Jeremiah 46

The Lord's messages about Egypt

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

1 The Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah messages about the nations.

2 This is the message about Egypt.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his army fought against the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt. Babylon's army won the battle against Egypt's army at Carchemish on the Euphrates river. That happened in the fourth year that Josiah's son Jehoiakim ruled Judah as king.

3 ‘Get ready to march to the battle!

Pick up your shields and your weapons.

4 Prepare your horses and sit on them.

Put on your helmets and be ready to fight.

Make your spears sharp.

Put on your armour!’

5 The Lord says,

‘But I see this:

The soldiers are afraid and they are running away!

They cannot win the fight.

Terror is everywhere around them.

46:5See Jeremiah 20:3, 10.

They do not turn to look behind them.

They run away as fast as they can.

6 But none of them can run fast enough.

Even the strongest soldiers cannot escape.

In the north, beside the River Euphrates,

they fall down to the ground.

7 A nation is rising up, like the great waters of the Nile river.

Who is this nation?

8 Egypt is rising like the waters of the Nile.

Its streams of water quickly pour out over the earth.

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

I will destroy cities.

I will kill the people who live in them.”

9 So ride your horses quickly into the battle!

Drive your chariots as fast as they will go!

Tell your soldiers to march forward into the battle.

Send your soldiers of Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields.

Send your soldiers of Lydia who have bows and arrows.

10 But it is the Lord God Almighty who will win!

It is the day when he will punish his enemies.

His sword will completely destroy them,

like a hungry person who cannot stop eating!

His sword will cause a lot of blood to pour out.

The Lord God Almighty will accept his enemies as a sacrifice.

That is what will happen in the northern land beside the Euphrates river.

11 Dear people of Egypt,

go to Gilead and find medicine to make you well.

But that will not help you.

There is no medicine that will make you better.

12 The other nations will see that you are ashamed.

All over the earth, people will hear you as you weep.

As your soldiers run from the battle,

they will fall over each other.

They will fall to the ground together.’

King Nebuchadnezzar will attack Egypt

13 The Lord gave this message to the prophet Jeremiah about King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He said that Nebuchadnezzar would come to attack Egypt.

14 ‘Shout this message everywhere in Egypt.

Let people hear it in Migdol, Memphis and in Tahpanhes.

“Get ready to fight against your enemies!

They are already killing the people all around you.”

15 Your brave soldiers will fall.

They will lie flat on the ground.

They cannot stand and fight because the Lord will knock them down.

16 They will continue to fall over each other.

They will say to each other, “Get up!

We must return to our homes where our own people live.

We must escape from our enemies, who want to kill us.”

17 When they get back home, they will say,

“The king of Egypt is only a loud noise.

He could not win when he had the chance.” ’

18 The Lord Almighty is the great King. He says,

‘I promise you, as surely as I live,

that a powerful army will come to fight against you!

They will look as great as Tabor looks among the other mountains.

They will seem like Carmel mountain that stands beside the sea.

19 You dear people of Egypt, be ready to travel as prisoners to a foreign land!

Your enemy will destroy Memphis city.

It will become a heap of stones where nobody lives.

20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.

But an army from the north will attack her, like a crowd of flies that bite.

21 Egypt has paid soldiers from other countries to help her.

But they are like fat calves that are too weak to fight.

They will not stand and fight, but they will turn and run away.

Yes, the day of Egypt's punishment has arrived!

Their enemy has come to destroy them.

22 Egypt's people will run away, like a snake along the ground.

The enemy's strong army will march forward.

They will attack Egypt with axes, like men who cut down trees.

23 Egypt's soldiers are as many as the trees in a great forest.

But the enemy's soldiers will cut them down.

Their army is like a hungry crowd of locusts.

They are too many to count.

24 The people of Egypt will be ashamed.

They will be under the power of the people from the north.’

That is what the Lord says.

25 The Lord Almighty, Israel's God, also says, ‘Now I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes city, and the other gods of Egypt. I will also punish Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and Egypt's other rulers. I will punish Egypt's people and everyone who trusts in Pharoah's power. 26 I will put them under the power of King Nebuchadnezzar and his army, who want to kill them. But in later years, people will again live in Egypt, as they did before.’ That is what the Lord says.

The Israelites will live in peace

27 ‘My servants, descendants of Jacob, do not be afraid.

46:27Jacob was the ancestor of the nation, Israel. The Israelites were descendants of Jacob.

People of Israel, do not be upset.

You have been prisoners in countries far away.

But I will rescue you and your descendants.

You will return to your own land and you will live in peace.

Jacob's descendants will be safe and nobody will make them afraid.

28 So do not be afraid, descendants of my servant Jacob.

I am with you to help you.

I may completely destroy all the nations where I send you to live.

But I will never completely destroy you.

I will certainly punish you, to teach you what is right.

But I will do that in a fair way.’

That is what the Lord says.