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Jeremiah 46 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Prophecies Against Foreign Nations[a]

46 This was[b] the Lord’s message to the prophet Jeremiah about the nations.

The Prophecy about Egypt’s Defeat at Carchemish

He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over[c] Judah:[d]

“Fall into ranks with your shields ready![e]
Prepare to march[f] into battle!
Harness the horses to the chariots;
mount your horses!
Take your positions with helmets on;
ready[g] your spears!
Put on the armor![h]
“What do I see?[i]

The soldiers[j] are frightened.
They are retreating.
They are being scattered.[k]
They have fled for refuge
without looking back.[l]
Terror is all around them,”[m] says the Lord.
But even the swiftest cannot get away.
Even the strongest cannot escape.[n]
There in the north by the Euphrates River
they have stumbled and fallen in defeat.[o]
Who is this that rises like the Nile,
like its streams[p] turbulent at flood stage?[q]
Egypt rises like the Nile,
like its streams turbulent at flood stage.
Egypt said, ‘I will arise and cover the earth.
I will destroy cities and the people who inhabit them.’[r]
Go ahead and[s] charge into battle, you horsemen!
Drive furiously, you charioteers!
Let the soldiers march out into battle,
those from Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields,
and those from Lydia[t] who are armed with the bow.[u]
10 But that day belongs to the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[v]
It is a day of reckoning, when he will pay back his adversaries.[w]
His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied.
It will drink its fill from their blood![x]
Indeed it will be a sacrifice for the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies
in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
11 Go up to Gilead and get medicinal ointment,[y]
you dear poor people of Egypt.[z]
But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use;[aa]
there will be no healing for you.
12 The nations have heard of your shameful defeat.[ab]
Your cries of distress fill[ac] the earth.
One soldier has stumbled over another
and both of them have fallen down defeated.”[ad]

The Lord Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack and Plunder Egypt

13 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt:[ae]

14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.
Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes.[af]
‘Take your positions and prepare to do battle.
For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.’[ag]
15 Why will your soldiers[ah] be defeated?[ai]
They will not stand because I, the Lord, will thrust[aj] them down.
16 I will make many stumble.[ak]
They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee.[al]
They will say, ‘Get up!
Let’s go back to our own people.
Let’s go back to our homelands
because the enemy is coming to destroy us.’[am]
17 There at home they will say, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise![an]
He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’[ao]
18 I the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,[ap] swear this:
‘I swear as surely as I live that[aq] 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.[ar]
19 Pack your bags for exile,
you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt.[as]
For Memphis will be laid waste.
It will lie in ruins[at] and be uninhabited.
20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.
But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies.[au]
21 Even her mercenaries[av]
will prove to be like pampered,[aw] well-fed calves.
For they too will turn and run away.
They will not stand their ground
when[ax] the time for them to be destroyed comes,
the time for them to be punished.
22 Egypt will run away, hissing like a snake,[ay]
as the enemy comes marching up in force.
They will come against her with axes
as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.
23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest.
But I, the Lord, affirm[az] that the enemy will cut them down.
For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts.
They will be too numerous to count.[ba]
24 Poor dear Egypt[bb] will be put to shame.
She will be handed over to the people from the north.’”

25 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[bc] says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes.[bd] I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him.[be] 26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the Lord, affirm it!”[bf]

A Promise of Hope for Israel

27 [bg] “You descendants of Jacob, my servants,[bh] do not be afraid;
do not be terrified, people of Israel.
For I will rescue you and your descendants
from the faraway lands where you are captives.[bi]
The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.
They will be secure and no one will terrify them.
28 I, the Lord, tell[bj] you not to be afraid,
you descendants of Jacob, my servant,
for I am with you.
Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure.
I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.”[bk]

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 46:1 sn Jeremiah was called to be a prophet not only to Judah and Jerusalem but to the nations (1:5, 10). The prophecies or oracles that are collected here in Jer 46-51 are found after 25:13a in the Greek version, where they are also found in a different order and with several textual differences. The issue of which represents the original writing is part of the broader issue of the editorial or redactional history of the book of Jeremiah, which went through several editions, two of which are referred to in Jer 36, i.e., the two scrolls written in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 b.c.). A third edition included all the preceding plus the material down to the time of the fall of Jerusalem (cf. the introduction in 1:1-3), and a fourth included all the preceding plus the materials in Jer 40-44. The oracles against the foreign nations collected here are consistent with the note of judgment sounded against all nations (including some not mentioned in Jer 46-51) in Jer 25. See the translator’s note on 25:13 for further details regarding the relationship that the oracles to the foreign nations may have to the judgment speeches in Jer 25.
  2. Jeremiah 46:1 tn Heb “that which was.”
  3. Jeremiah 46:2 sn The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign proved very significant in Jeremiah's prophecies. It was in that same year that he issued the prophecies against the foreign nations recorded in Jer 25 (and probably the prophecies recorded here in Jer 46-51). In that year he had Baruch record and read to the people gathered in the temple all the prophecies he had uttered against Judah and Jerusalem up to that point, in the hopes that they would repent and the nation would be spared. The fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 b.c.) marked a significant shift in the balance of power in Palestine. With the defeat of Necho at Carchemish in that year, the area came under the control of Nebuchadnezzar, and Judah and the surrounding nations had two options, either submit to Babylon and pay tribute, or suffer the consequences of death in war or exile in Babylon for failure to submit.
  4. Jeremiah 46:2 tn Heb “Concerning Egypt: Concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, which was beside the Euphrates River at Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah.” The sentence has been broken up, restructured, and introductory words supplied in the translation to make the sentences better conform with contemporary English style.
  5. Jeremiah 46:3 tn Heb “Arrange shield and buckler.” The verb עָרַךְ (ʿarakh) refers to arranging or setting things in order, such as altars in a row, dishes on a table, or soldiers in ranks. Here the shields also stand for the soldiers holding them. The visual picture presented is of the shields aligning in position as the soldiers get into proper battle formation with shields at the ready. The צִנָּה (tsinnah; cf. BDB 857 s.v. III צִנָּה) is the long oval or rectangular “shield” that protected the whole body. And the מָגֵן (magen) is the smaller round “buckler,” which only protected the torso. The relative size of these two kinds of shields can be seen from the weight of each in 1 Kgs 10:16-17). Each soldier probably carried only one kind of shield. It is uncertain who is issuing the commands here. TEV adds, “The Egyptian officers shout,” which is the interpretation of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 688).
  6. Jeremiah 46:3 tn Heb “Draw near.”
  7. Jeremiah 46:4 tc The LXX reads προβάλετε (probalete), meaning “to hold before oneself, to present arms” (see LSJ s.v. προβάλλω B. III.). Instead of the MT’s מִרְקוּ (mirequ), this may reflect an original הָרִקוּ (hariqu), from רִיק (riq), or הָרִמוּ (harimu), from רוּם (rum). Both readings assume a Hiphil form where the ה (he) was replaced by duplicating the מ (mem) ending the previous word. In Ps 35:3 the Hiphil of ריק (riq) means to draw a spear, while the Hiphil of רוּם (rum) would mean to raise [a spear]. tn Or “polish” or “clean.” The other three uses of the verb מָרַק (maraq) refer to scouring or polishing. The context refers to the final stages of battle preparations, so whether it was “polishing,” “drawing,” or “raising” spears (see tc note above), the main point seems to be to have them ready to use. Some translations say “sharpen” (NLT, NRSV), but this meaning does not fit the proposed readings and would be an earlier activity in battle preparations.
  8. Jeremiah 46:4 sn A Hurrian loanword into Semitic. The Akkadian use refers to mail armor for either persons or horses.
  9. Jeremiah 46:5 tn Heb “Why do I see?” or “Why have I seen?” The rendering is that of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 685, 88) and J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 301; TEV; NIV). The question is not asking for information but expressing surprise or wonder (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 951).sn The passage jumps forward in time here, moving from the Egyptian army being summoned to battle to a description of their being routed in defeat.
  10. Jeremiah 46:5 tn Heb “Their soldiers.” These words are actually at the midpoint of the stanza as the subject of the third of the five verbs. However, as G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 291) note, this is the subject of all five verbs: “are terrified,” “are retreating,” “have been defeated,” “have run away,” and “have not looked back.” The subject is put at the front to avoid an unidentified “they.”
  11. Jeremiah 46:5 tn The verb יֻכַּתּוּ (yukkattu) is a Hophal imperfect from כָּתַת (katat). The imperfect can depict an action in progress, which fits the present timeframe of the verse. Many different constructions are employed to fit the present timeframe in this verse: predicate adj., participle, imperfect, perfect (for past action with continuing results), and a nominal clause.
  12. Jeremiah 46:5 tn Heb “have not looked back.”
  13. Jeremiah 46:5 tn Heb “Terror is all around.” This phrase also appears at Jer 6:25; 20:3 (cf. v. 4); 20:10; and, in a nearly identical form, Lam 2:22.
  14. Jeremiah 46:6 tn The translation understands the articular adjectives to function as superlatives (cf. GKC 431 §133.g). The negator אַל (ʾal) usually occurs with the jussive, but the form here is imperfect (יָנוּס [yanus] rather than יָנָס [yanos]). It should be understood modally, as an abilitive modal (“unable to”) or deontic modal (ought not [try to]), or as expressing the speaker’s “conviction that something cannot happen” (GKC 317 §107.p).
  15. Jeremiah 46:6 tn Heb “they stumbled and fell.” The words “in defeat” are added for clarity. The picture is not simply of having fallen down physically; it implies not getting up and therefore being defeated in battle. The account either moves ahead from the process of defeating Egypt to its defeat, or it follows a couple of soldiers amid the skirmish of v. 4 to their demise.
  16. Jeremiah 46:7 tn The word translated “streams” here refers to the streams of the Nile (cf. Exod 7:19 and 8:1 for parallel usage).
  17. Jeremiah 46:7 sn The time frame moves backward now to where it began in v. 3. Possibly v. 6 ends an oracle, and now Jeremiah continues on the same topic. Or it could be that the rhetoric of a single oracle starts at battle preparations and then, after showing what God has foreseen about the battle, returns to address those preparing for battle.
  18. Jeremiah 46:8 sn Jeremiah shows the hubris of the Egyptian Pharoah by comparing his might to that of the Nile River. Isaiah 8:7-8 similarly pictures the armies of Assyria overcoming everything in their path.
  19. Jeremiah 46:9 tn The words “Go ahead and” are not in the text but are intended to suggest the ironical nature of the commands here. Because the outcome has been made known, their actions will be pointless; they are only heading for a fall.
  20. Jeremiah 46:9 sn The peoples referred to here are all known to have been mercenaries in the army of Egypt (see Nah 3:9; Ezek 30:5). The place names in Hebrew are actually Cush, Put, and Lud. “Cush” has already been identified in Jer 13:23 as the region along the Nile south of Egypt most commonly referred to as Ethiopia. The identification of “Put” and “Lud” are both debated, though it is generally felt that Put was a part of Libya and Lud is to be identified with Lydia in Asia Minor. For further discussion see M. J. Mellink, “Lud, Ludim” IDB 3:178, and T. O. Lambdin, “Put,” IDB 3:971.
  21. Jeremiah 46:9 tn Heb “who grasp and bend the bow.”
  22. Jeremiah 46:10 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh of Armies.” See the study note at 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title for God.
  23. Jeremiah 46:10 tn Heb “a day of vengeance, for [the purpose of] taking vengeance against his adversaries.”sn Most commentators think that this is a reference to the Lord exacting vengeance on Pharaoh Necho for killing Josiah, carrying Jehoahaz off into captivity, and exacting heavy tribute on Judah in 609 b.c. (2 Kgs 23:29, 33-35).
  24. Jeremiah 46:10 tn Heb “The sword will eat and be sated; it will drink its fill from their blood.”sn This passage is, of course, highly figurative. The Lord does not have a literal “sword,” but he uses agents of destruction like the Assyrian armies (called his “rod” in Isa 10:5-6) and the Babylonian armies (called his war club in Jer 51:20) to wreak vengeance on his foes. Likewise, swords do not “eat” or “drink.” What is meant here is that God will use this battle against the Egyptians to kill off many Egyptians until his vengeance is fully satisfied.
  25. Jeremiah 46:11 tn Heb “balm.” See 8:22 and the notes on this phrase there.
  26. Jeremiah 46:11 sn Heb “Virgin Daughter of Egypt.” See the study note on Jer 14:17 for the significance of the use of this figure. Here it may compare Egypt’s geographical isolation to the safety and protection enjoyed by a virgin living at home under her father’s protection (so F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 379). By her involvement in the politics of Palestine Egypt had forfeited that safety and protection and was now suffering for it.
  27. Jeremiah 46:11 tn Heb “In vain you multiply [= make use of many] medicines.”
  28. Jeremiah 46:12 tn Heb “of your shame.” The “shame,” however, applies to the devastating defeat they will suffer.
  29. Jeremiah 46:12 tn Heb “The earth is full of your cries.”
  30. Jeremiah 46:12 tn The word “defeated” is added for clarity. The picture is not simply of having fallen down physically; it implies not getting up and therefore being defeated in battle. The verbs in this verse are in the perfect conjugation, translated past tense for the dynamic verbs and present tense for the stative verb (“fill”). This verse speaks from the same perspective as v. 2, which indicates that Egypt has been defeated.
  31. Jeremiah 46:13 tn Heb “The word that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt.”sn There is much debate in the commentaries regarding the dating and reference of this prophecy. It most likely refers to a time shortly after 604 b.c. when Nebuchadnezzar followed up his successful battle against Necho at Carchemish with a campaign into the Philistine plain that resulted in the conquest and sacking of Ashkelon. Nebuchadnezzar now stood poised on the border of Egypt to invade it. See J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 691, and, for a fuller discussion including the other main options, see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 287-88.
  32. Jeremiah 46:14 tn Heb “Declare in Egypt and announce in Migdol and announce in Noph [= Memphis] and in Tahpanhes.” The sentence has been restructured to reflect the fact that the first command is a general one, followed by announcements in specific (representative?) cities.sn For the location of the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes see the note on Jer 44:1. These were all cities in Lower or northern Egypt that would have been the first affected by an invasion.
  33. Jeremiah 46:14 tn Heb “For the sword devours those who surround you.” The “sword” is again figurative of destructive forces. Here it refers to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar, which have already destroyed the Egyptian forces at Carchemish and have made victorious forays into the Philistine plain.
  34. Jeremiah 46:15 tn The word translated “soldiers” (אַבִּירִים, ʾabbirim) is not the Hebrew word used of soldiers elsewhere in these oracles (גִּבּוֹרִים, gibborim). It is an adjective used as a noun that can apply to animals, i.e., a bull (Ps 50:13) or a stallion (Judg 5:22). Moreover, the form is masculine plural, and the verbs are singular. Hence, many modern commentaries and English versions follow the redivision of the first line presupposed by the Greek version (“Apis has fled” [נָס חַף, nas khaf]) and see this as a reference to the bull god of Memphis. However, the noun is used of soldiers in Lam 1:15, and the plural could be the distributive plural, i.e., each and every one (cf. GKC 464 §145.l and compare usage in Gen 27:29).
  35. Jeremiah 46:15 tn The Hebrew word behind “defeated” only occurs here (in the Niphal) and in Prov 28:3 (in the Qal), where it refers to a rain that beats down grain. That idea would fit nicely with the idea of the soldiers being beaten down, or defeated. It is possible that the rarity of this verb (versus the common verb נוּס, nus, “flee”) and the ready identification of Apis with the bull calf (אַבִּיר, ʾabbir) have led to the reading of the Greek text (so C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 327). The verbs in this verse and the following are in the perfect tense but should be understood as prophetic perfects, since the text is dealing with what will happen when Nebuchadnezzar comes into Egypt. The text of vv. 18-24 shows a greater verb mixture, with some perfects and some imperfects, at times even within the same verse (e.g., v. 22).
  36. Jeremiah 46:15 tn Heb “the Lord will thrust them down.” However, the Lord is speaking (cf. clearly in v. 18), so the first person is adopted for the sake of consistency. This has been a consistent problem in the book of Jeremiah, where the prophet is so identified with the word of the Lord that he sometimes uses the first person and sometimes the third. It creates confusion for the average reader who is trying to follow the flow of the argument. So the pronoun has been shifted to the first person like this on numerous occasions. TEV and CEV have generally adopted the same policy, as have some other modern English versions at various points.
  37. Jeremiah 46:16 tn Heb “he multiplied the one stumbling.” For the first person reference see the preceding translator’s note.
  38. Jeremiah 46:16 tc The words “in their hurry to flee” are not in the text but appear to be necessary to clarify that the stumbling and falling here are not the same as in vv. 6, 12, where they occur in the context of defeat and destruction. The referent here appears to be the mercenary soldiers who, in their hurried flight to escape, stumble over one another and fall. This is fairly clear from the literal translation: “he multiplies the stumbling one. Also [= and] a man falls against a man, and they say [probably = saying; an epexegetical use of the vav (ו) consecutive (IBHS 551 §33.2.2a, and see Exod 2:10 as a parallel)] ‘Get up! Let’s go…’” A reference to the flight of the mercenaries is also seen in v. 21. Many of the modern commentaries and a few of the modern English versions follow the Greek text and take vv. 15a-16 very differently. The Greek reads, “Why has Apis fled from you? Your choice calf [i.e., Apis] has not remained. For the Lord has paralyzed him. And your multitudes have fainted and fallen; and each one said to his neighbor…” (reading רֻבְּךָ כָּשַׁל גַּם־נָפַל וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ instead of כּוֹשֵׁל הִרְבָּה גַּם־נָפַל אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ). One would expect אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ (ʾish ʾel reʿehu) to go with וַיֹּאמְרוּ (vayyoʾmeru) because it is idiomatic in this expression (cf., e.g., Gen 11:3; Judg 6:29). However, אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ (ʾish ʾel-reʿehu) is also found with singular verbs as here in Exod 22:9; 33:11; 1 Sam 10:11. There is no doubt that the Hebrew text is the more difficult and thus probably original. The reading of the Greek version is not supported by any other text or version and looks like an attempt to smooth out a somewhat awkward Hebrew original.
  39. Jeremiah 46:16 tn Heb “to our native lands from before the sword of the oppressor.” The compound preposition “from before” is regularly used in a causal sense (see BDB 818 s.v. פָּנֶה 6.a, b, c). The “sword” is again interpreted as a figure for the destructive power of an enemy army.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Jeremiah 46:18 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.
  43. 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.
  44. 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 verse.sn 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. Jeremiah 46:20 tn Heb “Egypt is a beautiful heifer. A gadfly from the north will come against her.” The metaphors have been turned into similes for the sake of clarity. The exact meaning of the word translated “stinging fly” is uncertain due to the fact that it occurs nowhere else in Hebrew literature. For a discussion of the meaning of the word, which probably refers to the “gadfly,” which bites and annoys livestock, see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:331. He also suggests, probably correctly, that the word is a collective referring to swarms of such insects (cf. the singular אַרְבֶּה [ʾarbeh] in v. 23, which always refers to swarms of locusts). The translation presupposes the emendation of the second בָּא (baʾ) to בָּהּ (bah) with a number of Hebrew mss and a number of the versions (cf. BHS, fn b).
  48. Jeremiah 46:21 tn Heb “her hirelings in her midst.”
  49. Jeremiah 46:21 tn The word “pampered” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation to explain the probable meaning of the simile. The mercenaries were well cared for like stall-fed calves, but in the face of the danger they will prove no help because they will not stand their ground but will turn and run away. Some see the point of the simile to be that they too are fattened for slaughter. However, the next two lines do not fit that interpretation too well.
  50. Jeremiah 46:21 tn The temporal use of the particle כִּי (ki; BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 2.a) seems more appropriate to the context than the causal use.
  51. Jeremiah 46:22 tn Or “Egypt will rustle away like a snake”; Heb “her sound goes like the snake,” or “her sound [is] like the snake [when] it goes.” The meaning of the simile is debated. Some see a reference to the impotent hiss of a fleeing serpent (F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 382), others the sound of a serpent stealthily crawling away when it is disturbed (H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 297-98). The translation follows the former interpretation because of the irony involved.sn Several commentators point out the irony of the snake slithering away (or hissing away) in retreat. The coiled serpent was a part of the royal insignia, signifying Egypt’s readiness to strike. Pharaoh had boasted of great things (v. 8) but was just a big noise (v. 17); now all he could do was hiss as he beat his retreat (v. 22).
  52. Jeremiah 46:23 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” Again the first person is adopted because the Lord is speaking, and the indirect quotation is used to avoid an embedded quotation with quotation marks on either side.
  53. Jeremiah 46:23 tn The precise meaning of this verse is uncertain. The Hebrew text reads, “They [those who enter in great force] will cut down her forest, oracle of the Lord, though it [the forest] cannot be searched out/through, for they [those who come in great force] are more numerous than locusts, and there is no number to them.” Some see the reference to the forest as metaphorical of Egypt’s population, which the Babylonian army decimates (H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 298, and see BDB 420 s.v. I יַעַר 1.a, which refers to the forest as a figure of foes to be cut down and destroyed, and compare Isa 10:34). Others see the reference to literal trees and see the decimation of Egypt in general (C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 329). And some find a continuation of the simile of the snake fleeing, the soldiers cutting down the trees because they cannot find it (J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 693). However, the simile of v. 22a has already been dropped in v. 22b-d; they come against her. Hence it is probably best to view this as a continuation of the simile in v. 22c-d and see the reference as the Babylonian army coming against her, i.e., Egypt (the nation or people of Egypt), like woodcutters cutting down trees.
  54. Jeremiah 46:24 tn Heb “Daughter Egypt.” See the translator’s note on v. 19.
  55. Jeremiah 46:25 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.
  56. Jeremiah 46:25 tn Heb “Amon of No.”sn The Egyptian city called No (נֹא, noʾ) in Hebrew was Thebes. It is located about 400 miles (666 km) south of modern-day Cairo. It was the capital of Upper or southern Egypt and the center for the worship of the god Amon, who became the state god of Egypt. Thebes is perhaps best known today for the magnificent temples at Karnak and Luxor on the east bank of the Nile.
  57. Jeremiah 46:25 tc Heb “Behold, I will punish Amon of No and Pharaoh and Egypt and its gods and its kings and Pharaoh and all who trust in him.” There appears to be a copyist slip involving a double writing of וְעַל־פַּרְעֹה (veʿal-parʿoh). The present translation has followed the suggestion of BHS and deleted the first one, since the second is necessary for the syntactical connection, “Pharaoh and all who trust in him.”
  58. Jeremiah 46:26 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
  59. Jeremiah 46:27 sn Jer 46:27-28 are virtually the same as 30:10-11. The verses are more closely related to that context than to this. But the presence of a note of future hope for the Egyptians may have led to a note of encouragement also to the Judeans who were under threat of judgment at the same time (cf. the study notes on 46:2, 13 and 25:1-2 for the possible relative dating of these prophecies).
  60. Jeremiah 46:27 tn Heb “And/But you do not be afraid, my servant Jacob.” Here and elsewhere in the verse the terms Jacob and Israel are poetic for the people of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob. The terms have been supplied throughout with plural referents for greater clarity.
  61. Jeremiah 46:27 tn Heb “For I will rescue you from far away, your descendants from the land of their captivity.”
  62. Jeremiah 46:28 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” Again the first person is adopted because the Lord is speaking, and the indirect quotation is used to avoid an embedded quotation with quotation marks on either side.
  63. Jeremiah 46:28 tn The translation “entirely unpunished” is intended to reflect the emphatic construction of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb.
New English Translation (NET)

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