New English Translation
8 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.’[a]
9 Go ahead and[b] 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[c] who are armed with the bow.[d]
10 But that day belongs to the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[e]
It is a day of reckoning, when he will pay back his adversaries.[f]
His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied.
It will drink its fill from their blood![g]
Indeed it will be a sacrifice for the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies
in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jeremiah 46:9 tn Heb “who grasp and bend the bow.”
- 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.