Jeremiah 44

CHAPTER XLIV

Jeremiah reproves the Jews in Egypt for continuing in idolatry

after the exemplary judgments indicted by God on their nation

for that sin, 1-14;

and, upon their refusing to reform, denounces destruction to

them, and to that kingdom wherein they sought protection,

15-30.

NOTES ON CHAP. XLIV

Verse 1. The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews]

Dahler supposes this discourse to have been delivered in the

seventeenth or eighteenth year after the taking of Jerusalem.

Which dwell at Migdol] A city of Lower Egypt, not far from

Pelusium.

Tahpanhes] Daphne Pelusiaca, the place to which the emigrant

Jews first went.

Noph] Maphes, Targum. Memphis. a celebrated city of

Middle Egypt, and the capital of its district.

The country of Pathros] A district of Upper Egypt, known by the

name of the Thebais. See Bochart, Lib. Phaleg, lib. iv., c. 22.

Thus we find that the Jews were scattered over the principal parts

of Egypt.

Verse 2. No man dwelleth therein] The desolation of the land of

Judea must have been exceedingly great when this, in almost any

sense, could be spoken of it.

Verse 4. O, do not this abominable thing] A strong specimen of

affectionate entreaty. One of the finest figures of poetry, when

judiciously managed, the anthropopathia, the ascribing human

passions to God, is often used by this prophet: so God is said to

grieve, to mourn, to have his bowels moved with compassion, to

repent, to be angry, &c. Here he is represented as tenderly

expostulating: O, do not; or, I entreat you, do not that

abominable thing which I hate. 1. Do it not: your God commands.

2. O, do it not: your Father entreats. 3. It is an abominable

thing, and should not be done. 4. I hate it, and on that account

ye should abstain from it.

Verse 5. But they hearkened not] 1. They disregarded the

authority of their God. 2. They were not moved by the entreaties

of their most affectionate Father. 3. In abominations they

delighted. And, 4. They loved that which God hated; and,

apparently, because he hated it.

Verse 7. This great evil against your souls] Will not

self-interest weigh with you? See what ruin your conduct has

brought upon your country. Your fathers sinned as you are doing;

and where are they now? Either destroyed, or in captivity. And you

are now taking the same way to your own destruction.

Verse 9. Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers] It

seems that the women were principal agents in idolatrous

practices; for the queens-the wives, of rulers and of common

people, burnt incense to the queen of heaven, (the moon,)

Jer 44:17, and poured out drink-offerings to her.

Verse 15. Then all the men-and all the women] We have not seen

the women in determined rebellion before. Here they make a common

cause with their idolatrous husbands.

Verse 19. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven] The

MOON seems to have been called melecheth, as the SUN was

called molech. The Hindoos pour out water to the sun thrice a

day; and to the moon whenever they worship her.

The idolatrous worship of these people was a sort of imitation

of the worship of the true God; only sacrifice was not common in

it. The factious women here tell us in what it consisted. 1. They

burnt incense to the moon, and perhaps to the sun and the planets.

2. They poured out libations to her. 3. They made and consecrated

cakes to her. All these were prescribed in the worship of the true

GOD. See, among others, Ex 29:23, &c.; Le 2:4; 23:16; and

Nu 6:15. And the women vindicate their conduct by asserting

that they did all this by the consent of their husbands: "Did we

worship her without our men?"

Verse 22. Therefore is your land a desolation] I grant that ye

and your husbands have joined together in these abominations; and

what is the consequence? "The Lord could no longer bear because of

your evil doings; and therefore is your land a desolation, and an

astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, this day."

Verse 30. Behold I will give Pharaoh-hophra] That is, Pharaoh

Apries. How this and the prophecies in the preceding chapter were

fulfilled, we learn from ancient historians. The sum of such

information is this: the subjects of Pharaoh Apries rebelling, he

sent Amasis, one of his generals, to reduce them to their duty.

But no sooner had Amasis begun to make his speech, than they fixed

a helmet on his head, and proclaimed him king. Amasis accepted the

title, and confirmed the Egyptians in their revolt; and the

greater part of the nation declaring for him, Apries was obliged

to retire into Upper Egypt; and the country being thus weakened by

intestine war, was attacked and easily overcome by Nebuchadnezzar,

who on quitting it left Amasis his viceroy. After Nebuchadnezzar's

departure, Apries marched against Amasis; but, being defeated at

Memphis, was taken prisoner, carried to Sais, and was strangled

in his own palace, thus verifying this prophecy. See Herodotus in

Euterpe.

Thus Nebuchadnezzar made an easy conquest of the land. He

conquered it as easily as "a shepherd puts on his cloak: he went

thence in peace," having clothed himself with its spoils; and left

all quiet under a viceroy of his own choosing. The rebellion of

Pharaoh's subjects was the "fire that God kindled in Egypt,"

Jer 43:12. And thus was he "delivered into the hands of his

enemies," his revolted people; and "into the hand of him who

sought his life," i.e., Amasis his general. And thus the whole

prophecy was literally fulfilled.

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