2 This message is to Egypt. It is about the army of Neco king of Egypt [C ruled 610–595 bc], which ·was defeated at [L struck] the city of Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. This was in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah [C 605 bc]. This is the Lord’s message to Egypt:
3 “Prepare your shields, large and small, and ·march out [advance] for battle! 4 Harness the horses and ·get on them [L mount the steeds]! ·Go to your places for battle [Take your station] and put on your helmets! ·Polish [Burnish] your spears. Put on your ·armor [coats of mail]! 5 What do I see? That army is terrified, and the soldiers ·are running away [have turned back]. Their warriors are defeated. They ·run away [flee] quickly without looking back. There is terror on every side [6:5; 20:3, 10; 49:29]!” says the Lord. 6 “The fast runners cannot ·run away [flee]; the strong soldiers cannot escape. They stumble and fall in the north, by the Euphrates River. 7 Who is this, rising up like the Nile River, like ·strong, fast rivers [rivers whose waters surge]? 8 Egypt rises up like the Nile River, like ·strong, fast rivers [rivers whose waters surge]. Egypt says, ‘I will rise up and cover the earth. I will destroy cities and the people in them!’ 9 ·Horsemen [or Horses], ·charge into battle [advance]! ·Chariot drivers [or Chariots], drive hard! ·March on [L Go out], brave soldiers— soldiers from the countries of Cush [C Ethiopia] and Put [C Libya] who carry shields, soldiers from Lydia [C from eastern Asia Minor] who ·use [L grasp and draw] bows.
10 “But that day belongs to the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. At that time he will give ·those people [his foes] the punishment they deserve. The sword will ·kill [L devour] until it is ·finished [satisfied; sated], until it ·satisfies its thirst for [L gets satiated/drunk with] their blood. The Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will offer a sacrifice in the land of the north, by the Euphrates River [C Babylon].
11 “Go up to Gilead and get some balm [8:22], ·people [L virgin daughter] of Egypt! You have prepared many medicines, ·but they will not work [in vain]; you will not be healed. 12 The nations have heard of your ·shame [humiliation], and your cries fill all the earth. One warrior has ·run into [L stumbled over] another; both of them have fallen down together!”
13 This is the message the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon’s coming to ·attack [L strike] Egypt:
14 “·Announce this message [Declare] in Egypt, and ·preach it [L make it heard] in Migdol. ·Preach it [L Make it heard] also in the cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes [44:1]: ‘·Get ready for war [Take your stations and be ready], because the ·battle is [L sword devours] all around you.’ 15 Egypt, why ·were your warriors killed [was it swept away; or has Apis fled; C the sacred bull of Egypt]? They could not stand because the Lord pushed them down. 16 They stumbled again and again and fell over each other. They said, ‘Get up. Let’s go back to our own people and our homeland. ·We must get away from our enemy’s sword [L …because of the destroyer’s/oppressor’s sword]!’ 17 ·In their homelands those soldiers [L There they] called out, ‘The king of Egypt is only a lot of noise. He missed his chance [C for glory]!’”
18 The King’s name is the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. He says, “As surely as I live, one [C a powerful leader] will come. He will be like Mount Tabor among the mountains, like Mount Carmel by the sea [C distinctive and majestic mountains]. 19 ·People [L Daughter] of Egypt, pack your things to be taken away as ·captives [exiles], because Memphis will be ·destroyed [a desolation]. It will be a ruin, and no one will live there.
20 “Egypt is like a beautiful ·young cow [heifer], but a ·horsefly [gadfly] is coming from the north [C Babylon] to attack her [C though small, gadflies are annoying]. 21 ·The hired soldiers in Egypt’s army [L Its mercenaries] are like fat calves, because even they all turn and ·run away [flee] together; they do not stand [C strong against the attack]. Their ·time of destruction [L day of their devastation/calamity] is coming; ·they will soon be punished [L the time of their punishment]. 22 Egypt is like a hissing snake that is trying to escape. The ·enemy [L army] comes closer and closer. They come against it [C Egypt] with axes like men who cut down trees. 23 They will ·chop [cut] down her forest [C Egypt’s army] ·as if it were a great forest [or for they cannot be numbered; C could refer either to the Babylonians or the Egyptians],” says the Lord. “There are more [C enemy soldiers] than locusts; there are too many to count. 24 The people of Egypt will be ·ashamed [humiliated]. They will be handed over to the enemy from the north [C Babylon].”
25 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: “Very soon I will punish Amon, the god of the city of Thebes [C a sun god]. And I will punish Egypt, her ·kings [L Pharaohs], her gods, and the people who ·depend on [have confidence in] the king. 26 I will hand those people over to ·their enemies, who want to kill them [L those who seek their life]. I will give them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his ·officers [L servants]. But in the future, Egypt will live as it once did of old [C in peace],” says the Lord.
A Message to Israel
27 “People of Jacob, my servants, don’t be afraid; don’t be frightened, Israel. I will surely ·save [rescue] you from those faraway places and your ·children [L seed] from the lands where they are captives. The people of Jacob will have peace and safety again, and no one will make them afraid. 28 People of Jacob, my servants, do not be afraid, because I am with you,” says the Lord. “I will ·completely destroy the many different [L make an end of all the] nations where I ·scattered [drove] you. But I will not ·completely destroy [L make an end of] you. I will ·punish [chastise; discipline] you ·fairly [with justice], but I will not let you escape your punishment.”
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