Disaster in Egypt
44 Jeremiah received a message from the Lord for all the ·Jews [L Judeans] living in Egypt—in the cities of Migdol [C a city in the Nile Delta], Tahpanhes [43:7], Memphis [C a capital city in central Egypt], and in ·southern Egypt [L the land of Pathros]. This was the message: 2 “The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: You saw all the ·terrible things [disasters; evil; troubles] I brought on Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, which are ruins today with no one living in them. 3 It is because the people who lived there did evil. They made me angry by burning incense and ·worshiping [serving] other gods that neither they nor you nor your ·ancestors [fathers] ever knew. 4 I sent all my servants, the prophets, to you again and again. By them I said to you, ‘Don’t do this ·terrible [abominable] thing that I hate.’ 5 But they did not listen or ·pay attention [L incline their ear]. They did not ·stop doing [turn back from] evil things and burning incense to other gods. 6 So I showed my great anger against them. I poured out my anger in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem so they are only ruins and ·piles of stones [a desolation] today.
7 “Now the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: Why are you doing such great ·harm [damage; evil] to yourselves? You are cutting off the men and women, children and ·babies [suckling infants] from the ·family [L midst] of Judah, leaving yourselves without ·anyone from the family of Judah [L a remnant]. 8 Why do you want to make me angry by ·making idols [L the work of your hands]? Why do you ·burn incense [make offerings] to the gods of Egypt, where you have come to ·live [sojourn; wander]? You will ·destroy [L cut off] yourselves. Other nations will ·speak evil of [curse] you and ·make fun of [reproach] you. 9 Have you forgotten about the evil things your ·ancestors [fathers] did? And have you forgotten the evil the kings and ·queens [L their wives] of Judah did? Have you forgotten about the evil you and your wives did? These things were done in the country of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. 10 Even to this day the people of Judah ·are still too proud [have shown no remorse]. They have not ·learned to respect [feared] me or ·to follow [L walked in] my ·teachings [laws; instructions]. They have not obeyed the ·laws [statutes; requirements; ordinances] I gave you and your ·ancestors [fathers].
11 “So this is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: I am ·determined [L setting my face against you] to bring ·disasters [evil; trouble] on you. I will ·destroy [L cut off] ·the whole family of [L all] Judah. 12 The ·few who were left alive [remnant] from Judah ·were determined [L set their face] to go to Egypt and ·settle [sojourn; wander] there, but they will all die in Egypt. They will be killed ·in war [L by the sword] or ·die from hunger [L by famine]. From the least important to the greatest, they will be killed ·in war [L by sword] or ·die from hunger [L by famine]. Other nations will ·speak evil about [L curse] them. People will be shocked by what has happened to them. They will become a curse word, and people will ·insult [reproach] them. 13 I will punish those people who have gone to live in Egypt, just as I punished Jerusalem, using swords, ·hunger [famine], and ·terrible diseases [plague; pestilence]. 14 Of the ·people of Judah who were left alive [remnant of Judah] and have gone to ·live [wander; sojourn] in Egypt, none will escape ·my punishment [L or survive]. They want to return to Judah and live there, but none of them will live to return to Judah, except a few people who will escape.”
15 A large group of the people [C of Judah] who lived in ·southern Egypt [L Pathros] were ·meeting [assembling] together. Among them were many women who were ·burning incense [or making offerings] to other gods, and their husbands knew it. All these people said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listen to the ·message from [L the word in the name of] the Lord that you spoke to us. 17 We promised to make sacrifices to the Queen Goddess [C a female astral deity, probably Ashtart or Asherah], and we will certainly do everything ·we promised [L that came out of our mouths]. We will ·burn incense [or make offerings] and pour out drink offerings to worship her, just as we, our ·ancestors [fathers], kings, and officers did in the past. All of us did these things in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were ·successful [fine], and ·nothing bad happened to us [L we saw/experienced no evil]. 18 But since we stopped ·making sacrifices [or offering incense] to the Queen Goddess and stopped pouring out drink offerings to her, we have ·had great problems [L lacked everything]. Our people have also been killed ·in war [L by sword] and by ·hunger [famine].”
19 The women said, “Our husbands knew what we were doing. We had their permission to ·burn incense [or make offerings] to the Queen Goddess and to pour out drink offerings to her. Our husbands knew we were making cakes ·that looked like her [with her image] and were pouring out drink offerings to her.”
20 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people—men and women—who answered him. 21 He said to them, “·The Lord remembered [L Did not the Lord remember…?] that you and your ·ancestors [fathers], kings and officers, and the people of the land ·burned incense [or made offerings] in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. He remembered and ·thought [set/L lifted up his mind/heart] about it. 22 Then he could not be patient with you any longer. He hated the ·terrible things [abominations] you did. So he made your country an ·empty desert [desolation and a ruin], where no one lives. Other people curse that country. And so it is today. 23 All this happened because you ·burned incense to other gods [or made offerings]. You sinned against the Lord. You did not ·obey him [L listen to the voice of the Lord] or follow his ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah] or the ·laws [statutes; requirements; ordinances] he gave you. You did not ·keep your part of the agreement with him [L walk in his testimonies]. So this ·disaster [evil; trouble] has happened to you. ·It is there for you to see [L …according to this day].”
24 Then Jeremiah said to all those men and women, “People of Judah who are now in Egypt, hear the word of the Lord: 25 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: You and your wives did what you said you would do. You said, ‘We will certainly keep the ·promises [vows] we made. We ·promised [vowed] to ·make sacrifices [or offer incense] to the Queen Goddess and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ So, go ahead. Do the things you ·promised [vowed], and keep your ·promises [vows]. 26 But hear the word of the Lord. Listen, all you ·Jews [L Judeans] living in Egypt. The Lord says, ‘I have sworn by my great name: The people of Judah now living in Egypt will never again ·use [pronounce] my name to make promises. They will never again say in Egypt, “As surely as the Lord God lives…” 27 I am watching over them, not ·to take care of them, but to hurt them [L for good but for evil/harm]. The ·Jews [L Judeans] who live in Egypt will die from swords or ·hunger [famine] until they are all ·destroyed [annihilated]. 28 A few will escape being killed by the sword and will come back to Judah from Egypt. Then, of the people of Judah who came to ·live [sojourn; wander] in Egypt, ·those who are left alive [the remnant] will know ·if my word or their word came true [L whose word will stand, theirs or mine]. 29 I will give you a sign that I will punish you here in this place [C Egypt],’ says the Lord. ‘When you see it happen, you will know that my ·promises to hurt you will really happen [L words for you will be carried out for harm/evil].’ 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘Hophra king of Egypt [C also known as Apries, ruled 587–570 bc] has enemies who ·want to kill him [L seek his life]. Soon I will hand him over to his enemies just as I handed Zedekiah king of Judah over to Nebuchadnez-zar king of Babylon, who ·wanted to kill him [L sought his life; 39:5–7].’”