Jeremiah Chapter 44 |
1The word which came to Jeremiah for all the Judeans living in the land of Egypt, living in Migdol, Tahpanhes, and Noph, and in the land of Pathros:
2Thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. They are a ruin today, and no one inhabits them, 3on account of the wicked things they did to vex Me, going to make offerings in worship of other gods which they had not known—neither they nor you nor your fathers. 4Yet I persistently sent to you all My servants the prophets, to say, “I beg you not to do this abominable thing which I hate.” 5But they would not listen or give ear, to turn back from their wickedness and not make offerings to other gods; 6so My fierce anger was poured out, and it blazed against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. And they became a desolate ruin, as they still are today.
7And now, thus said the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel: Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves, so that every man and woman, child and infant of yours shall be cut off from the midst of Judah, and no remnant shall be left of you? 8For you vex me by your deeds, making offering to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to sojourn, so that you shall be cut off and become a curse and a mockery among all the nations of earth. 9Have you forgotten the wicked acts of your forefathers, of the kings of Judah and their wives, and your own wicked acts and those of your wives, which were committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10No one has shown contrition to this day, and no one has shown reverence. You have not followed the Teaching and the laws that I set before you and before your fathers.
11Assuredly, thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to set My face against you for punishment, to cut off all of Judah. 12I will take the remnant of Judah who turned their faces toward the land of Egypt, to go and sojourn there, and they shall be utterly consumed in the land of Egypt. They shall fall by the sword, they shall be consumed by famine; great and small alike shall die by the sword and by famine, and they shall become an execration and a desolation, a curse and a mockery. 13I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt as I punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence. 14Of the remnant of Judah who came to sojourn here in the land of Egypt, no survivor or fugitive shall be left to return to the land of Judah. Though they all long to return and dwell there, none shall return except [a few] survivors.
15Thereupon they answered Jeremiah—all the men who knew that their wives made offerings to other gods; all the women present, a large gathering; and all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt: 16“We will not listen to you in the matter about which you spoke to us in the name of the Lord. 17On the contrary, we will do everything that we have vowed—to make offerings to the Queen of Heaven and to pour libations to her, as we used to do, we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty to eat, we were well-off, and suffered no misfortune. 18But ever since we stopped making offerings to the Queen of Heaven and pouring libations to her, we have lacked everything, and we have been consumed by the sword and by famine. 19And when we make offerings to the Queen of Heaven and pour libations to her, is it without our husbands’ approval that we have made cakes in her likeness and poured libations to her?”
20Jeremiah replied to all the people, men and women—all the people who argued with him. He said, 21“Indeed, the offerings you presented in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem—you, your fathers, your kings, your officials, and the people of the land—were remembered by the Lord and brought to mind! 22When the Lord could no longer bear your evil practices and the abominations you committed, your land became a desolate ruin and a curse, without inhabitant, as is still the case. 23Because you burned incense and sinned against the Lord and did not obey the Lord, and because you did not follow His Teaching, His laws, and His exhortations, therefore this disaster has befallen you, as is still the case.”
24Jeremiah further said to all the people and to all the women: “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judeans in the land of Egypt! 25Thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have confirmed by deed what you spoke in words: ‘We will fulfill the vows which we made, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and to pour libations to her.’ So fulfill your vows; perform your vows!
26“Yet hear the word of the Lord, all Judeans who dwell in the land of Egypt! Lo, I swear by My great name—said the Lord—that none of the men of Judah in all the land of Egypt shall ever again invoke My name, saying, ‘As the Lord God lives!’ 27I will be watchful over them to their hurt, not to their benefit; all the men of Judah in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by sword and by famine, until they cease to be. 28Only the few who survive the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah. All the remnant of Judah who came to the land of Egypt to sojourn there shall learn whose word will be fulfilled—Mine or theirs!
29“And this shall be the sign to you—declares the Lord—that I am going to deal with you in this place, so that you may know that My threats of punishment against you will be fulfilled: 30Thus said the Lord: I will deliver Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, into the hands of his enemies, those who seek his life, just as I delivered King Zedekiah of Judah into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.”