The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations.
2 Concerning Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:
3 Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle! 4 Harness the horses; mount the steeds! Take your stations with your helmets, whet your lances, put on your coats of mail! 5 Why do I see them terrified? They have fallen back; their warriors are beaten down, and have fled in haste. They do not look back— terror is all around! says the Lord. 6 The swift cannot flee away, nor can the warrior escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen.
7 Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge? 8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. It said, Let me rise, let me cover the earth, let me destroy cities and their inhabitants. 9 Advance, O horses, and dash madly, O chariots! Let the warriors go forth: Ethiopia[a] and Put who carry the shield, the Ludim, who draw[b] the bow. 10 That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of retribution, to gain vindication from his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated, and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice in the land of the north by the river Euphrates. 11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you. 12 The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for warrior has stumbled against warrior; both have fallen together.
Babylonia Will Strike Egypt
13 The word that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt:
14 Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes; Say, “Take your stations and be ready, for the sword shall devour those around you.” 15 Why has Apis fled?[c] Why did your bull not stand? —because the Lord thrust him down. 16 Your multitude stumbled[d] and fell, and one said to another,[e] “Come, let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the destroying sword.” 17 Give Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the name “Braggart who missed his chance.”
18 As I live, says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts, one is coming like Tabor among the mountains, and like Carmel by the sea. 19 Pack your bags for exile, sheltered daughter Egypt! For Memphis shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant.
20 A beautiful heifer is Egypt— a gadfly from the north lights upon her. 21 Even her mercenaries in her midst are like fatted calves; they too have turned and fled together, they did not stand; for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment.
22 She makes a sound like a snake gliding away; for her enemies march in force, and come against her with axes, like those who fell trees. 23 They shall cut down her forest, says the Lord, though it is impenetrable, because they are more numerous than locusts; they are without number. 24 Daughter Egypt shall be put to shame; she shall be handed over to a people from the north.
25 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, said: See, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will hand them over to those who seek their life, to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, says the Lord.
God Will Save Israel
27 But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and no one shall make him afraid. 28 As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord, for I am with you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have banished you, but I will not make an end of you! I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
a. Jeremiah 46:9 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
b. Jeremiah 46:9 Cn: Heb who grasp, who draw
c. Jeremiah 46:15 Gk: Heb Why was it swept away
d. Jeremiah 46:16 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
e. Jeremiah 46:16 Gk: Heb and fell one to another and they said
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.