The LORD spoke this message to the prophet Jeremiah about the nations.
This is the message about Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated his army at Carchemish along the Euphrates River during the fourth year that Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was king of Judah.
"Get your large and small shields ready; advance into battle.
Harness your horses. Mount up, you horsemen. Take your positions, and put on your helmets. Polish your spears. Put on your armor.
"What do I see in them? They are terrified. They are retreating. Their warriors are defeated. They flee without looking back. Terror is all around them," declares the LORD.
"The infantry can't flee. The warriors can't escape. They stumble and fall in the north by the Euphrates River.
Who is this, rising like the Nile River, like streams that flow swiftly?
Egypt is like the rising Nile River, like a river quickly overflowing its banks. Egypt says, 'I will rise; I will cover the earth. I will destroy cities and the people in them.'
Go into battle, you horsemen. Drive wildly, you chariot drivers. March into battle, you warriors, you warriors from Sudan and Put who carry shields, you warriors from Lydia who use bows and arrows.
That day belongs to the Almighty LORD of Armies. It is a day of vengeance when he will take revenge on his enemies. His sword will devour until it has had enough, and it will drink their blood until it's full. The Almighty LORD of Armies will offer them as sacrifices in the north by the Euphrates River.
Go to Gilead, and get medicine, dear people of Egypt. You have used many medicines without results; you can't be cured.
The nations have heard of your shame; your cry fills the earth. One warrior will stumble over another, and both will fall together."
The LORD spoke this message to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who will defeat Egypt.
"Tell this in Egypt; announce this in Migdol. Make it known in Memphis and in Tahpanhes. Say, 'Take your positions, and get ready. Swords will kill those around you.'
Why should your soldiers be cut down? They can't stand because the LORD will push them down.
They have repeatedly stumbled, and now they have fallen. They say to each other, 'Get up! Let's go back to our people, to the land where we were born, and escape our enemy's sword.'
There they will cry, 'Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is a big windbag. He has missed his chance.'
"As I live," declares the king, whose name is the LORD of Armies, "someone who is like Mount Tabor among the mountains will come. Someone who is like Mount Carmel by the sea will come.
Pack your bags, inhabitants of Egypt, because you will be taken away as captives. Memphis will become a dreary wasteland, a pile of rubble where no one lives.
"Egypt is like a beautiful cow, but a horsefly from the north will attack it.
Egypt's hired soldiers are like fattened calves. They will turn and run away together. They won't stand their ground. The day of destruction is coming. At that time they will be punished.
Egypt will hiss like a snake as it slithers away. Its enemies will come with full force. They will attack it with axes like those who chop wood.
They will cut down the forest," declares the LORD, "since Egypt can't be found. They are more numerous than locusts; they can't be counted.
The people of Egypt will be put to shame. They will be handed over to the people from the north."
The LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says, "I'm going to punish Amon, who is the god of Thebes. I will also punish Pharaoh, Egypt, its gods, its kings, and whoever trusts Pharaoh.
I'll hand them over to those who want to kill them, to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his officers. Afterward, they will live in peace as they did long ago," declares the LORD.
"Don't be afraid, my servant Jacob. Don't be terrified, Israel. I'm going to rescue you and your descendants from a faraway land, from the land where you are captives. Then Jacob's descendants will again have undisturbed peace, and no one will make them afraid.
Don't be afraid, my servant Jacob," declares the LORD. "I am with you. I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will correct you with justice. I won't let you go entirely unpunished."