Defeat of Pharaoh Foretold
1The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the [Gentile] nations.
2Concerning Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated [decisively] in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah:
3“Line up the buckler (small shield) and [large] shield,
And advance for battle!
4Harness the horses,
And mount, you riders!
Take your stand with your helmets!
Polish the spears,
Put on the coats of mail!
5Why have I seen it?
They are terrified
And have turned back,
And their warriors are beaten down.
They take flight in haste
Without looking back;
Terror is on every side!”
Says the Lord.
6Do not let the swift man run,
Nor the mighty man escape;
In the north by the river Euphrates
They have stumbled and fallen.
7Who is this that rises up like the Nile [River],
Like the rivers [in the delta of Egypt] whose waters surge about?
8Egypt rises like the Nile,
Even like the rivers whose waters surge about.
And He has said, “I will rise, I will cover that land;
I will certainly destroy the city and its inhabitants.”
9Charge, you horses,
And drive like madmen, you chariots!
Let the warriors go forward:
Ethiopia and Put (Libya) who handle the shield,
And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow.
10For that day belongs to the Lord God of hosts,
A day of vengeance, that He may avenge Himself on His adversaries.
And the sword will devour and be satiated
And drink its fill of their blood;
For the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice [like that of a great sin offering]
In the north country by the river Euphrates.
11Go up to Gilead and obtain [healing] balm,
O Virgin Daughter of Egypt!
In vain you use many medicines;
For you there is no healing or remedy.
12The nations have heard of your disgrace and shame,
And your cry [of distress] has filled the earth.
For warrior has stumbled against warrior,
And both of them have fallen together.
13The word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt:
14“Declare in Egypt and proclaim in Migdol,
And proclaim in Memphis and in Tahpanhes;
Say, ‘Take your stand and get yourself ready,
For the sword has devoured those around you.’
15Why have your strong ones been cut down?
They do not stand because the Lord drove them away.
16He will make many stumble and fall;
Yes, they have fallen one on another.
Then they said, ‘Arise, and let us go back
To our own people and to the land of our birth,
Away from the sword of the oppressor.’
17They cried there, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is destroyed and is merely a loud noise;
He has let the appointed time [of opportunity] pass by!’
18As I live,” says the King,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts,
“Surely like Tabor among the mountains
Or like Carmel by the sea,
So shall he [the great king of Babylon] come.
19O you daughter who dwells in Egypt and you who dwell with her,
Prepare yourselves [with all you will need] to go into exile,
For Memphis will become desolate;
It will even be burned down and without inhabitant.
20Egypt is a very pretty heifer,
But a horsefly (Babylonia) is coming [against her] out of the north!
21Also her mercenaries in her army
Are like fattened calves,
For they too have turned back and have fled together;
They did not stand [their ground],
Because the day of their disaster has come upon them,
The time of their punishment.
22The sound [of Egypt fleeing from the enemy] is like [the rustling of] an escaping serpent,
For her foes advance with a mighty army
And come against her like woodcutters with axes.
23They have cut down her forest,” says the Lord;
“Certainly it will no longer be found,
Because they (the invaders) are more numerous than locusts
And cannot be counted.
24The Daughter of Egypt has been shamed,
Given over to the power of the people of the north [the Chaldeans of Babylonia].”
25The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I am going to punish Amon [chief god of the sacred city] of Thebes [the capital of Upper Egypt], and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings—even Pharaoh and those who put their trust in him [as a shield against Babylon]. 26I will put them into the hand of those who seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of his servants. Afterward Egypt will be inhabited as in the days of old,” says the Lord.
27“But as for you, do not fear, O My servant Jacob,
Nor be dismayed, O Israel!
For behold, I will save you from [your captivity in] a distant land,
And your descendants from the land of their exile;
And Jacob will return and be quiet and secure,
And no one will make him afraid.
28Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,” says the Lord,
“For I am with you.
For I will make a full and complete end of all the nations
To which I have driven you;
Yet I will not make a full end of you.
But I will discipline and correct you appropriately
And by no means will I declare you guiltless or leave you unpunished.”