New English Translation
10 But that day belongs to the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[a]
It is a day of reckoning, when he will pay back his adversaries.[b]
His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied.
It will drink its fill from their blood![c]
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,[d]
you dear poor people of Egypt.[e]
But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use;[f]
there will be no healing for you.
12 The nations have heard of your shameful defeat.[g]
Your cries of distress fill[h] the earth.
One soldier has stumbled over another
and both of them have fallen down defeated.”[i]
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Jeremiah 46:11 tn Heb “balm.” See 8:22 and the notes on this phrase there.
- 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.
- Jeremiah 46:11 tn Heb “In vain you multiply [= make use of many] medicines.”
- Jeremiah 46:12 tn Heb “of your shame.” The “shame,” however, applies to the devastating defeat they will suffer.
- Jeremiah 46:12 tn Heb “The earth is full of your cries.”
- 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.