this picture of the flight and destruction of the mercenaries is not necessarily later in time than their overthrow and contemplated desertion in Jeremiah 46:15. The prophet is depicting a scene of bewildered confusion; the disasters that fell thick upon Egypt crowd into Giesebrecht, his vision without order or even coherence. Now he turns again to Egypt herself:-"Her voice goeth forth like the (low hissing of) the serpent;For they come upon her with a mighty army, and with axes like woodcutters."A like fate is predicted in Isaiah 29:4 for "Ariel, the city where David dwelt":-"Thou shalt be brought low and speak from the ground;Thou shalt speak with a low voice out of the dust;


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Thy voice shall come from the ground, like that of a familiar spirit,And thou shalt speak in a whisper from the dust."Thus too Egypt would seek to writhe herself from under the heel of the invader: hissing out the while her impotent fury, she would seek to glide away into some safe refuge amongst the underwood. Her dominions, stretching far up the Nile, were surely vast enough to afford her shelter somewhere: but no! the "woodcutters" are too many and too mighty for her:-"They cut down her forest-it is the utterance of Jehovah for it is impenetrable;For they are more than the locusts, and are innumerable."The whole of Egypt is overrun and subjugated; no district holds out against the invader, and remains unsubjugated to form the nucleus of a new and independent empire."The daughter of Egypt is put to shame; she is delivered into the hand of the northern people."Her gods share her fate; Apis had succumbed at Memphis, but Egypt had countless other stately shrines whose denizens must own the overmastering might of Jehovah:-"Thus saith Jehovah Sabaoth, the God of Israel:Behold, I will visit Amon of No,And Pharaoh, and Egypt, and all her gods and kings,Even Pharaoh and all who trust in him."Amon of No, or Thebes, known to the Greeks as Ammon and called by his own worshippers Amen, or "the hidden one," is apparently mentioned with Apis as sharing the primacy of the Egyptian divine hierarchy. On the fall of the twentieth dynasty, the high priest of the Theban Amen became king of Egypt, and centuries afterwards Alexander the Great made a special pilgrimage to the temple in the oasis of Ammon and was much gratified at being there hailed son of the deity.Probably the prophecy originally ended with this general threat of "visitation" of Egypt and its human and divine rulers. An editor, however, has added, from parallel passages, the more definite but sufficiently obvious statement that Nebuchadnezzar and his servants were to be the instruments of the Divine visitation.


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A further addition is in striking contrast to the sweeping statements of Jeremiah:-"Afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old."Similarly, Ezekiel foretold a restoration for Egypt:-"At the end of forty years, I will gather the Egyptians, and will cause them to returnto their native land: and they shall be there a base kingdom: it shall be the basest of the kingdoms." [Ezekiel 29:13-15]And elsewhere we read yet more gracious promises to Egypt:-"Israel shall be a third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land: whom Jehovah Sabaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance." [Isaiah 19:25]Probably few would claim to discover in history any literal fulfilment of this last prophecy. Perhaps it might have been appropriated for the Christian Church in the days of Clement and Origen. We may take Egypt and Assyria as types of heathendom, which shall one day receive the blessings of the Lord’s people and of the work of His hands. Of political revivals and restorations Egypt has had her share. But less interest attaches to these general prophecies than to more definite and detailed predictions; and there is much curiosity as to any evidence which monuments and other profane witnesses may furnish as to a conquest of Egypt and capture of Pharaoh Hophra by Nebuchadnezzar.According to Herodotus, Apries (Hophra) was defeated and imprisoned by his successor Amasis, afterwards delivered up by him to the people of Egypt, who forthwith strangled their former king. This event would be an exact fulfilment of the words, "I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life," [Jeremiah 44:30] if it were not evident from parallel passages [Jeremiah 46:25] that the Book of Jeremiah intends Nebuchadnezzar to be the enemy into whose hands Pharaoh is to be delivered. But Herodotus is entirely silent as to the relations of Egypt and Babylon during this period; for instance, he mentions the victory of Pharaoh Necho at Megiddo-which he miscalls Magdolium-but not his defeat at Carehemish. Hence his silence as to Chaldean conquests in Egypt has little weight. Even the historian’s explicit statement as to the death of Apries might be reconciled with his defeat and capture by Nebuchadnezzar, if we knew all the facts. At present, however, the inscriptions do little to fill the gap left by the Greek historian; there are, however, references which seem to establish two invasions of Egypt by the Chaldean king, one of which fell in the reign of Pharaoh Hophra. But the spiritual lessons of this and the following prophecies concerning the nations are not dependent on the spade of the excavator or the skill of the decipherers of hieroglyphics and cuneiform script; whatever their relation may be to the details of subsequent historical events, they


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remain as monuments of the inspired insight of the prophet into the character and destiny alike of great empires and petty states. They assert the Divine government of the nations, and the subordination of all history to the coming of the Kingdom of God.BI 8-13, "Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brick kiln.Jeremiah hides the stones in the brick kilnI. They preached of the historic past.

1. From the soil in which they were found. They were stones of Egypt.2. The place where they were buried—the brick kiln—must have carried their thoughts back to the hard labour of their ancestors under the lash of the taskmasters (Exo_9:8).3. The burial of the stones beneath the ground might have suggested the past condition of Israel in this same land; they were buried under the oppressive tyranny of the heathen monarch and his people, and had been raised, as it were, from a grave of degradation and lifted into a new life as a free people by the mighty hand of God.

II. They prophesied of the future.1. The only refuge from the displeasure of God is to be found in God Himself.2. Unbelief in the Divine Word will not prevent the fulfilment of it.3. The true minister of God will not be deterred by opposition from declaring the judgments, as well as the mercies, of God. (A London Minister.).

9 “While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes.

BARNES, "Brickkiln - Possibly, a pavement of brick. Jeremiah was to take a few large stones, such, nevertheless, as he could carry in his hand, and build with them, in the propylaea before the royal palace, something that would serve to represent the dais upon which the seat of kings was usually placed. By hiding them in the clay is meant plastering them over with mortar.


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CLARKE, "Take great stones - This discourse seems to have been delivered about a year after the destruction of Jerusalem. They pretended that they dared not stay in Judea for fear of the Chaldeans. The prophet here assures them that Nebuchadnezzar shall come to Egypt, extend his conquests in that kingdom, and place his tent over the very place where these stones were laid up, and destroy them. How these prophecies were fulfilled, see at the end of Jer_44:30 (note).

GILL, "Take great stones in thine hand,.... In both his hands, as big as he could carry: and hide them in the clay in the brick kiln; there was much clay in Egypt, through the overflowing of the Nile, and particularly at this place Tahpanhes, which had its name of Pelusiae from hence; and here was a brick kiln; not a place where bricks were burnt, but where they were foraged; and so here was the clay of which they were made, and in which these stones were to be hid: which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes; this brick kiln stood not directly at the entrance into the king's palace, but at the door of a wall of a park or garden, which belonged to the palace, from whence there was an open way to it; here the stones were to be laid. Since a brick kiln so near a king's palace seems not agreeable, Gussetius (h) thinks מלבן signifies a poplar walk, from לבנה, a poplar tree, whose shade is very grateful, Hos_4:13; to which the courtiers betook themselves at certain times, and walked in for pleasure; in the sight of the men of Judah; not in the sight of the Egyptians, who would not understand the design of it, nor were they to be instructed by it; but in the sight of the Jews, who would at once imagine that something was intended, being used to such symbols, and would inquire the meaning of it; and which is explained in Jer_43:10.

HENRY, "This is foretold by a sign. Jeremiah must take great stones, such as are used for foundations, and lay them in the clay of the furnace, or brick-kiln, which is in the open way, or beside the way that leads to Pharaoh's house (Jer_43:9), some remarkable place in view of the royal palace. Egypt was famous for brick-kilns, witness the slavery of the Israelites there, whom they forced to make bricks (Exo_5:7), which perhaps was now remembered against them. The foundation of Egypt's desolation was laid in those brick-kilns, in that clay. This he must do, not in the sight of the Egyptians (they knew not Jeremiah's character), but in the sight of the men of Judah to whom he was sent, that, since he could not prevent their going into Egypt, he might bring them to repent of their going.

JAMISON, "stones — to be laid as the foundation beneath Nebuchadnezzar’s throne (Jer_43:10).

clay — mortar.35

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brick-kiln — Bricks in that hot country are generally dried in the sun, not burned. The palace of Pharaoh was being built or repaired at this time; hence arose the mortar and brick-kiln at the entry. Of the same materials as that of which Pharaoh’s house was built, the substructure of Nebuchadnezzar’s throne should be constructed. By a visible symbol implying that the throne of the latter shall be raised on the downfall of the former. Egypt at that time contended with Babylon for the empire of the East.CALVIN, "He was then commanded to take great stones, and to hide them in the clay, or cement, in a brick-kiln, that is, in a kiln where bricks were burnt, or in a place where they were usually made, or where materials were taken to form them. And this place was not far from the palace of the king in the city of Taphnees, as the Prophet expressly declares; nay, he says that it was nigh the gate. As, then, this place was near the palace, the Prophet was bidden to hide there the stones, and in the sight of the Jews. This was the symbol. Now, it is shewn for what end God would have the stones to be fixed in the clay or cement; for if the stones were only rolled there with great labor by the Prophet, there would have been no instruction; and all signs we know are unmeaning and without any importance without the word. It is God’s word, then, that in a manner gives life to signs, and applies them for the benefit and instruction of men. Therefore God’s command is added, that he was to speak to the Jews: Thou shalt say to them, Thus saith Jehovah. He brings in God as the speaker, that the threatening might be more effectual, as it has been stated elsewhere; for if he had only related the words of God, he could not have thus arrested their attention, which was very tardy. This, then, is the reason why he speaks in the person of God himself.COKE, "Jeremiah 43:9. Take great stones—and hide them— Bricks were the chief materials which the Babylonians used in their most stately buildings; so that there was constant occasion for such a brick-kiln near Pharaoh's palace. Yet this might be a great way from the dwelling-house itself, the courts of great kings being almost equal to cities for extent in antient times; particularly the palace in Babylon was four miles in compass, according to Diodorus Siculus, lib. 2. See the account of the emperor of China's gardens, in "Miscellaneous Pieces relating to the Chinese," vol. 2: p. 149. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:9 Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which [is] at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah;Ver. 9. Take great stones in thine hand.] Bricks, wherewith Egypt abounded, as being much of it muddy by reason of the inundation of the river Nile; hence also their chief city was called Pelusium, or Daphnis Pelusiae. See Jeremiah 43:7. It is ordinary with Jeremiah to join paradigms with his prophecies, as here, that they might be the more evident, and take the deeper impression.PETT, "Jeremiah 43:9


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“Take large stones in your hand, and hide them in mortar in the brickwork (or brick-kiln), which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah,”Jeremiah was called on to involve himself in another acted out prophecy, this time by taking ‘large stones’ and hiding them in mortar in the ‘brickwork’ (or ‘brick-kiln’) in front of ‘Pharaoh’s house’ in Tahpanhes. The ‘king’s house’ in Tahpanhes is mentioned in the Elephantine papyri. It was not one of Pharaoh’s regular palaces but would rather have been a government building, the administrative centre for the area, although available for Pharaoh’s use when he paid a state visit.The word translated ‘brickwork’ is a rare one (three times in the Old Testament). Elsewhere it means brick-kiln (see 2 Samuel 12:31; Nahum 3:14). But it is argued that there was unlikely to be a brick-kiln at the entrance to Pharaoh’s house (i.e. government house), and equally unlikely that Jeremiah would see YHWH as setting his throne on it. LXX in fact translates as ‘vestibule’. A parallel Arabic word uses it of brick tiles over a doorway. If we take it as signifying brickwork it may well have consisted of a raised brick pavement in front of ‘Pharaoh’s house’.On the other hand we could argue that if the house of Pharaoh was in process of being restored (which would explain the presence of the available mortar) there could well have been a brick-kiln in front of it, even if at some distance, and being a raised place it could later have been used by Nebuchadrezzar as a place on which to set up a throne, having covered it with a covering, so that he could be seen by the crowds of people who surrounded and acclaimed him. Reference to a brick-kiln would certainly fit in with the idea of YHWH’s burning anger against His disobedient people, who were perhaps beginning to think of themselves as ‘large stones’ because they were what remained of Judah, and with Nebuchadrezzar’s activities in ‘burning the houses of the gods of Egypt’ as described in Jeremiah 43:12-13. And it is significant that he would do this as ‘YHWH’s servant’ (Jeremiah 43:10).In favour of the idea of a raised brick platform is the fact that such platforms in front of palaces are known of throughout the Ancient Near East in ancient times, and that the remains of one such platform was discovered in front of a ‘palace’ in Tell Dephne.PULPIT, "Take great stones, etc. A strange symbolic act of Jeremiah's is here described. "We must not suppose, arguing from our Western and precise notions, that he would be at all necessarily interfered with. In fact, he would have a twofold security, as a prophet of God to those who acknowledged him as such, and in the opinion of others as insane, and, according to Eastern ideas, thus especially under Divine promptings in his acts" (Streane). He is directed to take great stones and embed them in the mortar (not "clay") in the brick pavement at the entry of the palace. When the events predicted came to pass, these stones would testify that Jeremiah had predicted them. The word rendered "brick pavement" is of doubtful


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meaning. In Nahum 3:14 it signifies "brick kiln."

10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them.

BARNES, "My servant - See Jer_25:9 note.That I have hid - i. e., that I have embedded in the mortar by the instrumentality of my prophet.Pavilion - Rather, canopy. It probably means the parasol held over kings, which had a tall and thick pole, grasped with both hands, and in the early times a somewhat small circular top.

GILL, "And say unto them,.... The men of Judah, now in Egypt: thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; See Gill on Jer_42:15; behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; as all men are by creation, and as he was in a very eminent sense, being an instrument in his hand of executing his designs, both on the Jews and other nations; him he would send for, and take to perform his counsel; secretly work upon and dispose his mind to such an undertaking, and lay a train of providences, and, by a concourse of them, bring him to Egypt to do his will: and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; which he had ordered the prophet to hide, and which he did by him; signifying, that the king at Babylon should come with his army against this city, and should take it, and set up his throne, and keep his court here: and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them; his tent; he shall place here his beautiful one, as the word (i) signifies; this should be set up where these stones were laid, as if they were designed for the foundation of it, though they were only a symbol of


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it; and would be a token to the Jews, when accomplished, of the certainty of the divine prescience, and of prophecy, with respect to future events, even those the most minute and contingent. HENRY 10-13, "It is foretold in express words, as express as can be, 1. That the king,

the present king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, the very same that had been employed in the destruction of Jerusalem, should come in person against the land of Egypt, should make himself master even of this royal city, by the same token that he should set his throne in that very place where these stones were laid, Jer_43:10. This minute circumstance is particularly foretold, that, when it was accomplished, they might be put in mind of the prophecy and confirmed in their belief of the extent and certainly of the divine prescience, to which the smallest and most contingent events are evident. God calls Nebuchadnezzar his servant, because herein he executed God's will, accomplished his purposes, and was instrumental to carry on his designs. Note, The world's princes are God's servants and he makes what use he pleases of them, and even those that know him not, nor aim at his honour, are the tools which his providence makes use of. 2. That he should destroy many of the Egyptians, and have them all at his mercy (Jer_43:11): He shall smite the land of Egypt; and, though it has been always a warlike nation, yet none shall be able to make head against him, but whom he will he shall slay, and by what sort of death he will, whether pestilence (for that is here meant by death, as Jer_15:2) by shutting them up in places infected, or by the sword of war or justice, in cold blood or hot. And whom he will he shall save alive and carry into captivity. The Jews, by going into Egypt, brought the Chaldeans thither, and so did but ill repay those that entertained them. Those who promised to protect Israel from the king of Babylon exposed themselves to him. 3. That he shall destroy the idols of Egypt, both the temples and the images of their gods (Jer_43:12): He shall burn, the houses of the gods of Egypt, but it shall be with a fire of God's kindling; the fire of God's wrath fastens upon them, and then he burns some of them and carries others captive, Isa_46:1. Beth-shemesh, or the house of the sun, was so called from a temple there built to the sun, where at certain times there was a general meeting of the worshippers of the sun. The statues or standing images there he shall break in pieces (Jer_43:13) and carry away the rich materials of them. It intimates that he should lay all waste when even the temple and the images should not escape the fury of the victorious army. The king of Babylon was himself a great idolater and a patron of idolatry; he had his temples and images in honour of the sun as well as the Egyptians; and yet he is employed to destroy the idols of Egypt. Thus God sometimes makes one wicked man, or wicked nation, a scourge and plague to another. 4. That he shall make himself master of the land of Egypt, and none shall be able to plead its cause or avenge its quarrel (Jer_43:12): He shall array himself with the rich spoils of the land of Egypt, both beautify and fortify himself with them. He shall array himself with them as ornaments and as armour; and this, though it shall be a rich and heavy booty, being expert in war, and expeditious, he shall slip on with as much ease and in as little time, in comparison, as a shepherd slips on his garment, when he goes to turn out his sheep in a morning. And being loaded with the wealth of many other nations, the fruits of his conquests, he shall make no more of the spoils of the land of Egypt than of a shepherd's coat. And when he has taken what he pleases (as Benhadad threatened to do, 1Ki_20:6) he shall go forth in peace, without any molestation given him, or any precipitation for fear of it, so effectually reduced shall the land of Egypt be. This destruction of Egypt by the king of Babylon is foretold, Eze_29:19 and Eze_30:10. Babylon lay at a great distance from Egypt, and yet thence the destruction of Egypt 39

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comes; for God can make those judgments strike home which are far-fetched.JAMISON, "my servant — God often makes one wicked man or nation a scourge to

another (Eze_29:18, Eze_29:19, Eze_29:20).royal pavilion — the rich tapestry (literally, “ornament”) which hung round the throne from above.

CALVIN, "Behold, I, —the particle demonstrative and the pronoun are both emphatical, הנני, enni; Behold, I send, he says, to bring Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne on these stones We now understand the drift of the whole, even that these stones were thrown into the cement, that God might build up a throne for Nebuchadnezzar. The time, indeed, for building the throne had not yet come; but God’s purpose was to lay the foundations, so that they might be hid until the time arrived. The Prophet, then, built a throne for Nebuchadnezzar, when he cast; these stones into the place of the brick-kiln.We must now examine each particular in order. God says that he would send to bring Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. This mission must not be understood otherwise than that of the secret providence of God; for he had no attendants by whom he might send for Nebuchadnezzar, but he called him, as it were, by his nod only. Moreover, this mode of speaking is borrowed, taken from men, who, when they wish anything to be done, intimate what their object is; and then, when they give orders, they issue their commands. This is what earthly kings do, because they can by a nod only accomplish whatever comes to their minds. But God, who needs no external aids, is said to send when he executes his own purpose, and that by his incomprehensible power. And further, God intimates that when Nebuchadnezzar came, it would by no means be by chance, but to take vengeance on the perverse Jews, who hoped for a safe retirement in Egypt, when yet God promised them a quiet habitation in the land of Judah, had they remained there. Then God declares that he would be the leader of that march when Nebuchadnezzar came into Egypt, as though he had said that the war would be carried on under his banner. Nebuchadnezzar did not from design render obedience to God; for ambition and pride led him to Egypt when he came, and for this reason, because the Egyptians had so often provoked him, so that without dishonor to himself he could no longer defer vengeance. It was, then, for this reason he came, if we look to his object. But God declares that he overruled the king as well as all the Babylonians, so that he would arm them when he pleased, and bring them into Egypt, and by their means carry on war with the Egyptians.For the same reason he calls him his servant; not that Nebuchadnezzar was worthy of so honorable a name, for he had nothing less, as we have said, than a design to serve God; but he is called God’s servant, because he executed what God himself had decreed: for the Scripture sometimes calls even the devils the servants of God; but in strict language, angels and the faithful are alone his servants. Kings and prophets are also, for a special reason, called God’s servants, to whom is committed


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the authority to rule or to teach. But in this place, as in many other places, the Scripture calls those God’s servants whom he employs to effect his purpose, even when they themselves have no such design. But the Prophet, no doubt, had also in view the Jews, so that they might know that this war was approved by God; for Nebuchadnezzar would not have come except he had been brought there by God.It then follows, and I will set his throne This, also, is what God claims for himself, even the erecting of the throne of the King Nebuchadnezzar before the palace of the king of Egypt. The king of Babylon, doubtless, thought that the war was carried on through his own efforts and valor, and the courage of his soldiers; moreover, he sacrificed to his own fortune, as heathens use to do; and hence it is said in Isaiah of the Assyrian,“He will not think so.” (Isaiah 10:7)But God designed this to be declared to the Jews before the time, that they might then know that the just reward of their obstinacy would be rendered to them, for they were to be taught, as we have said, for their good and benefit. But as they were already inexcusable, it was God’s purpose to shame them more and more, so that they might know that a just punishment would be inflicted on them, because they had so obstinately rejected all the counsel of God.I will, then, erect his throne on the stones which I have hidden The Prophet here speaks irregularly, now in God’s name, then in his own; but this was not done without reason. We have stated why he introduced God as the speaker, even that he might make the Jews more attentive; for he knew that all his threatenings would be derided except God’s majesty was set before them: but now he connects himself with God, as though he had said that he had nothing apart from God. This is the reason why he said, upon the stones which I have hid God had not hidden the stones, but the Prophet speaks, nevertheless, in the person of God. But, as I have already said, this connection shews that the prophetic word is so connected with the hand and power of God, that when the Prophet speaks, it ought to be counted the same, as though God openly thundered from heaven. And this mode of speaking ought to be carefully noticed, so that we may learn reverently to receive whatever faithful teachers declare in his name, while performing the duties of their office; for they are not to be looked upon as men, for otherwise whatever proceeds from them may be disregarded; but we ought to receive the doctrine proclaimed by their mouth as though God himself had descended from heaven to speak to us.He afterwards adds, and he shall extend his tabernacle or his tent; for שפריר, shepherir, is taken from a word which means beauty, and properly means here a royal tent. (130) The hebrews do not give this name to the tents of shepherds, but only to those tents which excel in magnificence and splendor, according to what we say in French, Le pavillon du Roy. It now follows —TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:10 And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the


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God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.Ver. 10. Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar.] By a secret instinct put into his heart.And will set his throne upon these stones.] This was dangerous for Jeremiah to say at the court gate, and in the hearing of so many disaffected Jews, who would be ready enough to make the worst of everything. Some say they stoned him with brickbats (a) for this very prophecy. PETT, "Jeremiah 43:10“And say to them, Thus says YHWH of hosts, the God of Israel. Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hidden, and he will spread his royal covering over them.”The purpose behind the setting of the large stones hidden in the brickwork or brick-kiln was that they were to be a reminder that in the future Nebuchadrezzar,as YHWH’s servant, would set a throne over them, and spread over them his royal ‘canopy’ or ‘covering’ (the word occurs only here). This may have been a canopy over his head, or a covering on which his throne was then placed, or even a pavilion. Thus ironically the people who had fled from Nebuchadrezzar, ‘YHWH’s servant’, in disobedience to YHWH, would find YHWH’s servant sitting over them as their ruler and lord in their very place of refuge.Note the full blown title, ‘YHWH of Hosts, the God of Israel’, a reminder that YHWH was the God of battle Who was over all the hosts of the world, as well as being the God of Israel. Even Nebuchadrezzar with all his might was His servant to do His will.PULPIT, "And will set his throne, etc.; viz. for the victorious king to hold judgment (comp. Jeremiah 1:15, Jeremiah 1:16; Jeremiah 49:38). He shall spread his royal pavilion; rather, his tapestry (the root means "brilliance"); i.e. the bright coloured covering of the throne.

11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those 42

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destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword.

BARNES, "According to each man’s destiny, he will either die of famine, pestilence, or in battle; or he will be led captive; or be put to death by the executioner.

CLARKE, "Such as are for death to death - See the note on Jer_15:2.

GILL, "And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt,.... Here is a various reading: the "Cetib", or textual writing, is, "when it cometh, it shall smite"; which Kimchi rightly interprets of the camp or army of Nebuchadnezzar; and the "Keri", or marginal reading, which we follow, is, "when he cometh, he shall smite"; that is, the king of Babylon; both are to be received: when Nebuchadnezzar should come with his army to Tahpanhes, he would not only take that, but go through the land of Egypt, and subdue and destroy the inhabitants of it, all that dwelt in it, sojourners as well as natives; and so the Jews that were come hither to dwell, against the express command of God, to whom this prophecy was delivered, and to whom it has a particular respect: and deliver such as are for death to death; who are appointed to death, either by pestilence or famine; that is, he shall oblige them to flee to, or block them up in, places where they shall perish by one or other of these: and such as are for captivity to captivity: such as are designed to be carried captive, these shall be taken by him, and carried captive into Babylon, and the provinces of it: and such as are for the sword to the sword; who are destined to fall by the sword, these should be slain by the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, and his soldiers; so that, what by one way or another, a general destruction should be made.

JAMISON, "such as are for death to death — that is, the deadly plague. Some he shall cause to die by the plague arising from insufficient or bad food; others, by the sword; others he shall lead captive, according as God shall order it (see on Jer_15:2).CALVIN, "He confirms the former verse by what he says here and in the two following verses to the end of the chapter. As Egypt had cities well fortified and deemed impregnable, the Jews never thought that the Chaldeans could so easily penetrate into them. For, first, that country is situated in a plain; and, secondly, in the midst of lakes: and it is in part surrounded by the Nile and the Red Sea. As,


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then, Egypt was on every side so well fortified, they thought that there would be there a quiet nest for them. But God declares that King Nebuchadnezzar would become the conqueror of the whole land; and he removes all objections when he says, —Those for death, to death; those for captivity, to captivity; those for the sword, to the sword; as though he had said, “Were Egypt ever so populous, yet the immense multitude of men will avail nothing, for they shall be conquered by their enemy; for some shall perish by the sword, and some by various kinds of death, and some shall be driven into exile; and Egypt shall be destroyed, as though no one stood up in its defense.” We hence see that this was added, that the Prophet might shake off the false confidence of the Jews. To the same purpose are the two following verses.TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:11 And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, [and deliver] such [as are] for death to death; and such [as are] for captivity to captivity; and such [as are] for the sword to the sword.Ver. 11. And when he cometh.] Being sent and set on by God.He shall smite the land of Egypt.] As for their idolatry, &c., so especially for harbouring these perfidious Jews, whom divine vengeance still pursues hot foot, and will not allow them to live anywhere, since they would not be persuaded to live in God’s good land, and by his good laws.PETT, "Jeremiah 43:11“And he will come, and will smite the land of Egypt; such as are for death will be given to death, and such as are for captivity to captivity, and such as are for the sword to the sword.”In typical Jeremaic language (compare Jeremiah 15:2) it is declared that Nebuchadrezzar will come and smite the land of Egypt bringing death, captivity and sword on its inhabitants, including the hapless Judeans. Rather than escaping death, captivity and sword by their flight the fugitives had plunged themselves right into them. They would each receive their inevitable end, along with those who had welcomed them. As we have seen above a damaged Babylonian tablet confirms this invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadrezzar, whilst not giving the details because of its damaged state.PULPIT, "He shall smite the land of Egypt. On the invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, wrongly controverted by some, see note on Jeremiah 46:13. Such as are for death. Such as are destined for death (i.e. pestilence, as Jeremiah 15:2; Jeremiah 18:21). The words, "and deliver," prefixed in the Authorized Version, are unnecessary; "land" is equivalent to "population."


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12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive. As a shepherd picks his garment clean of lice, so he will pick Egypt clean and depart.

BARNES, "I will kindle - Or, “he shall kindle.”He shall burn them ... - i. e., he shall burn the temples, and carry away the gods.And he shall array - literally, “And he shall wrap himself in the land of Egypt as the shepherd wrappeth himself in his cloak, and shall (go forth thence in peace;” i. e., With as great ease as a shepherd throws his cloak round him when going forth to watch his flock by night in the field, so easily shall the king of Babylon take possession of all the glory of Egypt, throw it round him, and depart without anyone resisting his progress.

CLARKE, "He shall burn them, and carry them away captives - Some of these gods, such as were of wood, he will burn; those of metal he will carry away. Some of them were of gold. See below.

Shall array himself with the land of Egypt - Shall take all its wealth, and all its grandeur; shall take all its spoils.As a shepherd putteth on his garment - With as much ease, and with as little opposition; and with as full a confidence that it is now his own.He shall go forth from thence in peace - He shall suffer no interruption, nor endure any disaster in his return from his Egyptian expedition. See the proof of all this in the notes at the end of Jer_44:30 (note).

GILL, "And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt,.... Not only men should not be spared, but their gods also, and their temples should be burnt, as was usually done when cities were taken and destroyed: this is ascribed to God, to his wrath and vengeance; idolatry being a sin highly displeasing to him; though the Chaldeans were the instruments of it, yet it being done by the order, direction, and providence of God, it is rightly attributed to him: and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives; that is, Nebuchadnezzar shall do this; he shall burn their temples, and carry away their idols of gold and silver; so Kimchi, who adds, or the sense is, he shall carry captive their worshippers; but rather


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the meaning is, he shall burn their idols, such as are made of wood, or any base matter, not worth saving; and he shall carry away with him their idols, such as are made of gold and silver, or any precious matter: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment. The Targum is, "he shall spoil the land of Egypt.'' The meaning is, that he shall load and cover himself and his army with the spoil of the land of Egypt, as a shepherd covers himself with his garment; and he shall do it as easily as a shepherd puts on his coat; and as completely he shall roll up all the spoil, wealth, and riches of the land, and carry it off, even as a shepherd rolls up the covering of his tent; and, as Kimchi's father observes, as well as puts on his garment, and leaves nothing behind him, when he removes from place to place; and as he is unmindful of his clothes, or what he wears in the heat of the day; but at night, when he returns home from keeping his sheep, puts on his clothes, the best he has; so should the king of Babylon and his army return richly laden with the spoil of Egypt, when he should leave it. Or the sense rather is, he shall cover the land of Egypt with his forces, as a shepherd is covered and wrapped up in his garment against the inclemency of the weather; or else, as Bochart (k) suggests, the destruction of Egypt may be compared to an old worn out garment, or such a mean and sordid garment as shepherds wear: and he shall go forth from thence in peace: there shall be none to molest and disturb him, to stop him and take away the spoil from him, or hinder his return to his own country; whither he should go in safety, and with great booty.

JAMISON, "houses of ... gods — He shall not spare even the temple, such will be His fury. A reproof to the Jews that they betook themselves to Egypt, a land whose own safety depended on helpless idols.

burn ... carry ... captives — burn the Egyptian idols of wood, carry to Babylon those of gold and other metals.array himself with the land, etc. — Isa_49:18 has the same a shepherd, etc. — He shall become master of Egypt as speedily and easily as a shepherd, about to pass on with his flock to another place, puts on his garment.

K&D, "He shall burn the temples of the gods of Egypt, and carry away the idols. The first person הצתי, for which lxx, Syriac, and Vulgate have the third, must not be meddled with; it corresponds to שמתי in Jer_43:10. What Nebuchadnezzar does as Jahveh's servant (עבדי, Jer_43:10) is done by God. The suffixes in שרפם and שבם are assigned in such a way that the one is to be referred to the temples, the other to the idols; see on Jer_48:7. - ועטה has been variously interpreted. עטה with the accus. מעיל or שלמהmeans the envelope one's self with a garment, put on a garment, wrap the cloak round; cf. 1Sa_28:14; Psa_109:19; Isa_59:17, etc. This is the meaning of the verb here, as is shown by the clause expressing the comparison. The point of likeness is the easiness of the action. Ewald has very well explained the meaning of the whole: "As easily as any


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shepherd in the open field wraps himself in his cloak, so will he take the whole of Egypt in his hand, and be able to throw it round him like a light garment, that he may then, thus dressed as it were with booty, leave the land in peace, without a foe, - a complete victor." Other explanations of the word are far-fetched, and lexically untenable.

CALVIN, "He goes on with the same subject; and he ascribes to God the kindling of the fire, that the Jews might know that the war would be conducted by a divine power, and that Nebuchadnezzar would not come except through God’s providence. For though, as it has been said, he had his own reasons, yet God, by his wonderful power, led him, as it were, by the hand, to punish the Egyptians. They, indeed, deserved such a destruction, because they had by their fiat-teries deceived the miserable Jews, and had corrupted them. Besides, their allurements had been very ruinous, for through them the aid of God had been despised, and all the prophecies rejected. As then they had been the authors of all kinds of evils to the Jews, we hence infer that they deserved a dreadful vengeance; and this had been in due time made known to the Jews, but they did not believe it. Then the Prophet fully confirms what had been declared in his former prophecies.I will kindle a fire, says God, in the temples of the gods of Egypt And he mentions temples, that the Jews might understand that no part of the land would be safe or secure from destruction: for it often happens that when the cruelty of enemies rages greatly, the temples are spared; for religion commands respect, and honor has been given also to idols, so that their temples have often remained untouched, when enemies have wholly overthrown all other things. But it is probable, that the Chaldeans had so great a presumption and pride, that they wished to destroy all the temples, that there might be no religion anywhere except among themselves. And some also among the Persians had this barbarity, as Xerxes, who, when he entered into Greece, and some parts of Asia, burnt and destroyed all the temples, and said also in derision, that all the gods in Greece were taken captive, and were shut up in the temples, and that he accomplished everything through his own valor. There is, indeed, no doubt but that Xerxes thus arrogantly triumphed over the gods of the Greeks; and such was probably the insolence displayed by the Chaldeans. However this may have been, yet God shews, that no place in Egypt would be held sacred: for the Chaldeans would even burn their temples. But at the same time he meant to cast a reproach on the obstinacy of the Jews, because they went down to Egypt, whose safety depended on idols. God then shews that they were more than blind, and wholly beside themselves, as though they were brute animals, when they hoped for a quiet port in Egypt, which was under the protection of false gods. God then says, that he would kindle a fire by which the temples of the gods of Egypt would be burned.And he adds, and it or he will burn them This may be applied to the fire; but he, no doubt, speaks of the King Nebuchadnezzar, for it immediately follows, and shall carry them captives, and shall roll up the land of Egypt, as a shepherd his garment


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The verb properly means to cover, but it means also sometimes to gather up. It may be rendered here to roll up, as we say in French, trousser et entortiller. He intimates, that Nebuchadnezzar would, according to his own will, so rule in Egypt, that he would heap together all the wealth of the whole land: and as a shepherd, when he leads his flock to another place, collects his utensils, and rolls up his garments, or folds himself in them; so Nebuchadnezzar, says the Prophet, would gather together, or roll up the whole land of Egypt He mentions land, as signifying the wealth which Nebuchadnezzar accumulated. At length he adds, and thence shall he depart in peace He shews that the conquest would be complete, for the Egyptians would not dare to mutter, nor dare to follow their enemy on his departure; for he would be as though he were in a peaceable place, and in his own kingdom. (131)COFFMAN, "PROPHECY AGAINST THE GODS OF EGYPT"And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captive: and shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and shall go forth from thence in peace. He shall also break the pillars of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of Egypt shall he burn with fire.""As a shepherd putteth on his garment ..." (Jeremiah 43:12). Keil gave special attention to the words thus rendered and gave as his opinion that they are properly translated thus: "As easily as any shepherd in the open field wraps himself in his cloak," adding that, "Other explanations of the word are far-fetched and lexically untenable."[12]We would like to call attention to the preposterous mistranslation of this passage in the Good News Bible. "As a shepherd picks his clothes clean of lice, so the king of Babylon will pick the land of Egypt clean." Such words are simply not in the text. James Moffatt's Translation of the Bible (1929) didn't do any better: "He shall scour the land of Egypt as a shepherd picks vermin out of his plaid.""Bethshemesh ..." (Jeremiah 43:13). The Revised Standard Version renders this place Heliopolis on the probability that they might be the same. If that identity is correct, the Egyptian temple of the Sun God was located there.COKE, "Jeremiah 43:12. I will kindle a fire— He shall kindle a fire. Houbigant. "Nebuchadrezzar shall burn by my orders the temples of Egypt, and the palaces of the great men; and shall lead into captivity the kings, the subjects, and the gods." The author of the Observations remarks, that, "as the Arabs frequently withdraw themselves out of the reach of very potent enemies, by retiring into the depths of the wilderness; so, if provoked, they can occasion them very great bitternesses, it not being possible to be always guarded against them. It is but a little while ago that the public papers gave an account of their destroying many thousands of the Mecca pilgrims, upon some disgust which the Turkish government had given them, and filling the whole country with lamentation. Nor do the victories of the most


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successful princes intimidate them in many cases. Thus Curtius tells us, they set upon the troops of Alexander himself, the mighty conqueror of Asia, when they found him unguarded in Lebanon, and slew some, and took others." To these insults we may suppose Jeremiah to refer in this place, when, after foretelling the success of Nebuchadrezzar in Egypt, he says, that he should go forth from thence in peace. The deserts which lie between Egypt and Syria, are at this day terribly infested by the wild Arabs. "In travelling along the sea-coast of Syria, and from Suez to mount Sinai, (says Dr. Shaw) we were in little or no danger of being robbed or insulted;—in the holy land, and upon the isthmus betwixt Egypt and the Red Sea, our conductors cannot be too numerous." And then he goes on to inform his readers, that when he went from Ramah to Jerusalem, though the pilgrims were more than six thousand, and were escorted by four bands of Turkish infantry, exclusive of three or four hundred spahees, or cavalry, yet were they most barbarously insulted and beaten by the Arabs. This same desert, between Gaza and Egypt, appears to have been a scene of injuries also in the time of St. Jerome; and to have been under the power of the Arabs much more anciently still; for La Roque, in a note upon D'Arvieux, observes, that Cambyses, a little after Nebuchadrezzar's time, was enabled to pass through the deserts, by means of those supplies of water which an Arabian prince conveyed to him. A conquering prince's passing out of a country, would not in common have been the subject of a prediction; but in this case, as it was the passing through deserts where the Arabs at that time were, as they still are, so much masters, who were not afraid upon occasion to insult the most victorious princes, the mentioning of this circumstance was not unworthy the spirit of prophesy. This too may lead us perhaps to the true sense of the passage; And he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; for I should imagine it to signify, that "just as a person appearing to be a shepherd passed unmolested in common by the wild Arabs, so Nebuchadrezzar, by his subduing Egypt, shall induce the Arab tribes to suffer him to go out of that country unmolested; the possession of Egypt being to him, what a shepherd's garment was to a single person: for though upon occasion the Arabs are not afraid to affront the most powerful princes, it is not to be imagined that conquest and power have no effect upon them." They that dwell in the wilderness, says the Psalmist, referring to these Arabs, shall bow before Him whom he had described immediately before as having dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth, and which he questionless supposes to have been the great inducement to that submission. Thus the Arab who was charged with the conducting of Bishop Pococke to Jerusalem, after secreting him for some time in his tent, when he took him out into the fields to walk there, put on him his striped garment, apparently for his security, and that he might pass for an Arab. So D'Arvieux, when he was sent by the consul of Sidon to the camp of the grand emir, equipped himself, for the greater security, exactly like an Arab, and accordingly passed unmolested and unquestioned. The employment of the Arabs is to feed cattle, and consequently a shepherd's garment may mean the same thing with the Arab dress: or, if it signifies something different, as there are Rushwans and Turcmen about Aleppo, who live in tents and feed cattle, much in the same manner as the Arabs, according to Dr. Russell; and as a passage in Isaiah 13:20 seems to insinuate that there was the like


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distinction in his times;—Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither shall the shepherds make their fold there;-that different dress of a shepherd, whatever it was, must equally protect a person in those deserts, for there would be no such thing as feeding of cattle in them, if such sort of persons were molested by the Arabs, as passengers are. See Observations, p. 61. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:12 And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace.Ver. 12. And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt.] Goodly gods they were, that could not keep their temples from burning! Diana, said one jestingly, was so busy at the birth of great Alexander that she could not for some while be at Ephesus, where her stately temple was at the same time set on fire by Herostratus.And he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment,] i.e., Easily and speedily shall he carry away the spoil of that rich country, there being none there to hinder him, either in taking them or carrying them away:“ Pastor enim secure portat tectumque, laremque. ”PETT, "Jeremiah 43:12“And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he will burn them, and carry them away captive, and he will array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his robe, and he shall go forth from thence in peace.”Note the change of person to ‘I’. YHWH Himself was involved in this. Not only the people but also the gods in whom they trusted would be humiliated, for YHWH Himself would kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt (YHWH’s brick kiln?). So in the face of YHWH’s anger the gods of Egypt were no safer than the people. The Egyptian gods and their houses would be burned with fire, whilst the gods themselves would also be carried off as trophies into captivity. Thus the very gods whom they had trusted to keep them from captivity would themselves be taken captive. Josephus later confirms that at this time the Jewish captives were carried off to Babylon.Furthermore Nebuchadrezzar, as YHWH’s servant, would ‘array himself with the land of Egypt as a shepherd puts on his robe’. Egypt was no match for the one chosen by YHWH to carry out His purposes. It was simply rather an accessory, a cloak for YHWH’s shepherd, to be tossed casually around his shoulders.Whilst the invasion by Nebuchadrezzar was rather a punitive expedition in the face of different Egyptian activities against their possessions, than a full-scale invasion, it was totally successful and resulted in a peace treaty between himself and Ahmose II,


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which no doubt acknowledged Babylonian rights in Syria, Cyprus and Palestine, after which Nebuchadrezzar retired in peace, his aims accomplished.PULPIT, "Burn them; viz. the temples. Egypt was full of gorgeous and imposing temples, which could not, however, always be burned, nor were the conquerors of Egypt anxious to display hostility to Egyptian religion. Carry them away captives; viz. the idol gods (comp. Jeremiah 48:7, "Chemosh shall no forth into captivity:" and Isaiah 46:2, "Their soul [or, 'personality'] hath gone into captivity"). The prophet speaks from the point of view of a believer in the idol gods. He shall array himself with the land of Egypt, etc. (For "array himself with" and "putteth on,"read wrap himself in and wrappeth himself in.) Ewald well explains this figure. "As easily as the shepherd in the open field wraps himself in the cool night in his mantle, will he be able to grasp Egypt with his hand and fling it round him like an easily managed garment, in order then to leave the land as an absolute conqueror, clothed in this attire of booty, in peace, without an enemy."

13 There in the temple of the sun[b] in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillars and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’”

BARNES, "Images - Rather, pillars (compare the Isa_19:19 note), obelisks.Beth-shemesh - Heliopolis, famous for its obelisks.

CLARKE, "He shall break also the images of Beth-shemesh - beith בית שמשshemesh is, literally, the house or temple of the sun; which was worshipped here, and whose images are said to have been of solid gold. These Nebuchadnezzar was to break and carry away; and the houses of the gods - all the temples of Egypt, he was to burn with fire. Beth-shemesh is the same as Heliopolis.

GILL, "He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt,.... Or, "of Heliopolis", as the Septuagint; the "city of the sun"; and so "Bethshemesh" here signifies the "house of the sun"; either it designs the temple of the sun, or the city where it was worshipped; as Heliopolis was famous for the worship of


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the sun, and for a magnificent temple in it, built for that purpose, and where abundance of persons resorted on that account, as Herodotus (l) observes; here were many images of the sun; and these now should be broke to pieces, when this city should become the city of destruction, as is foretold it should by Isaiah, Isa_19:18; where the Targum expressly calls it the city Bethshemesh, that is to be destroyed; See Gill on Isa_19:18. This is the same city that was formerly called On, and had a priest in Joseph's time, Gen_41:45; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire; which is repeated, that it might be taken notice of, and for the confirmation of it; though the words may be rendered, so as to remove the tautology, "and with the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn it with fire" (m); that is, Bethshemesh, or "the house of the sun", that shall not escape, being a principal temple. The gods they worshipped were Mnevis and Apis, which were oxen consecrated to the sun and moon (n). So says Porphyry (o), speaking of the Egyptians, "they consecrate oxen to the sun and moon: that which is sacred to the sun at Heliopolis is called Mnevis, and is the greatest of them: it is very black, because much sun makes human bodies black; and the hairs of its tail, and of its whole body, contrary to other oxen, turn upwards, as the sun makes its course contrary to the pole; its testicles are the largest, because by the heat of the sun venereal desires are excited; hence the sun is said to make nature fruitful. To the moon they dedicate Taurus (or the bull), which they call Apis, and is blacker than others, bearing the signs of the sun and moon, because the light of the moon is from the sun; and the sign of the sun is the blackness of its body, and also the beetle that is under its tongue;'' and these were the images and gods of Bethshemesh or Heliopolis, that were to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Of his expedition into Egypt, whereby this prophecy was fulfilled, not only Josephus makes mention, but some Heathen writers gave plain hints of it. The Jewish historian says (p), that Nebuchadnezzar, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, led his army into Coelesyria, and took it; and made war with the Ammonites and Moabites; and, having subdued these nations, made a push into Egypt, in order to destroy that, and slew the king of it: and Berosus says (q), that "Nebuchadnezzar having settled his affairs in Egypt, and other countries; and having committed to his friends the captives of the Jews, Phoenicians, Syrians, and the nations about Egypt, went to Babylon:'' and Megasthenes (r) relates, that "he conquered the greatest part of Lybia (or Africa) and Iberia;'' or, as it is elsewhere (s) expressed, "he led his army into Lybia and Iberia; and, having subdued these, carried colonies of them to the right of Pontus.''

HENRY, "He shall array himself with the rich spoils of the land of Egypt, both 52

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beautify and fortify himself with them. He shall array himself with them as ornaments and as armour; and this, though it shall be a rich and heavy booty, being expert in war, and expeditious, he shall slip on with as much ease and in as little time, in comparison, as a shepherd slips on his garment, when he goes to turn out his sheep in a morning. And being loaded with the wealth of many other nations, the fruits of his conquests, he shall make no more of the spoils of the land of Egypt than of a shepherd's coat. And when he has taken what he pleases (as Benhadad threatened to do, 1Ki_20:6) he shall go forth in peace, without any molestation given him, or any precipitation for fear of it, so effectually reduced shall the land of Egypt be. This destruction of Egypt by the king of Babylon is foretold, Eze_29:19 and Eze_30:10. Babylon lay at a great distance from Egypt, and yet thence the destruction of Egypt comes; for God can make those judgments strike home which are far-fetched.

JAMISON, "images — statues or obelisks.Beth-shemesh — that is, “the house of the sun,” in Hebrew; called by the Greeks “Heliopolis”; by the Egyptians, “On” (Gen_41:45); east of the Nile, and a few miles north of Memphis. Ephraim Syrus says, the statue rose to the height of sixty cubits; the base was ten cubits. Above there was a miter of a thousand pounds weight. Hieroglyphics are traced around the only obelisk remaining in the present day, sixty or seventy feet high. On the fifth year after the overthrow of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, leaving the siege of Tyre, undertook his expedition to Egypt [Josephus, Antiquities, 10.9, 7]. The Egyptians, according to the Arabs, have a tradition that their land was devastated by Nebuchadnezzar in consequence of their king having received the Jews under his protection, and that it lay desolate forty years. But see on Eze_29:2; Eze_29:13.shall he burn — Here the act is attributed to Nebuchadnezzar, the instrument, which in Jer_43:12 is attributed to God. If even the temples be not spared, much less private houses.

K&D, "In conclusion, mention is further made of the destruction of the famoustemple of the Sun at Heliopolis, to show the fulfilment of the prophecy that all Egypt would fall under the power of Nebuchadnezzar. בית House of the Sun," is the" ,שמשHebrew rendering of the Egyptian Pe-râ, i.e., House of the Sun, the sacred name of the city vulgarly called On; see on Gen_41:45. It lay north-east from Cairo, near the modern village of Matarieh, and thus pretty far inland; it was renowned for its magnificent temple, dedicated to Râ, the Sun-god. At the entrance to this building stood several larger and smaller obelisks, of which the two larger, added to the two older ones by Pheron the son of Sesostris, were about 150 feet high. One of these the Emperor Augustus caused to be brought to Rome; the other was thrown down in the year 1160; while one of the more ancient but smaller obelisks still stands in its original position, raising its head in the midst of a beautiful garden over a mass of dense foliage. These obelisks are signified by ת ",The additional clause, "which is in the land of Egypt .מצבdoes not belong to Beth-shemesh, as if it were appended for the purpose of distinguishing the city so named from Beth-shemesh in the land of Judah; the words are rather connected with ת הי and correspond with ,מצב א מצרים in the parallel member


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of the verse. The obelisks of the most famous temple of the Egyptian Sun-god are well known as the most splendid representatives of the glory of the Egyptian idolatry: the destruction of these monuments indicates the ruin of all the sanctuaries of the ancient kingdom of the Pharaohs. The last clause is a kind of re-echo from Jer_43:12; ישרף is strengthened by the addition of באש for the purpose of giving a sonorous ending to the whole. - The king of Egypt is not named in the prophecy, but according to Jer_44:30 it is Pharaoh-Hophra, who is to be given into the power of Nebuchadnezzar.

When we inquire as to the fulfilment of this prediction, we find M. Duncker, in his Gesch. des Alterthums, i. 841, giving a reply in these words: "Nebuchadnezzar did not fulfil these expectations (of Jeremiah, Jer_43:8-13; Jer_44:30, and of Ezekiel, Jer_29:32). He contented himself with having repelled the renewed attack of Egypt. The establishment of his dominion in Syria did not depend on his conquering Egypt; but Syria must obey him, throughout its whole extent. The capture of Jerusalem followed the siege of the island-town of Tyre (b.c. 586), the last city that had maintained its independence. The army of the Chaldean slay thirteen years before Tyre without being able to bring the king Ethbaal (Ithobal) under subjection. At last, in the year 573, a treaty was concluded, in which the Tyrians recognised the supremacy of the king of Babylon." That Tyre was brought into subjection is inferred by Duncker (in a note, p. 682), first, from the generally accepted statement of Berosus, that the whole of Phoenicia was subdued by Nebuchadnezzar (Josephus' Ant. x. 11. 1, and contra Ap. i. 19); secondly, from Josephus' statement (contra Ap. i. 21), that the kings Merbal and Hiram had been brought by the Tyrians from Babylon; and lastly, from the fact that, with the close of the siege, the reign of Ithobal ends and that of Baal begins. "It would thus appear that Ithobal was removed, and his family carried to Babylon." These facts, which are also acknowledged by Duncker, sufficiently show (what we have already pointed out in Ezekiel) that the siege of Tyre ended with the taking of this island-city. For, unless the besieged city had been taken by storm, or at least compelled to surrender, the king would not have let himself be dethroned and carried to Babylon. - But whence has Duncker derived the information that Nebuchadnezzar had no concern with the subjugation of Egypt, but merely with the establishment of his authority in Syria? Although Nebuchadnezzar began the siege of the island-city of Tyre soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, and required thirteen years to reduce it, yet it does not by any means follow from this that he had only to do with the strengthening of his authority in Syria, and no connection with the subjugation of Egypt; all that we can safely infer is, that he thought he could not attempt the conquest of Egypt with any certain prospect of success until he had subdued the whole of Syria. Besides, so long as such an one as Pharaoh-Hophra occupied the throne of Egypt, - who had not only sent an army to Zedekiah king of Judah to raise the siege of Jerusalem, but also (according to Herodotus, ii. 161, who draws from Egyptian sources) led an army to Sidon and fought a naval battle with the Tyrians; who (as Diod. Sic. i. 68 relates, also following Egyptian tradition) set out for Cyprus with abundant war-material and a strong army and fleet, and took Sidon by storm, while the rest of the towns submitted through fear; who, moreover, had defeated the Phoenicians and Cyprians in a naval engagement, and had returned to Egypt with immense spoil; - how could Nebuchadnezzar possibly think that his rule in Syria was firmly established? Such statements as those now referred to even Duncker does not venture to reject. We must, however, view them with a regard to the usual exaggerations by which the Egyptians were accustomed to extol the deeds of their Pharaohs; but after making all due allowance, we are led to this, that, after the fall of Tyre, Hophra sought to prevent the island of Cyprus as well as Tyre from becoming a 54

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dependency of Nebuchadnezzar. Could Nebuchadnezzar leave unmolested such an enemy as this, who, on the first suitable opportunity, would attempt to wrest the whole of Syria from him? So short-sighted a policy we could not attribute to such a conqueror as Nebuchadnezzar. Much more considerate is the judgment previously expressed regarding this by Vitringa, on Isa 19: "Etiamsi omnis historia hic sileret, non est probabile, Nebucadnezarem magnum dominatorem gentium, post Palaestinam et Phoeniciam subactam, non tentasse Aegyptum, et si tentaverit, tentasse frustra; et quâ parte Aegyptum occupavit, eam non vastasse et desolasse."It is also to be borne in mind that the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, which is denied by Hitzig and Graf as well as Duncker, as it formerly was by Volney, is vouched for by the trustworthy testimony of Berosus (in Josephus, contra Ap. i. 19), who says

that Nebuchadnezzar took Egypt (κρατῆσαι Αἰγύπτου, Αραβίας, κ.τ.λ.); the denial, too, rests on a mere inference from the account given by Herodotus from the traditions of the priests regarding the reign of Apriës (Hophra). If the witness of Berosus regarding the conquest of Syria and Phoenicia be trustworthy, why should his testimony concerning Egypt be unreliable? The account of Josephus (Ant. x. 9. 7), that Nebuchadnezzar, in the fifth year after the capture of Jerusalem, and the twenty-third year of his reign, invaded Egypt, killed the king (Hophra), put another in his place, and led captive to Babylon the Jews that had fled to Egypt, - this account will not admit of being brought forward (as has often been attempted, and anew, of late, by Mrc. von Niebuhr, Assur und Babel, S. 215) as sufficient testimony for a successful campaign carried on by Nebuchadnezzar against Egypt during the siege of Tyre. The difficulty in the way of proving that such a campaign actually took place is not so much that the death of Hophra in battle with Nebuchadnezzar, or his execution afterwards, contradicts all authenticated history, as that the particular statements of Josephus regarding this campaign, both as to the date and the carrying away to Babylon of the Jews that had fled to Egypt, are simply conclusions drawn from a combination of Jer_43:8-13 and Jer_44:30 with Jer_52:20; besides, the execution of King Hophra by Nebuchadnezzar is foretold neither by Jeremiah nor by Ezekiel. Ezekiel, in Jer 29-32, merely predicts the decline of the Egyptian influence, the breaking of the arm of Pharaoh, i.e., of his military power, and his fall into Sheol; but he does it in so ideal a manner, that even the words of Jer_30:13, "there shall be no more a prince out of the land of Egypt," - i.e., Egypt shall lose all her princes, just as her idols have been destroyed, - even these words cannot well be applied to the execution of Pharaoh-Hophra. But Jeremiah, in Jer_43:1-13 and in Jer_46:13., predicts merely the downfall of the pride and power of Pharaoh, and the conquest, devastation, and spoiling of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. And even in the words of Jer_44:30, "I (Jahveh) will deliver Pharaoh-Hophra into the hand of his enemies, and of those who seek his life, just as I delivered Zedekiah the king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar his enemy, and of those who sought after his life," there is nothing definitely stated regarding Hophra's being executed by Nebuchadnezzar, or killed in battle with him. Such a reference cannot be made out from the words, even though we lay no emphasis on the plural "his enemies," in contrast with the expression "Nebuchadnezzar his enemy," and, according to Jer_46:26, understand Nebuchadnezzar and his servants as being included under the "enemies;" for certainly Zedekiah was not killed by Nebuchadnezzar, but merely taken prisoner and carried to Babylon. Besides, there was no need of special proof that the prophecies of Jeremiah regarding Egypt declare much more important matters than merely an expedition of Chaldean soldiers to Egypt, as well as the plunder of some cities and the carrying away of the Jews who resided there; and that, in Jer 44, what the Jews who went to Egypt against the will of


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God are threatened with, is not transportation to Babylon, but destruction in Egypt by sword, hunger, and pestilence, until only a few individuals shall escape, and these shall return to Judah (Jer_44:14, Jer_44:27-28).But if we compare with the prophecy of Jeremiah in Jer_43:8-13, and in Jer_46:13-26, that of Ezekiel in Jer_29:17-21, which was uttered or composed in the twenty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, i.e., in the year 573, it becomes abundantly evident that Nebuchadnezzar cannot have invaded and conquered Egypt before that year, and not till after the fall of Tyre, which immediately ensued. And that this was actually the case, is put beyond doubt by the statement of Herodotus, ii. 161ff., regarding Apriës, that he lost his throne and his life in consequence of being defeated in battle with the Cyrenians. What Herodotus assigns as the cause of the fall of Apriës, is insufficient to account for the unhappy end of this king. Herodotus himself states, ii. 169, that the Egyptians were filled with the most intense hatred against Apriës; the monuments also bear witness to this fact. This bitter feeling must have had a deeper source than merely the unsuccessful issue of a war with Cyrene; it receives its explanation only when we find that Apriës, by his attempts against Nebuchadnezzar, had deserved and brought on the subjugation of Egypt by the king of Babylon; cf. Hävernick on Ezekiel, p. 500. By sending an auxiliary army to Judah, for the purpose of driving back the Chaldeans, and by forming an expedition to Cyprus and the cities of Phoenicia, which was evidently directed against the establishment of the Chaldean power in Phoenicia, Apriës had so provoked the king of Babylon, that the latter, immediately after the subjugation of Tyre, entered on the campaign against Egypt, which he invaded, subdued, and spoiled, without, however, killing the king; him he preferred allowing to rule on, but as his vassal, and under the promise that he would recognise his authority and pay tribute, just as had been done with King Jehoiakim when Jerusalem was first taken. If all this actually took place (which we may well assume), Apriës might probably have begun another war against Cyrene, after the Chaldeans had departed, in the hope of procuring some small compensation to the Egyptians for the defeat they had suffered from the Chaldeans, by subduing that province in the west; in this war the king might have lost his life, as Herodotus relates, through want of success in his attempt. In this say, the account of Herodotus regarding the death of Apriës quite agrees with the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. But that Herodotus makes no mention of the conquest of Egypt, is sufficiently accounted for when we remember that he derived his information from the stories of the priests, who carefully omitted all mention of a struggle between Egypt and the power of Chaldea, since this had ended in the humiliation of Egypt; hence also mention was made only of the victories and mighty deeds of Necho II, while his defeat at Carchemish was passed over in silence.

CALVIN, "WE stated yesterday why Jeremiah spoke especially of the temples of the gods, even that the Jews might understand that nothing would escape destruction: for even the cruel-est enemies have usually withheld their hands from the temples of gods. If sanctity and religion would not preserve the temples, what then would become of private houses? He intimates, in short, that such would be the ruin of Egypt, that no part would escape.But as Heliopolis was then in the greatest repute, he says, that the statues of all the gods in that city would be broken, for there the gods were especially worshipped. All


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heathen writers call it Heliopolis, to which the Hebrew word corresponds; for Bethsemes means the city of the sun; and Heliopolis means the same. As then this was the chief place where the gods of Egypt were found, the Prophet, in order to shew that the ruin of the whole land would be extreme, says that no temple would be there inviolate. So also Isaiah says, when speaking of the ruin of Egypt,“Behold, God will come into Egypt, and will cut down before him all the idols.”(Isaiah 19:1)He spoke of God’s coming, because, under his guidance it was, that Nebuchadnezzar led there his army, as it has been stated. God did not, indeed, appear from heaven, but the army of Nebuchadnezzar was a living representation of God’s power, when he punished the Egyptians. Now, he says, that when God came there armed, and carried on a warlike expedition, all the idols would be destroyed; for God would thus shew that the gods in whom the Egyptians trusted were false, that they were mere fictions, which could give no help when things came to an extremity. Now follows, —COKE, "Jeremiah 43:13. The images of Beth-shemesh.— The solar statues of Heliopolis: or, The images of the house of the sun.REFLECTIONS.—1st, To a message so plain, there seemed no room for objection; but the devil will never fail to help sinners to an excuse for their infidelity and disobedience.1. They pretend that Jeremiah imposed on them, and that this declaration was not from God. Johanan and Azariah, with all the proud men, dare give the prophet the lie, and impute to Baruch's influence the answer that he reported as from God, as if they two had formed a design to give them into the hands of the Chaldeans to destroy them: a suggestion not only utterly improbable, but most malicious, as well as ungrateful, when these very men had rather foregone all the comforts which they might have enjoyed in Babylon, than desert their own country in its distressed situation. Note; (1.) Pride is among the most damning sins, the root of infidelity, and the sure road to hell. (2.) The truest friends of their country, are often thus branded as the betrayers of it. (3.) They who are full of ill designs themselves are the first to represent others in the same malignant colours. The ministers of God, who labour purely for the good of men's souls, are thus usually calumniated, as meaning only to serve themselves; but their judgment is with their God.2. They march without delay for Egypt, resolved not to abide in Judaea, as God enjoined them; and all the Jews who had returned thither in hopes of a peaceable habitation are persuaded or compelled to accompany them; and, among the rest, Jeremiah and Baruch. Tahpanhes, the royal residence, was the place whither they bent their course; and, as Egypt was then their ally, they probably met with a friendly reception. Note; (1.) Proud men hate contradiction, and will have their way: if they cannot obtain consent, they will force compliance. (2.) They who go out of


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God's way have only themselves to blame for the consequences.2nd, Though Jeremiah was now against his will in this strange land, God comforts him with the visits of his grace, and employs him to denounce his wrath: since they have rejected him as their teacher, he must be their troubler. They sought refuge in Egypt, hoping to be there protected from the Chaldeans; but thither shall the Chaldeans pursue them, and destroy both them and the Egyptians who have received them.1. By a sign the destruction of Egypt is set forth. God commands Jeremiah to take great stones, and hide them in the brick-kiln, which was not far from Pharaoh's house, in the sight of the men of Judah, who would observe the sign, and be inquisitive about the meaning.2. This is at large declared. The king of Babylon, employed as God's servant, who had destroyed Jerusalem, shall prosecute his victories, and Egypt fall before him: on these very stones should his throne be set, and his pavilion spread over it. By famine, pestilence, and the sword, those doomed to death must fall, and others be led into a miserable captivity; and, so far from being ableto defend their votaries, the numerous gods of Egypt shall not be able to defend themselves; their temples with the idols burnt, or the precious materials carried away among the spoils. As easily as a shepherd puts on his coat, and so adorned, shall Nebuchadrezzar and his army return laden with the wealth of Egypt, and leave the country in peace, intirely subjected to his government. Note; (1.) It is dangerous to admit those into our friendship, whom God pursues as an enemy, lest we share in their plagues. (2.) God often makes one wicked nation a scourge to another; and, while the conquerors mean nothing less, they are but the instruments that his providence employs. TRAPP, "Jeremiah 43:13 He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that [is] in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.Ver. 13. He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh.] Or, Heliopolis, where the sun was worshipped with great superstition, as Herodotus (a) writeth. The Hebrews also called this city On, or Aven - that is, vanity or iniquity - as well they might, for the abominable idolatry there committed. Josephus (b) saith, that five years after this prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar, who had Egypt given him as pay for his pains at Tyre, invaded Egypt; and the king thereof being slain, he set up another there, and took the Jews that remained alive away into Babylon. PETT, "Jeremiah 43:13“He will also break the pillars of Beth-shemesh, which is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of Egypt he will burn with fire.”The outstanding feature of Nebuchadrezzar’s activities as YHWH’s servant would


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be the breaking of the famous pillars in Beth-shemesh (house of the sun) in Egypt. Even the sun god was helpless before YHWH’s servant. This probably refers to the famous temple in Heliopolis, (twenty miles north-east of Memphis) one of the pillars of which is still standing while another can still be seen in Rome where it was taken by the later victorious Romans. There were also numerous other pillars, and these were accompanied by huge statues. It was an exceedingly prestigious Temple, and no doubt seen by many Egyptians as inviolable. But it would fall at the hands of YHWH’s servant. And the temple at Heliopolis would not suffer alone, for many houses of the gods of Egypt would be consumed by fire before the victorious advance of Nebuchadrezzar, YHWH’s servant. The gods of Egypt would be humiliated, as they had been in the time of Moses.PULPIT, "The images of Beth-shemesh; rather, the pillars of Beth-shemesh; i.e. the obelisks of the temple of Ra, the sun god, from Which Heliopolis derived its sacred name "Pe-Ra" "the abode of Ra." It was the custom to place obelisks in pairs at the entrance of their temples. Only one of those of Heliopolis is still standing, though that, indeed, is the oldest in Egypt, for it was "set up at least four thousand years ago". That is in the land of Egypt. To distinguish it from the Beth-shemesh in Palestine. But we may also render "which are," etc.; comp. "the gods of Egypt" in the second verse half. The Septuagint reads, "which are in On."