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The Jews in Egypt Will Be Punished for Their Idolatry

44 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah about all the Jews living in Egypt at Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph, and Pathros. This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: You have seen all the disasters I brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah. Today they are deserted ruins. It is because their people did evil, and they made me angry. They went to burn incense and serve other gods that neither you nor your ancestors heard of. I have sent my servants the prophets to you again and again to tell you not to do these detestable things that I hate. But you wouldn’t listen or pay attention. You wouldn’t turn from your wicked ways and wouldn’t stop burning incense as an offering to other gods. That is why my fury and anger were poured out and continued to burn in the cities of Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem. So they became the desolate ruin that they are today.

Now, this is what the Lord God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Why do you bring this terrible disaster on yourselves? Why do you keep destroying men, women, children, and babies from Judah until none are left? Why do you make me angry by burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live. You will destroy yourselves and be cursed and ridiculed by all the nations on earth. Have you forgotten the wicked things done by your ancestors, by the kings of Judah and their wives, and by you and your wives in Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem? 10 You have not humbled yourselves even to this day. You haven’t feared me or lived your lives by my teachings or by my decrees that I gave your ancestors.

11 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I’m going to bring disaster on you and destroy all of Judah. 12 I will take away from Judah those who are left, those who were determined to go to live in Egypt. They will die in Egypt. All of them, from the least important to the most important, will die in wars or be brought to an end by famines. They will become something cursed, ridiculed, and disgraced. 13 I will punish those living in Egypt as I punished Jerusalem with wars, famines, and plagues. 14 None of the people of Judah who went to live in Egypt will survive or return to Judah, where they long to return and live. Only a few refugees will return there.

15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, all the women who were standing there, and all the people who lived at Pathros in Egypt answered Jeremiah. They said, 16 “We won’t listen to the message that you have spoken to us in the Lord’s name. 17 We will do everything we said we would do. We will burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out wine offerings to her as our ancestors, our kings, and our officials did in the cities of Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem. We had plenty to eat then, and we lived comfortably and saw no disaster. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out wine offerings to her, we have had nothing but wars and famines.”

19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the queen of heaven, poured out wine offerings to her, and made cakes for her with her image on them, do you think our husbands didn’t approve?”

20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, to everyone who answered him, 21 “Doesn’t the Lord remember that you burned incense in the cities of Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem along with your ancestors, your kings and your officials, and the people in the land? 22 The Lord could no longer bear the wicked and detestable things you did. That is why your land has become something ruined, destroyed, and cursed. No one lives in that land today. 23 You burned incense as offerings to other gods, sinned against the Lord, and wouldn’t obey him. You didn’t live by his teachings, decrees, or written instructions. That is why you have met with this disaster as it is today.”

24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, “Listen to the Lord’s word, all you people of Judah who are in Egypt. 25 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: You and your wives made promises, and you have kept them. You said, ‘We will certainly do what we vow. We will burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out wine offerings to her.’

“So go ahead. Keep your vows, and do what you vow. 26 But listen to the Lord’s word, all you people of Judah who live in Egypt. ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that no one from Judah who lives anywhere in Egypt will ever again call on my name and take the oath, “As the Almighty Lord lives.” 27 I am going to watch over them. I am going to watch over them to bring disasters, not blessings. In Egypt the people from Judah will die in wars and famines until everyone is gone. 28 Those who escape the wars will return to Judah from Egypt. Then all the people of Judah who went to live in Egypt will know whose words have come true, mine or theirs. 29 I will give you this sign,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will punish you in this place so that you will know that my threats of disaster will happen to you. 30 This is what the Lord says: I’m going to hand Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, over to his enemies and to those who want to kill him, just as I handed over King Zedekiah of Judah to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to those who wanted to kill him.’ ”

The Lord’s Promise to the Scribe Baruch

45 This is the message that the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch, son of Neriah. Baruch wrote these things on a scroll as Jeremiah dictated them during the fourth year that Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was king of Judah. Jeremiah said, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says to you, Baruch: You said, ‘I’m so miserable! The Lord has added grief to my pain. I’m worn out from groaning. I can’t find any rest.’

“Say this to Baruch, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will tear down what I have built. I will uproot what I have planted throughout the earth. Are you looking for great things for yourself? Don’t look for them, because I’m going to bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord. But wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’ ”

A Prophecy against Egypt

46 The Lord spoke this message to the prophet Jeremiah about the nations.

This is the message about Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated his army at Carchemish along the Euphrates River during the fourth year that Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was king of Judah.

“Get your large and small shields ready; advance into battle.
Harness your horses. Mount up, you horsemen.
Take your positions, and put on your helmets.
Polish your spears.
Put on your armor.

“What do I see in them?
They are terrified.
They are retreating.
Their warriors are defeated.
They flee without looking back.
Terror is all around them,” declares the Lord.
“The infantry can’t flee.
The warriors can’t escape.
They stumble and fall in the north by the Euphrates River.
Who is this, rising like the Nile River,
like streams that flow swiftly?
Egypt is like the rising Nile River,
like a river quickly overflowing its banks.
Egypt says, ‘I will rise; I will cover the earth.
I will destroy cities and the people in them.’
Go into battle, you horsemen.
Drive wildly, you chariot drivers.
March into battle, you warriors,
you warriors from Sudan and Put who carry shields,
you warriors from Lydia who use bows and arrows.
10 That day belongs to the Almighty Lord of Armies.
It is a day of vengeance when he will take revenge on his enemies.
His sword will devour until it has had enough,
and it will drink their blood until it’s full.
The Almighty Lord of Armies will offer them as sacrifices
in the north by the Euphrates River.
11 Go to Gilead, and get medicine, dear people of Egypt.
You have used many medicines without results; you can’t be cured.
12 The nations have heard of your shame; your cry fills the earth.
One warrior will stumble over another,
and both will fall together.”

13 The Lord spoke this message to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who will defeat Egypt.

14 “Tell this in Egypt; announce this in Migdol.
Make it known in Memphis and in Tahpanhes.
Say, ‘Take your positions, and get ready.
Swords will kill those around you.’
15 Why should your soldiers be cut down?
They can’t stand because the Lord will push them down.
16 They have repeatedly stumbled, and now they have fallen.
They say to each other,
‘Get up! Let’s go back to our people,
to the land where we were born,
and escape our enemy’s sword.’
17 There they will cry, ‘Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is a big windbag.
He has missed his chance.’

18 “As I live,” declares the king, whose name is the Lord of Armies,
“someone who is like Mount Tabor among the mountains will come.
Someone who is like Mount Carmel by the sea will come.
19 Pack your bags, inhabitants of Egypt,
because you will be taken away as captives.
Memphis will become a dreary wasteland,
a pile of rubble where no one lives.

20 “Egypt is like a beautiful cow,
but a horsefly from the north will attack it.
21 Egypt’s hired soldiers are like fattened calves.
They will turn and run away together.
They won’t stand their ground.
The day of destruction is coming.
At that time they will be punished.
22 Egypt will hiss like a snake as it slithers away.
Its enemies will come with full force.
They will attack it with axes like those who chop wood.
23 They will cut down the forest,” declares the Lord,
“since Egypt can’t be found.
They are more numerous than locusts; they can’t be counted.
24 The people of Egypt will be put to shame.
They will be handed over to the people from the north.”

25 The Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says,

“I’m going to punish Amon, who is the god of Thebes.
I will also punish Pharaoh, Egypt, its gods, its kings,
and whoever trusts Pharaoh.
26 I’ll hand them over to those who want to kill them,
to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his officers.
Afterward, they will live in peace as they did long ago,”
declares the Lord.

27 “Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob.
Don’t be terrified, Israel.
I’m going to rescue you and your descendants from a faraway land,
from the land where you are captives.
Then Jacob’s descendants will again have undisturbed peace,
and no one will make them afraid.
28 Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,” declares the Lord.
“I am with you.
I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you,
but I will not completely destroy you.
I will correct you with justice.
I won’t let you go entirely unpunished.”

A Prophecy against Philistia

47 The Lord spoke this message to the prophet Jeremiah about the Philistines before Pharaoh defeated Gaza. This is what the Lord says:

Water is rising in the north.
It will become an overflowing river.
It will overflow the land and everything in it,
the cities and those who live in them.
People will cry out and everyone who lives in the land will cry loudly.
They will hear the sound of galloping war horses,
the rattling of enemy chariots,
and the rumbling of their wheels.
Fathers who lack courage abandon their children.
The time has come to destroy all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon any Philistine
who might have escaped to get help.
The Lord will destroy the Philistines
and anyone who is left from the island of Crete.
Gaza will shave its head in mourning.
Ashkelon will be destroyed.
How long will you cut yourselves, you people left on the plains?
You cry out, “Sword of the Lord,
how long will you keep on fighting?
Go back into your scabbard.
Stay there and rest!”
How can the sword of the Lord rest?
The Lord has ordered it to attack Ashkelon and the coast.
He has put it there.

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