mercenaries in Egypt
Jeremiah 46:1-28 (JDV)
Jeremiah 46:1 This is the word of Yahveh that came to the prophet Jeremiah about the nations:
Jeremiah 46:2 About Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Neco, Egypt’s king, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in the fourth year of Judah’s King Jehoiakim son of Josiah:
Jeremiah 46:3 Deploy small shields and large; approach for battle!
Jeremiah 46:4 Harness the horses; mount the steeds; take your positions with helmets on! Polish the lances; put on armor!
Jeremiah 46:5 Why have I seen this? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are crushed, they flee headlong, they never look back, terror is on every side! this is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 46:6 The swift cannot flee, and the warrior cannot escape! In the north by the bank of the Euphrates River, they stumble and fall.
Jeremiah 46:7 Who is this, rising like the Nile, with waters that churn like rivers?
Jeremiah 46:8 Egypt rises like the Nile, and its waters churn like rivers. He boasts, “I will go up, I will cover the land; I will destroy cities with their residents.”
Jeremiah 46:9 Rise up, you cavalry! Race furiously, you chariots! Let the warriors march out – Cush and Put, who are able to handle shields, and the men of Lud, who are able to handle and string the bow.
Jeremiah 46:10 That day belongs to Yahveh, the God of Armies, a day of vengeance to avenge himself against his adversaries. The sword will devour and be satisfied; it will drink its fill of their blood, because it will be a sacrifice to Yahveh, the God of Armies, in the northern land by the Euphrates River.
Jeremiah 46:11 Go up to Gilead and get balm, Virgin Daughter Egypt! You have multiplied remedies in vain; there is no healing for you.
Jeremiah 46:12 The nations have heard of your dishonor, and your cries fill the land, because warrior stumbles against warrior and together both of them have fallen.
Jeremiah 46:13 This is the word Yahveh spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to defeat the land of Egypt:
Jeremiah 46:14 Announce it in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol! Proclaim it in Memphis and in Tahpanhes! Say, “Take positions! Prepare yourself, for the sword devours all around you.”
Jeremiah 46:15 Why have your strong ones been swept away? Each has not stood, for Yahveh has thrust him down.
Jeremiah 46:16 He continues to stumble. Indeed, each falls over the other. They say, “Get up! Let’s return to our people and to our native land, away from the oppressor’s sword.”
Jeremiah 46:17 There they will cry out, “Pharaoh king of Egypt was all noise; he let the opportune moment pass.”
Jeremiah 46:18 As I live – this is the King’s declaration; Yahveh of Armies is his name – the king of Babylon will come like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea.
Jeremiah 46:19 Get your bags ready for exile, inhabitant of Daughter Egypt! You see, Memphis will become a desolation, uninhabited ruins.
Jeremiah 46:20 Egypt is a beautiful young cow, but a horsefly from the north is coming against her.
Jeremiah 46:21 Even her mercenaries among her are like stall-fed calves. They too will turn back; together they will flee; they will not take their stand, because the day of their calamity is coming on them, the time of their punishment.
Jeremiah 46:22 Egypt will hiss like a slithering snake, because the enemy will come with an army; with axes they will come against her like those who cut trees.
Jeremiah 46:23 They will cut down her forest – this is what Yahveh declares – though it is dense, because they are more numerous than locusts; they cannot be counted.
Jeremiah 46:24 Daughter Egypt will be put to shame, handed over to a northern people.
Jeremiah 46:25 Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says, “I am about to punish Amon, god of Thebes, along with Pharaoh, Egypt, her gods, and her kings – Pharaoh and those trusting in him.
Jeremiah 46:26 I will hand them over to those who intend to take their lives – to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his officers. But after this, Egypt will be inhabited again as in ancient times.” this is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 46:27 But you, my servant Jacob, do not be afraid, and do not be discouraged, Israel, because without fail I will rescue you from far away, and your descendants from the land of their captivity! Jacob will return and have calm and quiet with no one to frighten him.
Jeremiah 46:28 And you, my servant Jacob, do not be afraid – this is what Yahveh declares – because I will be with you. I will bring destruction on all the nations where I have banished you, but I will not bring destruction on you. I will discipline you with justice, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
mercenaries in Egypt
The mercenaries that Pharaoh hired to do battle for Egypt will blame the Pharaoh for bragging about the might of his invincible nation, but will say that he missed the opportunity to defeat Babylon. They will see the attacking Babylonians and say “forget this” — and go home.
Meanwhile, the exiled Israelites hear the word from Jeremiah, and it is a word of comfort. Although they are being disciplined, it will not result in their destruction. God still has a plan for his people, so the word of the day is: “And you, my servant Jacob, do not be afraid – this is what Yahveh declares – because I will be with you.”
Lord, thank you for your presence during times of turmoil.