The leaders carry the people to Egypt. (1-7) Jeremiah foretells the conquest of Egypt. (8-13)
Verses 1-7 Only by pride comes contention, both with God and man. They preferred their own wisdom to the revealed will of God. Men deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, because they are resolved not to conform themselves to Scripture rules. When men will persist in sin, they charge the best actions to bad motives. These Jews deserted their own land, and threw themselves out of God's protection. It is the folly of men, that they often ruin themselves by wrong endeavours to mend their situation.
Verses 8-13 God can find his people wherever they are. The Spirit of prophecy was not confined to the land of Israel. It is foretold that Nebuchadnezzar should destroy and carry into captivity many of the Egyptians. Thus God makes one wicked man, or wicked nation, a scourge and plague to another. He will punish those who deceive his professing people, or tempt them to rebellion.
Jeremiah 43:1-13 . THE JEWS CARRY JEREMIAH AND BARUCH INTO EGYPT. JEREMIAH FORETELLS BY A TYPE THE CONQUEST OF EGYPT BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR, AND THE FATE OF THE FUGITIVES.
2. Azariah--the author of the project of going into Egypt; a very different man from the Azariah in Babylon ( Daniel 1:7 , 3:12-18 ).
proud--Pride is the parent of disobedience and contempt of God.
3. Baruch--He being the younger spake out the revelations which he received from Jeremiah more vehemently. From this cause, and from their knowing that he was in favor with the Chaldeans, arose their suspicion of him. Their perverse fickleness was astonishing. In the forty-second chapter they acknowledged the trustworthiness of Jeremiah, of which they had for so long so many proofs; yet here they accuse him of a lie. The mind of the unregenerate man is full of deceits.
5. remnant . . . returned from all nations--( Jeremiah 40:11 Jeremiah 40:12 ).
6. the king's daughters--Zedekiah's ( Jeremiah 41:10 ).
branch of the Nile, near Pelusium. They naturally came to it first, being on the frontier of Egypt, towards Palestine.
9. stones--to be laid as the foundation beneath Nebuchadnezzar's throne ( Jeremiah 43:10 ).
brick-kiln--Bricks in that hot country are generally dried in the sun, not burned. The palace of Pharaoh was being built or repaired at this time; hence arose the mortar and brick-kiln at the entry. Of the same materials as that of which Pharaoh's house was built, the substructure of Nebuchadnezzar's throne should be constructed. By a visible symbol implying that the throne of the latter shall be raised on the downfall of the former. Egypt at that time contended with Babylon for the empire of the East.
10. my servant--God often makes one wicked man or nation a scourge to another ( Ezekiel 29:18 Ezekiel 29:19 Ezekiel 29:20 ).
royal pavilion--the rich tapestry (literally, "ornament") which hung round the throne from above.
11. such as are for death to death--that is, the deadly plague. Some he shall cause to die by the plague arising from insufficient or bad food; others, by the sword; others he shall lead captive, according as
12. houses of . . . gods--He shall not spare even the temple, such will be His fury. A reproof to the Jews that they betook themselves to Egypt, a land whose own safety depended on helpless idols.
burn . . . carry . . . captives--burn the Egyptian idols of wood, carry to Babylon those of gold and other metals.
array himself with the land, &c.-- Isaiah 49:18 has the same metaphor.
as a shepherd, &c.--He shall become master of Egypt as speedily and easily as a shepherd, about to pass on with his flock to another place, puts on his garment.
13. images--statues or obelisks.
Beth-shemesh--that is, "the house of the sun," in Hebrew; called by the Greeks "Heliopolis"; by the Egyptians, "On" ( Genesis 41:45 ); east of the Nile, and a few miles north of Memphis. Ephraim Syrus says, the statue rose to the height of sixty cubits; the base was ten cubits. Above there was a miter of a thousand pounds weight. Hieroglyphics are traced around the only obelisk remaining in the present day, sixty or seventy feet high. On the fifth year after the overthrow of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, leaving the siege of Tyre, undertook his expedition to Egypt [JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 10.9,7]. The Egyptians, according to the Arabs, have a tradition that their land was devastated by Nebuchadnezzar in consequence of their king having received the Jews under his protection, and that it lay desolate forty years. But Ezekiel 29:13 .
shall he burn--Here the act is attributed to Nebuchadnezzar, the instrument, which in Jeremiah 43:12 is attributed to God. If even the temples be not spared, much less private houses.