Judgment on Egypt
1 This is the word of the LORD about the nations—the word that came to Jeremiah the prophet 2 concerning Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah:
3 “Deploy your shields, small and large;
advance for battle!
4 Harness the horses; mount the steeds;
take your positions with helmets on!
Polish your spears;
put on armor!
5 Why am I seeing this?
They are terrified,
they are retreating;
their warriors are defeated,
they flee in haste without looking back;
terror is on every side!”
declares the LORD.
6 “The swift cannot flee,
and the warrior cannot escape!
In the north by the River Euphrates
they stumble and fall.
7 Who is this, rising like the Nile,
like rivers whose waters churn?
8 Egypt rises like the Nile,
and its waters churn like rivers,
boasting, ‘I will rise and cover the earth;
I will destroy the cities and their people.’
9 Advance, O horses! Race furiously, O chariots!
Let the warriors come forth—
Cush a and Put carrying their shields,
men of Lydia drawing the bow.
10 For that day belongs to the Lord GOD of Hosts,
a day of vengeance against His foes.
The sword will devour until it is satisfied,
until it is quenched with their blood.
For the Lord GOD of Hosts will hold a sacrifice
in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.
11 Go up to Gilead for balm,
O Virgin Daughter of Egypt!
In vain you try many remedies,
but for you there is no healing.
12 The nations have heard of your shame,
and your outcry fills the earth,
because warrior stumbles over warrior
and both of them have fallen together.”
13 This is the word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt:
14 “Announce it in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol;
proclaim it in Memphis b and Tahpanhes:
‘Take your positions and prepare yourself,
for the sword devours those around you.’
15 Why have your warriors been laid low?
16 They continue to stumble;
indeed, they have fallen over one another.
They say, ‘Get up! Let us return to our people
and to the land of our birth,
away from the sword of the oppressor.’
17 There they will cry out:
‘Pharaoh king of Egypt was all noise;
he has let the appointed time pass him by.’
18 As surely as I live, declares the King,
whose name is the LORD of Hosts,
there will come one who is like Tabor among the mountains
and like Carmel by the sea.
19 Pack your bags for exile,
O daughter dwelling in Egypt!
For Memphis will be laid waste,
destroyed and uninhabited.
20 Egypt is a beautiful heifer,
but a gadfly from the north is coming against her.
21 Even the mercenaries among her
are like fattened calves.
They too will turn back;
together they will flee, they will not stand their ground,
for the day of calamity is coming upon them—
the time of their punishment.
for the enemy will advance in force;
with axes they will come against her
like woodsmen cutting down trees.
23 They will chop down her forest, declares the LORD,
dense though it may be,
for they are more numerous than locusts;
they cannot be counted.
24 The Daughter of Egypt will be put to shame;
she will be delivered into the hands of the people of the north.”
25 The LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I am about to punish Amon god of Thebes, d along with Pharaoh, Egypt with her gods and kings, and those who trust in Pharaoh. 26 I will deliver them into the hands of those who seek their lives—of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. But after this, Egypt will be inhabited as in days of old, declares the LORD.
27 But you, O Jacob My servant, do not be afraid,
and do not be dismayed, O Israel.
For I will surely save you out of a distant place,
your descendants from the land of their captivity!
Jacob will return to quiet and ease,
with no one to make him afraid.
28 And you, My servant Jacob, do not be afraid,
declares the LORD, for I am with you.
Though I will completely destroy all the nations to which I have banished you,
I will not completely destroy you.
Yet I will discipline you justly,
and will by no means leave you unpunished.”
9 a That is, the upper Nile region
14 b LXX; Hebrew Noph ; also in verse 19
22 c Hebrew nachash ; translated in most cases as snake
25 d Hebrew Amon of No