Jeremiah expresses the desolation of Judah for their idolatry, 1-10. He prophesies the destruction of those who commit idolatry in Egypt, 11-14. The obstinacy of the Jews, 15-19; for which Jeremiah threatens them, 20-28; and for a sign prophesies the destruction of Egypt, 29, 30.
1 A word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who dwell in the land of Egypt, who dwell at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'You have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah, and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwells in them, 3 Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods, whom they did not know—neither they, you, nor your fathers. 4 Yet I sent all my servants the prophets to you, rising early and sending them, saying, "Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate." 5 But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fury and my anger was poured forth and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day. 7 And now, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: "Why do you commit this great evil against your souls, to cut off from yourselves man and woman, child and infant, out of Judah to leave yourselves no one to remain, 8 In that you provoke me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to dwell, so that you may cut yourselves off and that you may be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? 9 Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah, the wickedness of their wives, your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They are not humbled even to this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, which I set before you and before your fathers."'
11 "Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will set my face against you for evil and to cut off all Judah. 12 And I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed and fall in the land of Egypt. They shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine. They shall die, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine. And they shall be an execration, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach. 13 For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, 14 So that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there shall escape or remain to return into the land of Judah, to which they have a desire to return to dwell there. For none shall return but those who escape.'"
15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods and all the women who stood by, a great multitude, even all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, 16 "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. 17 But we will certainly do whatever thing proceeds from our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink-offerings to her, as we have done—we, our fathers, our kings, and our princes—in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of provisions and were well and saw no evil. 18 But since we ceased to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink-offerings to her, we have lacked all things and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. 19 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink-offerings to her, did we make for her cakes to worship her and pour out drink-offerings to her without our men?"
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men, to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying, 21 "The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem—you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land—did the LORD not remember them, and did it not come into his mind? 22 So the LORD could no longer bear because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you have committed; therefore, your land is a desolation, an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. 23 Because you have burned incense and because you 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 has happened to you, as at this day."
24 Moreover, Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, "Hear the word of the LORD, all of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. 25 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, 'You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hand, saying, "We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink-offerings to her." You will surely accomplish your vows and surely perform your vows.' 26 Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, all of Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: 'Behold, I have sworn by my great name,' says the LORD, 'that my name shall no longer be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, "The Lord GOD lives." 27 Behold, I will watch over them for evil and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine until there is an end of them. 28 Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there shall know whose words shall stand—mine, or theirs. 29 And this shall be a sign to you,' says the LORD, 'that I will punish you in this place so that you may know that my words shall surely stand against you for evil.' 30 Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and sought his life.'"
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 44[➚]