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17 There at home they will say, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise![a]
He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’[b]
18 I the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,[c] swear this:
‘I swear as surely as I live that[d] a conqueror is coming.
He will be as imposing as Mount Tabor is among the mountains,
as Mount Carmel is against the backdrop of the sea.[e]
19 Pack your bags for exile,
you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt.[f]
For Memphis will be laid waste.
It will lie in ruins[g] and be uninhabited.

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  1. Jeremiah 46:17 tn Heb “is a noise.” Based on the context, “just a big” is an addition in the translation to suggest the idea of sarcasm. The reference is probably to Pharaoh's boast in v. 8.
  2. Jeremiah 46:17 tn Heb “he has let the appointed time pass him by.” It is unclear what is meant by the reference to “appointed time” other than the fact that Pharaoh has missed his opportunity to do what he claimed to be able to do. The Greek text is again different here. It reads, “Call the name of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt Saon esbeie moed,” reading קִרְאוּ שֵׁם (qirʾu shem) for קָרְאוּ שָׁם (qareʾu sham) and transliterating the last line.
  3. Jeremiah 46:18 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.
  4. Jeremiah 46:18 tn Heb “As I live, oracle of the King, whose….” The indirect quote has been chosen to create a smoother English sentence and avoid embedding a quote within a quote.
  5. Jeremiah 46:18 tn Heb “Like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea he will come.” The addition of “conqueror” and “imposing” are implicit from the context and from the metaphor. They have been supplied in the translation to give the reader some idea of the meaning of the Most of the commentaries point out that neither Tabor nor Carmel are all that tall in terms of sheer height. Mount Tabor, on the east end of the Jezreel Valley, is only about 1800 feet (540 m) tall. Mount Carmel, on the Mediterranean Coast, is only about 1700 feet (510 m) at its highest. However, all the commentators point out that the idea of imposing height and majesty are due to the fact that they are rugged mountains that stand out dominantly over their surroundings. The point of the simile is that Nebuchadnezzar and his army will stand out in power and might over all the surrounding kings and their armies.
  6. Jeremiah 46:19 tn Heb “inhabitants of daughter Egypt.” Like the phrase “daughter Zion,” “daughter Egypt” is a poetic personification of the land, here perhaps to stress the idea of defenselessness.
  7. Jeremiah 46:19 tn For the verb here see HALOT 675 s.v. II נָצָה Nif and compare the usage in Jer 4:7; 9:11 and 2 Kgs 19:25. BDB derives the verb from יָצַת (so BDB 428 s.v. יָצַת Niph, meaning “kindle, burn”) but still gives it the meaning “desolate” here and in 2:15 and 9:11.