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Taken to Egypt, Jeremiah Warns of Judgment


When Jeremiah finished speaking to all the people all these words of the Lord their God, with which the Lord their God had sent him to them, 2Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other insolent men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to settle there’; 3but Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us, to hand us over to the Chaldeans, in order that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.” 4So Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the people did not obey the voice of the Lord, to stay in the land of Judah. 5But Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to settle in the land of Judah from all the nations to which they had been driven— 6the men, the women, the children, the princesses, and everyone whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan; also the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 7And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord. And they arrived at Tahpanhes.

8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes: 9Take some large stones in your hands, and bury them in the clay pavement that is at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. Let the Judeans see you do it, 10and say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to send and take my servant King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he will set his throne above these stones that I have buried, and he will spread his royal canopy over them. 11He shall come and ravage the land of Egypt, giving

those who are destined for pestilence, to pestilence,

and those who are destined for captivity, to captivity,

and those who are destined for the sword, to the sword.

12 He shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them and carry them away captive; and he shall pick clean the land of Egypt, as a shepherd picks his cloak clean of vermin; and he shall depart from there safely. 13He shall break the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt; and the temples of the gods of Egypt he shall burn with fire.


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Jer 43:1-13. The Jews Carry Jeremiah and Baruch into Egypt. Jeremiah Foretells by a Type the Conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, and the Fate of the Fugitives.

2. Azariah—the author of the project of going into Egypt; a very different man from the Azariah in Babylon (Da 1:7; 3:12-18).

proud—Pride is the parent of disobedience and contempt of God.

3. Baruch—He being the younger spake out the revelations which he received from Jeremiah more vehemently. From this cause, and from their knowing that he was in favor with the Chaldeans, arose their suspicion of him. Their perverse fickleness was astonishing. In the forty-second chapter they acknowledged the trustworthiness of Jeremiah, of which they had for so long so many proofs; yet here they accuse him of a lie. The mind of the unregenerate man is full of deceits.

5. remnant … returned from all nations—(Jer 40:11, 12).

6. the king's daughters—Zedekiah's (Jer 41:10).

7. Tahpanhes—(See on Jer 2:16); Daphne on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, near Pelusium. They naturally came to it first, being on the frontier of Egypt, towards Palestine.

9. stones—to be laid as the foundation beneath Nebuchadnezzar's throne (Jer 43:10).


brick-kiln—Bricks in that hot country are generally dried in the sun, not burned. The palace of Pharaoh was being built or repaired at this time; hence arose the mortar and brick-kiln at the entry. Of the same materials as that of which Pharaoh's house was built, the substructure of Nebuchadnezzar's throne should be constructed. By a visible symbol implying that the throne of the latter shall be raised on the downfall of the former. Egypt at that time contended with Babylon for the empire of the East.

10. my servant—God often makes one wicked man or nation a scourge to another (Eze 29:18, 19, 20).

royal pavilion—the rich tapestry (literally, "ornament") which hung round the throne from above.

11. such as are for death to death—that is, the deadly plague. Some he shall cause to die by the plague arising from insufficient or bad food; others, by the sword; others he shall lead captive, according as God shall order it (see on Jer 15:2).

12. houses of … gods—He shall not spare even the temple, such will be His fury. A reproof to the Jews that they betook themselves to Egypt, a land whose own safety depended on helpless idols.

burn … carry … captivesburn the Egyptian idols of wood, carry to Babylon those of gold and other metals.

array himself with the land, &c.—Isa 49:18 has the same metaphor.

as a shepherd, &c.—He shall become master of Egypt as speedily and easily as a shepherd, about to pass on with his flock to another place, puts on his garment.

13. images—statues or obelisks.

Beth-shemesh—that is, "the house of the sun," in Hebrew; called by the Greeks "Heliopolis"; by the Egyptians, "On" (Ge 41:45); east of the Nile, and a few miles north of Memphis. Ephraim Syrus says, the statue rose to the height of sixty cubits; the base was ten cubits. Above there was a miter of a thousand pounds weight. Hieroglyphics are traced around the only obelisk remaining in the present day, sixty or seventy feet high. On the fifth year after the overthrow of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, leaving the siege of Tyre, undertook his expedition to Egypt [Josephus, Antiquities, 10.9,7]. The Egyptians, according to the Arabs, have a tradition that their land was devastated by Nebuchadnezzar in consequence of their king having received the Jews under his protection, and that it lay desolate forty years. But see on Eze 29:2; Eze 29:13.

shall he burn—Here the act is attributed to Nebuchadnezzar, the instrument, which in Jer 43:12 is attributed to God. If even the temples be not spared, much less private houses.