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Judgments predicted


because of idolatry.

CHAPTER XLIV. We have in this chapter, (1,) A most awakening sermon delivered by Jeremiah to the Jews in Egypt, to reprove them for

their obstinate continuance in idolatry, notwithstanding the warnings given them, both by the word and rod of God, and to threaten the judgments of God against them for il, 1-14. (2) The impudent and impious contempt which the people put upon this admonition, and their declared resolution to persist in their idolatries, in despite both of God and his prophet, 15-19. (3) The sentence passed upon them for their obstinacy; that they should all be cut off, and perish in Egypt, except a very small number : as a token and earnest of which, the king of Egypt should shortly fall into the hands of the

king of Babylon, and be unable any longer to protect them, 20-30. A. M. 347: THE word that came to Jeremiah || have committed to provoke me to A. M. 3417.

B. C. 587. concerning all the Jews which | anger, in that they went e to burn dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at incense, and to serve other gods, whom they

Migdol, and at 5 Tahpanhes, and at · Noph, || knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers. and in the country of Pathros, saying,

4 Howbeit, 5 I sent unto you all my servants 2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of the prophets, rising early and sending them, Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have saying, 0, do not this abominable thing that brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities I hate. of Judah ; and behold, this day they are da 5 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their desolation, and no man dwelleth therein; ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no 3 Because of their wickedness which they incense unto other gods.

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Red sea.


brought on Jerusalem-He refers to the late destrucVerse 1. The word which came to Jeremiah-| tion of it by the king of Babylon : this remnant of The patience and goodness of God to this remnant the people was a brand plucked out of the burning, of his ancient people are very remarkable; he leaves and their eyes had been witnesses of the desolations them not even in their rebellion, but commissions which God had wrought. Because of their wickhis prophet, whom he had before sent to forbid their | edness, &c.-As they werç eye-witnesses of the going into this idolatrous country, to try if in Egypt effect, so nothing but their unbelief made them they could be brought to repentance and reformation; strangers to the cause of the divine wrath manifest concerning all the Jews which dwelt at Migdol, and ed against them; for God, by his prophets, had conat Tahpanhes, &c.—They were now dispersed into tinually assured them that the grand cause was their divers parts of the country, and Jeremiah is sent with departure from him, the one living and true God, a message from God to them, which he delivered, and forsaking his worship for that of idols. To either by going about from place to place to them; | serve other gods, whom they knew notThe sin of or when he had many of them together in Pathros, their various idolatries was aggravated by this, that as is mentioned verse 15. We find a place termed they were as much strangers to the idols as to the Migdol, mentioned Exod. xiv. 2, as situate near the people with whom they joined in the worship of

" But I do not take this,” says Blaney, | them, neither they nor any of their fathers having “to be here intended. Migdol properly signifies a had any proof that these idols had ever done, or tower, and may, in all probability, have been a name were able to do, any thing for their worshippers: given to different cities in Egypt where there was a compare Deut. xiii. 6, and xxxii. 17. These idols distinguished object of that kind. The city of Mag- are opposed to the true God, called elsewhere the dolus is mentioned by Herodotus, Hecatæus, and God of their fathers, who had made himself known others, and placed by Antoninus at the entrance of to them by so many wonderful works and so many Egypt from Palestine, about twelve miles from Pe-instances of his favour and benignity; and had prolusium. This was too far distant from the Red sea mised to show the same favour to their posterity, if to be in the route of the Israelites; but its situation they continued steadfast in their obedience. I sent, in the neighbourhood of Tahpanhes, or Daphnæ, fc., saying, 0! do not this abominable thing and its distance from Judea, favour the supposition that I hate-God had given them numberless admoof its being the Migdol here spoken of. For then, nitions and warnings by his prophets, that idolatry as Bochart observes, we shall find the four places in all the species and instances of it was a sin which mentioned exactly in the order of their respective he hated above all others, and would very dreaddistances from that country ; 1st, Migdol, or Magdo- fully punish, yet they would not hear so as to yield lus; 20, Tahpanhes, or Daphnæ ; 30, Noph, or Mem- | obedience to him; but still persisted in the commission phis; and lastly, the district of Pathros, or Thebais.”' of this most abominable and absurd iniquity. The Near Memphis stands one of the pyramids which Hebrew, wyn x3 bx, may be properly rendered, D. are yet remaining.

not, I pray you, this abominable thing which I hate. Verses 2-5. Ye have seen all the evil that I have || Thus the Vulgate, Nolite, oro, facere rerbum aboGod's Judgments


against the Jews.

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B. C. 587.

B. C. 587.

6 Wherefore . my fury and mine || ness of your wives, which they have A. M. 3417

anger was poured forth, and was committed in the land of Judah, and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets in the streets of Jerusalem ? of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and deso- 10 They are not 3 humbled even unto this late, as at this day.

day, neither have they feared, nor walked in 7 Therefore now thus saith the LORD, the || my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before God of hosts, the God of Israel; Wherefore you and before your fathers. commit ye this great evil i against your souls, 11 1 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, to cut off from you man and woman, child and the God of Israel; Behold, * I will set my suckling, 'out of Judah, to leave you none to face against you for evil, and to cut off all remain;

Judah. 8 In that ye provoke me unto wrath with 12 And I will take the remnant of Judah, the works of your hands, burning incense that have set their faces to go into the land unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whi- of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all ther ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; yourselves off, and that ye might be la curse they shall even be consumed by the sword and and a reproach among all the nations of the by the famine: they shall die, from the least earth?

even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the 9 Have ye forgotten the 2 wickedness of famine: and P they shall be an execration, your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reof Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, proach. and your own wickedness, and the wicked- 13 9 For I will punish them that dwell in the

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h Chap. xlii. 18.-i Num. xvi. 38; Chap. vii. 19.—Heb. 3 Heb. contrite, Psa. li. 17,- m Prov. xxvüi. 14.- a Lev. out of the midst of Judah. -k Chap. xxv. 6, 7.- Chap. xlii. xvii. 10; xx. 5, 6; Chap. xxi. 10; Amos ix. 4. Chap. xlii. 18; Verse 12. - Heb. wickednesses, or, punishments, &c. 15, 17, 22.-_p Chap. xlii. 18. 9 Chap. xliii. 11.

minationis hujuscemodi. Be unwilling, I beseech | great wickedness your fathers committed, and what you, to practise a thing so abominable. The lan- || great punishments were in consequence thereof inguage is as pathetic as it is emphatical.

flicted upon them? We may be truly said to have Verses 6, 7. Wherefore my fury, fc., was pour- | forgotten that the sight of which, or reflection thereed forth, &c.—As if he had said, For these very rea- on, makes no such impression upon us as produces sons, their idolatry and contempt of my word by a suitable practice. Which they have committed in my prophets, the very sins you are now committing, || the land of Judah, &c.—To have practised these I

gave Judah and Jerusalem into the hand of the things in any place would have been to contract king of Babylon, and they are, as you see this day, I great guilt; but to have done them in the land of waste and desolate. Wherefore commit ye this | Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, in the valley great evil? &c.—What sort of prudence is it that of vision, and in the holy city, where there were influences you to do such actions as these, by which such means of information and such helps to piety, you cannot injure God, but yourselves only? You was still more aggravated and inexcusable wickedare now but a few of many; what love can you have || ness. They are not humbled even unto this dayfor your country while you take courses which will | Neither they nor you are yet properly humbled, and certainly tend to the utter extirpation of those few, prepared for receiving mercy. Neither have they so that there shall be none remaining of all the Jews? || feared, nor walked in my law-Hence we learn, God designed that this remnant should have remain- | that reformation and obedience are the proper fruit ed in Judea, and kept possession of it, when the rest of true contrition and humiliation ; God does not of their brethren were carried away captive, chap. account those to be humbled, but hardened, who are xlii. 10. But by their going into Egypt and defiling | not reformed and made obedient, let their pretended themselves with the idolatries of that nation, they contrition or humiliation be, in outward appearance, provoked God to make an utter destruction of them. / what it may.

Verses 8–10. Ye provoke me unto wrath with the Verses 11-14. I will set my face against you works of your hands-By making and setting up for evil-See note on chap. xxi. 10. And I will take idols to worship. That ye might cut yourselves off, ||--Or, I will take away, namely, by destruction; the &c.—This is not to be so taken as if they did these remnant of Judah, &c.—The diresul punishments things with a design to cut off themselves and their denounced against those who went to Egypt were posterity: but only as signifying that their utter | not denounced because it was a sin in itself for the ruin would be the certain consequence of their con- Jews to leave their country, and seek a securer habitlinuing so to act. Have ye forgollen the wickedness ation in Egypt, but because, in so doing, they showed of your fathers ? &c.- Have you forgotten what | their distrust of God's power or goodness, as if he The prophet's admonitions


disregarded by the Jews.

B. C. 587.

B. C. 587.

A. M. 3417. land of Egypt, as I have punished || unto us in the name of the LORD, A. M. 3417.

Jerusalem, by the sword, by the fa- we will not hearken unto thee. mine, and by the pestilence:

17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing 14 So that none of the remnant of Judah, | goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn inwhich are gone into the land of Egypt to so- cense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour journ there, shall escape or remain, that they out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, should return into the land of Judah, to the we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, which they 4 have a desire to return to dwell in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jethere: for ' none shall retarn but such as shall | rusalem: for then had we plenty of 6 victuals, escape.

and were well, and saw no evil. 15 T Then all the men which knew that 18 But since we left off to burn incense to the their wives had burned incense unto other queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offergods, and all the women that stood by, a great ings unto her, we have wanted all things, and multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the have been consumed by the sword and by the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, || famine. saying,

19 - And when we burned incense to the 16 As for the word that thou hast spoken queen of heaven, and poured out drink-offerings

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were not able or willing to protect them in Judea, || the Israelitish women imitated the idolatry of the and also were guilty of disobeying his express com- inhabitants of it, as soon as they came thither, and mands, and disbelieving his faithful promises, where- no people were immersed in a more absurd and by he had engaged to protect them. To which must shameful idolatry than the Egyptians. It is probabe further added, the great danger and probability, | ble that when the Jewish women perceived the not to say certainty, there was that they would fall Egyptians to abound in riches and plenty, and to into the idolatry of the Egyptians. Therefore God live in peace and security, they foolishly concluded uttered grievous threatenings against their going that the gods which the Egyptians worshipped were thither, that they might be deterred from it. For I more powerful, or more beneficent, than Jehovah, will punish them that dwell in the land of Egypt, whom the Jews worshipped. &c.-See notes on chap. xlii. 15–18. So that none Verses 16–19. As for the word thou hast spoken of the remnant of Judah which are gone, &c.—Bla-unto us, we will not hearken unto thee-Johanan ney translates this more agreeably to the Hebrew, and the rest (chap. xliii. 5) only denied that God had thus: “And the remnant of Judah, those who are said such things, and told Jeremiah he had spoken come into the land of Egypt, with a view to sojourn falsely: but now these people rise higher; they acthere, and to return into the land of Judah, &c., shall knowledge Jeremiah had spoken to them in the name not have one escaper or surviver ; whereas none of the Lord, but, nevertheless, tell him in plain terms shall return but escapers.” And he observes, “ It is they would not obey his word, and indeed this is in evident, from verse 28, that some Jews were to the hearts of all sinners that are ruled by their lusts; escape the general destruction in Egypt, and to re- though they will sometimes pretend that what they turn into their own country, although but a few; and hear is not the will of God, but spoken out of malice the same thing is implied in the latter sentence of and prejudice; yet they are preresolved they will this verse. But the former part of this verse excludes not comply with it, let their understandings be never out of the number of the escapers every individual so well informed. But will certainly do whatsoerer of those that were called properly the remnant of thing goeth out of our own mouthThat is, that Julah, those that had set their faces to enter Egypt | which we have solemnly vowed to perform. Here to sojourn there, in opposition to the express com- we have the root of all the disobedience of sinners, mand of God, upon a presumption that they knew their resolution to please themselves, and do their better than God how to consult their own restoration. own will, and not in any thing to deny themselves. The few then who were destined to escape, and to To burn incense to the queen of heaven—To the return back to the land of Judah, were to be such as moon and the rest of the host of heaven : see the had come into the land of Egypt in a less offensive note on chap. vii. 18; and xix. 13. As we have done, manner, and happened to be there when the storm we and our fathers, &c.—Their arguments for conisurst upon them.”

tinuing in this idolatry are, 1st, Custom and antiquity; Verse 15. Then all the men and all the women they and their fathers had practised it. 2d, The that dwelt in Pathros—Which was Upper Egypt ; example of their kings and princes. 3d, The plenty unswered Jeremiah, &c.—From this it appears with and prosperity they had while they did so, as if their how much reason it was that God ordered Jeremiah | idols and not Jehovah had been the authors of it. to endeavour to prevent their going into Egypt, since || They compared their former condition, before the

The consequences


of their idolatry.

B. C.

B. C. 587.

4. M. 3417. unto her, did we make her cakes to || of the abominations which ye have 4. M. 3417.

worship her, and pour out drink-committed; therefore is your land v a offerings unto her, without our 'men? desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse,

20 4 Then Jeremiah said unto all the peo- without an inhabitant, aas at this day. ple, to the men, and to the women, and to all 23 Because ye have burned incense, and the people which had given him that answer, because ye have sinned against the Lord, and saying,

have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor 21 The incense that ye burned in the cities walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye testimonies; therefore this evil is happened and your fathers, your kings and your princes, unto you, as at this day. and the people of the land, did not the LORD 24 Moreover, Jeremiah said unto all the peoremember them, and came it not into his mind? | ple, and to all the women, Hear the word

22 So that the LORD could no longer bear, of the LORD, all Judah that are in the land because of the evil of your doings, and because of Egypt:

? Or, husbands.

--- Chap. xxv. 11, 18, 38.

-2 Verse 6.

a Dan. ix. 11, 12.

_b Chap. xliii. 7; Verse 15.

invasion of Judea and the siege of Jerusalem, with that ye burned, &c.—In these verses the prophet their present state, and argued from their being in shows that they interpreted the dispensations of prosperity at that time, that they must needs have God's providence toward them in a sense directly been then in the right; not considering that it was contrary to their true intent and meaning. They to be ascribed to the goodness and long-suffering of concluded that their omission of late to burn incense God waiting for their repentance, as being unwilling to the queen of heaven was the cause of the calamito destroy them, or even to bring any great calamity ties which had befallen them ; but the prophet shows upon them. Besides, though on account of the them that the true cause was, not their leaving off measure of their iniquity being filled up, they now that practice, but their being formerly guilty of it. suffered more grievous calamities than they had ever | This their idolatry, with their other sins, did indeed done before, yet, if they were at all acquainted with go unpunished a great while: for God was longthe history of former times, they could not but know suffering toward them, and during the time of his that idolatry had always brought calamities on their patience it was perhaps, as they said, well with them, fathers, and that they never were so prosperous as and they saw no evil; but at length they became so when they worshipped and served Jehovah only. provoking that, as the prophet tells them, verse 22, But since we left off, fc., we have wanted all things the Lord could no longer bear, but began a contro-This is their last argument in defence of their versy with them. Upon this, it seems, some of them idolatry, an argument drawn from the evils that had did in a degree reform their conduct : but their old befallen them since they had left off to worship the guilt being uncancelled, and their corrupt inclinahost of heaven; thus making their ceasing to tions being still the same, God remembered against commit the sin of idolatry the cause of their them the idolatries of their fathers, their kings, and sufferings, whereas, in truth, the commission of that their princes, which they, instead of being ashamed and their other sins had been the cause of all the of, gloried in: all these, he intimates, verse 21, came calamities to which they had been exposed. And || into his mind, with all the abominations which they when we burned incense, fc., did we worship her | had committed, verse 22, and all their disobedience without our men ?-Here the women speak, and al- || to the voice of the Lord, verse 23: all was brought to lege that their husbands had joined with them in account; and to punish them for these was their offering incense to the host of heaven, and that it was land made a desolation, an astonishment, and a curse, not done without their privity. “By the law of as they saw it to be. Therefore-Not for their Moses the men had an independnet power of binding || late reformation, he assures them, but for their old themselves by any religious vow or obligation; but transgressions, had all that evil happened to them. the vows of the women were not binding, without Verses 24–28. Jeremiah said, Hear all Judah the knowledge and consent of their fathers and hus- that are in the land of EgyplThat is, all you bands; but if the father or husband knew of the vow, men and women that belong to Judah, and are now and did not signify his dissent at the time, his con- come to dwell in Egypt; ye and your wives have sent was presumed, and the vow stood firm and irre- || spoken—The Hebrew word 7737278, rendered have vocable, Num. xxx. 1-16. This appeal, therefore, to spoken, is of the feminine gender, and implies that the concurrence of their men must be considered as the women were first and principally concerned in coming from the female part of the assembly only, this idolatry, and that the men's guilt lay chiefly in who thereby appear to declare that since they were conniving at them, and suffering themselves to be thus authorized by those who alone had a legal right | seduced by them; saying, We will surely perform to control them, they should not submit to any other our vous, &c.—They insist on their unlawful vows restraint upon their inclinations.”—Blaney.

as obligations in conscience, which could not be disVerses 20-23. Then Jeremiah said, The incense || pensed with, just as Herod did on his unlawful oath, A prophecy against


the king of Egypt.

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B. C. 587.

25 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, || sumed by the sword and by the fa- A. M. 3417.

the God of Israel, saying ; • Ye and mine, until there be an end of them. your wives have both spoken with your mouths, 28 Yet ha small number that escape the and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will sword shall return out of the land of Egypt surely perform our vows that we have vowed, || into the land of Judah; and all the remnant of to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to to pour out drink-offerings unto her: ye will sojourn there, shall know whose i words shall surely accomplish your vows, and surely per-stand, emine, or theirs. form your vows.

29 T And this shall be a sign unto B. C. 587. 26 Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, you, saith the Lord, that I will punish all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; you in this place, that ye may know that my Behold, I have sworn by my great name, words shall surely stand against you for evil : saith the LORD, that e my name shall no more 30 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, 'I will be named in the mouth of any man of Judah | give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord hand of his enemies, and into the hand of God liveth.

them that seek his life; as I gave m Zedekiah 27 Behold, I will watch over them for evil, king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadand not for good : and all the men of Judah rezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that that are in the land of Egypt 6 shall be con- sought his life.

• Verse 15. — Gen. xxii. 16.- Ezek. xx. 39. Chap. i Verses 17, 25, 26.-8 Heb. from me, or them.-k Psalm i. 10; xxxi. 28; Ezekiel vii. 6.- - Verse 12.- Lb Verse 14; || xxxiii. 11.- Chap. xlvi. 25, 26; Ezek. xxix. 3, &c. ; XXX. Isa. xxvii. 13.

21, &c.—m Chap. xxxix. 5.

Matt. xiv. 9: as if, though to burn incense to the when they returned to worship the queen of heaven. queen of heaven were a sin, yet their having vowed | God says they shall hereby ruin themselves: and to do it were sufficient to justify them in the doing now the event will show who was in the right. The of it; whereas no man can, by his vow, make that contest between God and sinners is, whose word lawful to himself, much less his duty, which God shall stand, whose will shall be done, who shall had before made sin. Ye will surely accomplish prevail ? Sinners say, We shall have peace, though your vous, &c.—You are resolved upon it, and there we go on in sin: God says, Ye shall have no peace. is no moving you from your resolution. Therefore || And when God judges, he will overcome: his word hear ye the word of the LordHear what is God's shall stand, and not the sinner's. resolution. Behold, I have sworn by my great Verses 29, 30. And this shall be a sign unto you name, saith the LordI also have made a solemn |--Signs are usually antecedent to the thing signified, vow, in opposition to that wicked one of yours, and as Isa. xxxviii. 7; but here, as Exod. iii. 12, Isa. have confirmed it by an oath. I have sworn and xxxvii. 30, and Luke ii. 12, the word is taken, in a will not repent: That my name shall no more be larger sense, for a circumstance that should attend named by any man of Judah in the land of Egypt, the thing signified. It may be observed, however, &c.—“These Jews seem to have joined the worship that although the destruction of these Jews, and of the true God with that of idols, as the Samaritans that of Pharaoh, were things immediately following did before them, 2 Kings xvii. 33. Thereupon God each other, yet the latter was in order before the declares he will not receive any such polluted wor- other. I will give Pharaoh-hophra into the hand ship at their hands, (compare Ezek. xx. 39,) nor of his enemiesPharaoh was a name common, in suffer his name to be any longer profaned by such || ancient times, to all the kings of Egypt; but several hypocrites, but will consume them by a sudden and of them had some additional epithet to distinguish general destruction "_Lowth. Behold, I will watch them from the rest. Thus the predecessor of this king over them for evil-God here represents himself as was called Pharaoh-nechoh, 2 Kings xxiii. 29. This one who would be solicitous and industrious to bring | Pharaoh-hophra appears to have been the same evil upon them, as men, who are so in any business, that is called by profane authors Apries; and his unwatch all opportunities for doing it: as if he had fortunate end, in exact conformity with this predicsaid, No opportunity shall be let slip to bring sometion, is particularly related by Herodotus, lib. ii. cap. judgment upon them, until there be an end of them, || 169, and by Diodorus Siculus, lib. i. p. 43. “His and they be quite rooted out. Yet a small number | subjects rebelling, he sent Amasis, one of his genethat escape the sword shall return, &c.—A very rals, to reduce them to their duty; but no sooner few, next to none in comparison of the great num-had Amasis begun to make his speech than they fixper that shall return out of the land of the Chal- || ed a helmet on his head, and proclaimed him king. deans: see note on verse 14. And all the remnant | Amasis accepted the title, and confirmed the Egypof Juduh shall know whose words shall stand, minetians in their rebellion; and the greater part of the or theirs—They said they should recover themselves | nation declaring for him, Apries was obliged to retire

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