Judah is taken by Babylon and the seventy years of their exile begins. Egypt is also taken by Babylon and begins their own forty years of exile. This is the second great dispersion of the children of Israel and the Lord says in Jeremiah 9:16 “and I will scatter them among the nations that they have not known, they and their ancestors, and I will send the sword after them until I bring them to an end. But even with these days of judgement, there is the promise of a return.
The Sword Will Devour Those All Around You
Jeremiah has exhausted the word of the Lord for repentance and now says in Jeremiah 46:9 “let the warriors go forth” and in Jeremiah 46:10 “For that day is to the Lord Yahweh of hosts a day of retribution, to take revenge on his foes”.
In times past, “The onrushing Egyptians seem like the Nile when it is inundating the surrounding countryside (cf. Isa. 8:7f.). He said (8) is presumably a reference to pharaoh as the commander of Egypt’s forces”.1
However, over time, “Under Psammetichus I (c. 664–610 BC) the armed forces were reorganized around a core of Greek mercenaries … Cush (Ethiopia) and Put (Libya? Or Somalia?) supplied mercenary troops for Egypt”. 1
While Egypt had been a formidable power, they used others for their strength. Here, in Jeremiah 46:11 “O virgin of the daughter of Egypt … there is no healing for you”, “Egypt is so called on account of her effeminate luxury, and as having never yet been brought under foreign yoke”.2
In Jeremiah 46:17 “It is unclear what is meant by the reference to “appointed time” other than the fact that Pharaoh has missed his opportunity”.3 However, we know that the Lord always presents an opportunity for repentance, and opportunity to turn toward him before judgement comes.
Pack Your Baggage for Exile
Just as Judah, Jerusalem, Daniel and his fellows were taken by the Babylonians, so will Egypt be taken. The prophet tells them in Jeremiah 46:19 “Pack your baggage for exile, O inhabitants of the daughter Egypt”. Earlier, there was another word from the Lord in
Jeremiah 44:30 Thus says Yahweh: ‘Look, I am going to give Pharaoh Hophra, the king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of those who seek his life, just as I gave Zedekiah the king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, his enemy and the one who sought his life.’ ”
We don’t have much about Pharoah Hophra but of Zedekiah it was his refusal to humble himself and hear from the Lord in
2 Chronicles 36:11–12 “Zedekiah … did evil in the eyes of Yahweh his God. He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for Yahweh”.
and it continues including the leaders of the priest and the people in
2 Chronicles 36:14–16 “All the leaders of the priests and the people likewise increased in unfaithfulness … 15 And Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, had repeatedly and persistently sent to them by the hand of his messengers … 16 But they were mocking the messengers of God and despising his words … until there was no remedy.
There is a similar inference to the pride of Pharoah who says “I made it for myself” in
Ezekiel 29:3 “Speak, and you must say, ‘thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I am against you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great sea monster, the one lying down in the midst of his Nile streams, who says to me, “It is my Nile, and I made it for myself.”
and Egypt itself will go into exile for forty years in
Ezekiel 29:13 “For thus says the Lord Yahweh: “At the end of forty years I will gather Egypt from the peoples among whom they were scattered”.
Daniel and His Fellows are Taken to Babylon
We don’t read this here, but it is about this time when Daniel was taken, see Daniel Set His Mind, 13 March 2018
“Children from “royal families and from the lords” were also taken in Daniel 1:3-7, “to be educated for three years. And at the end of their training, they were to be stationed before the king”. And among these children were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah”.
The King of Egypt Did Not Again Come
2 Kings 24:5–9
This is the end of Jehoiakim and the end of “the king of Egypt” in Jeremiah 24:7. Nebuchadnezzer rules and all come under his domination then has a dream.
The Remainder of the Words of Jehoiakim
2 Chronicles 36:8–9
Take Me Before The King
Again, we are not reading about Daniel, but this is the time when Daniel is called to interpret a dream. See Take Me Before The King, 13 March 2018.
“Daniel then says, in vs. 28 “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that will be at the end of days””.
The Kings of Judah
1 Chronicles 3:10–16
Look, I See Four Men
At the end of the reign of the kings of Judah, life is still challenging for those in captivity in Babylon, see Heat Up The Furnace, 14 March 2018.
In Daniel 3:23 ‘God’s three, who were bound “fell down into the midst of the furnace”’.
I Will Scatter Them Among the Nations
While many were taken captive to Babylon, some fled to Egypt and other nations as it says in
Jeremiah 9:16 “and I will scatter them among the nations that they have not known, they and their ancestors, and I will send the sword after them until I bring them to an end.”
For those that fled to Egypt, it says in
Jeremiah 44:14 “And there will not be a survivor or an escapee of the remnant of Judah, those who have come to dwell as an alien there in the land of Egypt, to return to the land of Judah where they are longing to return to dwell there, for they will not turn back, but only some survivors.’ ”
After Solomon, civil war split the Jewish people. The Northern Kingdom, ten tribes, had been conquered by the Assyrians and the people scattered. This captivity to Babylon and flight to Egypt was the second major dispersion of Judah, which was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin with the Levites. Few returned from Babylon after this seventy year exile, but the nation continued until the temple was destroyed by the Romans after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Jeremiah 46:9–17 The Sword Will Devour Those All Around You
- Jeremiah 46:18–28 Pack Your Baggage for Exile
- Jeremiah 9:16–21 I Will Scatter Them Among the Nations
- Jeremiah 46:9-28
- 2 Kings 24:5-9
- 2 Chronicles 36:8-9
- 1 Chronicles 3:10-16
- Jeremiah 9:16-21
- 1. Harrison, R. K. (1973). Jeremiah and Lamentations: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 21, pp. 173–174). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- 2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 550). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- 3. Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Je 46:17). Biblical Studies Press.