Jeremiah presented to the remnant of Judah the Word and the will of the LORD (42:7-9), and the people faced the dilemma of two decisions: obey the LORD and remain in the land, with the promise of blessing saying, “I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand” (42:11); or disobey the LORD and “it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt…and there ye shall die” (42:16).
The People Rejected Jeremiah (43:1-7)
When Jeremiah finished speaking (43:1), “proud men” rose up among the people, and said to Jeremiah, “Thou speakest falsely: the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there” (43:2). Rejecting the LORD and Jeremiah His prophet, the people went out of the land and down into Egypt till there were none left in Judah (43:4-7).
A Forewarning of Judgment (43:8-13)
In Egypt, at the entryway to “Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes,” there was a great oven in which bricks were fired (43:9). With the men of Judah looking on, Jeremiah took stones and set them inside the brick kiln, and declared Nebuchadnezzar would invade Egypt and spread his royal tent over the stones he had placed in the oven (43:10). Jeremiah warned, the destruction they had witnessed in Jerusalem, would follow them to Egypt (43:11-13).
Prophecy Concerning the Jewish People in Egypt (44:1-14)
The people rejected the warnings of the prophets (44:4), and committed great wickedness by worshipping other gods and offering incense (44:5). They had witnessed the wickedness of their forefathers (44:9), yet, when God judged the nation, they refused to humble themselves and repent (44:10)
Jeremiah warned their sins had provoked God’s wrath, and the LORD would “cut off all Judah” (44:11). He recounted that all who went to Egypt would be punished, that they would be “consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt…by the sword and by the famine: they shall die” (44:11-12).
The People’s Blasphemous Response (44:15-18)
Rather than humble themselves and repent of their sins, the people were proud and stubborn. They declared they would “certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth” (44:17a). Petulant as a brazen rebellious child, the people announced they would “burn incense unto the queen of heaven [the Egyptian goddess of fertility]” (44:17b). They avowed how their idolatrous worship of “the queen of heaven” was rewarded with “plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil” (44:17). Not content with their blasphemy, they declared their troubles had come when they failed to worship “the queen of heaven” (44:18).
Jeremiah’s Answer and Final Message to the Refugees of Judah (44:19-30)
Hearing the rancorous words of the people, Jeremiah admonished them saying, “did not the Lord remember them [their sins], and came it not into his mind?” (44:21). Jeremiah avowed, “because of the abominations which [they had] committed; therefore, is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day” (44:22). The prophet refused to temper his words, and continued, saying, “Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore, this evil is happened unto you, as at this day” (44:23).
Closing thought – Jeremiah concluded his message, and declared prophetically, “The Lord God liveth” (44:26), and “all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them” (44:27). The remnant of Judah had sought refuge in Egypt, but that great nation would fall to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon” (44:30). Mercifully, in His grace, God promised a “small number” of Judah would “escape the sword” and return to Judah (44:28).
Remember: Though He is longsuffering, God is just and all men will one day face His judgment. I invite you to embrace the assurance of His saving grace by placing your faith in His Son Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5)
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith
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