Jeremiah 46

God tells Jeremiah about the things that he will do to Egypt.

46:1Chapters 46-51 are about punishment for the nations.

1 The Lord told Jeremiah the prophet about the things that he will do to the people in many countries.

2 This is the message against the army of King Neco of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon's king, fought with them at Carchemish on the River Euphrates. Nebuchadnezzar won that fight in the fourth year after Josiah's son Jehoiakim became king of Judah.

3 ‘Get ready to march to the fight!

Prepare your shields, whether you are important or not.

4 Make the horses ready to obey you.

Stand ready with hard hats on your heads.

Make sharp the knives that you throw.

Put on strong clothes of leather and metal.

5 I see that the army are afraid.

They are running away.

Their soldiers have not won the fight.

They are running away fast.

They do not look behind them.

Everything round them makes them afraid,’

says the Lord.

6 But they cannot run as fast as they need to run.

The strong men cannot run away.

They are falling by the River Euphrates.

In the north, they fall down.

7 A country is rising up.

It rises like the great waters of the River Nile.

8 Egypt is rising like the River Nile,

like rivers of fast waters.

Egypt says, ‘I will rise up and I will cover the earth.

I will destroy cities and I will kill their people.’

9 The horses run fast.

Men in their chariots cause them to go faster.

The soldiers continue to march.

Men from Ethiopia and Put are carrying their shields.

Men from the people called Lydians are bringing their bows.

10 But that day is a day when the Lord, the great powerful Lord will punish his enemies.

He is angry with his enemies and he will punish them.

His soldiers will kill with their swords.

They will kill many people.

They will be like a hungry man. He eats until he is not still hungry.

The Lord, the great and powerful Lord, will offer up the dead people.

He will offer them in a place in the north by the River Euphrates.

11 Go to Gilead to get medicine to make you well.

Go, you young women in Egypt.

But many medicines will not make you better.

Nothing will make you well.

12 All countries will see that you are ashamed.

All the people on earth will hear you when you cry.

Two soldiers will knock against each other.

They will fall down together.

13 This is the message that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about Nebuchadnezzar. He, the king of Babylon, would come to attack Egypt.

14 ‘Tell this to the people in Egypt and shout it in Migdol.

And tell it to the people in Memphis and in Tahpanhes.

“Get ready to fight because they are killing all the people round you.”

15 Enemies will knock down your soldiers.

They cannot stand because the Lord will push them down.

16 They will go on falling.

They will fall over each other.

They will say, “Get up. Let us return to our own people and to our own country.

We want to run from these fights and from our enemies.”

17 When they get back they will shout,

“The king of Egypt is weak. He is like a loud noise.

He is too late to win the fight.” ’

18 The King, the great and powerful Lord says,

‘I am giving a promise to you. Someone will come who will be great.

He will be as great among men as Tabor and Carmel are great among the mountains.

19 You people who live in Egypt, pack your things ready to go to a far country.

They will destroy Memphis. Its buildings will lie in pieces and nobody will live there.

20 Egypt is like a good cow that a fly from the north is coming to hurt.

21 Egypt has bought soldiers. But they are like animals that men are ready to kill.

They will run away together. They will not stand and fight.

Now the day is coming when the Lord will kill those soldiers.

22 Egypt's people will run from the enemy when many men come near to attack it.

They will attack it with axes.

They will be like men who cut down trees,

23 to destroy thick forests,’ says the Lord.

‘There are too many enemies to count.

They are like many insects that seem like a great cloud.

24 They will make the people in Egypt ashamed.

The people from the north will make them their prisoners.’

25 ‘Now I will punish Amon, god of Thebes. And I will punish Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And I will punish their other gods and kings, and the people that they rule. 26 I will give them to those who want to kill them. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers will take them,’ says the great and powerful Lord. ‘But in later years, people will again live in Egypt as they did before,’ he says.

27 ‘Do not be afraid, my servant Jacob. Do not be afraid of trouble, Israel.

46:27Jacob here means the nation, Israel.

I will certainly bring you from a far country.

I will save your children from the places where they went as prisoners.

Jacob (Israel) will again have peace and he will be safe.

Then nobody will make him afraid.

28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant,

because I am with you,’ says the Lord.

‘I may completely destroy all the countries where I send you.

But I will never completely destroy you.

I will be fair when I punish you. But I certainly will punish you.’