Having prophesied against Judah, Jeremiah now turns his attention to Judah’s erstwhile ally Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho II.
VERSE 1. The LORD’s word which came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations.
VERSE 2. Of Egypt: concerning the army of Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah.
Pharaoh Necoh. Jeremiah’s message was directed against the army of Pharaoh Necho II. He reigned from 610 – 595 BC.
in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. That is, 605 BC.
draw near to battle. The LORD God sarcastically calls Egypt to go into battle against the mighty Babylonian Empire.
VERSE 4. Harness the horses, and get up, you horsemen, and stand up with your helmets. Polish the spears, put on the coats of mail.
VERSE 5. Why have I seen it? They are dismayed and are turned backward. Their mighty ones are beaten down, have fled in haste, and don’t look back. Terror is on every side,” says the LORD.
NIV translation. What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,
They flee in haste without looking back. Babylon’s swift attack left the Egyptians terrified as their warriors were defeated.
There comes a time when even the mightiest of enemies flee. The Bible records several instances for us where a mighty foreign army was flooded with terror, sounded the retreat, and ran for their lives.
Terror is on every side. Some people experience anxiety all the time. This Bible verse is NOT about them. Rather, it is about the LORD God frightening enemy warriors away from the battle.
VERSE 6. “Don’t let the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape. In the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen.
rises up like the Nile. The Nile river overflowed its banks and inundated the countryside.
VERSE 8. Egypt rises up like the Nile, and his waters toss themselves like the rivers. He says, ‘I will rise up. I will cover the earth. I will destroy cities and its inhabitants.’
VERSE 9. Go up, you horses! Rage, you chariots! Let the mighty men go out: Cush and Put, who handle the shield; and the Ludim, who handle and bend the bow.
VERSE 10. For that day is of the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge himself of his adversaries. The sword will devour and be satiated, and will drink its fill of their blood; for the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, has a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
the LORD of Hosts, has a sacrifice. That is, “the LORD God of hosts holds a slaughter feast” (NAB translation).
VERSE 11. Go up into Gilead, and take balm, virgin daughter of Egypt. You use many medicines in vain. There is no healing for you.
VERSE 12. The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty, they both fall together.”
VERSE 13. The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon should come and strike the land of Egypt.
strike the land of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar had defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish in 605 BC. But he did not invade the land of Egypt until approximately 571-567 BC.
VERSE 14. “Declare in Egypt, publish in Migdol, and publish in Memphis and in Tahpanhes: say, ‘Stand up, and prepare; for the sword has devoured around you.’
They didn’t stand. The Egyptian army could not stand because the LORD God had pushed them down.
VERSE 16. He made many to stumble. Yes, they fell on one another. They said, ‘Arise! Let’s go again to our own people, and to the land of our birth, from the oppressing sword.’
VERSE 17. They cried there, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he has let the appointed time pass by.’
VERSE 18. “As I live,” says the King, whose name is the LORD of Hosts, “surely like Tabor among the mountains, and like Carmel by the sea, so he will come.
VERSE 19. You daughter who dwells in Egypt, furnish yourself to go into captivity; for Memphis will become a desolation, and will be burned up, without inhabitant.
furnish yourself to go into captivity. They were to pack their bags for exile.
Memphis will become a desolation. Nebuchadnezzar will attack Memphis and leave it in ruins without inhabitants.
VERSE 20. “Egypt is a very beautiful heifer; but destruction out of the north has come. It has come.
VERSE 21. Also her hired men in the middle of her are like calves of the stall; for they also are turned back. They have fled away together. They didn’t stand, for the day of their calamity has come on them, the time of their visitation.
VERSE 22. Its sound will go like the serpent; for they will march with an army, and come against her with axes, as wood cutters.
VERSE 23. They will cut down her forest,” says the LORD, “though it can’t be searched; because they are more than the locusts, and are innumerable.
VERSE 24. The daughter of Egypt will be disappointed; she will be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.”
VERSE 25. The LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will punish Amon of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with her gods, and her kings; even Pharaoh, and those who trust in him.
VERSE 26. I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants. Afterwards it will be inhabited, as in the days of old,” says the LORD.
VERSE 27. “But don’t you be afraid, Jacob my servant. Don’t be dismayed, Israel; for, behold, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob will return, and will be quiet and at ease. No one will make him afraid.
NAB translation. But you, my servant Jacob, fear not; be not dismayed, O Israel! Behold, I will deliver you from the far-off land, your descendants, from their land of exile. Jacob shall again find rest, shall be tranquil and undisturbed.
VERSE 28. Don’t be afraid, O Jacob my servant,” says the LORD; “for I am with you; for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you; but I will not make a full end of you, but I will correct you in measure, and will in no way leave you unpunished.”
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.