Jeremiah is nearly 70 years old. And this is his final prophecy. He warns the Jewish people living in Egypt. They need to stop worshipping Asherah.
VERSE 1. The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who lived in the land of Egypt, who lived at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Memphis, and in the country of Pathros, saying,
concerning all the Jews. Jeremiah addresses all Jewish people in Egypt. He does it by using a figure of speech called a merism. He lists the two extremes, and de facto includes everything in-between:
Migdol … Tahpanhes … Memphis. These were the northern cities in Egypt.
Upper Egypt. This was the sourthern part of Egypt.
VERSE 2. “The LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have seen all the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, and on all the cities of Judah. Behold, today they are a desolation, and no man dwells in them,
VERSE 3. because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, to serve other gods that they didn’t know, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers.
VERSE 4. However I sent to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, “Oh, don’t do this abominable thing that I hate.”
I sent to you all my servants the prophets. The LORD God sent messenger after messenger, prophet after prophet.
don’t do this abominable thing that I hate. The message of the prophets was simple.
VERSE 5. But they didn’t listen and didn’t incline their ear. They didn’t turn from their wickedness, to stop burning incense to other gods.
they didn’t listen and didn’t incline their ear. The people ignored all the messengers of the Most High. They ignored all the prophets.
VERSE 6. Therefore my wrath and my anger was poured out, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is today.’
VERSE 7. “Therefore now the LORD, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Why do you commit great evil against your own souls, to cut off from yourselves man and woman, infant and nursing child out of the middle of Judah, to leave yourselves no one remaining;
VERSE 8. in that you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you have gone to live; that you may be cut off, and that you may be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?
burning incense to other gods. Even in Egypt, they did not cease worshipping other gods.
VERSE 9. Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
VERSE 10. They are not humbled even to this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.’
VERSE 11. “Therefore the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, even to cut off all Judah.
VERSE 12. I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to live there, and they will all be consumed. They will fall in the land of Egypt. They will be consumed by the sword and by the famine. They will die, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine. They will be an object of horror, an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.
the remnant of Judah. The Bible describes a uniquely faithful group of believers called “the remnant.” Are they Jewish or Christians? Now or in the future? Who are they really? Read more ».
VERSE 13. For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence;
I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt. God will bring disaster on the Jewish people living in Egypt.
VERSE 14. so that none of the remnant of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt to live there, will escape or be left to return into the land of Judah, to which they have a desire to return to dwell there; for no one will return except those who will escape.’ ”
VERSE 15. Then all the men who knew that their wives burned incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, even all the people who lived in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying,
VERSE 16. “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the LORD’s name, we will not listen to you.
VERSE 17. But we will certainly perform every word that has gone out of our mouth, to burn incense to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of food, and were well, and saw no evil.
the queen of the sky. This title was given to a number of ancient sky goddesses in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Jeremiah applied it to Asherah.
Other ancient sky goddesses include Anat, Isis, Inanna, Astarte, and Hera.
to burn incense. To burn incense was an act of worship. To burn it to other gods was a terrible apostasy.
VERSE 18. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of the sky, and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
VERSE 19. “When we burned incense to the queen of the sky, and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her, without our husbands?”
VERSE 21. “The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, didn’t the LORD remember them, and didn’t it come into his mind?
VERSE 22. Thus the LORD could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which you have committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is today.
VERSE 23. Because you have burned incense, and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the LORD’s voice, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil has happened to you, as it is today.”
VERSE 25. The LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says, ‘You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and with your hands have fulfilled it, saying, “We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to her.” “ ‘Establish then your vows, and perform your vows.’
VERSE 26. “Therefore hear the LORD’s word, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: ‘Behold, I have sworn by my great name,’ says the LORD, ‘that my name will no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “As the Lord GOD lives.”
any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt. Every Jewish man in Egypt avoids saying the name of the LORD God.
VERSE 27. Behold, I watch over them for evil, and not for good; and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until they are all gone.
VERSE 28. Those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah few in number. All the remnant of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt to live there, will know whose word will stand, mine or theirs.
VERSE 29. “ ‘This will be the sign to you,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that my words will surely stand against you for evil.’
VERSE 30. The LORD says, ‘Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of those who seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy, and sought his life.’ ”
Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt. In Egypt he was known as Apries and as Wahibre Haaibre. He reigned as pharaoh from 589 BC to 570 BC.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.